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Hi,

I am in need to design the Foundation for a API Tank. The Uplift force calculated for that tank is too heavy.The details as
follows.

1. Empty Load = 11,000 kg


2. Test Load = 95,750 kg
3. uplift = 119,000 kg
4. Tank Dia = 4.5 m
5. Tank Height = 5.2m

And I was informed that , the uplift load is the net value. After the deduction of the Gravity Load ,the uplift load is
119,000 kg ( 119 Tonnes).

Which looks like ubnormal.

When I referred the API 650 code , Table 5-21a - Uplift Loads.

As per the Code , for the Design pressure, Netuplift force in N = [(P-0.08th)xD2x785]-W1,

Where ,

P = Design Pressure in kPa


th = roof plate thickness in mm
D = Tank Diameter in m
W1 = dead load of shell minus any correosion allowance and any dead load other than roof plate acting on the shell

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Tank Foundation Uplift Force - Structural engineering other technical t... http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=311383

minus any corrosion allowance in kN

And as per the Clause 5.12.13 : The foundation shall provide adequate counterbalancing weight to resist the design uplift
loads .

Then for the given Uplift Load , the Foundation size approximately required is , 5m dia , and foundation depth should be
more than 3m.
Almost the foundation depth is more than 50% of the Tank Height.It looks like un realistic.

Is there any wrong interpretation in the Uplift force calculation for the foundation.

Since , I am a structural Engineer , I am not familiar with API codes.

Please help me to resolve the issue.

With Regards,
Vivek.

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Is this an underground tank?

Where is 'P' coming from?

Information not clear.

Is this uplift caused by seismic load? which will be possible for this high magnitude at high seismic zone.

Is this uplift caused by wind? which will be unlikely to have such high uplift by wind.

Vivek19:

Is that net uplift some sort of an empty tank buoyance force with some factor of safety, to keep the empty tank from
floating away?

post vendor drawings of tank if you can. you may have units wrong. idk. i have designed a few tank foundation and
never had problems with uplift. or maybe nothing wrong with the tanks, it's just that you have pressurized tank.

A flat bottom pressurized tank can generate large uplift forces. Check your units and equations to make sure you have it
figured right, though. And unfortunately, API has been known to have typos, so check that the equations make
sense. (The factor on the roof thickness is just deducting unit roof weight from uplift pressure. The 785 factor is pi/4
with unit conversion factors. These equations basically boil down to P/A and Mc/I type equations.)

Your uplift works out to a net pressure of around 8.6 psi, while API-650 is limited to 2.5 psi. If that is the "design
pressure", something is wrong, either you have an error somewhere in the calculated uplift, or the tank would fall under

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API-620 rather than API-650. If that is a "failure" or "1.5xfailure" or "frangibility" load, then it may be correct.

In many cases in which an unreasonable amount of uplift is generated, it will turn out that the specifier can in fact
reduce the specified pressure, and did not realize there was a motivation to do so. People that are accustomed to
dealing with vessels will specify a "nominal" pressure, not realizing that it may have a major cost impact on the
project. So double check there.

Keep in mind that when a ringwall extends inside the tank shell, the uplift pressure is also applied downward on that
shelf, reducing the net uplift. If you use a rigid slab under the tank, the pressure induces bending in the slab, but there
will not be a net uplift of the slab from the pressure. For a 5m tank, I would explore this option more. In any case,
using a ringwall for weight, it will be cheaper to make it wider rather than deeper.

In some cases, it may be practical to use an inverted-T shape ringwall, in which case soil over the slab can be included in
uplifting weight.

JStephen (Mechanical),

Actually that is an API 620 Tank only. But as per some clause from API 620 , they need to calculate the Uplift as per API
650.

P is the Maximum Design Pressure = 0.07747 MPa. ( something around 11.236 psi ).

In addition to Clause 5.12.13 we need check as per Appendix F of API 650.

Are these information sufficient.

With Regards,
Vivek.

Agree with delagina.

The pressure in pressurized tank will not cause any uplift on foundation. It only cause tension on tank structure itself.

unless your pressurized tank is filled with hydrogen or similar light air, then it will cause uplift.

"As per the Code , for the Design pressure, Netuplift force in N = [(P-0.08th)xD2x785]-W1,

Where ,

P = Design Pressure in kPa


th = roof plate thickness in mm
D = Tank Diameter in m
W1 = dead load of shell minus any correosion allowance and any dead load other than roof plate acting on the shell
minus any corrosion allowance in kN "

your W1 should be in NEWTONS not KN

"The pressure in pressurized tank will not cause any uplift on foundation."

This is presumably a vertical tank with flat bottom supported by the foundation. The bottom acts as a membrane only,
and the tank does in fact transfer large pressure uplift forces into the foundation.

Vivek19:
Without copies of API codes the OP refers to, I am not going to try to determine what the formulas or variables are or
mean. But, aren't you guys kinda running around in circles here? When you say foundation uplift to a Structural

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Engineer, most would assume you mean a loading which tries to lift the found. right up out of the ground; thus my first
post, and several others, re; wind and EQ. Because of the pressure in the tank, aren't you actually talking about a
tension force btwn. the talk wall and the found. at the connection btwn. tank floor plate, tank wall and concrete found. A
distributed hold down force and detail is required btwn. the tank wall and the concrete found. to prevent the tank floor
plate from being over stressed in bending. With this proper hold down design, the tank floor plate acts primarily as a
closure membrane, uniformly supported by the found., as JStephen suggests.

With a properly phrased OP we wouldn't be guessing at what kind of tank this is, "presumably a vertical tank." And, we
would be talking about the general concept and details not some damn 10 variable formula intended to cover everything
as long as we can keep our variables and units straight. When you ask your question by referring to a specific formula or
code section, you do limit the help you might get to those who have that exact edition in front of them. And, some of us
often wonder, maybe wrongly, is he having trouble with the darn formula and all it tries to encompass btwn. several
different sets of brackets; or is the fact of the matter that he doesn't understand the basic concept and detail and has
little idea what he is actually calculating, and intending to accomplish?

my guess would be OP's unit is wrong if he used Newton instead of KN for W1 then there would be no uplift.

dhengr, API-650 only covers vertical tanks with flat bottoms. With a ringwall foundation, a pressure in the tank does
tend to lift the foundation right up out of the ground. The "distributed hold down" is anchor bolts or anchor straps.

delagina- If the tank is designed for 11 psi, there will be uplift.

lets do the math

[(P-0.08th)xD2x0.785]-W1,

(77-0)x4.5x4.5x0.785 - 107880

= -106655N so no uplift

he got 2 wrongs in the formula


W1 should be Newton
and it should be 0.785 not 785

Unless the physics law of this Universe changed since I left school. I can not see how an internal force/pressure inside a
tank can uplift a foundation. Could you please sketch a free body diagram to show it?

oops there must some errata with these formula as units are not consistent.. anyway,

(77,000N/m2 - 0)x4.5mx4.5mx.785 - 107880

= 1116131 N
=115000 kg

yup huge uplift there LOL

Sketch attached if that helps clarify. Note that the bottom plate is considered a flexible membrane in this case, rather
than as a rigid plate.

In the formula above, P is in kPa, not Pa, and uplift is in N, not kN, so the 785 is correct- pi/4 times 1000.
http://files.engineering.com/getfile.aspx?folder=b9e5005c-e076-4c76-abb0-8d

OK, I think you are playing some games on terminology, like dhengr said, your uplift is not the same meaning as the
conception in structural engineering. It is acturally an internal load which need be solved in structural design and you

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have to take the foundation slab as part of the tank bottom structure to resist shear and bending of the tank bottom. In
this case, a minimum of 18" Thickness Slab with #6 Rebar @ 10" BothWay at bottom layer of the slab plus some rebar @
top layer will do. There is still no uplift need be considered. Please see attached sketch.
http://files.engineering.com/getfile.aspx?folder=c57555c0-c436-4ade-9751-fd

chrislaope, there isn't any slab.

the tank pressure causes tensile stress in the tank shell. Depending on the design of the shell, there will be some strain
which will cause a vertical upward force on the anchors. It could not possibly lift the tank out of the ground, it could pull
the anchors out of the concrete though or damage the bottom of the tank shell.

There could also be larger vertical forces generated by wind, seismic and / or flooding or high water table. These forces
are generally considered to be "uplift".

The combined upwards force due to tank strain and uplift must be resisted by the weight of the foundation, tank and any
liquid in the tank. Doesn't matter if there is a slab or not, except that the slab would increase the weight of the
foundation.

Jstephen:

I see your sketch and can see that your ring wall foundation could cause a net uplift on the concrete ring wall. I did
anticipate anchor bolts or straps and some sort of a bottom flange on the tank wall as part of the hold down details. But,
won't your scheme cause tank floor plate stress problems, bending stresses and radial tension stresses, in the immediate
area of the conc. ring wall to allow the tank floor plate to finally act as a flexible membrane? And, what is the anticipated
tank floor plate deflection at the center, and/or alternatively, the equilibrium/compatibility upward movement of the conc.
ring wall for this membrane action to take place? No doubt this found. and tank design could be done either way, but I
was thinking more along the lines of Chrislaope's sketch to provide a stiffer found., hopefully more uniform
movement/settlement, and to avoid the uplift problem by supporting a lighter tank floor plate, just a closure and radial
tension plate. In your opinion is one found. scheme significantly better than they other, and why? Does API-650 only
allow the ring wall found.? I don't doubt that that can be made to work, but there will be funny (difficult, nasty) tank
and found. deflections and movements as the tank pressure varies from max. to min. and the tank changes from empty
to full and back again. I would certainly assume that API-650 contemplates and accounts for these.

My comments otherwise, were that a more detailed OP might have laid out a few of these basic tank design details, in a
general way, and saved us the need to guess at all the possible variations. Obviously, Chrislaope and I didn't imagine
the same ring wall found. you arrived at. Otherwise, that is a clever formula, but they don't always translate well from
one word processing format to another forum formatting system, short of writing out 'diameter squared,' so there is
potential for confusion. We all have trouble with units and variables at times, the more so as we (old goats, maybe just
me) switch btwn. unit systems, one of which we don't have a life long experience with and feel for. It seems to me that
the way some of these formulas show up in codes and are taught these days is so clever and convoluted that we lose the
step by step concepts of the real problem as we struggle to keep all the convoluted variables and units straight. And, in
the process we never end up with a real feel for a reasonable answer or magnitude. Today's codification and the all
encompassing formulas, with six different sets of brackets to include six steps into one, hides the real problem thinking
process, and turns it into an algebraic manipulation. Just follow the cookbook, and all will be well; never mind if ten or a
million is the right magnitude or if you really understand the problem at hand.

JStephen (Mechanical),

The foundation is not a Ring wall type.It is Block type.


Almost it looks like chrislaope's sketch but teh thickness is uniform.

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