Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Mechanical Engineering (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Aniruddha Mitra


Pressure vessels are large structures that are subjected to natural weather conditions due to their outdoor location. Because of this, the structure will sometimes undergo an excess of loading due to either wind or seismic activity. This load can further cause a tilting or toppling motion, which may result in an impact load at the bottom of the legs of the pressure vessel. The purpose of this research is to observe the effects of varying magnitudes of wind and seismic loading on a certain model pressure vessel and explore the likelihood of a load cell, located at the bottom of the pressure vessel legs, fracturing due to an impact loading. This is done through both experimentations with a wind tunnel and shake table, finite element analysis simulation with the use of ANSYS, and surface imaging with a Keyence microscope. The results of this research showed that when the loading due to either wind or seismic activity is large enough, the pressure vessel will tilt or topple, implying that the fracturing of a load cell at the bottom of the legs was caused by impact loading.

Available for download on Tuesday, March 30, 2027