Thermal and structural analysis of a fuel storage tank under an adjacent pool fire

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Susana N. Espinosa *
Rossana C. Jaca
Luis A. Godoy
(*) Corresponding Author:
Susana N. Espinosa |


This work reports the modeling and computational implementation of heat transfer processes that take place from a source tank to a target tank in a tank farm, focusing on the thermal field that develops at the target tank. Pool fire with gasoline burning is modeled at the source, in which the flame is represented by a two-layer solid flame model. A rigorous heat transfer model is implemented together with a Computational Fluid Dynamics model for the fuel storage. This process yields the temperature field in the target tank. Such thermal fields are subsequently employed as input in a structural analysis of the target tank to compute displacements and stresses and to assess possible structural damage. For the case studied, the results show that a steady-state process is reached in less than an hour, with temperatures in the order of 400°C at elevations above the fuel level stored in the target tank, whereas much lower temperatures are computed on the zone in contact with fuel. Displacement jumps are seen to occur at the fuel level and at the junction between the cylinder and a fixed roof.

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