The shape of circumferential weld-induced imperfections in thin-walled steel silos and tanks

M. Pircher, P. A. Berry, Xiaoli Ding, R. Q. Bridge

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


The strength of thin-walled cylindrical shell structures is highly dependent on the nature and magnitude of imperfections. Most importantly, circumferential imperfections have been reported to have an especially detrimental effect on the buckling resistance of these shells under axial load. Due to the manufacturing techniques commonly used during the erection of steel silos and tanks, specific types of imperfections are introduced into these structures, among them circumferential weld-induced imperfections between strakes of steel plates. The shape of such a localised circumferential imperfection has been shown to have a great influence on the degree of strength loss of thin-walled cylindrical shell structures. The results of a survey of imperfections in an existing silo at a location in Port Kembla, Australia in combination with linear elastic shell bending theory was used to develop and calibrate a shape function which accurately describes the geometric features of circumferential weld imperfections. The proposed shape function is the first function to combine shell theory with actual field imperfection measurements. It is a continuous function and incorporates all the necessary features to represent the geometry of a circumferential weld-induced imperfection. It was found that after filtering out the effects of overall imperfections three parameters governed the shape of the surveyed imperfections: the depth, the wavelength and the roundness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1014
Number of pages16
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Shape function
  • Shell theory
  • Weld-induced imperfections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'The shape of circumferential weld-induced imperfections in thin-walled steel silos and tanks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this