The main failure mode of a large vacuum spherical tank, subjected to uniformly external pressure, is buckling of thin shell. Taking a large vacuum spherical tank with volume of 18000m3 for research objects, the different calculation methods of buckling pressure between the ASME standard, analytic method and finite element method, were compared and analyzed. Using ANSYS software, the buckling pressure of stiffened spherical tanks were analyzed, and the optimum design of the thickness, height and quantity of stiffeners are studied. The results of analysis showed that the anti-instability ability of the large vacuum spherical tank can be improved significantly by a reasonable arrangement of stiffeners.

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