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Failure analysis of large storage tanks - GE ENERGY

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  • The reservoir after the accident

    The reservoir after the accident

  • Damage on the adjacent reservoir

    Damage on the adjacent reservoir

During its first filling, a water storage tank installed in North Africa suffered a failure of its cylindrical envelope, resulting in destruction of the structure and damage to neighboring facilities.

EXPERT-Méca acted as subcontractor of the CETIM to pilot and instruct this expertise to investigate the origins of the failure.

To research the origins and the scenario of the events that led to this incident, EXPERT-Meca conducted investigations on the following complementary themes:

  • Evaluating potential external actions that may have damaged the structure, earthquakes or related interventions around the tank;
  • Verifying the dimensions of the cylindrical wall and its bolted connections, circular and vertical joints, under the loading conditions applied in the moments preceding its collapse;
  • Validating the quality of the products used, anchors, sheet casing and attachment products;
  • Validating the conditions for installation on the construction site.

Through verifications involving calculation and characterisation of the products and expertise in assembly methods, it was possible to reconstruct the damage scenario and to draw from it all the useful lessons to reconstruct the tanks.