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Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank
4

Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

(OP)
Hello,

I have been given a project of designing a Self Supporting Aluminium Dome over an existing Steel tank with API 650 Appendix G.
Can you suggest me some software or the basic design methodology with some references to design the same??
Please share a design calculation for my reference if possible.

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

2
You would do better posting this question under "Mechanical Engineers - Storage tank engineering".

I would recommend buying this type of roof from a company that designs and fabricates them full time. These companies have been through all the headaches (both design and fabrication) and have working solutions. I've designed API tanks for 30+ years but never for a moment considered designing an aluminum dome myself. We always purchase aluminum domes from one of these companies.

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

I've done steel ones... aluminum should be similar... issues of welding, fastening, deflections (Ea about 1/3 Es) and electrical isolation. How big a tank? It makes good sense to talk to some specialist.

Dik

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

Geoff13,

Good advice. It looks like you are a new member, so welcome to Eng-Tips.

GauravWalia,

I think you are new here as well. Welcome.

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

You will likely design to Aluminum Association Design Codes and Standards. These are required by the International Building Code. The structural program RISA has provisions to design to these standards, but the company providing this program has become problematic.

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

Quote (buggar)

but the company providing this program has become problematic.

It has? since the takeover? They have their own 3D program; has RISA become an orphan?

Dik

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

So far as I know, all of the struts used in that construction are proprietary extrusions for the companies making the domes, so it's not just a matter of applying the software.
Probably the first order of business is working out strut profiles, how the panels attach to the struts, how the junctions of those struts are detailed.

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

if you search the web you can find companies that supply such aluminium domes for tanks
maybe they can give you advice :)
but basically the 'software' should not be a problem ... it is the engineering of the detailing especially using aluminium

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

This is not for the uninitiated or faint of heart. However, it is not a huge or unmanageable problem unless you need to be on the bleeding edge of lowest cost / lightest weight. There are many FEA programs out there to deal with the linear and non-linear analysis and at least one that has a triangulated space truss dome geometry creator ( CADRE Analytics ). Your ability to model accurately depends on your knowledge of the actual construction, loading, boundary conditions and skill at understanding the limitations of manipulating the nuances of the software. The basic space frame is simple in concept and not too difficult to analyze or create. Making one economically will be hard for a first-timer but again, likely to be relatively uneconomical but not impossible. All in all, a fine and dandy project that you will learn a lot from and then realize that the several companies who specialize in making them have major investments in hardware, software, tooling, training, education, learn-by-failure, inventory etc that make theirs a more efficient choice and better use of your time and resources. I designed my first one by hand without a computer using basic math and engineering. I think it is still standing. I'd find it hard to compete in today's marketplace given the level of investment the established companies have made in their efforts to gain market share.

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

(OP)
Geoff13,

Thank you for your advice. However, i am an engineering manager in one of the manufacturing company mentioned by you. We have started the business for designing and fabricating Aluminium domes recently. Right now, we have been awarded to supply the domes for 3 tanks (around 35 m dia). We have given the design part to a third party. However, we are thinking of bringing the technology in our company. So, we are planning to train engineers to design the domes so that we dont have to rely on any other company for the design.
Thats why i was asking to get a sample calculation and the software used, a basic methodology so that atleast we can initiate the design part and see if we will be able to do it or not.

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

(OP)
IFRs,

Wonderful Information. Would be really helpful if you can share a couple of your design.

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

GauravWalia ...what country or part of the world are you in ?

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

My design would be of no use to you. Your family of dome designs will be your own, optimized for your targeted customers, size range, performance goals, cost structure, material availability, shop and field capabilities, appetite for warranty work, adherence to your company's corporate goals and statements, etc. Optimizing for weight, fabrication and erection will involve a large set of often conflicting decisions. Detailing the beam cross sections, beam and tank connections and then modeling them properly will be interesting. Setting a philosophy and then designing for performance will also be interesting. Decisions you make now will impact future projects and perhaps determine their viability.

RE: Self Supporting Aluminium Dome Design for Storage Tank

The companies I was thinking of already have complete design and fabrication capability. It appears you are trying to become a new vendor of aluminum domes. That is always a welcome addition to the marketplace. However IFRs newest responce above is then appropriate.

Good luck with your domes.

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