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International Journal of Advanced Computer Science, Vol. 2, No. 6, Pp. 242-249, Jun., 2012.

Manuscript
Received:
6,Feb., 2011
Revised:
12,Apr., 2011
Accepted:
27,May, 2012
Published:
15, Jul., 2012

Keywords
Buckling
analysis,
Elastically
restrained
edges,
Stiffened
panels
Abstract This paper deals with the
elastic buckling analysis of isolated plate
panels, having all edges elastically restrained
against torsion and loaded by uniaxial
compressive forces. Despite of the classical
solutions, the energy method is applied,
regarding the plating as part of an infinitely
wide stiffened panel, reinforced by
longitudinal and transverse supporting
members.
A dedicated program is developed in
MATLAB, to solve the eigenvalue problem
derived by the energy method, after having
developed the vertical displacement field into
appropriate double sine trigonometric series.
The convergence of solution is investigated
and a new buckling formula, as function of
stiffeners and transverse beams torque
rigidities ratios, is derived by curve fitting of
a large amount of data.
To show the feasibility of the proposed
formula, different stiffened panels under
uniaxial compression are analyzed and the
new formula is compared with the relevant
results obtained by some FE eigenvalue
buckling analyses, carried out by ANSYS. In
all cases the new proposed expression
estimates with good accuracy the elastic
buckling strength of platings under uniaxial
compression with all edges elastically
restrained against torsion.


1. Introduction
The main aim of the present study is both to investigate
the buckling strength of plates under uniaxial compression,
with all edges elastically restrained against torsion, and
develops a simple design formula for the elastic buckling
coefficient. It is well known, in fact, that lots of structures,
such as ships, are constituted by multi-bay stiffened panels,
and plates are generally analyzed against buckling alone, so
neglecting the supporting members torsional rigidity and
assuming, on the safety side, the simple support boundary
conditions at all edges. Anyway, if longitudinal stiffeners
and transverse beams have a sufficiently high torsional
stiffness, the relevant boundary conditions may significantly
differ from the simple support ones and more appropriate


Dr. Vincenzo Piscopo is a contract professor at the University of
Naples Parthenope, Department of Applied Sciences.
Email: vincenzo.piscopo@unina.it

restraints may be applied. Besides, the bending rigidity of
supporting members has to be sufficiently high to avoid
overall buckling of the entire stiffened panel from occurring
before local buckling of the isolated plate. Even if it is not
an easy task to evaluate, from a theoretical point of view,
the buckling strength of plates with edges elastically
restrained against torsion, in the past different authors, such
as Lundquist and Stowell [1], Timoshenko and Gere [2],
Gerard and Becker [3], Evans [4], Paik and Thayamballi
[5], investigated the matter, solving an eigenvalue problem
based on two transcendental equations, derived from the
imposed conditions of support and moment equilibrium at
long and/or short sides of the plate. Closed-form
expressions have also been derived and verified by
extensive experimental studies, carried out on wide plates
loaded by uniaxial compressive forces.
In the following a more general method, based on the
minimum energy principle, is applied regarding the isolated
plate as part of an infinitely wide stiffened panel, reinforced
by longitudinal stiffeners and transverse beams. In the
analysis the strain energy due to supporting members
torque rigidities, is accounted and the vertical displacement
field is developed into double sine trigonometric series,
whose convergence is investigated too, varying the number
of harmonics in both longitudinal and transverse directions.
Besides, unlike the classical methods, the proposed one has
a wide range of applications and may be also applied to the
buckling analysis of plates under complex circumstances,
such as biaxial compression and shear. Based on the
computed results, a simple design formula for the buckling
coefficient is derived by curve fitting of a large amount of
data, as function of two adimensional parameters, namely
the torque rigidity ratios of longitudinal and transverse
supporting members.
Finally, to show the feasibility of the proposed formula,
different stiffened panels are analyzed, varying the plating
dimensions, as well as the supporting members torsional
stiffness. The new formula is compared with that one
proposed by Paik and Thayamballi [5], and with the
relevant results obtained by ANSYS, where some elastic
buckling analyses have been carried out. The convergence
of the FE solution is investigated varying the number of
nodes and the shell mean dimensions, too. In all cases the
supporting members bending stiffness has been chosen
sufficiently high, to avoid overall buckling of the entire
stiffened panel from occurring before local buckling of the
isolated plate panel.
Buckling of Uniaxially Compressed Plates with All
Edges Elastically Restrained Against Torsion
Vincenzo Piscopo
V. Piscopo: Buckling of uniaxially compressed plates with all edges elastically restrained against torsion.
International Journal Publishers Group (IJPG)


243
2. Theoretical development
Let us consider an isolated plate panel, having
dimensions axb, comprised between two adjacent transverse
beams and longitudinal stiffeners. As previously said, this
plate may be regarded as part of an infinitely wide stiffened
panel, reinforced by n
s
, equally spaced, longitudinal
stiffeners and n
t
, equally spaced, transverse beams. It is
assumed, from now on, that longitudinal stiffeners have the
same material and mechanical properties, as well as
transverse beams. Let us also assume the relevant bending
rigidities are sufficiently high to avoid overall buckling
from occurring before local plate buckling, so that the
relative lateral deflection of supporting members may be
neglected, and the plate edges, as well as the two groups of
reinforcing ribs, may be considered straight until buckling
occurs. The stiffened panel, having dimensions AxB, is
loaded by compressive forces acting in x-direction (see Fig.
1) and is simply supported at all edges. The vertical
displacement field may be developed into appropriate
double sine trigonometric series, satisfying the simple
support boundary conditions at all edges, as follows:
x
y
a
B
y
k
N
x
N
x
A
x
g
b

Fig. 1 Plate reference system
( ) ( )

=
+ +
=
1 1
1 1
m n
s t
n , m
B
y n n
sin
A
x n m
sin w ) y , x ( w
t t
(Equ. 1)
so that, considering the M and N partial sums of the above
trigonometric series, Equ. (1) may be so rewritten:

= =
=
M
m
N
n
n , m
b
y n
sin
a
x m
sin w ) y , x ( w
1 1
t t
(Equ. 2)
The Euler stress, at which buckling occurs, may be
evaluated by the energy method, assuming the stiffened
plate undergoes some small lateral bending, consistent with
the given boundary conditions. If the work done by the
in-plane forces is smaller than the strain energy of plate and
attached longitudinal stiffeners and transverse beams, the
equilibrium is stable, otherwise it is unstable and buckling
occurs. The general equilibrium equation is:
p
s
n
k
t
n
g
T
g , s
L
k , s p
T U U U A A A A

= =
= + +
1 1
(Equ. 3)
having denoted by U
p
the strain energy due to plate
bending, by
L
k , s
U A the strain energy due to torque of the k-th
longitudinal stiffener, by
T
g , s
U A the strain energy due to
torque of the g-th transverse beam and by T
p
the work
done during buckling by the compressive forces acting in
x-direction on the plate. The strain energy due to plate
bending may be so expressed:
}}
(
(

c
c
c
c
+
|
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
+
|
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
=
A B
p
dA
y
w
x
w
y
w
x
w D
U
0 0
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
A (Equ. 4)
finally becoming:
( )( )

= =
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ + + =
M
m
N
n
n , m t s p
n
m
w n n
b
aD
U
1 1
2
2
2
2
2
3
4
1 1
8 o
t
A (Equ. 5)
The strain energies of the k-th stiffener and g-th transverse
beam, located at distances y=kb and x=ga from the edges
y=0 and x=0 respectively, are:
}
|
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
=
=
A
kb y
L
k L
k
L
k , s
dx
x
GJ U
0
2
2
1 u
A (Equ. 6.1)
}
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
=
=
B
ga x
T
g T
g
T
g , s
dy
y
GJ U
0
2
2
1
u
A (Equ. 6.2)
having denoted by
L
k
u (
T
g
u ) the rotation of the k-th
stiffener (g-th transverse beam) around the connection with
the attached plating. Imposing the continuity conditions of
deflection angle along the junction between the plate and
the supporting members, the following congruence
condition must be verified:
( )
s
kb y
L
k
n ... k
y
w
kb , x 1 =
c
c
=
=
u (Equ. 7.1)
( )
t
ga x
T
g
n ... g
x
w
y , ga 1 =
c
c
=
=
u
(Equ. 7.2)
so that equations (6.1) and (6.2) may be so rewritten:
( ) ( ) ( )

= = =
+ =
M
m
N
n
N
q
q , m n , m t
L
k L
k , s
k q cos k n cos w nqw m n
ab
GJ
U
1 1 1
2
2
4
1
4
t t
t
A
(Equ. 8.1)
( ) ( ) ( )

= = =
+ =
M
m
N
n
M
p
n , p n , m s
T
g T
g , s
g p cos g m cos w pw mn n
b a
GJ
U
1 1 1
2
2
4
1
4
t t
t
A
(Equ. 8.2)
Finally, the work of the compressive forces acting in
x-direction, may be so expressed:
International Journal of Advanced Computer Science, Vol. 2, No. 6, Pp. 242-249, Jun., 2012.
International Journal Publishers Group (IJPG)


244
}}
|
.
|

\
|
c
c
=
A B
x
p
dxdy
x
w N
T
0 0
2
2
A (Equ. 9)
becoming:
( )( )

= =
+ + =
M
m
N
n
n , m t s
x
p
w m n n
N
T
1 1
2 2
2
1 1
8o
t
A (Equ. 10)
Denoting by D the plate flexural rigidity and k
b
the plating
buckling coefficient, related to the compressive forces per
unit of length acting in x-direction by the following relation:
D
b N
k
x
b
2
2
t
= (Equ. 11)
the coefficients of series (2) may be chosen to make Equ. (3)
minimum, so that the MxN harmonics define the following
eigenvalue problem M ... j 1 = ; N ... k 1 = :
0
1 1
=
(
(

|
|
.
|

\
|
+ +
c
c

= = b
p
b
s
n
k
t
n
g
L
g , s
L
k , s p
k , j
k
T
k U U U
w
A
A A A

(Equ. 12)




The problem of finding the minimum value of k
b
that makes
the determinant of (12) null, has been solved by a dedicated
program developed in Matlab MATHWORKS: the solution
has been obtained with a sufficiently high number of
harmonics in both directions, to assure its convergence for
very long narrow plates, too. Based on the computed results,
a closed-form expression for the elastic buckling coefficient
has been derived, as function of supporting members torque
rigidity ratios:
( ) ( ) 00 4
2 1
. q q k
T L
new
SRLR b
+ =

(Equ. 13.1)
with:
( )
545 1 732 1
189 6 789 9 984 6
2
2
1
. .
. . .
q
L L
L L
L
+ +
+ +
=


(Equ. 14.1)
( )
( )
( )
T
T
T
f
f
q
o o
o o

2
2
1
2
2
4
+ +
+ +
= (Equ. 14.2)
The functions f
1
(
T
) and f
2
(
T
) are so defined:
( )
0001949 0 01106 0
0400 0 2390 2 6632 0
2
2
1
. .
. . .
f
T T
T T
T
+ +
+ +
=


(Equ. 15.1)
( )
0007742 0 05280 0
1589 0 1010 2 4277 0
2
2
2
. .
. . .
f
T T
T T
T
+ +
+ +
=


(Equ. 15.2)

Fig. 2 Buckling coefficient distribution o = 1.00
4.00
4.25
4.50
4.75
5.00
5.25
5.50
5.75
6.00
6.25
6.50
6.75
7.00
7.25
7.50
7.75
8.00
8.25
8.50
8.75
9.00
9.25
9.50
9.75
10.00
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
k
b

L
T=0.0
T=0.5
T=1.0
T=2.0
T=5.0
T=10.0
T=100.0
V. Piscopo: Buckling of uniaxially compressed plates with all edges elastically restrained against torsion.
International Journal Publishers Group (IJPG)


245

Fig. 3 Buckling coefficient distribution o = 2.00

Fig. 4 Buckling coefficient distribution o = 3.00
4.00
4.25
4.50
4.75
5.00
5.25
5.50
5.75
6.00
6.25
6.50
6.75
7.00
7.25
7.50
7.75
8.00
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
k
b

L
T=0.0
T=0.5
T=1.0
T=2.0
T=5.0
T=10.0
T=100.0
4.00
4.25
4.50
4.75
5.00
5.25
5.50
5.75
6.00
6.25
6.50
6.75
7.00
7.25
7.50
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
k
b

L
T=0.0
T=0.5
T=1.0
T=100.0
International Journal of Advanced Computer Science, Vol. 2, No. 6, Pp. 242-249, Jun., 2012.
International Journal Publishers Group (IJPG)


246

Fig. 5 Buckling coefficient distribution o = 8.00


while the adimensional torque parameters are connected to
the supporting members torque rigidities by the following
relations:
( )
P
L L
L
J
J
Db
GJ
v = = 1 2 (Equ. 16.1)
( )
T P
T T
T
J
J
Da
GJ

= = v 1 2 (Equ. 16.2)
In Equ. (16.1) and (16.2) J
L
and J
T
are the St-Venants
moments of inertia of longitudinal stiffeners and transverse
beams respectively, while J
P
and J
P-T
are so defined:
12
3
bt
J
P
= (Equ. 17.1)
12
3
at
J
T P
=

(Equ. 17.2)
In Figg. 2, 3, 4 and 5 for fixed values of o, namely 1.00,
2.00, 3.00 and 8.00 the buckling coefficient distribution is
plotted versus
L
for different values of
T
. For low values
of o there is an appreciable increment of the buckling
coefficient, due to the torsional stiffness of transverse beams;
instead, for increasing values of o this increment becomes
almost negligible, as the plates behaviour becomes similar
to that one of a plate simply supported at short edges and
elastically restrained against torsion at long ones.
3. Verification examples
In the following the validity of the proposed formula for
the buckling strength of plates, elastically restrained at all
edges, is verified by a numerical comparison with the
relevant results obtained by some eigenvalue buckling
analyses carried out by ANSYS for 35 different stiffened
panels.
All panels, as well as the attached stiffeners, are within
practical proportions from a design point of view and are
made of high strength steel with R
eH
=315 N/mm
2
, E=206
GPa,v=0.30. In the analysis, the St-Venants moment of
inertia of supporting members has been evaluated applying
the following formula, valid for T-sections:
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ =
f
f
f f w w T / L
b
t
. t b t h J 63 0 1
3
1
3
1
3 3
(Equ. 18)
having denoted by h
w
and t
w
the web height and thickness
and by b
f
and t
f
the flange breadth and thickness,
respectively. All stiffeners have a sufficiently high bending
rigidity, so that local plate buckling always occurs before
overall buckling of the entire stiffened panel. The
convergence of the FE solution has also been studied,
decreasing the mean shell dimensions. Particularly three
models have been built for each case: the coarse mesh, the
fine mesh and the very fine mesh ones, with mean panel
dimensions of 0.20 m, 0.10 m and 0.05 m, respectively.
4.00
4.25
4.50
4.75
5.00
5.25
5.50
5.75
6.00
6.25
6.50
6.75
7.00
7.25
7.50
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
k
b

L
T=0.0
T=100.0
V. Piscopo: Buckling of uniaxially compressed plates with all edges elastically restrained against torsion.
International Journal Publishers Group (IJPG)


247

TABLE 1
STIFFENED PANELS: GEOMETRICAL PROPERTIES
N
Platings Longitudinal stiffeners Transverse beams
a b t h
wL
t
wL
b
fL
t
fL

L
h
wT
t
wT
b
fT
t
fT

T

[mm] [mm] [mm] [mm] [mm] [mm] [mm] [adim] [mm] [mm] [mm] [mm] [adim]
1 2400 800 12 150 12 100 15 0.5720 350 12 200 15 0.4213
2 2400 800 12 150 12 100 20 0.9706 350 12 200 20 0.7103
3 2400 800 12 150 12 100 25 1.5957 350 12 200 25 1.1760
4 2400 800 12 150 15 100 20 1.2208 350 15 200 20 0.9049
5 2400 800 12 150 15 100 25 1.8459 350 15 200 25 1.3706
6 2400 800 15 150 12 100 20 0.4969 350 12 200 20 0.3637
7 2400 800 15 150 15 100 20 0.6250 350 15 200 20 0.4633
8 2400 800 15 150 15 100 25 0.9451 350 15 200 25 0.7018
9 2400 800 8 150 12 100 15 1.9305 350 12 200 15 1.4218
10 2400 800 8 150 12 100 20 3.2758 350 12 200 20 2.3971
11 2400 800 8 150 12 100 25 5.3854 350 12 200 25 3.9691
12 2400 800 8 150 15 100 20 4.1202 350 15 200 20 3.0539
13 2400 800 8 150 15 100 25 6.2298 350 15 200 25 4.6258
14 2400 800 10 100 10 80 12 0.3941 250 10 150 12 0.2067
15 2400 800 10 100 10 80 14 0.5168 250 10 150 14 0.2656
16 2400 800 10 100 10 80 16 0.6762 250 10 150 16 0.3430
17 2400 800 10 100 12 80 14 0.6442 250 12 150 14 0.3414
18 2400 800 10 100 12 80 16 0.8036 250 12 150 16 0.4188
19 2400 800 12 100 10 80 14 0.2991 250 10 150 14 0.1537
20 2400 800 12 100 12 80 14 0.3728 250 12 150 14 0.1976
21 2400 800 12 100 12 80 16 0.4650 250 12 150 16 0.2424
22 2400 800 6 100 10 80 12 1.8243 250 10 150 12 0.9571
23 2400 800 6 100 10 80 14 2.3926 250 10 150 14 1.2295
24 2400 800 6 100 10 80 16 3.1305 250 10 150 16 1.5878
25 2400 800 6 100 12 80 14 2.9824 250 12 150 14 1.5806
26 2400 800 6 100 12 80 16 3.7203 250 12 150 16 1.9389
27 3200 800 12 250 14 150 15 1.1751 450 14 250 15 0.5182
28 3200 800 12 250 14 150 20 1.8079 450 14 250 20 0.7935
29 3200 800 12 250 16 150 20 2.1502 450 16 250 20 0.9475
30 3200 800 15 250 14 150 20 0.9257 450 14 250 20 0.4063
31 3200 800 15 250 16 150 20 1.1009 450 16 250 20 0.4851
32 3200 800 15 250 16 150 25 1.6186 450 16 250 25 0.7134
33 3200 800 8 250 14 150 15 3.9661 450 14 250 15 1.7489
34 3200 800 8 250 14 150 20 6.1018 450 14 250 20 2.6780
35 3200 800 8 250 16 150 20 7.2570 450 16 250 20 3.1979
International Journal of Advanced Computer Science, Vol. 2, No. 6, Pp. 242-249, Jun., 2012.
International Journal Publishers Group (IJPG)


248
TABLE 2
STIFFENED PANELS: BUCKLING COEFFICIENTS COMPARISON
N
FE comparison
k
b-NEW
k
b-PAIK
k
b-FE
% k
b-NEW
% k
b-PAIK

[adim] [adim] [adim] [adim] [adim]
1 5.203 5.161 5.463 0.952 0.945
2 5.668 5.651 5.426 1.045 1.041
3 6.122 6.136 5.517 1.110 1.112
4 5.880 5.877 6.012 0.978 0.978
5 6.248 6.267 5.981 1.045 1.048
6 5.091 5.051 4.862 1.047 1.039
7 5.277 5.235 5.334 0.989 0.982
8 5.644 5.625 5.336 1.058 1.054
9 6.285 6.305 6.496 0.968 0.971
10 6.669 6.630 6.457 1.033 1.027
11 6.926 6.914 6.422 1.078 1.077
12 6.800 6.767 6.843 0.994 0.989
13 6.983 6.973 6.816 1.024 1.023
14 4.881 4.850 5.422 0.900 0.894
15 5.084 5.046 5.506 0.923 0.916
16 5.310 5.271 5.578 0.952 0.945
17 5.272 5.232 5.862 0.899 0.893
18 5.469 5.433 5.929 0.922 0.916
19 4.701 4.675 4.705 0.999 0.994
20 4.844 4.814 4.919 0.985 0.979
21 5.002 4.967 5.155 0.970 0.963
22 6.226 6.257 7.034 0.885 0.890
23 6.445 6.465 6.996 0.921 0.924
24 6.634 6.609 7.025 0.944 0.941
25 6.603 6.587 7.212 0.916 0.913
26 6.739 6.697 7.193 0.937 0.931
27 5.712 5.697 5.696 1.003 1.000
28 6.092 6.106 5.568 1.094 1.097
29 6.232 6.247 6.012 1.037 1.039
30 5.495 5.470 4.984 1.103 1.098
31 5.653 5.634 5.443 1.039 1.035
32 5.998 6.006 5.335 1.124 1.126
33 6.634 6.599 6.565 1.011 1.005
34 6.827 6.823 6.411 1.065 1.064
35 6.886 6.882 6.710 1.026 1.026

Mean 0.999 0.996

% COV 6.435 6.549














V. Piscopo: Buckling of uniaxially compressed plates with all edges elastically restrained against torsion.
International Journal Publishers Group (IJPG)


249


Table 1 shows the geometrical properties of panels and
attached longitudinal stiffeners and transverse beams, while
in table 2 the theoretical buckling coefficients are compared
with the more exact numerical ones, obtained by ANSYS.
The new formula estimates the buckling coefficients with a
mean value of 0.999 and %COV of 6.435, while that one
proposed by Paik and Thayamballi with a mean value of
0.996 and a %COV of 6.549. The analysis shows that the
new formula may be applied with good confidence to
estimate the elastic buckling strength of plate panels, taking
into due consideration the torsional stiffness of supporting
members.
4. Conclusions
In this paper the energy method has been applied to the
buckling analysis of plates with all edges elastically
restrained against torsion, regarding the isolated plate as
part of an infinitely wide stiffened panel, reinforced by
longitudinal and transverse ribs. The influence of torsional
stiffness of supporting members has been accounted by the
energy method and a new formula has been derived by
curve fitting of a large amount of data, as function of
longitudinal stiffeners and transverse beams torque
rigidity ratios.
Different stiffened panels have been analyzed and the
new formula has been compared with the results obtained
by ANSYS, where different buckling analyses have been
performed. In all cases the new formula permits to obtain
very accurate results, so predicting with good accuracy the
buckling strength of isolated plate panels, elastically
restrained against torsion at all edges.
The proposed method, differently from the classical one,
may also be applied to the buckling analysis of platings
having all edges elastically restrained against torsion under
various loading conditions, such as shear and/or biaxial
compression. These matters will be the subjects of future
works.

References
[1] Lundquist E, & Stowell EZ., Critical compressive stress for
flat rectangular plates Elastically restrained, NACA
Technical Note, No. 733, 1942.
[2] S.P. Timoshenko, & J.M. Gere, Theory of elastic stability,
Mc-Graw-Hill International Book Company, 17th edition,
1985.
[3] Gerard G, & Becker H., Handbook of structural stability,
Part I. Buckling of flat plates, NACA Technical Note, No.
3781, 1954.
[4] Evans JH., "Strength of wide plates under uniform edge
compression," (1960) Trans SNAME; vol. 68, pp. 585621.
[5] Paik J.K., & Kim J.Y., "Bucking strength of steel plating
with elastically restrained edges," (2000) Thin-walled
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[6] Piscopo V., "Refined buckling analysis of plates under shear
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V. Piscopo is a Ph.D. at the University of Naples Federico
II, Department of Naval Architecture and Marine
Engineering. Actually he is a Contract Professor at the
University of Naples Parthenope, Department of Applied
Sciences.