18.

1 NOMENCLATURE
For specific symbols, refer to the definitions contained in
the various sections.
ABS American Bureau of Shipping
BEM Boundary Element Method
BV Bureau Veritas
DNV Det Norske Veritas
FEA Finite Element Analysis
FEM Finite Element Method
IACS International Association of Classifica-
tion Societies
ISSC International Ship & Offshore Structures
Congress
ISOPE International Offshore and Polar Engi-
neering Conference
ISUM Idealized Structural Unit method
NKK Nippon Kaiji Kyokai
PRADS Practical Design of Ships and Mobile
Units,
RINA Registro Italiano Navale
SNAME Society of naval Architects and marine
Engineers
SSC Ship Structure Committee.
a acceleration
A area
B breadth of the ship
C wave coefficient (Table 18.I)
C
B
hull block coefficient
D depth of the ship
g gravity acceleration
m(x) longitudinal distribution of mass
I(x) geometric moment of inertia (beam sec-
tion x)
L length of the ship
M(x) bending moment at section x of a beam
M
T
(x) torque moment at section x of a beam
p pressure
q(x) resultant of sectional force acting on a
beam
T draft of the ship
V(x) shear at section x of a beam
s,w
(low case) still water, wave induced component
v,h
(low case) vertical, horizontal component
w(x) longitudinal distribution of weight
θ roll angle
ρ density
ω angular frequency
18.2 INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this chapter is to present the fundamentals
of direct ship structure analysis based on mechanics and
strength of materials. Such analysis allows a rationally based
design that is practical, efficient, and versatile, and that has
already been implemented in a computer program, tested,
and proven.
Analysis and Design are two words that are very often
associated. Sometimes they are used indifferently one for
the other even if there are some important differences be-
tween performing a design and completing an analysis.
18-1
Chapter 18
Analysis and Design of Ship Structure
Philippe Rigo and Enrico Rizzuto
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Analysis refers to stress and strength assessment of the
structure. Analysis requires information on loads and needs
an initial structural scantling design. Output of the structural
analysis is the structural response defined in terms of stresses,
deflections and strength. Then, the estimated response is
compared to the design criteria. Results of this comparison
as well as the objective functions (weight, cost, etc.) will
show if updated (improved) scantlings are required.
Design for structure refers to the process followed to se-
lect the initial structural scantlings and to update these scant-
lings from the early design stage (bidding) to the detailed
design stage (construction). To perform analysis, initial de-
sign is needed and analysis is required to design. This ex-
plains why design and analysis are intimately linked, but
are absolutely different. Of course design also relates to
topology and layout definition.
The organization and framework of this chapter are based
on the previous edition of the Ship Design and Construction
(1) and on the Chapter IV of Principles of Naval Architec-
ture (2). Standard materials such as beam model, twisting,
shear lag, etc. that are still valid in 2002 are partly duplicated
from these 2 books. Other major references used to write this
chapter are Ship Structural Design (3) also published by
SNAME and the DNV 99-0394 Technical Report (4).
The present chapter is intimately linked with Chapter
11 – Parametric Design, Chapter 17 – Structural Arrange-
ment and Component Design and with Chapter 19 – Reli-
ability-Based Structural Design. References to these
chapters will be made in order to avoid duplications. In ad-
dition, as Chapter 8 deals with classification societies, the
present chapter will focus mainly on the direct analysis
methods available to perform a rationally based structural
design, even if mention is made to standard formulations
from Rules to quantify design loads.
In the following sections of this chapter, steps of a global
analysis are presented. Section 18.3 concerns the loads that
are necessary to perform a structure analysis. Then, Sections
18.4, 18.5 and 18.6 concern, respectively, the stresses and
deflections (basic ship responses), the limit states, and the fail-
ures modes and associated structural capacity. A review of
the available Numerical Analysis for Structural Design is per-
formed in Section 18.7. Finally Design Criteria (Section
18.8) and Design Procedures (Section 18.9) are discussed.
Structural modeling is discussed in Subsection 18.2.2 and
more extensively in Subsection 18.7.2 for finite element analy-
sis. Optimization is treated in Subsections 18.7.6 and 18.9.4.
Ship structural design is a challenging activity. Hence
Hughes (3) states:
The complexities of modern ships and the demand for
greater reliability, efficiency, and economy require a sci-
entific, powerful, and versatile method for their structural
design
But, even with the development of numerical techniques,
design still remains based on the designer’s experience and
on previous designs. There are many designs that satisfy the
strength criteria, but there is only one that is the optimum
solution (least cost, weight, etc.).
Ship structural analysis and design is a matter of com-
promises:
• compromise between accuracy and the available time to
perform the design. This is particularly challenging at
the preliminary design stage. A 3D Finite Element
Method (FEM) analysis would be welcome but the time
is not available. For that reason, rule-based design or
simplified numerical analysis has to be performed.
• to limit uncertainty and reduce conservatism in design, it
is important that the design methods are accurate. On the
other hand, simplicity is necessary to make repeated de-
sign analyses efficient. The results from complex analy-
ses should be verified by simplified methods to avoid errors
and misinterpretation of results (checks and balances).
• compromise between weight and cost or compromise
between least construction cost, and global owner live
cycle cost (including operational cost, maintenance, etc.),
and
• builder optimum design may be different from the owner
optimum design.
18.2.1 Rationally Based Structural Design versus
Rules-Based Design
There are basically two schools to perform analysis and de-
sign of ship structure. The first one, the oldest, is called
rule-based design. It is mainly based on the rules defined
by the classification societies. Hughes (3) states:
In the past, ship structural design has been largely empir-
ical, based on accumulated experience and ship perform-
ance, and expressed in the form of structural design codes
or rules published by the various ship classification soci-
eties. These rules concern the loads, the strength and the
design criteria and provide simplified and easy-to-use for-
mulas for the structural dimensions, or “scantlings” of a
ship. This approach saves time in the design office and,
since the ship must obtain the approval of a classification
society, it also saves time in the approval process.
The second school is the Rationally Based Structural
Design; it is based on direct analysis. Hughes, who could
be considered as a father of this methodology, (3) further
states:
18-2 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
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There are several disadvantages to a completely “rulebook”
approach to design. First, the modes of structural failure
are numerous, complex, and interdependent. With such
simplified formulas the margin against failure remains un-
known; thus one cannot distinguish between structural ad-
equacy and over-adequacy. Second, and most important,
these formulas involve a number of simplifying assump-
tions and can be used only within certain limits. Outside
of this range they may be inaccurate.
For these reasons there is a general trend toward direct
structural analysis.
Even if direct calculation has always been performed,
design based on direct analysis only became popular when
numerical analysis methods became available and were cer-
tified. Direct analysis has become the standard procedure
in aerospace, civil engineering and partly in offshore in-
dustries. In ship design, classification societies preferred to
offer updated rules resulting from numerical analysis cali-
bration. For the designer, even if the rules were continuously
changing, the design remained rule-based. There really were
two different methodologies.
Hopefully, in 2002 this is no longer true. The advantages
of direct analysis are so obvious that classification societies
include, usually as an alternative, a direct analysis procedure
(numerical packages based on the finite element method,
see Table 18.VIII, Subsection 18.7.5.2). In addition, for new
vessel types or non-standard dimension, such direct proce-
dure is the only way to assess the structural safety. There-
fore it seems that the two schools have started a long merging
procedure. Classification societies are now encouraging and
contributing greatly to the development of direct analysis
and rationally based methods. Ships are very complex struc-
tures compared with other types of structures. They are sub-
ject to a very wide range of loads in the harsh environment
of the sea. Progress in technologies related to ship design
and construction is being made daily, at an unprecedented
pace. A notable example is the fact that the efforts of a ma-
jority of specialists together with rapid advances in com-
puter and software technology have now made it possible to
analyze complex ship structures in a practical manner using
structural analysis techniques centering on FEM analysis.
The majority of ship designers strive to develop rational and
optimal designs based on direct strength analysis methods
using the latest technologies in order to realize the
shipowner’s requirements in the best possible way.
When carrying out direct strength analysis in order to
verify the equivalence of structural strength with rule re-
quirements, it is necessary for the classification society to
clarify the strength that a hull structure should have with
respect to each of the various steps taken in the analysis
process, from load estimation through to strength evalua-
tion. In addition, in order to make this a practical and ef-
fective method of analysis, it is necessary to give careful
consideration to more rational and accurate methods of di-
rect strength analysis.
Based on recognition of this need, extensive research
has been conducted and a careful examination made, re-
garding the strength evaluation of hull structures. The re-
sults of this work have been presented in papers and reports
regarding direct strength evaluation of hull structures (4,5).
The flow chart given in Figure 18.1 gives an overview
of the analysis as defined by a major classification society.
Note that a rationally based design procedure requires
that all design decisions (objectives, criteria, priorities, con-
straints…) must be made before the design starts. This is a
major difficulty of this approach.
18.2.2 Modeling and Analysis
General guidance on the modeling necessary for the struc-
tural analysis is that the structural model shall provide re-
sults suitable for performing buckling, yield, fatigue and
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-3
Figure 18.1 Direct Structural Analysis Flow Chart
Direct Load Analysis
Design Load
Study on Ocean Waves
Effect on
operation
Wave Load Response
Response function
of wave load
Structural analysis by
whole ship model
Stress response
function
Short term
estimation
Long term
estimation
Design
Sea State
Design wave Wave impact load
Structural response analysis
Strength Assessment
Yield
strength
Nonlinear influence
in large waves
Investigation on
corrosion
Buckling
strength
Ultimate
strength
Fatigue
strength
Modeling technique Direct structural
analysis
Stress Response
in Waves
Long term
estimation
Short term
estimation
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vibration assessment of the relevant parts of the vessel. This
is done by using a 3D model of the whole ship, supported
by one or more levels of sub models.
Several approaches may be applied such as a detailed
3D model of the entire ship or coarse meshed 3D model sup-
ported by finer meshed sub models.
Coarse mesh can be used for determining stress results
suited for yielding and buckling control but also to obtain
the displacements to apply as boundary conditions for sub
models with the purpose of determining the stress level in
more detail.
Strength analysis covers yield (allowable stress), buck-
ling strength and ultimate strength checks of the ship. In ad-
dition, specific analyses are requested for fatigue (Subsection
18.6.6), collision and grounding (Subsection 18.6.7) and
vibration (Subsection 18.6.8). The hydrodynamic load
model must give a good representation of the wetted sur-
face of the ship, both with respect to geometry description
and with respect to hydrodynamic requirements. The mass
model, which is part of the hydrodynamic load model, must
ensure a proper description of local and global moments of
inertia around the global ship axes.
Ultimate hydrodynamic loads from the hydrodynamic
analysis should be combined with static loads in order to
form the basis for the yield, buckling and ultimate strength
checks. All the relevant load conditions should be examined
to ensure that all dimensioning loads are correctly included.
A flow chart of strength analysis of global model and sub
models is shown in Figure 18.2.
18.2.3 Preliminary Design versus Detailed Design
For a ship structure, structural design consists of two dis-
tinct levels: the Preliminary Design and the Detailed De-
sign about which Hughes (3) states:
The preliminary determines the location, spacing, and scant-
lings of the principal structural members. The detailed de-
sign determines the geometry and scantlings of local structure
(brackets, connections, cutouts, reinforcements, etc.).
Preliminary design has the greatest influence on the
structure design and hence is the phase that offers very
large potential savings. This does not mean that detail de-
sign is less important than preliminary design. Each level
is equally important for obtaining an efficient, safe and re-
liable ship.
During the detailed design there also are many bene-
fits to be gained by applying modern methods of engi-
neering science, but the applications are different from
preliminary design and the benefits are likewise different.
Since the items being designed are much smaller it is
possible to perform full-scale testing, and since they are
more repetitive it is possible to obtain the benefits of mass
production, standardization and so on. In fact, production
aspects are of primary importance in detail design.
Also, most of the structural items that come under de-
tail design are similar from ship to ship, and so in-service
experience provides a sound basis for their design. In fact,
because of the large number of such items it would be in-
efficient to attempt to design all of them from first princi-
ples. Instead it is generally more efficient to use design
codes and standard designs that have been proven by ex-
perience. In other words, detail design is an area where a
rule-based approach is very appropriate, and the rules that
are published by the various ship classification societies
contain a great deal of useful information on the design of
local structure, structural connections, and other structural
details.
18.3 LOADS
Loads acting on a ship structure are quite varied and pecu-
liar, in comparison to those of static structures and also of
other vehicles. In the following an attempt will be made to
review the main typologies of loads: physical origins, gen-
eral interpretation schemes, available quantification proce-
18-4 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.2 Strength Analysis Flow Chart (4)
Structural model
including necessary
load definitions
Hydrodynamic/static
loads
Load transfer to
structural model
Verified structural
model
Sub-models to be
used in structural
analysis
Structural analysis
Verification
of response
Verification
of model/
loads
Yes
No
Transfer of
displacements/forces
to sub-model?
Verification
of load
transfer
Structural drawings,
mass description and
loading conditions.
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dures and practical methods for their evaluation will be sum-
marized.
18.3.1 Classification of Loads
18.3.1.1 Time Duration
Static loads: These are the loads experienced by the ship in
still water. They act with time duration well above the range
of sea wave periods. Being related to a specific load con-
dition, they have little and very slow variations during a
voyage (mainly due to changes in the distribution of con-
sumables on board) and they vary significantly only during
loading and unloading operations.
Quasi-static loads: A second class of loads includes
those with a period corresponding to wave actions (∼3 to
15 seconds). Falling in this category are loads directly in-
duced by waves, but also those generated in the same fre-
quency range by motions of the ship (inertial forces). These
loads can be termed quasi-static because the structural re-
sponse is studied with static models.
Dynamic loads: When studying responses with fre-
quency components close to the first structural resonance
modes, the dynamic properties of the structure have to be
considered. This applies to a few types of periodic loads,
generated by wave actions in particular situations (spring-
ing) or by mechanical excitation (main engine, propeller).
Also transient impulsive loads that excite free structural vi-
brations (slamming, and in some cases sloshing loads) can
be classified in the same category.
High frequency loads: Loads at frequencies higher than
the first resonance modes (> 10-20 Hz) also are present on
ships: this kind of excitation, however, involves more the
study of noise propagation on board than structural design.
Other loads: All other loads that do not fall in the above
mentioned categories and need specific models can be gen-
erally grouped in this class. Among them are thermal and
accidental loads.
A large part of ship design is performed on the basis of
static and quasi-static loads, whose prediction procedures
are quite well established, having been investigated for a
long time. However, specific and imposing requirements
can arise for particular ships due to the other load cate-
gories.
18.3.1.2 Local and global loads
Another traditional classification of loads is based on the
structural scheme adopted to study the response.
Loads acting on the ship as a whole, considered as a
beam (hull girder), are named global or primary loads and
the ship structural response is accordingly termed global or
primary response (see Subsection 18.4.3).
Loads, defined in order to be applied to limited struc-
tural models (stiffened panels, single beams, plate panels),
generally are termed local loads.
The distinction is purely formal, as the same external
forces can in fact be interpreted as global or local loads. For
instance, wave dynamic actions on a portion of the hull, if
described in terms of a bi-dimensional distribution of pres-
sures over the wet surface, represent a local load for the hull
panel, while, if integrated over the same surface, represent
a contribution to the bending moment acting on the hull
girder.
This terminology is typical of simplified structural analy-
ses, in which responses of the two classes of components
are evaluated separately and later summed up to provide
the total stress in selected positions of the structure.
In a complete 3D model of the whole ship, forces on the
structure are applied directly in their actual position and the
result is a total stress distribution, which does not need to
be decomposed.
18.3.1.3 Characteristic values for loads
Structural verifications are always based on a limit state
equation and on a design operational time.
Main aspects of reliability-based structural design and
analysis are (see Chapter 19):
• the state of the structure is identified by state variables
associated to loads and structural capacity,
• state variables are stochastically distributed as a func-
tion of time, and
• the probability of exceeding the limit state surface in the
design time (probability of crisis) is the element subject
to evaluation.
The situation to be considered is in principle the worst
combination of state variables that occurs within the design
time. The probability that such situation corresponds to an
out crossing of the limit state surface is compared to a (low)
target probability to assess the safety of the structure.
This general time-variant problem is simplified into a
time-invariant one. This is done by taking into account in
the analysis the worst situations as regards loads, and, sep-
arately, as regards capacity (reduced because of corrosion
and other degradation effects). The simplification lies in
considering these two situations as contemporary, which in
general is not the case.
When dealing with strength analysis, the worst load sit-
uation corresponds to the highest load cycle and is charac-
terized through the probability associated to the extreme
value in the reference (design) time.
In fatigue phenomena, in principle all stress cycles con-
tribute (to a different extent, depending on the range) to
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-5
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damage accumulation. The analysis, therefore, does not re-
gard the magnitude of a single extreme load application, but
the number of cycles and the shape of the probability dis-
tribution of all stress ranges in the design time.
A further step towards the problem simplification is rep-
resented by the adoption of characteristic load values in
place of statistical distributions. This usually is done, for
example, when calibrating a Partial Safety Factor format for
structural checks. Such adoption implies the definition of a
single reference load value as representative of a whole
probability distribution. This step is often performed by as-
signing an exceeding probability (or a return period) to each
variable and selecting the correspondent value from the sta-
tistical distribution.
The exceeding probability for a stochastic variable has
the meaning of probability for the variable to overcome a
given value, while the return period indicates the mean time
to the first occurrence.
Characteristic values for ultimate state analysis are typ-
ically represented by loads associated to an exceeding prob-
ability of 10
–8
. This corresponds to a wave load occurring,
on the average, once every 10
8
cycles, that is, with a return
period of the same order of the ship lifetime. In first yield-
ing analyses, characteristic loads are associated to a higher
exceeding probability, usually in the range 10
–4
to 10
–6
. In
fatigue analyses (see Subsection 18.6.6.2), reference loads
are often set with an exceeding probability in the range 10
–3
to 10
–5
, corresponding to load cycles which, by effect of both
amplitude and frequency of occurrence, contribute more to
the accumulation of fatigue damage in the structure.
On the basis of this, all design loads for structural analy-
ses are explicitly or implicitly related to a low exceeding
probability.
18.3.2 Definition of Global Hull Girder Loads
The global structural response of the ship is studied with
reference to a beam scheme (hull girder), that is, a mono-
dimensional structural element with sectional characteris-
tics distributed along a longitudinal axis.
Actions on the beam are described, as usual with this
scheme, only in terms of forces and moments acting in the
transverse sections and applied on the longitudinal axis.
Three components act on each section (Figure 18.3): a
resultant force along the vertical axis of the section (con-
tained in the plane of symmetry), indicated as vertical re-
sultant force q
V
; another force in the normal direction, (local
horizontal axis), termed horizontal resultant force q
H
and a
moment m
T
about the x axis. All these actions are distrib-
uted along the longitudinal axis x.
Five main load components are accordingly generated
along the beam, related to sectional forces and moment
through equation 1 to 5:
[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]
Due to total equilibrium, for a beam in free-free condi-
tions (no constraints at ends) all load characteristics have
zero values at ends (equations 6).
These conditions impose constraints on the distributions
of q
V
, q
H
and m
T
.
[6]
Global loads for the verification of the hull girder are ob-
tained with a linear superimposition of still water and wave-
induced global loads.
They are used, with different characteristic values, in
different types of analyses, such as ultimate state, first yield-
ing, and fatigue.
18.3.3 Still Water Global Loads
Still water loads act on the ship floating in calm water, usu-
ally with the plane of symmetry normal to the still water
surface. In this condition, only a symmetric distribution of
hydrostatic pressure acts on each section, together with ver-
tical gravitational forces.
If the latter ones are not symmetric, a sectional torque
m
Tg
(x) is generated (Figure 18.4), in addition to the verti-
V (0) V (L) M (0) M (L) 0
V (0) V (L) M (0) M (L) 0
M (0) M (L) 0
V V V V
H H H H
T T
· · · ·
· · · ·
· ·
M (x) m ( ) d
T T
0
x
·

ξ ξ
M (x) V ( ) d
H H
0
x
·

ξ ξ
V (x) q ) d
H H
0
x
·

(ξ ξ
M (x) V ( ) d
V V
0
x
·

ξ ξ
V (x) q ( ) d
V V
0
x
·

ξ ξ
18-6 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.3 Sectional Forces and Moment
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cal load q
SV
(x), obtained as a difference between buoyancy
b(x) and weight w(x), as shown in equation 7 (2).
[7]
where A
I
= transversal immersed area.
Components of vertical shear and vertical bending can
be derived according to equations 1 and 2. There are no hor-
izontal components of sectional forces in equation 3 and ac-
cordingly no components of horizontal shear and bending
moment. As regards equation 5, only m
Tg
, if present, is to
be accounted for, to obtain the torque.
18.3.3.1 Standard still water bending moments
While buoyancy distribution is known from an early stage
of the ship design, weight distribution is completely defined
only at the end of construction. Statistical formulations, cal-
ibrated on similar ships, are often used in the design de-
velopment to provide an approximate quantification of
weight items and their longitudinal distribution on board.
The resulting approximated weight distribution, together
with the buoyancy distribution, allows computing shear and
bending moment.
q (x) b(x) w(x) gA (x) m(x)g
SV I
· − · −
At an even earlier stage of design, parametric formula-
tions can be used to derive directly reference values for still
water hull girder loads.
Common reference values for still water bending mo-
ment at mid-ship are provided by the major Classification
Societies (equation 8).
[8]
where C = wave parameter (Table 18.I).
The formulations in equation 8 are sometimes explicitly
reported in Rules, but they can anyway be indirectly de-
rived from prescriptions contained in (6, 7). The first re-
quirement (6) regards the minimum longitudinal strength
modulus and provides implicitly a value for the total bend-
ing moment; the second one (7), regards the wave induced
component of bending moment.
Longitudinal distributions, depending on the ship type,
are provided also. They can slightly differ among Class So-
cieties, (Figure 18.5).
18.3.3.2 Direct evaluation of still water global loads
Classification Societies require in general a direct analysis
of these types of load in the main loading conditions of the
ship, such as homogenous loading condition at maximum
draft, ballast conditions, docking conditions afloat, plus all
other conditions that are relevant to the specific ship (non-
homogeneous loading at maximum draft, light load at less
than maximum draft, short voyage or harbor condition, bal-
last exchange at sea, etc.).
The direct evaluation procedure requires, for a given
loading condition, a derivation, section by section, of ver-
tical resultants of gravitational (weight) and buoyancy
forces, applied along the longitudinal axis x of the beam.
To obtain the weight distribution w(x), the ship length is
subdivided into portions: for each of them, the total weight
and center of gravity is determined summing up contributions
from all items present on board between the two bounding
sections. The distribution for w(x) is then usually approxi-
mated by a linear (trapezoidal) curve obtained by imposing
M N m
C L B 122.5 15 C (hogging)
C L B 45.5 65 C (sagging)
s
2
B
2
B

− ( )
+
[ ] ·
( )
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-7
Figure 18.4 Sectional Resultant Forces in Still Water
Figure 18.5 Examples of Reference Still Water Bending Moment Distribution
(10). (a) oil tankers, bulk carriers, ore carriers, and (b) other ship types
TABLE 18.I Wave Coefficient Versus Length
Ship Length L Wave Coefficient C
90 ≤ L <300 m 10.75 – [(300 – L)/100]
3/2
300 ≤ L <350 m 10.75
350 ≤ L 10.75 – [(300 – L)/150]
3/2
(a)
(b)
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the correspondence of area and barycenter of the trapezoid
respectively to the total weight and center of gravity of the
considered ship portion.
The procedure is usually applied separately for differ-
ent types of weight items, grouping together the weights of
the ship in lightweight conditions (always present on board)
and those (cargo, ballast, consumables) typical of a load-
ing condition (Figure 18.6).
18.3.3.3 Uncertainties in the evaluation
A significant contribution to uncertainties in the evaluation
of still water loads comes from the inputs to the procedure,
in particular those related to quantification and location on
board of weight items.
This lack of precision regards the weight distribution for
the ship in lightweight condition (hull structure, machin-
ery, outfitting) but also the distribution of the various com-
ponents of the deadweight (cargo, ballast, consumables).
Ship types like bulk carriers are more exposed to uncer-
tainties on the actual distribution of cargo weight than, for
example, container ships, where actual weights of single
containers are kept under close control during operation.
In addition, model uncertainties arise from neglecting the
longitudinal components of the hydrostatic pressure (Fig-
ure 18.7), which generate an axial compressive force on the
hull girder.
As the resultant of such components is generally below
the neutral axis of the hull girder, it leads also to an addi-
tional hogging moment, which can reach up to 10% of the
total bending moment. On the other hand, in some vessels
(in particular tankers) such action can be locally counter-
balanced by internal axial pressures, causing hull sagging
moments.
All these compression and bending effects are neglected
in the hull beam model, which accounts only for forces and
moments acting in the transverse plane. This represents a
source of uncertainties.
Another approximation is represented by the fact that
buoyancy and weight are assumed in a direction normal to
the horizontal longitudinal axis, while they are actually ori-
ented along the true vertical.
This implies neglecting the static trim angle and to consider
an approximate equilibrium position, which often creates the
need for a few iterative corrections to the load curve q
sv
(x) in
order to satisfy boundary conditions at ends (equations 6).
18.3.3.4 Other still water global loads
In a vessel with a multihull configuration, in addition to
conventional still water loads acting on each hull consid-
ered as a single longitudinal beam, also loads in the trans-
versal direction can be significant, giving rise to shear,
bending and torque in a transversal direction (see the sim-
plified scheme of Figure 18.8, where S, B, and Q stand for
shear, bending and torque; and
L, T
apply respectively to
longitudinal and transversal beams).
18.3.4 Wave Induced Global Loads
The prediction of the behaviour of the ship in waves repre-
sents a key point in the quantification of both global and
local loads acting on the ship. The solution of the seakeep-
ing problem yields the loads directly generated by external
pressures, but also provides ship motions and accelerations.
The latter are directly connected to the quantification of in-
ertial loads and provide inputs for the evaluation of other
types of loads, like slamming and sloshing.
18-8 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.6 Weight Distribution Breakdown for Full Load Condition
Figure 18.7 Longitudinal Component of Pressure
Figure 18.8 Multi-hull Additional Still Water Loads (sketch)
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In particular, as regards global effects, the action of waves
modifies the pressure distribution along the wet hull sur-
face; the differential pressure between the situation in waves
and in still water generates, on the transverse section, ver-
tical and horizontal resultant forces (b
WV
and b
WH
) and a
moment component m
Tb
.
Analogous components come from the sectional result-
ants of inertial forces and moments induced on the section
by ship’s motions (Figure 18.9).
The total vertical and horizontal wave induced forces on
the section, as well as the total torsional component, are
found summing up the components in the same direction
(equations 9).
[9]
where I
R
(x) is the rotational inertia of section x.
The longitudinal distributions along the hull girder of hor-
izontal and vertical components of shear, bending moment
and torque can then be derived by integration (equations 1
to 5).
Such results are in principle obtained for each instanta-
neous wave pressure distribution, depending therefore, on
time, on type and direction of sea encountered and on the
ship geometrical and operational characteristics.
In regular (sinusoidal) waves, vertical bending moments
tend to be maximized in head waves with length close to
the ship length, while horizontal bending and torque com-
ponents are larger for oblique wave systems.
18.3.4.1 Statistical formulae for global wave loads
Simplified, first approximation, formulations are available
for the main wave load components, developed mainly on
the basis of past experience.
Vertical wave-induced bending moment: IACS classifi-
q (x) b (x) m(x)a (x)
q (x) b (x) m(x)a (x)
m (x) m (x) I (x)
WV WV V
WH WH H
TW Tb R
· −
· −
· − θ
cation societies provide a statistically based reference values
for the vertical component of wave-induced bending moment
M
WV
, expressed as a function of main ship dimensions.
Such reference values for the midlength section of a ship
with unrestricted navigation are yielded by equation 10 for
hog and sag cases (7) and corresponds to an extreme value
with a return period of about 20 years or an exceeding prob-
ability of about 10
–8
(once in the ship lifetime).
[10]
Horizontal Wave-induced Bending Moment: Similar for-
mulations are available for reference values of horizontal
wave induced bending moment, even though they are not
as uniform among different Societies as for the main verti-
cal component.
In Table 18.II, examples are reported of reference val-
ues of horizontal bending moment at mid-length for ships
with unrestricted navigation. Simplified curves for the dis-
tribution in the longitudinal direction are also provided.
Wave-induced Torque: A few reference formulations are
given also for reference wave torque at midship (see ex-
amples in Table 18.III) and for the inherent longitudinal
distributions.
18.3.4.2 Static Wave analysis of global wave loads
A traditional analysis adopted in the past for evaluation of
wave-induced loads was represented by a quasi-static wave
approach. The ship is positioned on a freezed wave of given
characteristics in a condition of equilibrium between weight
and static buoyancy. The scheme is analogous to the one de-
scribed for still water loads, with the difference that the wa-
terline upper boundary of the immersed part of the hull is
no longer a plane but it is a curved (cylindrical) surface. By
definition, this procedure neglects all types of dynamic ef-
fects. Due to its limitations, it is rarely used to quantify wave
loads. Sometimes, however, the concept of equivalent static
wave is adopted to associate a longitudinal distribution of
M N m
C L B C
C L B C .
(hog)
(sag)
WV
B
B
⋅ [ ] ·
− + ( )
190
110 0 7
2
2
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-9
Figure 18.9 Sectional Forces and Moments in Waves
TABLE 18.II Reference Horizontal Bending Moments
Class Society M
WH
[N ⋅ m]
ABS (8) 180 C
1
L
2
DC
B
BV (9) RINA (10) 1600 L
2.1
TC
B
DNV (11) 220 L
9/4
(T + 0.3B)C
B
NKK (12) 320 L
2
C T L L − 35 /
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pressures to extreme wave loads, derived, for example, from
long term predictions based on other methods.
18.3.4.3 Linear methods for wave loads
The most popular approach to the evaluation of wave loads
is represented by solutions of a linearized potential flow
problem based on the so-called strip theory in the frequency
domain (13).
The theoretical background of this class of procedures
is discussed in detail in PNA Vol. III (2).
Here only the key assumptions of the method are pre-
sented:
• inviscid, incompressible and homogeneous fluid in irro-
tational flow: Laplace equation 11

2
Φ = 0 [11]
where Φ = velocity potential
• 2-dimensional solution of the problem
• linearized boundary conditions: the quadratic compo-
nent of velocity in the Bernoulli Equation is reformu-
lated in linear terms to express boundary conditions:
— on free surface: considered as a plane corresponding
to still water: fluid velocity normal to the free surface
equal to velocity of the surface itself (kinematic con-
dition); zero pressure,
— on the hull: considered as a static surface, corre-
sponding to the mean position of the hull: the com-
ponent of the fluid velocity normal to the hull surface
is zero (impermeability condition), and
• linear decomposition into additive independent compo-
nents, separately solved for and later summed up (equa-
tion 12).
Φ = Φ
s
+ Φ
FK
+ Φ
d
+ Φ
r
[12]
where:
Φ
s
= stationary component due to ship advancing in calm
water
Φ
r
= radiation component due to the ship motions in calm
water
Φ
FK
= excitation component, due to the incident wave
(undisturbed by the presence of the ship): Froude-
Krylov
Φ
d
= diffraction component, due to disturbance in the wave
potential generated by the hull
This subdivision also enables the de-coupling of the ex-
citation components from the response ones, thus avoiding
a non-linear feedback between the two.
Other key properties of linear systems that are used in
the analysis are:
• linear relation between the input and output amplitudes,
and
• superposition of effects (sum of inputs corresponds to
sum of outputs).
When using linear methods in the frequency domain,
the input wave system is decomposed into sinusoidal com-
ponents and a response is found for each of them in terms
of amplitude and phase.
The input to the procedure is represented by a spectral
representation of the sea encountered by the ship. Responses,
for a ship in a given condition, depend on the input sea char-
acteristics (spectrum and spatial distribution respect to the
ship course).
The output consists of response spectra of point pres-
sures on the hull and of the other derived responses, such
as global loads and ship motions. Output spectra can be
used to derive short and long-term predictions for the prob-
ability distributions of the responses and of their extreme
values (see Subsection 18.3.4.5).
Despite the numerous and demanding simplifications at
the basis of the procedure, strip theory methods, developed
since the early 60s, have been validated over time in sev-
eral contexts and are extensively used for predictions of
wave loads.
In principle, the base assumptions of the method are
18-10 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
TABLE 18.III Examples of Reference Values for Wave Torque
Class Society Q
w
[N
.
m] (at mid-ship)
ABS (bulk carrier)
(e = vertical position of shear center)
BV RINA 190 8 13
250 0 7
125
2 2
3
LB C .
. L
W


|
.
`
,

]
]
]
2700 0 5 0 1 0 13
0 14
2
2
0 5
LB T C . . .
e
D
.
T
W
.
− ( ) +
[ ]

|
.
`
,

]
]
]
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valid only for small wave excitations, small motion re-
sponses and low speed of the ship.
In practice, the field of successful applications extends
far beyond the limits suggested by the preservation of re-
alism in the base assumptions: the method is actually used
extensively to study even extreme loads and for fast ves-
sels.
18.3.4.4 Limits of linear methods for wave loads
Due to the simplifications adopted on boundary conditions
to linearize the problem of ship response in waves, results
in terms of hydrodynamic pressures are given always up to
the still water level, while in reality the pressure distribu-
tion extends over the actual wetted surface. This represents
a major problem when dealing with local loads in the side
region close to the waterline.
Another effect of basic assumptions is that all responses
at a given frequency are represented by sinusoidal fluctua-
tions (symmetric with respect to a zero mean value). A con-
sequence is that all the derived global wave loads also have
the same characteristics, while, for example, actual values
of vertical bending moment show marked differences be-
tween the hogging and sagging conditions. Corrections to
account for this effect are often used, based on statistical
data (7) or on more advanced non-linear methods.
A third implication of linearization regards the super-
imposition of static and dynamic loads. Dynamic loads are
evaluated separately from the static ones and later summed
up: this results in an un-physical situation, in which weight
forces (included only in static loads) are considered as act-
ing always along the vertical axis of the ship reference sys-
tem (as in still water). Actually, in a seaway, weight forces
are directed along the true vertical direction, which depends
on roll and pitch angles, having therefore also components
in the longitudinal and lateral direction of the ship.
This aspect represents one of the intrinsic non-lineari-
ties in the actual system, as the direction of an external input
force (weight) depends on the response of the system itself
(roll and pitch angles).
This effect is often neglected in the practice, where lin-
ear superposition of still water and wave loads is largely fol-
lowed.
18.3.4.5 Wave loads probabilistic characterization
The most widely adopted method to characterize the loads
in the probability domain is the so-called spectral method,
used in conjunction with linear frequency-domain methods
for the solution of the ship-wave interaction problem.
From the frequency domain analysis response spectra
S
y
(ω) are derived, which can be integrated to obtain spec-
tral moments m
n
of order n (equation 13).
[13]
This information is the basis of the spectral method,
whose theoretical framework (main hypotheses, assump-
tions and steps) is recalled in the following.
If the stochastic process representing the wave input to
the ship system is modeled as a stationary and ergodic
Gaussian process with zero mean, the response of the sys-
tem (load) can be modeled as a process having the same char-
acteristics.
The Parseval theorem and the ergodicity property es-
tablish a correspondence between the area of the response
spectrum (spectral moment of order 0: m
0Y
) and the vari-
ance of its Gaussian probability distribution (14). This al-
lows expressing the density probability distribution of the
Gaussian response y in terms of m
0Y
(equation 14).
[14]
Equation 14 expresses the distribution of the fluctuating
response y at a generic time instant.
From a structural point of view, more interesting data
are represented by:
• the probability distribution of the response at selected
time instants, corresponding to the highest values in each
zero-crossing period (peaks: variable p),
• the probability distribution of the excursions between
the highest and the lowest value in each zero-crossing
period (range: variable r), and
• the probability distribution of the highest value in the
whole stationary period of the phenomenon (extreme
value in period T
s
, variable
extrTs
y).
The aforementioned distributions can be derived from
the underlying Gaussian distribution of the response (equa-
tion 14) in the additional hypotheses of narrow band re-
sponse process and of independence between peaks. The first
two probability distributions take the form of equations 15
and 16 respectively, both Rayleigh density distributions (see
14).
The distribution in equation 16 is particularly interest-
ing for fatigue checks, as it can be adopted to describe stress
ranges of fatigue cycles.
[15]
[16] f r
r
m
r
m
R
( ) · −
|
.

`
,

4 8
0
2
0
exp
f p
p
m
p
m
P
( ) · −
|
.

`
,

0
2
0
2
exp
f (y)
m
e
Y
Y
y m
Y
·

( )
1
2
0
2
2
0
2
π
/
m S ( )d
ny
n
y
·


ω ω ω
0
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-11
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The distribution for the extreme value in the stationary
period T
s
(short term extreme) can be modeled by a Pois-
son distribution (in equation 17: expression of the cumula-
tive distribution) or other equivalent distributions derived
from the statistics of extremes.
[17]
Figure 18.10 summarizes the various short-term distri-
butions.
It is interesting to note that all the mentioned distribu-
tions are expressed in terms of spectral moments of the re-
sponse, which are available from a frequency domain
solution of the ship motions problem.
The results mentioned previously are derived for the
period T
s
in which the input wave system can be consid-
ered as stationary (sea state: typically, a period of a few
hours). The derived distributions (short-term predictions)
are conditioned to the occurrence of a particular sea state,
which is identified by the sea spectrum, its angular distri-
bution around the main wave direction (spreading func-
tion) and the encounter angle formed with ship advance
direction.
To obtain a long-term prediction, relative to the ship life
(or any other design period T
d
which can be described as a
series of stationary periods), the conditional hypothesis is
to be removed from short-term distributions. In other words,
the probability of a certain response is to be weighed by the
probability of occurrence of the generating sea state (equa-
tion18).
[18]
where:
F(y) = probability for the response to be less than value
y (unconditioned).
F(y|S
i
) = probability for the response to be less than value
y, conditioned to occurrence of sea state S
i
(short
term prediction).
P(S
i
) = probability associated to the i-th sea state.
n = total number of sea states, covering all combi-
nations.
Probability P(S
i
) can be derived from collections of sea data
based on visual observations from commercial ships and/or
on surveys by buoys.
One of the most typical formats is the one contained in
(15), where sea states probabilities are organized in bi-di-
mensional histograms (scatter diagrams), containing classes
F y F y S P(S )
i i
i
n
( ) ·
( )

·

1
F p
m
m
p
m
T
extrT
s
s
( )
· − −
|
.

`
,

]
]
]
]
exp exp
1
2 2
2
0
2
0

of significant wave heights and mean periods. Such scatter
diagrams are catalogued according to sea zones, such as
shown in Figure 18.11 (the subdivision of the world atlas),
and main wave direction. Seasonal characteristics are also
available.
The process described in equation 18 can be termed de-
conditioning (that is removing the conditioning hypothesis).
The same procedure can be applied to any of the variables
studied in the short term and it does not change the nature
of the variable itself. If a range distribution is processed, a
long-term distribution for ranges of single oscillations is
obtained (useful data for a fatigue analysis).
If the distribution of variable
extrTs
y is de-conditioned, a
weighed average of the highest peak in time T
s
is achieved.
In this case the result is further processed to get the distri-
bution of the extreme value in the design time T
d
. This is
done with an additional application of the concept of sta-
tistics of extremes.
In the hypothesis that the extremes of the various sea
states are independent from each other, the extreme on time
T
d
is given by equation 19:
[19]
where F(
extrTd
y) is the cumulative probability distribution
for the highest response peak in time T
d
(long-term extreme
distribution in time T
d
).
18.3.4.6 Uncertainties in long-term predictions
The theoretical framework of the above presented spectral
method, coupled to linear frequency domain methodolo-
gies like those summarized in Subsection 18.3.4.3, allows
the characterization, in the probability domain, of all the
wave induced load variables of interest both for strength
and fatigue checks.
The results of this linear prediction procedure are af-
fected by numerous sources of uncertainties, such as:
F y F y
extrTd extrTs
Td/Ts
( )
·
( ) [ ]
18-12 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.10 Short-term Distributions
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• sea description: as above mentioned, scatter diagrams
are derived from direct observations on the field, which
are affected by a certain degree of indetermination.
In addition, simplified sea spectral shapes are adopted,
based on a limited number of parameters (generally, bi-
parametric formulations based on significant wave and
mean wave period),
• model for the ship’s response: as briefly outlined in Sub-
section 18.3.4.3, the model is greatly simplified, partic-
ularly as regards fluid characteristics and boundary
conditions.
Numerical algorithms and specific procedures adopted
for the solution also influence results, creating differences
even between theoretically equivalent methods, and
• the de-conditioning procedure adopted to derive long
term predictions from short term ones can add further
uncertainties.
18.3.5 Local Loads
As previously stated, local loads are applied to individual
structural members like panels and beams (stiffeners or pri-
mary supporting members).
They are once again traditionally divided into static and
dynamic loads, referred respectively to the situation in still
water and in a seaway.
Contrary to strength verifications of the hull girder, which
are nowadays largely based on ultimate limit states (for ex-
ample, in longitudinal strength: ultimate bending moment),
checks on local structures are still in part implicitly based
on more conservative limit states (yield strength).
In many Rules, reference (characteristic) local loads, as
well as the motions and accelerations on which they are
based, are therefore implicitly calibrated at an exceeding
probability higher than the 10
–8
value adopted in global load
strength verifications.
18.3.6 External Pressure Loads
Static and dynamic pressures generated on the wet surface
of the hull belong to external loads. They act as local trans-
verse loads for the hull plating and supporting structures.
18.3.6.1 Static external pressures
Hydrostatic pressure is related through equation 20 to the
vertical distance between the free surface and the load point
(static head h
S
).
p
S
= ρgh
S
[20]
In the case of the external pressure on the hull, h
S
cor-
responds to the local draft of the load point (reference is
made to design waterline).
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-13
Figure 18.11 Map of Sea Zones of the World (15)
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18.3.6.2 Dynamic pressures
The pressure distribution, as well as the wet portion of the
hull, is modified for a ship in a seaway with respect to the
still water (Figure 18.9). Pressures and areas of application
are in principle obtained solving the general problem of
ship motions in a seaway.
Approximate distributions of the wave external pressure,
to be added to the hydrostatic one, are adopted in Classifi-
cation Rules for the ship in various load cases (Figure 18.12).
18.3.7 Internal Loads—Liquid in Tanks
Liquid cargoes generate normal pressures on the walls of
the containing tank. Such pressures represent a local trans-
versal load for plate, stiffeners and primary supporting mem-
bers of the tank walls.
18.3.7.1 Static internal pressure
For a ship in still water, gravitation acceleration g gener-
ates a hydrostatic pressure, varying again according to equa-
tion 20. The static head h
S
corresponds here to the vertical
distance from the load point to the highest part of the tank,
increased to account for the vertical extension over that
point of air pipes (that can be occasionally filled with liq-
uid) or, if applicable, for the ullage space pressure (the pres-
sure present at the free surface, corresponding for example
to the setting pressure of outlet valves).
18.3.7.2 Dynamic internal pressure
When the ship advances in waves, different types of mo-
tions are generated in the liquid contained in a tank on-
board, depending on the period of the ship motions and on
the filling level: the internal pressure distribution varies ac-
cordingly.
In a completely full tank, fluid internal velocities rela-
tive to the tank walls are small and the acceleration in the
fluid is considered as corresponding to the global ship ac-
celeration a
w
.
The total pressure (equation 21) can be evaluated in terms
of the total acceleration a
T
, obtained summing a
w
to grav-
ity g.
The gravitational acceleration g is directed according to
the true vertical. This means that its components in the ship
reference system depend on roll and pitch angles (in Fig-
ure 18.13 on roll angle θ
r
).
p
f
= ρa
T
h
T
[21]
In equation 21, h
T
is the distance between the load point
and the highest point of the tank in the direction of the total
acceleration vector a
T
(Figure 18.13)
If the tank is only partially filled, significant fluid inter-
nal velocities can arise in the longitudinal and/or transver-
sal directions, producing additional pressure loads (slosh-
ing loads).
If pitch or roll frequencies are close to the tank reso-
nance frequency in the inherent direction (which can be
evaluated on the basis of geometrical parameters and fill-
ing ratio), kinetic energy tends to concentrate in the fluid
and sloshing phenomena are enhanced.
The resulting pressure field can be quite complicated
and specific simulations are needed for a detailed quantifi-
cation. Experimental techniques as well as 2D and 3D pro-
cedures have been developed for the purpose. For more
details see references 16 and 17.
A further type of excitation is represented by impacts that
can occur on horizontal or sub-horizontal plates of the upper
part of the tank walls for high filling ratios and, at low fill-
ing levels, in vertical or sub-vertical plates of the lower part
of the tank.
Impact loads are very difficult to characterize, being re-
lated to a number of effects, such as: local shape and ve-
locity of the free surface, air trapping in the fluid and
response of the structure. A complete model of the phe-
nomenon would require a very detailed two-phase scheme
for the fluid and a dynamic model for the structure includ-
ing hydro-elasticity effects.
Simplified distributions of sloshing and/or impact pres-
sures are often provided by Classification Societies for struc-
tural verification (Figure 18.14).
18-14 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.13 Internal Fluid Pressure (full tank)
Figure 18.12 Example of Simplified Distribution of External Pressure (10)
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18.3.7.3 Dry bulk cargo
In the case of a dry bulk cargo, internal friction forces arise
within the cargo itself and between the cargo and the walls
of the hold. As a result, the component normal to the wall
has a different distribution from the load corresponding to
a liquid cargo of the same density; also additional tangen-
tial components are present.
18.3.8 Inertial Loads—Dry Cargo
To account for this effect, distributions for the components
of cargo load are approximated with empirical formulations
based on the material frictional characteristics, usually ex-
pressed by the angle of repose for the bulk cargo, and on
the slope of the wall. Such formulations cover both the static
and the dynamic cases.
18.3.8.1 Unit cargo
In the case of a unit cargo (container, pallet, vehicle or other)
the local translational accelerations at the centre of gravity
are applied to the mass to obtain a distribution of inertial
forces. Such forces are transferred to the structure in dif-
ferent ways, depending on the number and extension of con-
tact areas and on typology and geometry of the lashing or
supporting systems.
Generally, this kind of load is modelled by one or more
concentrated forces (Figure 18.15) or by a uniform load ap-
plied on the contact area with the structure.
The latter case applies, for example, to the inertial loads
transmitted by tyred vehicles when modelling the response
of the deck plate between stiffeners: in this case the load is
distributed uniformly on the tyre print.
18.3.9 Dynamic Loads
18.3.9.1 Slamming and bow flare loads
When sailing in heavy seas, the ship can experience such
large heave motions that the forebody emerges completely
from the water. In the following downward fall, the bottom
of the ship can hit the water surface, thus generating con-
siderable impact pressures.
The phenomenon occurs in flat areas of the forward part
of the ship and it is strongly correlated to loading condi-
tions with a low forward draft.
It affects both local structures (bottom panels) and the
global bending behaviour of the hull girder with generation
also of free vibrations at the first vertical flexural modes for
the hull (whipping).
A full description of the slamming phenomenon involves
a number of parameters: amplitude and velocity of ship mo-
tions relative to water, local angle formed at impact between
the flat part of the hull and the water free surface, presence
and extension of air trapped between fluid and ship bottom
and structural dynamic behavior (18,19).
While slamming probability of occurrence can be stud-
ied on the basis only of predictions of ship relative motions
(which should in principle include non-linear effects due to
extreme motions), a quantification of slamming pressure
involves necessarily all the other mentioned phenomena
and is very difficult to attain, both from a theoretical and
experimental point of view (18,19).
From a practical point of view, Class Societies prescribe,
for ships with loading conditions corresponding to a low fore
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-15
Figure 18.14 Example of Simplified Distributions of Sloshing and Impact
Pressures (11)
Figure 18.15 Scheme of Local Forces Transmitted by a Container to the
Support System (8)
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draft, local structural checks based on an additional exter-
nal pressure.
Such additional pressure is formulated as a function of
ship main characteristics, of local geometry of the ship
(width of flat bottom, local draft) and, in some cases, of the
first natural frequency of flexural vibration of the hull girder.
The influence on global loads is accounted for by an ad-
ditional term for the vertical wave-induced bending mo-
ment, which can produce a significant increase (15% and
more) in the design value.
A phenomenon quite similar to bottom slamming can
occur also on the forebody of ships with a large bow flare.
In this case dynamic and (to a lesser extent) impulsive pres-
sures are generated on the sides of V-shaped fore sections.
The phenomenon is likely to occur quite frequently on
ships prone to it, but with lower pressures than in bottom
slamming. The incremental effect on vertical bending mo-
ment can however be significant.
A quantification of bow flare effects implies taking into
account the variation of the local breadth of the section as
a function of draft. It represents a typical non-linear effect
(non-linearity due to hull geometry).
Slamming can also occur in the rear part of the ship,
when the flat part of the stern counter is close to surface.
18.3.9.2 Springing
Another phenomenon which involves the dynamic response
of the hull girder is springing. For particular types of ships,
a coincidence can occur between the frequency of wave ex-
citation and the natural frequency associated to the first
(two-node) flexural mode in the vertical plane, thus pro-
ducing a resonance for that mode (see also Subsection
18.6.8.2).
The phenomenon has been observed in particular on Great
Lakes vessels, a category of ships long and flexible, with com-
paratively low resonance frequencies (1, Chapter VI).
The exciting action has an origin similar to the case of
quasi-static wave bending moment and can be studied with
the same techniques, but the response in terms of deflec-
tion and stresses is magnified by dynamic effects. For re-
cent developments of research in the field (see references
16 and 17).
18.3.9.3 Propeller induced pressures and forces
Due to the wake generated by the presence of the after part
of the hull, the propeller operates in a non-uniform incident
velocity field.
Blade profiles experience a varying angle of attack dur-
ing the revolution and the pressure field generated around
the blades fluctuates accordingly.
The dynamic pressure field impinges the hull plating in
the stern region, thus generating an exciting force for the
structure.
A second effect is due to axial and non axial forces and
moments generated by the propeller on the shaft and trans-
mitted through the bearings to the hull (bearing forces).
Due to the negative dynamic pressure generated by the
increased angle of attack, the local pressure on the back of
blade profiles can, for any rotation angle, fall below the
vapor saturation pressure. In this case, a vapor sheet is gen-
erated on the back of the profile (cavitation phenomenon).
The vapor filled cavity collapses as soon as the angle of at-
tack decreases in the propeller revolution and the local pres-
sure rises again over the vapor saturation pressure.
Cavitation further enhances pressure fluctuations, be-
cause of the rapid displacement of the surrounding water
volume during the growing phase of the vapor bubble and
because of the following implosion when conditions for its
existence are removed.
All of the three mentioned types of excitation have their
main components at the propeller rotational frequency, at
the blade frequency, and at their first harmonics. In addi-
tion to the above frequencies, the cavitation pressure field
contains also other components at higher frequency, related
to the dynamics of the vapor cavity.
Propellers with skewed blades perform better as regards
induced pressure, because not all the blade sections pass si-
multaneously in the region of the stern counter, where dis-
turbances in the wake are larger; accordingly, pressure
fluctuations are distributed over a longer time period and
peak values are lower.
Bearing forces and pressures induced on the stern counter
by cavitating and non cavitating propellers can be calculated
with dedicated numerical simulations (18).
18.3.9.4 Main engine excitation
Another major source of dynamic excitation for the hull
girder is represented by the main engine. Depending on
general arrangement and on number of cylinders, diesel en-
gines generate internally unbalanced forces and moments,
mainly at the engine revolution frequency, at the cylinders
firing frequency and inherent harmonics (Figure 18.16).
The excitation due to the first harmonics of low speed
diesel engines can be at frequencies close to the first natu-
ral hull girder frequencies, thus representing a possible cause
of a global resonance.
In addition to frequency coincidence, also direction and
location of the excitation are important factors: for exam-
ple, a vertical excitation in a nodal point of a vertical flex-
ural mode has much less effect in exciting that mode than
the same excitation placed on a point of maximum modal
deflection.
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In addition to low frequency hull vibrations, components
at higher frequencies from the same sources can give rise
to resonance in local structures, which can be predicted by
suitable dynamic structural models (18,19).
18.3.10 Other Loads
18.3.10.1 Thermal loads
A ship experiences loads as a result of thermal effects, which
can be produced by external agents (the sun heating the
deck), or internal ones (heat transfer from/to heated or re-
frigerated cargo).
What actually creates stresses is a non-uniform temper-
ature distribution, which implies that the warmer part of the
structure tends to expand while the rest opposes to this de-
formation. A peculiar aspect of this situation is that the por-
tion of the structure in larger elongation is compressed and
vice-versa, which is contrary to the normal experience.
It is very difficult to quantify thermal loads, the main
problems being related to the identification of the temper-
ature distribution and in particular to the model for con-
straints. Usually these loads are considered only in a
qualitative way (1, Chapter VI).
18.3.10.2 Mooring loads
For a moored vessel, loads are exerted from external actions
on the mooring system and from there to the local sup-
porting structure. The main contributions come by wind,
waves and current.
Wind: The force due to wind action is mainly directed in
the direction of the wind (drag force), even if a limited com-
ponent in the orthogonal direction can arise in particular sit-
uations. The magnitude depends on the wind speed and on
extension and geometry of the exposed part of the ship. The
action due to wind can be described in terms of two force
components; a longitudinal one F
WiL
, and a transverse one
F
WiT
(equation 22), and a moment M
Wiz
about the vertical
axis (equation 23), all applied at the center of gravity.
[22]
[23]
where:
φ
Wi
= the angle formed by the direction of the wind rela-
tive to the ship
C
Mz

Wi
), C
FL

Wi
), C
FT

Wi
) are all coefficients depending
on the shape of exposed part of the ship and on
angle φ
Wi
A
Wi
= the reference area for the surface of the ship exposed
to wind, (usually the area of the cross section)
V
Wi
= the wind speed
The empirical formulas in equations 22 and 23 account
also for the tangential force acting on the ship surfaces par-
allel to the wind direction.
Current: The current exerts on the immersed part of the
hull a similar action to the one of wind on the emerged part
(drag force). It can be described through coefficients and
variables analogous to those of equations 22 and 23.
Waves: Linear wave excitation has in principle a sinu-
soidal time dependence (whose mean value is by definition
zero). If ship motions in the wave direction are not con-
strained (for example, if the anchor chain is not in tension)
the ship motion follows the excitation with similar time de-
pendence and a small time lag. In this case the action on
the mooring system is very small (a few percent of the other
actions).
If the ship is constrained, significant loads arise on the
mooring system, whose amplitude can be of the same order
of magnitude of the stationary forces due to the other actions.
In addition to the linear effects discussed above, non-lin-
ear wave actions, with an average value different from zero,
are also present, due to potential forces of higher order, for-
mation of vortices, and viscous effects. These components
can be significant on off-shore floating structures, which
often feature also complicated mooring systems: in those
cases the dynamic behavior of the mooring system is to be
included in the analysis, to solve a specific motion prob-
lem. For common ships, non-linear wave effects are usu-
ally neglected.
A practical rule-of-thumb for taking into account wave
actions for a ship at anchor in non protected waters is to in-
crease of 75 to 100% the sum of the other force components.
Once the total force on the ship is quantified, the ten-
sion in the mooring system (hawser, rope or chain) can be
M C A L V
Wiz Mz Wi Wi
Wi
· ( ) 1 2
2
/ φ φ
F C A V
WiL,T F L,T Wi Wi
Wi
· ( ) 1 2
2
/ φ φ
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-17
Figure 18.16 Propeller, Shaft and Engine Induced Actions (20)
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derived by force decomposition, taking into account the
angle formed with the external force in the horizontal and/or
vertical plane.
18.3.10.3 Launching loads
The launch is a unique moment in the life of the ship. For
a successful completion of this complex operation, a num-
ber of practical, organizational and technical elements are
to be kept under control (as general reference see Reference
1, Chapter XVII).
Here only the aspect of loads acting on the ship will be
discussed, so, among the various types of launch, only those
which present peculiarities as regards ship loads will be
considered: end launch and side launch.
End Launch: In end launch, resultant forces and motions
are contained in the longitudinal plane of the ship (Figure
18.17).
The vessel is subjected to vertical sectional forces dis-
tributed along the hull girder: weight w(x), buoyancy b
L
(x)
and the sectional force transmitted from the ground way to
the cradle and from the latter to the ship’s bottom (in the
following: sectional cradle force f
C
(x), with resultant F
C
).
While the weight distribution and its resultant force
(weight W) are invariant during launching, the other distri-
butions change in shape and resultant: the derivation of
launching loads is based on the computation of these two
distributions.
Such computation, repeated for various positions of the
cradle, is based on the global static equilibrium s (equa-
tions 24 and 25, in which dynamic effects are neglected:
quasi static approach).
B
T
+ F
C
– W = 0 [24]
x
B
B
T
+ x
F
F
C
– x
W
W = 0 [25]
where:
W, B
T
, F
C
= (respectively) weight, buoyancy and cradle
force resultants
x
W
, x
B
, x
F
= their longitudinal positions
In a first phase of launching, when the cradle is still in
contact for a certain length with the ground way, the buoy-
ancy distribution is known and the cradle force resultant
and position is derived.
In a second phase, beginning when the cradle starts to
rotate (pivoting phase: Figure 18.18), the position x
F
cor-
responds steadily to the fore end of the cradle and what is
unknown is the magnitude of F
C
and the actual aft draft of
the ship (and consequently, the buoyancy distribution).
The total sectional vertical force distribution is found as
the sum of the three components (equation 26) and can be
integrated according to equations 1 and 2 to derive vertical
shear and bending moment.
q
VL
(x) = w(x) – b
L
(x) – f
C
(x) [26]
This computation is performed for various intermediate
positions of the cradle during the launching in order to check
all phases. However, the most demanding situation for the
hull girder corresponds to the instant when pivoting starts.
In that moment the cradle force is concentrated close to
the bow, at the fore end of the cradle itself (on the fore pop-
pet, if one is fitted) and it is at the maximum value.
A considerable sagging moment is present in this situ-
ation, whose maximum value is usually lower than the de-
sign one, but tends to be located in the fore part of the ship,
where bending strength is not as high as at midship.
Furthermore, the ship at launching could still have tem-
porary openings or incomplete structures (lower strength)
in the area of maximum bending moment.
Another matter of concern is the concentrated force at
the fore end of the cradle, which can reach a significant per-
centage of the total weight (typically 20–30%). It represents
a strong local load and often requires additional temporary
internal strengthening structures, to distribute the force on
a portion of the structure large enough to sustain it.
Side Launch: In side launch, the main motion compo-
nents are directed in the transversal plane of the ship (see
Figure 18.19, reproduced from reference 1, Chapter XVII).
The vertical reaction from ground ways is substituted in
a comparatively short time by buoyancy forces when the ship
tilts and drops into water.
The kinetic energy gained during the tilting and drop-
ping phases makes the ship oscillate around her final posi-
18-18 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.17 End Launch: Sketch
Figure 18.18 Forces during Pivoting
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tion at rest. The amplitude of heave and roll motions and
accelerations governs the magnitude of hull girder loads.
Contrary to end launch, trajectory and loads cannot be stud-
ied as a sequence of quasi-static equilibrium positions, but
need to be investigated with a dynamic analysis.
The problem is similar to the one regarding ship mo-
tions in waves, (Subsection 18.3.4), with the difference that
here motions are due to a free oscillation of the system due
to an unbalanced initial condition and not to an external ex-
citation.
Another difference with respect to end launch is that
both ground reaction (first) and buoyancy forces (later) are
always distributed along the whole length of the ship and
are not concentrated in a portion of it.
18.3.10.4 Accidental loads
Accidental loads (collision and grounding) are discussed
in more detail by ISSC (21).
Collision: When defining structural loads due to colli-
sions, the general approach is to model the dynamics of the
accident itself, in order to define trajectories of the unit(s)
involved.
In general terms, the dynamics of collision should be
formulated in six degrees of freedom, accounting for a num-
ber of forces acting during the event: forces induced by pro-
peller, rudder, waves, current, collision forces between the
units, hydrodynamic pressure due to motions.
Normally, theoretical models confine the analysis to
components in the horizontal plane (3 degrees of freedom)
and to collision forces and motion-induced hydrodynamic
pressures. The latter are evaluated with potential methods
of the same type as those adopted for the study of the re-
sponse of the ship to waves.
As regards collision forces, they can be described dif-
ferently depending on the characteristics of the struck ob-
ject (ship, platform, bridge pylon…) with different
combinations of rigid, elastic or an elastic body models.
Governing equations for the problem are given by con-
servation of momentum and of energy. Within this frame-
work, time domain simulations can evaluate the magnitude
of contact forces and the energy, which is absorbed by struc-
ture deformation: these quantities, together with the response
characteristics of the structure (energy absorption capacity),
allow an evaluation of the damage penetration (21).
Grounding: In grounding, dominant effects are forces and
motions in the vertical plane.
As regards forces, main components are contact forces,
developed at the first impact with the ground, then friction,
when the bow slides on the ground, and weight.
From the point of view of energy, the initial kinetic en-
ergy is (a) dissipated in the deformation of the lower part
of the bow (b) dissipated in friction of the same area against
the ground, (c) spent in deformation work of the ground (if
soft: sand, gravel) and (d) converted into gravitational po-
tential energy (work done against the weight force, which
resists to the vertical raising of the ship barycenter).
In addition to soil characteristics, key parameters for the
description are: slope and geometry of the ground, initial
speed and direction of the ship relative to ground, shape of
the bow (with/without bulb).
The final position (grounded ship) governs the magni-
tude of the vertical reaction force and the distribution of
shear and sagging moment that are generated in the hull
girder. Figure 18.20 gives an idea of the magnitude of
grounding loads for different combinations of ground slopes
and coefficients of friction for a 150 000 tanker (results of
simulations from reference 22).
In addition to numerical simulations, full and model
scale tests are performed to study grounding events (21).
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-19
Figure 18.19 Side Launch (1, Chapter XVII) Figure 18.20 Sagging Moments for a Grounded Ship: Simulation Results (22)
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18.3.11 Combination of Loads
When dealing with the characterization of a set of loads
acting simultaneously, the interest lies in the definition of
a total loading condition with the required exceeding prob-
ability (usually the same of the single components). This
cannot be obtained by simple superposition of the charac-
teristic values of single contributing loads, as the probabil-
ity that all design loads occur at the same time is much lower
than the one associated to the single component.
In the time domain, the combination problem is ex-
pressed in terms of time shift between the instants in which
characteristic values occur.
In the probability domain, the complete formulation of
the problem would imply, in principle, the definition of a
joint probability distribution of the various loads, in order
to quantify the distribution for the total load. An approxi-
mation would consist in modeling the joint distribution
through its first and second order moments, that is mean val-
ues and covariance matrix (composed by the variances of
the single variables and by the covariance calculated for
each couple of variables). However, also this level of sta-
tistical characterization is difficult to obtain.
As a practical solution to the problem, empirically based
load cases are defined in Rules by means of combination
coefficients (with values generally ≤ 1) applied to single
loads. Such load cases, each defined by a set of coefficients,
represent realistic and, in principle, equally probable com-
binations of characteristic values of elementary loads.
Structural checks are performed for all load cases. The
result of the verification is governed by the one, which turns
out to be the most conservative for the specific structure.
This procedure needs a higher number of checks (which, on
the other hand, can be easily automated today), but allows
considering various load situations (defined with different
combinations of the same base loads), without choosing a
priori the worst one.
18.3.12 New Trends and Load Non-linearities
A large part of research efforts is still devoted to a better
definition of wave loads. New procedures have been pro-
posed in the last decades to improve traditional 2D linear
methods, overcoming some of the simplifications adopted
to treat the problem of ship motions in waves. For a com-
plete state of the art of computational methods in the field,
reference is made to (23). A very coarse classification of
the main features of the procedures reported in literature is
here presented (see also reference 24).
18.3.12.1 2D versus 3D models
Three-dimensional extensions of linear methods are avail-
able; some non-linear methods have also 3-D features, while
in other cases an intermediate approach is followed, with
boundary conditions formulated part in 2D, part in 3D.
18.3.12.2 Body boundary conditions
In linear methods, body boundary conditions are set with
reference to the mean position of the hull (in still water).
Perturbation terms take into account, in the frequency or in
the time domain, first order variations of hydrodynamic and
hydrostatic coefficients around the still water line.
Other non-linear methods account for perturbation terms
of a higher order. In this case, body boundary conditions
are still linear (mean position of the hull), but second order
variations of the coefficients are accounted for.
Mixed or blending procedures consist in linear methods
modified to include non-linear effects in a single compo-
nent of the velocity potential (while the other ones are treated
linearly). In particular, they account for the actual geome-
try of wetted hull (non-linear body boundary condition) in
the Froude-Krylov potential only. This effect is believed to
have a major role in the definition of global loads.
More evolved (and complex) methods are able to take
properly into account the exact body boundary condition
(actual wetted surface of the hull).
18.3.12.3 Free surface boundary conditions
Boundary conditions on free surface can be set, depending
on the various methods, with reference to: (a) a free stream
at constant velocity, corresponding to ship advance, (b) a
double body flow, accounting for the disturbance induced
by the presence of a fully immersed double body hull on
the uniform flow, (c) the flow corresponding to the steady
advance of the ship in calm water, considering the free sur-
face or (d) the incident wave profile (neglecting the inter-
action with the hull).
Works based on fully non-linear formulations of the free
surface conditions have also been published.
18.3.12.4 Fluid characteristics
All the methods above recalled are based on an inviscid
fluid potential scheme.
Some results have been published of viscous flow mod-
els based on the solution of Reynolds Averaged Navier
Stokes (RANS) equations in the time domain. These meth-
ods represent the most recent trend in the field of ship mo-
tions and loads prediction and their use is limited to a few
research groups.
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18.4 STRESSES AND DEFLECTIONS
The reactions of structural components of the ship hull to
external loads are usually measured by either stresses or
deflections. Structural performance criteria and the associ-
ated analyses involving stresses are referred to under the gen-
eral term of strength. The strength of a structural component
would be inadequate if it experiences a loss of load-carry-
ing ability through material fracture, yield, buckling, or
some other failure mechanism in response to the applied
loading. Excessive deflection may also limit the structural
effectiveness of a member, even though material failure
does not occur, if that deflection results in a misalignment
or other geometric displacement of vital components of the
ship’s machinery, navigational equipment, etc., thus ren-
dering the system ineffective.
The present section deals with the determination of the
responses, in the form of stress and deflection, of structural
members to the applied loads. Once these responses are
known it is necessary to determine whether the structure is
adequate to withstand the demands placed upon it, and this
requires consideration of the different failure modes asso-
ciated to the limit states, as discussed in Sections 18.5 and
18.6
Although longitudinal strength under vertical bending
moment and vertical shear forces is the first important
strength consideration in almost all ships, a number of other
strength considerations must be considered. Prominent
amongst these are transverse, torsional and horizontal bend-
ing strength, with torsional strength requiring particular at-
tention on open ships with large hatches arranged close
together. All these are briefly presented in this Section. More
detailed information is available in Lewis (2) and Hughes
(3), both published by SNAME, and Rawson (25). Note
that the content of Section 18.4 is influenced mainly from
Lewis (2).
18.4.1 Stress and Deflection Components
The structural response of the hull girder and the associ-
ated members can be subdivided into three components
(Figure 18.21).
Primary response is the response of the entire hull, when
the ship bends as a beam under the longitudinal distribution
of load. The associated primary stresses (σ
1
) are those, which
are usually called the longitudinal bending stresses, but the
general category of primary does not imply a direction.
Secondary response relates to the global bending of stiff-
ened panels (for single hull ship) or to the behavior of dou-
ble bottom, double sides, etc., for double hull ships:
• Stresses in the plating of stiffened panel under lateral
pressure may have different origins (σ
2
and σ
2
*). For a
stiffened panel, there is the stress (σ
2
) and deflection of
the global bending of the orthotropic stiffened panels,
for example, the panel of bottom structure contained be-
tween two adjacent transverse bulkheads. The stiffener
and the attached plating bend under the lateral load and
the plate develops additional plane stresses since the
plate acts as a flange with the stiffeners. In longitudinally
framed ships there is also a second type of secondary
stresses: σ
2
* corresponds to the bending under the hy-
drostatic pressure of the longitudinals between trans-
verse frames (web frames). For transversally framed
panels, σ
2
* may also exist and would correspond to the
bending of the equally spaced frames between two stiff
longitudinal girders.
• A double bottombehaves as box girder but can bend lon-
gitudinally, transversally or both. This global bending in-
duces stress (σ
2
) and deflection. In addition, there is also
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-21
Figure 18.21 Primary (Hull), Secondary (Double Bottom and Stiffened Panels)
and Tertiary (Plate) Structural Responses (1, 2)
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the σ
2
* stress that corresponds to the bending of the lon-
gitudinals (for example, in the inner and outer bottom)
between two transverse elements (floors).
Tertiary response describes the out-of-plane deflection
and associated stress of an individual unstiffened plate panel
included between 2 longitudinals and 2 transverse web
frames. The boundaries are formed by these components
(Figure 18.22).
Primary and secondary responses induce in-plane mem-
brane stresses, nearly uniformly distributed through the plate
thickness. Tertiary stresses, which result from the bending
of the plate member itself vary through the thickness, but
may contain a membrane component if the out-of-plane de-
flections are large compared to the plate thickness.
In many instances, there is little or no interaction be-
tween the three (primary, secondary, tertiary) component
stresses or deflections, and each component may be com-
puted by methods and considerations entirely independent
of the other two. The resultant stress, in such a case, is then
obtained by a simple superposition of the three component
stresses (Subsection 18.4.7). An exception is the case of
plate (tertiary) deflections, which are large compared to the
thickness of plate.
In plating, each response induces longitudinal stresses,
transverse stresses and shear stresses. This is due to the
Poisson’s Ratio. Both primary and secondary stresses are
bending stresses but in plating these stresses look like mem-
brane stresses.
In stiffeners, only primary and secondary responses in-
duce stresses in the direction of the members and shear
stresses. Tertiary response has no effect on the stiffeners.
In Figure 18.21 (see also
Figure 18.37
) the three types of re-
sponse are shown with their associated stresses (σ
1,
σ
2
, σ
2
*
and σ
3
). These considerations point to the inherent sim-
plicity of the underlying theory. The structural naval archi-
tect deals principally with beam theory, plate theory, and
combinations of both.
18.4.2 Basic Structural Components
Structural components are extensively discussed in Chap-
ter 17 – Structure Arrangement Component Design. In this
section, only the basic structural component used exten-
sively is presented. It is basically a stiffened panel.
The global ship structure is usually referred to as being
a box girder or hull girder. Modeling of this hull girder is
the first task of the designer. It is usually done by model-
ing the hull girder with a series of stiffened panels.
Stiffened panels are the main components of a ship. Al-
most any part of the ship can be modeled as stiffened pan-
els (plane or cylindrical).
This means that, once the ship’s main dimensions and
general arrangement are fixed, the remaining scantling de-
velopment mainly deals with stiffened panels.
The panels are joined one to another by connecting lines
(edges of the prismatic structures) and have longitudinal
and transverse stiffening (Figures 18.23, 24 and 36).
• Longitudinal Stiffening includes
— longitudinals (equally distributed), used only for the
design of longitudinally stiffened panels,
— girders (not equally distributed).
• Transverse Stiffening includes (Figure 18.23)
— transverse bulkheads (a),
— the main transverse framing also called web-frames
(equally distributed; large spacing), used for longi-
tudinally stiffened panels (b) and transversally stiff-
ened panels (c).
18.4.3 Primary Response
18.4.3.1 Beam Model and Hull Section Modulus
The structural members involved in the computation of pri-
mary stress are, for the most part, the longitudinally contin-
uous members such as deck, side, bottom shell, longitudinal
bulkheads, and continuous or fully effective longitudinal
primary or secondary stiffening members.
Elementary beam theory (equation 29) is usually uti-
lized in computing the component of primary stress, σ
1
, and
deflection due to vertical or lateral hull bending loads. In
assessing the applicability of this beam theory to ship struc-
tures, it is useful to restate the underlying assumptions:
• the beam is prismatic, that is, all cross sections are the
same and there is no openings or discontinuities,
• plane cross sections remain plane after deformation, will
18-22 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.22 A Standard Stiffened Panel
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not deform in their own planes, and merely rotate as the
beam deflects.
• transverse (Poisson) effects on strain are neglected.
• the material behaves elastically: the elasticity modulus
in tension and compression is equal.
• Shear effects and bending (stresses, strains) are not cou-
pled. For torsional deformation, the effect of secondary
shear and axial stresses due to warping deformations are
neglected.
Since stress concentrations (deck openings, side ports,
etc.) cannot be avoided in a highly complex structure such
as a ship, their effects must be included in any comprehen-
sive stress analysis. Methods dealing with stress concen-
trations are presented in Subsection 18.6.6.3 as they are
linked to fatigue.
The elastic linear bending equations, equations 27 and
28, are derived from basic mechanic principle presented at
Figure 18.24.
EI (∂
2
w/∂x
2
) = M(x) [27]
or
EI (∂
4
w/∂x
4
) = q(x) [28]
where:
w = deflection (Figure 18.24), in m
E = modulus of elasticity of the material, in N/m
2
I = moment of inertia of beam cross section about a
horizontal axis through its centroid, in m
4
M(x) = bending moment, in N.m
q(x) = load per unit length in N/m
= ∂V(x)/∂x
= ∂
2
M(x)/∂x
2
= EI (∂
4
w/∂x
4
)
Hull Section Modulus: The plane section assumption to-
gether with elastic material behavior results in a longitudi-
nal stress, σ
1
, in the beam that varies linearly over the depth
of the cross section.
The simple beam theory for longitudinal strength cal-
culations of a ship is based on the hypothesis (usually at-
tributed to Navier) that plane sections remain plane and in
the absence of shear, normal to the OXY plane (Figure
18.24). This gives the well-known formula:
[29]
where:
M = bending moment (in N.m)
σ = bending stress (in N/m
2
)
f p
p
m
p
m
P
( ) · −
|
.

`
,

0
2
0
2
exp
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-23
Figure 18.23 Types of Stiffening (Longitudinal and Transverse)
Figure 18.24 Behavior of an Elastic Beam under Shear Force and Bending
Moment (2)
MASTER SET
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I = Sectional moment of Inertia about the neutral axis
(in m
4
)
c = distance from the neutral axis to the extreme mem-
ber (in m)
SM = section modulus (I/c) (in m
3
)
For a given bending moment at a given cross section of
a ship, at any part of the cross section, the stress may be ob-
tained (σ = M/SM = Mc/I) which is proportional to the dis-
tance c of that part from the neutral axis. The neutral axis
will seldom be located exactly at half-depth of the section;
hence two values of c and σ will be obtained for each sec-
tion for any given bending moment, one for the top fiber
(deck) and one for the bottom fiber (bottom shell).
A variation on the above beam equations may be of im-
portance in ship structures. It concerns beams composed of
two or more materials of different moduli of elasticity, for
example, steel and aluminum. In this case, the flexural rigid-
ity, EI, is replaced by ∫
A
E(z) z
2
dA, where A is cross sec-
tional area and E(z) the modulus of elasticity of an element
of area dA located at distance z from the neutral axis. The
neutral axis is located at such height that ∫A E(z) z dA = 0.
Calculation of Section Modulus: An important step in
routine ship design is the calculation of the midship section
modulus. As defined in connection with equation 29, it in-
dicates the bending strength properties of the primary hull
structure. The section modulus to the deck or bottom is ob-
tained by dividing the moment of inertia by the distance
from the neutral axis to the molded deck line at side or to
the base line, respectively.
In general, the following items may be included in the
calculation of the section modulus, provided they are con-
tinuous or effectively developed:
• deck plating (strength deck and other effective decks).
(See Subsection 18.4.3.9 for Hull/Superstructure Inter-
action).
• shell and inner bottom plating,
• deck and bottom girders,
• plating and longitudinal stiffeners of longitudinal bulk-
heads,
• all longitudinals of deck, sides, bottom and inner bot-
tom, and
• continuous longitudinal hatch coamings.
In general, only members that are effective in both tension
and compression are assumed to act as part of the hull girder.
Theoretically, a thorough analysis of longitudinal strength
would include the construction of a curve of section moduli
throughout the length of the ship as shown in Figure 18.25.
Dividing the ordinates of the maximum bending-moments
curve (the envelope curve of maxima) by the corresponding
ordinates of the section-moduli curve yields stress values,
and by using both the hogging and sagging moment curves
four curves of stress can be obtained; that is, tension and com-
pression values for both top and bottom extreme fibers.
It is customary, however, to assume the maximum bend-
ing moment to extend over the midship portion of the ship.
Minimum section modulus most often occurs at the loca-
tion of a hatch or a deck opening. Accordingly, the classi-
fication societies ordinarily require the maintenance of the
midship scantlings throughout the midship four-tenths
length. This practice maintains the midship section area of
structure practically at full value in the vicinity of maximum
shear as well as providing for possible variation in the pre-
cise location of the maximum bending moment.
Lateral Bending Combined with Vertical Bending: Up to
this point, attention has been focused principally upon the ver-
tical longitudinal bending response of the hull. As the ship
moves through a seaway encountering waves from directions
other than directly ahead or astern, it will experience lateral
bending loads and twisting moments in addition to the ver-
tical loads. The former may be dealt with by methods that
are similar to those used for treating the vertical bending
loads, noting that there will be no component of still water
bending moment or shear in the lateral direction. The twist-
ing or torsional loads will require some special consideration.
Note that the response of the ship to the overall hull twisting
loading should be considered a primary response.
The combination of vertical and horizontal bending mo-
ment has as major effect to increase the stress at the ex-
treme corners of the structure (equation 30).
18-24 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.25 Moment of Inertia and Section Modulus (1)
MASTER SET
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[30]
where M
v
, I
v
, c
v
, and M
h
, I
h
, c
h
, correspond to the M, I, c
defined in equation 29, for the vertical bending and the hor-
izontal bending respectively.
For a given vertical bending (M
v
), the periodical wave
induced horizontal bending moment (M
h
) increases stresses,
alternatively, on the upper starboard and lower portside, and
on the upper portside and lower starboard. This explains
why these areas are usually reinforced.
Empirical interaction formulas between vertical bend-
ing, horizontal bending and shear related to ultimate strength
of hull girder are given in Subsection 18.6.5.2.
Transverse Stresses: With regards to the validity of the
Navier Equation (equation 29), a significant improvement
may be obtained by considering a longitudinal strength
member composed of thin plate with transverse framing.
This might, for example, represent a portion of the deck
structure of a ship that is subject to a longitudinal stress σ
x
,
from the primary bending of the hull girder. As a result of
the longitudinal strain, ε
x
, which is associated with σ
x
, there
will exist a transverse strain, ε
s
. For the case of a plate that
is free of constraint in the transverse direction, the two
strains will be of opposite sign and the ratio of their ab-
solute values, given by | ε
s
/ ε
x
| = ν, is a constant property
of the material. The quantity ν is called Poisson’s Ratio and,
for steel and aluminum, has a value of approximately 0.3.
Hooke’s Law, which expresses the relation between stress
and strain in two dimensions, may be stated in terms of the
plate strains (equation 31). This shows that the primary re-
sponse induces both longitudinal (σ
x
) and transversal
stresses (σ
s
) in plating.
ε
x
= 1/E ( σ
x
– v σ
S
)
[31]
ε
S
= 1/E ( σ
S
– ν σ
x
)
As transverse plate boundaries are usually constrained
(displacements not allowed), the transverse stress can be
taken, in first approximation as:
σ
s
= ν σ
x
[32]
Equation 32 is only valid to assess the additional stresses
in a given direction induced by the stresses in the perpen-
dicular direction computed, for instance, with the Navier
equation (equation 29).
18.4.3.2 Shear stress associated to shear forces
The simple beam theory expressions given in the preced-
ing section permit evaluation the longitudinal component
of the primary stress, σ
x
. In Figure 18.26, it can be seen that
σ ·
( )
+
( )
M
I c
M
I c
v
v v
h
h h
an element of side shell or deck plating may, in general be
subject to two other components of stress, a direct stress in
the transverse direction and a shearing stress.
This figure illustrates these as the stress resultants, de-
fined as the stress multiplied by plate thickness.
The stress resultants (N/m) are given by the following
expressions:
N
x
= t σ
x
and Ns = t σ
s
stress resultants, in N/m
N = t τ shear stress resultant or shear flow, in N/m
where:
σ
x
, σ
s
= stresses in the longitudinal and transverse direc-
tions, in N/m
2
τ = shear stress, in N/m
2
t = plate thickness, in m
In many parts of the ship, the longitudinal stress, σ
x
, is
the dominant component. There are, however, locations in
which the shear component becomes important and under
unusual circumstances the transverse component may, like-
wise, become important. A suitable procedure for estimat-
ing these other component stresses may be derived by
considering the equations of static equilibrium of the ele-
ment of plating (Figure 18.26). The static equilibrium con-
ditions for a plate element subjected only to in-plane stress,
that is, no plate bending, are:
∂Nx / ∂x + ∂N / ∂s = 0 [33-a]
∂Ns / ∂x + ∂N / ∂x = 0 [33-b]
In these equations, s, is the transverse coordinate meas-
ured on the surface of the section from the x-axis as shown
in Figure 18.26.
For vessels without continuous longitudinal bulkheads
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-25
Figure 18.26 Shear Forces (2)
ED: Correction on this equation is unclear.
MASTER SET
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(single cell), having transverse symmetry and subject to a
bending moment in the vertical plane, the shear flow dis-
tribution, N(s) is then given by:
[34]
and the shear stress, τ , at any point in the cross section is:
[35]
where:
V(x) = total shearing force (in N) in the hull for a given
section x
m(s) = in m
3
, is the first moment (or moment
= of area) about the neutral axis of the cross sectional
area of the plating between the origin at the cen-
terline and the variable location designated by s.
This is the crosshatched area of the section shown
in Figure 18.26
t(s) = thickness of material at the shear plane
I(x) = moment of inertia of the entire section
The total vertical shearing force, V(x), at any point, x,
in the ship’s length may be obtained by the integration of
the load curve up to that point. Ordinarily the maximum
value of the shearing force occurs at about one quarter of
the vessel’s length from either end.
Since only the vertical, or nearly vertical, members of
the hull girder are capable of resisting vertical shear, this
shear is taken almost entirely by the side shell, the contin-
uous longitudinal bulkheads if present, and by the webs of
any deep longitudinal girders.
The maximum value of τ occurs in the vicinity of the
neutral axis, where the value of t is usually twice the thick-
ness of the side plating (Figure 18.27). For vessels with con-
tinuous longitudinal bulkheads, the expression for shear
stress is more complex.
Shear Flow in Multicell Sections: If the cross section of
the ship shown in Figure 18.28 is subdivided into two or
more closed cells by longitudinal bulkheads, tank tops, or
decks, the problem of finding the shear flow in the bound-
aries of these closed cells is statically indeterminate.
Equation 34 may be evaluated for the deck and bottom
of the center tank space since the plane of symmetry at
which the shear flow vanishes, lies within this space and
forms a convenient origin for the integration. At the
deck/bulkhead intersection, the shear flow in the deck di-
vides, but the relative proportions of the part in the bulk-
head and the part in the deck are indeterminate. The sum
t s z ds
o
s
( ) ,

t(s)
V(x).m(s)
t(s) I(x)
(in N / m )
2
·
N(s)
V(x)
I(x)
m(s) ·
|
.
`
,
of the shear flows at two locations lying on a plane cutting
the cell walls will still be given by equation 34, with m(s)
equal to the moment of the shaded area (Figure 18.28).
However, the distribution of this sum between the two com-
ponents in bulkhead and side shell, requires additional in-
formation for its determination.
This additional information may be obtained by con-
sidering the torsional equilibrium and deflection of the cel-
lular section. The way to proceed is extensively explained
in Lewis (2).
18.4.3.3 Shear stress associated with torsion
In order to develop the twisting equations, we consider a
closed, single cell, thin-walled prismatic section subject
only to a twisting moment, M
T
, which is constant along the
length as shown in Figure 18.29. The resulting shear stress
may be assumed uniform through the plate thickness and
is tangent to the mid-thickness of the material. Under these
circumstances, the deflection of the tube will consist of a
twisting of the section without distortion of its shape, and
the rate of twist, dθ/dx, will be constant along the length.
18-26 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.28 Shear Flow in Multicell Sections (2)
Figure 18.27 Shear Flow in Multicell Sections (1)
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Now consider equilibrium of forces in the x-direction for
the element dx.ds of the tube wall as shown in Figure 18.29.
Since there is no longitudinal load, there will be no longi-
tudinal stress, and only the shear stresses at the top and bot-
tom edges need be considered in the expression for static
equilibrium. The shear flow, N = tτ, is therefore seen to be
constant around the section.
The magnitude of the moment, M
T
, may be computed
by integrating the moment of the elementary force arising
from this shear flow about any convenient axis. If r is the
distance from the axis, 0, perpendicular to the resultant shear
flow at location s:
[36]
Here the symbol indicates that the integral is taken en-
tirely around the section and, therefore, Ω (m
2
) is the area
enclosed by the mid-thickness line of the tubular cross sec-
tion. The constant shear flow, N (N/m), is then related to
the applied twisting moment by:
N = τ. t = M
T
/2Ω [37]
For uniform torsion of a closed prismatic section, the
angle of torsion is:
(in radians) [38]
where:
M
T
= Twisting moment (torsion), in N.m
L = Length of the girder, in m
I
p
= Polar Inertia, in m
4
G = E/2(1+ν), the shear Modulus, in N/m
2
θ ·
M L
G I
T
p
.
M r N ds N r ds N
T
· · ·
∫ ∫
2 Ω
18.4.3.4 Twisting and warping
Torsional strength: Although torsion is not usually an im-
portant factor in ship design for most ships, it does result
in significant additional stresses on ships, such as container
ships, which have large hatch openings. These warping
stresses can be calculated by a beam analysis, which takes
into account the twisting and warping deflections. There
can also be an interaction between horizontal bending and
torsion of the hull girder. Wave actions tending to bend the
hull in a horizontal plane also induce torsion because of the
open cross section of the hull, which results in the shear cen-
ter being below the bottom of the hull. Combined stresses
due to vertical bending, horizontal bending and torsion must
be calculated.
In order to increase the torsional rigidity of the contain-
ership cross sections, longitudinal and transverse closed
box girders are introduced in the upper side and deck struc-
ture.
From previous studies, it has been established that spe-
cial attention should be paid to the torsional rigidity distri-
bution along the hull. Usually, toward the ship’s ends, the
section moduli are justifiably reduced base on bending. On
the contrary the torsional rigidity, especially in the forward
hatches, should be gradually increased to keep the warping
stress as small as possible.
Twisting of opened section: A lateral seaway could in-
duce severe twisting moment that is of the major importance
for ships having large deck openings. The equations for the
twist of a closed tube (equations 36 to 38) are applicable
only to the computation of the torsional response of closed
thin-walled sections.
The relative torsional stiffness of closed and open sec-
tions may be visualized by means of a very simple example.
Consider two circular tubes, one of which has a longi-
tudinal slit over its full length as in Figure 18.30. The closed
tube will be able to resist a much greater torque per unit an-
gular deflection than the open tube because of the inability
of the latter to sustain the shear stress across the slot. The
twisting resistance of the thin material of which the tube is
composed provides the only resistance to torsion in the case
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-27
Figure 18.29 Torsional Shear Flow (2). Figure 18.30 Twist of Open and Closed Tubes (2)
MASTER SET
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of the open tube without longitudinal restraint. The resist-
ance to twist of the entirely open section is given by the St.
Venant torsion equation:
M
T
= G.J ∂θ/∂x (N.m) [39]
where:
∂θ/∂x = twist angle per unit length, in rad./m, which can be
approximated by θ/L for uniform torsion and uni-
form section.
J = torsional constant of the section, in m
4
= for a thin walled open section
= for a section composed of n different
= plates (b
i
= length, t
i
= thickness)
If warping resistance is present, that is, if the longitudi-
nal displacement of the elemental strips shown in Figure
18.30 is constrained, another component of torsional re-
sistance is developed through the shear stresses that result
from this warping restraint. This is added to the torque given
by equation 39.
In ship structures, warping strength comes from four
sources:
1. the closed sections of the structure between hatch open-
ings,
2. the closed ends of the ship,
3. double wall transverse bulkheads, and
4. closed, torsionally stiff parts of the cross section (lon-
gitudinal torsion tubes or boxes, including double bot-
tom, double side shell, etc.).
18.4.3.5 Racking and snaking
Racking is the result of a transverse hull shape distortion and
is caused by either dynamic loads due to rolling of the ship
or by the transverse impact of seas against the topsides. Trans-
verse bulkheads resist racking if the bulkhead spacing is close
enough to prevent deflection of the shell or deck plating in
its own plane. Racking introduces primarily compressive and
shearing forces in the plane of bulkhead plating.
With the usual spacing of transverse bulkheads the ef-
fectiveness of side frames in resisting racking is negligible.
However, when bulkheads are widely spaced or where the
deck width is small in way of very large hatch openings,
side frames, in association with their top and bottom brack-
ets, contribute significant resistance to racking. Racking in
car-carriers is discussed in Chapters 17 and 34.
Racking stresses due to rolling reach a maximum in a
beam sea each time the vessel completes an oscillation in
one direction and is about to return.
1
3
3
1
b t
i
i
i
n
·

1 3
3
0
/ t ds
s

The angle between a deck beam and side frame tends to
open on one side and to close on the other side at the top
and reverses its action at the bottom. The effect of the con-
centration of stiff and soft sections results in a distortion pat-
tern in the ship deck that is shown in Figure 18.31. The term
snaking is sometimes used in referring to this behavior and
relates to both twisting and racking.
18.4.3.6 Effective breadth and shear lag
An important effect of the edge shear loading of a plate
member is a resulting nonlinear variation of the longitudi-
nal stress distribution (Figure 18.32). In the real plate the
longitudinal stress decreases with increasing distance from
the shear-loaded edge, and this is called shear lag. This is
in contrast to the uniform stress distribution predicted in
the beam flanges by the elementary beam equation 29. In
many practical cases, the difference from the value pre-
dicted in equation 29 will be small. But in certain combi-
nations of loading and structural geometry, the effect referred
to by the term shear lag must be taken into consideration
if an accurate estimate of the maximum stress in the mem-
ber is to be made. This may be conveniently done by defin-
ing an effective breadth of the flange member.
The ratio, b
e
/b, of the effective breadth, b
e
, to the real
breadth, b, is useful to the designer in determining the lon-
gitudinal stress along the shear-loaded edge. It is a function
18-28 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.31 Snaking Behavior of a Container Vessel (2).
Figure 18.32 Shear Lag Effect in a Deck (2)
MASTER SET
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of the external loading applied and the boundary conditions
along the plate edges, but not its thickness. Figure 18.33
gives the effective breadth ratio at mid-length for column
loading and harmonic-shaped beam loading, together with
a common approximation for both cases:
[40]
The results are presented in a series of design charts,
which are especially simple to use, and may be found in
Schade (26).
A real situation in which such an alternating load dis-
tribution may be encountered is a bulk carrier loaded with
a dense ore cargo in alternate holds, the remainder being
empty.
An example of the computation of the effective breadth
of bottom and deck plating for such a vessel is given in
Chapter VI of Taggart (1), using Figure 18.33.
It is important to distinguish the effective breadth (equa-
tion 40) and the effective width (equations 54 and 55) pre-
sented later in Subsection 18.6.3.2 for plate and stiffened
plate-buckling analysis.
18.4.3.7 Longitudinal deflection
The longitudinal bending deflection of the ship girder is ob-
tainable from the appropriate curvature equations (equa-
tions 27 and 28) by integrating twice. A semi-empirical
approximation for bending deflection amidships is:
b
b
k L
b
e
·
6
w = k ( M L
2
/EI ) [41]
where the dimensionless coefficient k may be taken, for first
approximation, as 0.09 (2).
Actual deflection in service is affected also by thermal
influences, rigidity of structural components, and work-
manship; furthermore, deflection due to shear is additive to
the bending deflection, though its amount is usually rela-
tively small.
The same influences, which gradually increase nominal
design stress levels, also increase flexibility. Additionally,
draft limitations and stability requirements may force the
L/D ratio up, as ships get larger. In general, therefore, mod-
ern design requires that more attention be focused on flex-
ibility than formerly.
No specific limits on hull girder deflections are given in
the classification rules. The required minimum scantlings
however, as well as general design practices, are based on
a limitation of the L/D ratio range.
18.4.3.8 Load diffusion into structure
The description of the computation of vertical shear and
bending moment by integration of the longitudinal load dis-
tribution implies that the external vertical load is resisted
directly by the vertical shear carrying members of the hull
girder such as the side shell or longitudinal bulkheads. In a
longitudinally framed ship, such as a tanker, the bottom
pressures are transferred principally to the widely spaced
transverse web frames or the transverse bulkheads where
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-29
Figure 18.33 Effective Breath Ratios at Midlength (1)
MASTER SET
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they are transferred to the longitudinal bulkheads or side
shell, again as localized shear forces. Thus, in reality, the
loading q(x), applied to the side shell or the longitudinal
bulkhead will consist of a distributed part due to the direct
transfer of load into the member from the bottom or deck
structure, plus a concentrated part at each bulkhead or web
frame. This leads to a discontinuity in the shear curve at the
bulkheads and webs.
18.4.3.9 Hull/superstructure interaction
The terms superstructure and deckhouse refer to a structure
usually of shorter length than the entire ship and erected
above the strength deck of the ship. If its sides are coplanar
with the ship’s sides it is referred to as a superstructure. If
its width is less than that of the ship, it is called a deckhouse.
The prediction of the structural behavior of a super-
structure constructed above the strength deck of the hull
has facets involving both the general bending response and
important localized effects. Two opposing schools of thought
exist concerning the philosophy of design of such erections.
One attempts to make the superstructure effective in con-
tributing to the overall bending strength of the hull, the other
purposely isolates the superstructure from the hull so that
it carries only localized loads and does not experience
stresses and deflections associated with bending of the main
hull. This may be accomplished in long superstructures
(>0.5L
pp
) by cutting the deckhouse into short segments by
means of expansion joints. Aluminum deckhouse con-
struction is another alternative when the different material
properties provide the required relief.
As the ship hull experiences a bending deflection in re-
sponse to the wave bending moment, the superstructure is
forced to bend also. However, the curvature of the super-
structure may not necessarily be equal to that of the hull but
depends upon the length of superstructure in relation to the
hull and the nature of the connection between the two, es-
pecially upon the vertical stiffness or foundation modulus
of the deck upon which the superstructure is constructed.
The behavior of the superstructure is similar to that of a
beam on an elastic foundation loaded by a system of nor-
mal forces and shear forces at the bond to the hull.
The stress distributions at the midlength of the super-
structure and the differential deflection between deckhouse
and hull for three different degrees of superstructure effec-
tiveness are shown on Figure 18.34.
The areas and inertias can be computed to account for
shear lag in decks and bottoms. If the erection material dif-
fers from that of the hull (aluminum on steel, for example)
the geometric erection area A
f
and inertia I
f
must be reduced
according to the ratio of the respective material moduli; that
is, by multiplying by E (aluminum)/E (steel) (approximately
one-third). Further details on the design considerations for
deckhouses and superstructures may be found in Evans (27)
and Taggart (1).
In addition to the overall bending, local stress concentra-
tions may be expected at the ends of the house, since here the
structure is transformed abruptly from that of a beam consist-
ing of the main hull alone to that of hull plus superstructure.
Recent works achieved in Norwegian University of Sci-
ence & Technology have shown that the vertical stress dis-
tribution in the side shell is not linear when there are large
openings in the side shell as it is currently the case for upper
decks of passenger vessels. Approximated stress distribu-
tions are presented at Figure 18.35. The reduced slope, θ,
for the upper deck has been found equal to 0.50 for a cata-
maran passenger vessel (28).
18.4.4 Secondary Response
In the case of secondary structural response, the principal
objective is to determine the distribution of both in-plane
18-30 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.34 Three Interaction Levels between Superstructure and Hull (1)
Figure 18.35 Vertical Stress Distribution in Passenger Vessels having Large
Openings above the Passenger Deck

Neutral axis
Passenger deck
x
z
( )z
I
M
z · ) ( σ

) ( . ) ( z z
r
σ θ σ ·

MASTER SET
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and normal loading, deflection and stress over the length
and width dimensions of a stiffened panel. Remember that
the primary response involves the determination of only the
in-plane load, deflection, and stress as they vary over the
length of the ship. The secondary response, therefore, is
seen to be a two-dimensional problem while the primary
response is essentially one-dimensional in character.
18.4.4.1 Stiffened panels
A stiffened panel of structure, as used in the present con-
text, usually consists of a flat plate surface with its attached
stiffeners, transverse frames and/or girders (Figure 18.36).
When the plating is absent the module is a grid or grillage
of beam members only, rather than a stiffened panel.
In principle, the solution for the deflection and stress in
the stiffened panel may be thought of as a solution for the
response of a system of orthogonal intersecting beams.
A second type of interaction arises from the two-di-
mensional stress pattern in the plate, which may be thought
of as forming a part of the flanges of the stiffeners. The plate
contribution to the beam bending stiffness arises from the
direct longitudinal stress in the plate adjacent to the stiff-
ener, modified by the transverse stress effects, and also from
the shear stress in the plane of the plate. The maximum sec-
ondary stress may be found in the plate itself, but more fre-
quently it is found in the free flanges of the stiffeners, since
these flanges are at a greater distance than the plate mem-
ber from the neutral axis of the combined plate-stiffener.
At least four different procedures have been employed for
obtaining the structural behavior of stiffened plate panels
under normal loading, each embodying certain simplifying
assumptions: 1) orthotropic plate theory, 2) beam-on-elastic-
foundation theory, 3) grillage theory (intersecting beams), and
4) the finite element method (FEM).
Orthotropic plate theory refers to the theory of bending
of plates having different flexural rigidities in the two or-
thogonal directions. In applying this theory to panels hav-
ing discrete stiffeners, the structure is idealized by assuming
that the structural properties of the stiffeners may be ap-
proximated by their average values, which are assumed to
be distributed uniformly over the width or length of the
plate. The deflections and stresses in the resulting contin-
uum are then obtained from a solution of the orthotropic
plate deflection differential equation:
[42]
where:
a
1
, a
2
, a
3
= express the average flexural rigidity of the or-
thotropic plate in the two directions
w(x,y) = is the deflection of the plate in the normal di-
rection
p(x,y) = is the distributed normal pressure load per unit
area
Note that the behavior of the isotropic plate, that is, one
having uniform flexural properties in all directions, is a spe-
cial case of the orthotropic plate problem. The orthotropic
plate method is best suited to a panel in which the stiffen-
ers are uniform in size and spacing and closely spaced. It
has been said that the application of this theory to cross-
stiffened panels must be restricted to stiffened panels with
more than three stiffeners in each direction.
An advanced orthotropic procedure has been imple-
mented by Rigo (29,30) into a computer-based scheme for
the optimum structural design of the midship section. It is
based on the differential equations of stiffened cylindrical
shells (linear theory). Stiffened plates and cylindrical shells
can both be considered, as plates are particular cases of the
cylindrical shells having a very large radius. A system of
three differential equations, similar to equation 42, is es-
tablished (8th order coupled differential equations). Fourier
series expansions are used to model the loads. Assuming
that the displacements (u,v,w) can also be expanded in sin
and cosine, an analytical solution of u, v, and w(x,y) can be
obtained for each stiffened panel.
This procedure can be applied globally to all the stiff-
ened panels that compose a parallel section of a ship, typ-
ically a cargo hold.
This approach has three main advantages. First the plate
bending behavior (w) and the inplane membrane behavior
(u and v) are analyzed simultaneously. Then, in addition to
a
w
x
a
w
x y
a
w
y
p
1
4
4
2
4
2 2
3
4
4


+

∂ ∂
+


· (x,y)
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-31
Figure 18.36 A Stiffened Panel with Uniformly Distributed Longitudinals, 4
Webframes, and 3 Girders.
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the flexural rigidity (bending), the inplane axial, torsional,
transverse shear and inplane shear rigidities of the stiffen-
ers in the both directions can also be considered. Finally,
the approach is suited for stiffeners uniform in size and
spacing, and closely spaced but also for individual mem-
bers, randomly distributed such as deck and bottom gird-
ers. These members considered through Heaviside functions
that allow replacing each individual member by a set of 3
forces and 2 bending moment load lines. Figure 18.36 shows
a typical stiffened panel that can be considered. It includes
uniformly distributed longitudinals and web frames, and
three prompt elements (girders).
The beam on elastic foundation solution is suitable for a
panel in which the stiffeners are uniform and closely spaced
in one direction and sparser in the other one. Each of these
members is treated individually as a beam on an elastic foun-
dation, for which the differential equation of deflection is,
[43]
where:
w = is the deflection
I = is sectional moment of inertia of the longitudinal
stiffener, including adjacent plating
k = is average spring constant per unit length of the
transverse stiffeners
q(x) = is load per unit length on the longitudinal member
The grillage approach models the cross-stiffened panel
as a system of discrete intersecting beams (in plane frame),
each beam being composed of stiffener and associated ef-
fective plating. The torsional rigidity of the stiffened panel
and the Poisson ratio effect are neglected. The validity of
modeling the stiffened panel by an intersecting beam (or gril-
lage) may be critical when the flexural rigidities of stiffen-
ers are small compared to the plate stiffness. It is known
that the grillage approach may be suitable when the ratio
of the stiffener flexural rigidity to the plate bending rigid-
ity (EI/bD with I the moment of inertia of stiffener and D
the plate bending rigidity) is greater than 60 (31) otherwise
if the bending rigidity of stiffener is smaller, an Orthotropic
Plate Theory has to be selected.
The FEMapproach is discussed in detail in section 18.7.2.
18.4.5 Tertiary Response
18.4.5.1 Unstiffened plate
Tertiary response refers to the bending stresses and deflec-
tions in the individual panels of plating that are bounded by
the stiffeners of a secondary panel. In most cases the load
that induces this response is a fluid pressure from either the
EI
w
x
k w q


+ ·
4
4
(x)
water outside the ship or liquid or dry bulk cargo within.
Such a loading is normal to and distributed over the surface
of the panel. In many cases, the proportions, orientation, and
location of the panel are such that the pressure may be as-
sumed constant over its area.
As previously noted, the deflection response of an
isotropic plate panel is obtained as the solution of a special
case of the earlier orthotropic plate equation (equation 42),
and is given by:
[44]
where:
D = plate flexural rigidity
= Et
3
/ 12(1 – ν)
t = the uniform plate thickness
p(x,y) = distributed unit pressure load
Appropriate boundary conditions are to be selected to
represent the degree of fixity of the edges of the panel.
Stresses and deflections are obtained by solving this equa-
tion for rectangular plates under a uniform pressure distri-
bution. Equation 44 is in fact a simplified case of the general
one (equation 42).
Information (including charts) on a plate subject to uni-
form load and concentrated load (patch load) is available
in Hughes (3).
18.4.5.2 Local deflections
Local deflections must be kept at reasonable levels in order
for the overall structure to have the proper strength and
rigidity. Towards this end, the classification society rules may
contain requirements to ensure that local deflections are not
excessive.
Special requirements also apply to stiffeners. Tripping
brackets are provided to support the flanges, and they should
be in line with or as near as practicable to the flanges of struts.
Special attention must be given to rigidity of members under
compressive loads to avoid buckling. This is done by pro-
viding a minimum moment of inertia at the stiffener and as-
sociated plating.
18.4.6 Transverse Strength
Transverse strength refers to the ability of the ship struc-
ture to resist those loads that tend to cause distortion of the
cross section. When it is distorted into a parallelogram shape
the effect is called racking. We recall that both the primary
bending and torsional strength analyses are based upon the
assumption of no distortion of the cross section. Thus, we
E t
3
12(1 ) − ν


+

∂ ∂
+


·
4
4
4
2 2
4
4
2
w
x
w
x y
w
y
p
D
(x,y)
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see that there is an inherent relationship between transverse
strength and both longitudinal and torsional strength. Cer-
tain structural members, including transverse bulkheads and
deep web frames, must be incorporated into the ship in order
to insure adequate transverse strength. These members pro-
vide support to and interact with longitudinal members by
transferring loads from one part of a structure to another.
For example, a portion of the bottom pressure loading on
the hull is transferred via the center girder and the longitu-
dinals to the transverse bulkheads at the ends of theses lon-
gitudinals. The bulkheads, in turn, transfer these loads as
vertical shears into the side shell. Thus some of the loads
acting on the transverse strength members are also the loads
of concern in longitudinal strength considerations.
The general subject of transverse strength includes ele-
ments taken from both the primary and secondary strength
categories. The loads that cause effects requiring transverse
strength analysis may be of several different types, de-
pending upon the type of ship, its structural arrangement,
mode of operation, and upon environmental effects.
Typical situations requiring attention to the transverse
strength are:
• ship out of water: on building ways or on construction
or repair dry dock,
• tankers having empty wing tanks and full centerline tanks
or vice versa,
• ore carriers having loaded centerline holds and large
empty wing tanks,
• all types of ships: torsional and racking effects caused
by asymmetric motions of roll, sway and yaw, and
• ships with structural features having particular sensitiv-
ity to transverse effects, as for instance, ships having
largely open interior structure (minimum transverse bulk-
heads) such as auto carriers, containers and RO-RO ships.
As previously noted, the transverse structural response
involves pronounced interaction between transverse and
longitudinal structural members. The principal loading con-
sists of the water pressure distribution around the ship, and
the weights and inertias of the structure and hold contents.
As a first approximation, the transverse response of such a
frame may be analyzed by a two-dimensional frame re-
sponse procedure that may or may not allow for support by
longitudinal structure. Such analysis can be easily performed
using 2D finite element analysis (FEA). Influence of lon-
gitudinal girders on the frame would be represented by elas-
tic attachments having finite spring constants (similar to
equation 43). Unfortunately, such a procedure is very sen-
sitive to the spring location and the boundary conditions.
For this reason, a three-dimensional analysis is usually per-
formed in order to obtain results that are useful for more
than comparative purposes. Ideally, the entire ship hull or
at least a limited hold-model should be modeled. See Sub-
section 18.7.2—Structural Finite Element Models (Figure
18.57).
18.4.7 Superposition of Stresses
In plating, each response induces longitudinal stresses, trans-
verse stresses and shear stresses. These stresses can be cal-
culated individually for each response. This is the traditional
way followed by the classification societies. With direct
analysis such as finite element analysis (Subsection 18.7.2),
it is not always possible to separate the different responses.
If calculated individually, all the longitudinal stresses
have to be added. Similar cumulative procedure must be
achieved for the transverse stresses and the shear stresses.
At the end they are combined through a criteria, which is
usually for ship structure, the von-Mises criteria (equation
45).
The standard procedure used by classification societies
considers that longitudinal stresses induced by primary re-
sponse of the hull girder, can be assessed separately from
the other stresses. Classification rules impose through al-
lowable stress and minimal section modulus, a maximum
longitudinal stress induced by the hull girder bending mo-
ment.
On the other hand, they recommend to combined stresses
from secondary response and tertiary response, in plating
and in members. These are combined through the von Mises
criteria and compared to the classification requirements.
Such an uncoupled procedure is convenient to use but
does not reflect reality. Direct analysis does not follow this
approach. All the stresses, from the primary, secondary and
tertiary responses are combined for yielding assessment.
For buckling assessment, the tertiary response is discarded,
as it does not induce in-plane stresses. Nevertheless the lat-
eral load can be considered in the buckling formulation
(Subsection 18.6.3). Tertiary stresses should be added for
fatigue analysis.
Since all the methods of calculation of primary, sec-
ondary, and tertiary stress presuppose linear elastic behav-
ior of the structural material, the stress intensities computed
for the same member may be superimposed in order to ob-
tain a maximum value for the combined stress. In performing
and interpreting such a linear superposition, several con-
siderations affecting the accuracy and significance of the re-
sulting stress values must be borne in mind.
First, the loads and theoretical procedures used in com-
puting the stress components may not be of the same ac-
curacy or reliability. The primary loading, for example, may
be obtained using a theory that involves certain simplifica-
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-33
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tions in the hydrodynamics of ship and wave motion, and
the primary bending stress may be computed by simple
beam theory, which gives a reasonably good estimate of the
mean stress in deck or bottom but neglects certain localized
effects such as shear lag or stress concentrations.
Second, the three stress components may not necessar-
ily occur at the same instant in time as the ship moves
through waves. The maximum bending moment amidships,
which results in the maximum primary stress, does not nec-
essarily occur in phase with the maximum local pressure
on a midship panel of bottom structure (secondary stress)
or panel of plating (tertiary stress).
Third, the maximum values of primary, secondary, and
tertiary stress are not necessarily in the same direction or
even in the same part of the structure. In order to visualize
this, consider a panel of bottom structure with longitudinal
framing. The forward and after boundaries of the panel will
be at transverse bulkheads. The primary stress (σ
1
) will act
in the longitudinal direction, as given by equation 29. It will
be nearly equal in the plating and the stiffeners, and will be
approximately constant over the length of a midship panel.
There will be a small transverse component in the plating,
due to the Poison coefficient, and a shear stress given by
equation 35. The secondary stress will probably be greater
in the free flanges of the stiffeners than in the plating, since
the combined neutral axis of the stiffener/plate combina-
tion is usually near the plate-stiffener joint. Secondary
stresses, which vary over the length of the panel, are usu-
ally subdivided into two parts in the case of single hull struc-
ture. The first part (σ
2
) is associated with bending of a panel
of structure bounded by transverse bulkheads and either the
side shell or the longitudinal bulkheads. The principal stiff-
eners, in this case, are the center and any side longitudinal
girders, and the transverse web frames. The second part,

2
*
), is the stress resulting from the bending of the smaller
panel of plating plus longitudinal stiffeners that is bounded
by the deep web frames. The first of these components (σ
2
),
as a result of the proportions of the panels of structure, is
usually larger in the transverse than in the longitudinal di-
rection. The second (σ
2
*
) is predominantly longitudinal.
The maximum tertiary stress (σ
3
) happens, of course, in the
plate where biaxial stresses occur. In the case of longitudi-
nal stiffeners, the maximum panel tertiary stress will act in
the transverse direction (normal to the framing system) at
the mid-length of a long side.
In certain cases, there will be an appreciable shear stress
component present in the plate, and the proper interpreta-
tion and assessment of the stress level will require the res-
olution of the stress pattern into principal stress components.
From all these considerations, it is evident that, in many
cases, the point in the structure having the highest stress level
will not always be immediately obvious, but must be found
by considering the combined stress effects at a number of
different locations and times.
The nominal stresses produced from the analysis will be
a combination of the stress components shown in Figures
18.21 and 18.37.
18.4.7.1 von Mises equivalent stress
The yield strength of the material, σ
yield
, is defined as the
measured stress at which appreciable nonlinear behavior
accompanied by permanent plastic deformation of the ma-
terial occurs. The ultimate strength is the highest level of
stress achieved before the test specimen fractures. For most
shipbuilding steels, the yield and tensile strengths in ten-
sion and compression are assumed equal.
The stress criterion that must be used is one in which it
is possible to compare the actual multi-axial stress with the
material strength expressed in terms of a single value for
the yield or ultimate stress.
For this purpose, there are several theories of material
failure in use. The one usually considered the most suitable
for ductile materials such as ship steel is referred to as the
von Mises Theory:
[45]
Consider a plane stress field in which the component
stresses are σ
x
, σ
y
and τ. The distortion energy states that
σ σ σ σ σ τ
e x y x y
· + − +
( )
2 2 2
1
2
3
18-34 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.37 Definition of Stress Components (4)
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failure through yielding will occur if the equivalent von
Mises stress, σ
e
, given by equation 45 exceeds the equiva-
lent stress, σ
ο
, corresponding to yielding of the material test
specimen. The material yield strength may also be expressed
through an equivalent stress at failure: σ
0
= σ
yield
(= σ
y
).
18.4.7.2 Permissible stresses (Yielding)
In actual service, a ship may be subjected to bending in the
inclined position and to other forces, such as those, which
induce torsion or side bending in the hull girder, not to men-
tion the dynamic effects resulting from the motions of the
ship itself. Heretofore it has been difficult to arrive at the
minimum scantlings for a large ship’s hull by first princi-
ples alone, since the forces that the structure might be re-
quired to withstand in service conditions are uncertain.
Accordingly, it must be assumed that the allowable stress
includes an adequate factor of safety, or margin, for these
uncertain loading factors.
In practice, the margin against yield failure of the struc-
ture is obtained by a comparison of the structure’s von Mises
equivalent stress, σ
e
, against the permissible stress (or al-
lowable stress), σ
0
, giving the result:
σ
e
≤ σ
0
= s
1
× σ
y
[46]
where:
s
1
= partial safety factor defined by classification societies,
which depends on the loading conditions and method
of analysis. For 20 years North Atlantic conditions
(seagoing condition), the s
1
factor is usually taken be-
tween 0.85 and 0.95
σ
y
= minimum yield point of the considered steel (mild
steel, high tensile steel, etc.)
For special ship types, different permissible stresses may
be specified for different parts of the hull structure. For ex-
ample, for LNG carriers, there are special strain require-
ments in way of the bonds for the containment system, which
in turn can be expressed as equivalent stress requirements.
For local areas subjected to many cycles of load rever-
sal, fatigue life must be calculated and a reduced permissi-
ble stress may be imposed to prevent fatigue failure (see
Subsection 18.6.6).
18.5 LIMIT STATES AND FAILURE MODES
Avoidance of structural failure is the goal of all structural
designers, and to achieve this goal it is necessary for the de-
signer to be aware of the potential limit states, failure modes
and methods of predicting their occurrence. This section
presents the basic types of failure modes and associated limit
states. A more elaborate description of the failure modes and
methods to assess the structural capabilities in relation to
these failure modes is available in Subsection 18.6.1.
Classically, the different limit states were divided in 2
major categories: the service limit state and the ultimate
limit state. Today, from the viewpoint of structural design,
it seems more relevant to use for the steel structures four
types of limit states, namely:
1. service or serviceability limit state,
2. ultimate limit state,
3. fatigue limit state, and
4. accidental limit state.
This classification has recently been adopted by ISO.
A service limit state corresponds to the situation where
the structure can no longer provide the service for which it
was conceived, for example: excessive deck deflection, elas-
tic buckling in a plate, and local cracking due to fatigue.
Typically they relate to aesthetic, functional or maintenance
problem, but do not lead to collapse.
An ultimate limit state corresponds to collapse/failure,
including collision and grounding. A classic example of ul-
timate limit state is the ultimate hull bending moment (Fig-
ure 18.46). The ultimate limit state is symbolized by the
higher point (C) of the moment-curvature curve (M-Φ).
Fatigue can be either considered as a third limit state or,
classically, considered as a service limit state. Even if it is
also a matter of discussion, yielding should be considered
as a service limit state. First yield is sometimes used to as-
sess the ultimate state, for instance for the ultimate hull
bending moment, but basically, collapse occurs later. Most
of the time, vibration relates to service limit states.
In practice, it is important to differentiate service, ulti-
mate, fatigue and accidental limit states because the partial
safety factors associated with these limit states are gener-
ally different.
18.5.1 Basic Types of Failure Modes
Ship structural failure may occur as a result of a variety of
causes, and the degree or severity of the failure may vary
from a minor esthetic degradation to catastrophic failure re-
sulting in loss of the ship. Three major failure modes are
defined:
1. tensile or compressive yield of the material (plasticity),
2. compressive instability (buckling), and
3. fracture that includes ductile tensile rupture, low-cycle
fatigue and brittle fracture.
Yield occurs when the stress in a structural member ex-
ceeds a level that results in a permanent plastic deforma-
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tion of the material of which the member is constructed. This
stress level is termed the material yield stress. At a some-
what higher stress, termed the ultimate stress, fracture of
the material occurs. While many structural design criteria
are based upon the prevention of any yield whatsoever, it
should be observed that localized yield in some portions of
a structure is acceptable. Yield must be considered as a serv-
iceability limit state.
Instability and buckling failure of a structural member
loaded in compression may occur at a stress level that is sub-
stantially lower than the material yield stress. The load at
which instability or buckling occurs is a function of mem-
ber geometry and material elasticity modulus, that is, slen-
derness, rather than material strength. The most common
example of an instability failure is the buckling of a simple
column under a compressive load that equals or exceeds
the Euler Critical Load. A plate in compression also will
have a critical buckling load whose value depends on the
plate thickness, lateral dimensions, edge support conditions
and material elasticity modulus. In contrast to the column,
however, exceeding this load by a small margin will not
necessarily result in complete collapse of the plate but only
in an elastic deflection of the central portion of the plate away
from its initial plane. After removal of the load, the plate
may return to its original un-deformed configuration (for
elastic buckling). The ultimate load that may be carried by
a buckled plate is determined by the onset of yielding at some
point in the plate material or in the stiffeners, in the case of
a stiffened panel. Once begun, yield may propagate rapidly
throughout the entire plate or stiffened panel with further
increase in load.
Fatigue failure occurs as a result of a cumulative effect
in a structural member that is exposed to a stress pattern al-
ternating from tension to compression through many cy-
cles. Conceptually, each cycle of stress causes some small
but irreversible damage within the material and, after the
accumulation of enough such damage, the ability of the
member to withstand loading is reduced below the level of
the applied load. Two categories of fatigue damage are gen-
erally recognized and they are termed high-cycle and low-
cycle fatigue. In high-cycle fatigue, failure is initiated in
the form of small cracks, which grow slowly and which
may often be detected and repaired before the structure is
endangered. High-cycle fatigue involves several millions
of cycles of relatively low stress (less than yield) and is typ-
ically encountered in machine parts rotating at high speed
or in structural components exposed to severe and prolonged
vibration. Low-cycle fatigue involves higher stress levels,
up to and beyond yield, which may result in cracks being
initiated after several thousand cycles.
The loading environment that is typical of ships and
ocean structures is of such a nature that the cyclical stresses
may be of a relatively low level during the greater part of
the time, with occasional periods of very high stress levels
caused by storms. Exposure to such load conditions may
result in the occurrence of low-cycle fatigue cracks after an
interval of a few years. These cracks may grow to serious
size if they are not detected and repaired.
Concerning brittle fracture, small cracks suddenly begin
to grow and travel almost explosively through a major por-
tion of the structure. The term brittle fracture refers to the
fact that below a certain temperature, the ultimate tensile
strength of steel diminishes sharply (lower impact energy).
The originating crack is usually found to have started as a
result of poor design or manufacturing practice. Fatigue
(Subsection 18.6.6) is often found to play an important role
in the initiation and early growth of such originating cracks.
The prevention of brittle fracture is largely a matter of ma-
terial selection and proper attention to the design of struc-
tural details in order to avoid stress concentrations. The
control of brittle fracture involves a combination of design
and inspection standards aimed toward the prevention of
stress concentrations, and the selection of steels having a
high degree of notch toughness, especially at low tempera-
tures. Quality control during construction and in-service in-
spection form key elements in a program of fracture control.
In addition to these three failure modes, additional modes
are:
• collision and grounding, and
• vibration and noise.
Collision and Grounding is discussed in Subsection
18.6.7 and Vibration in Subsection 18.6.8. Vibration as well
as noise is not a failure mode, while it could fall into the
serviceability limit state.
18.6 ASSESSMENT OF THE STRUCTURAL
CAPACITY
18.6.1 Failure Modes Classification
The types of failure that may occur in ship structures are
generally those that are characteristic of structures made up
of stiffened panels assembled through welding. Figure 18.38
presents the different structure levels: the global structure,
usually a cargo hold (Level 1), the orthotropic stiffened
panel or grillage (Level 2) and the interframe longitudi-
nally stiffened panel (Level 3) or its simplified modeling:
the beam-column (Level 3b). Level 4 (Figure 18.44a) is the
unstiffened plate between two longitudinals and two trans-
verse frames (also called bare plate).
The word grillage should be reserve to a structure com-
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posed of a grid of beams (without attached plating). When
the grid is fixed on a plate, orthotropic stiffened panel seems
to the authors more adequate to define a panel that is or-
thogonally stiffened, and having thus orthotropic properties.
The relations between the different failure modes and
structure levels can be summarized as follows:
• Level 1: Ultimate bending moment, M
u
, of the global
structure (Figure 18.46).
• Level 2: Ultimate strength of compressed orthotropic
stiffened panels (σ
u
),
σ
u
= min [σ
u
(mode i)], i = I to VI,
the 6 considered failure modes.
• Level 3:
Mode I: Overall buckling collapse (Figure 18.44d),
Mode II: Plate/Stiffener Yielding
Mode III: P
ult
of interframe panels with a plate-stif
ener combination (Figure 18.44b) using a beam-col-
umn model (Level 3b) or an orthotropic model (Level
3), considering:
— plate induced failure (buckling)
— stiffener induced failure (buckling or yielding)
Mode IV and V: Instability of stiffeners (local buck-
ling, tripping—Figure 18.44c)
Mode VI: Gross Yielding
• Level 4: Buckling collapse of unstiffened plate (bare
plate, Figure 18.44a).
To avoid collapse related to the Mode I, a minimal rigid-
ity is generally imposed for the transverse frames so that an
interframe panel collapse (Mode III) always occurs prior to
overall buckling (Mode I). It is a simple and easy constraint
to implement, thus avoiding any complex calculation of
overall buckling (mode I).
Note that the failure Mode III is influenced by the buck-
ling of the bare plate (elementary unstiffened plate). Elas-
tic buckling of theses unstiffened plates is usually not
considered as an ultimate limit state (failure mode), but
rather as a service limit state. Nevertheless, plate buckling
(Level 4) may significantly affect the ultimate strength of
the stiffened panel (Level 3).
Sources of the failures associated with the serviceabil-
ity or ultimate limit states can be classified as follows:
18.6.1.1 Stiffened panel failure modes
Service limit state
• Upper and lower bounds (X
min
≤X≤X
max
): plate thick-
ness, dimensions of longitudinals and transverse stiff-
eners (web, flange and spacing).
• Maximum allowable stresses against first yield (Sub-
section 18.4.7)
• Panel and plate deflections (Subsections 18.4.4.1 and
18.4.5.2), and deflection of support members.
• Elastic buckling of unstiffened plates between two lon-
gitudinals and two transverse stiffeners, frames or bulk-
heads (Subsection 18.6.3),
• Local elastic buckling of longitudinal stiffeners (web
and flange). Often the stiffener web/flange buckling does
not induce immediate collapse of the stiffened panel as
tripping does. It could therefore be considered as a serv-
iceability ultimate limit state. However, this failure mode
could also be classified into the ultimate limit state since
the plating may sometimes remain without stiffening
once the stiffener web buckles.
• Vibration (Sub-ection 18.6.8)
• Fatigue (Sub-ection 18.6.6)
Ultimate limit state (Subsection 18.6.4).
• Overall collapse of orthotropic panels (entire stiffened
plate structure),
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-37
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• Collapse of interframe longitudinally stiffened panel,
including torsional-flexural (lateral-torsional) buckling
of stiffeners (also called tripping).
18.6.1.2 Frame failure modes
Service limit state (Subsection 18.4.6).
• Upper and lower bounds (X
min
≤ X ≤ X
max
),
• Minimal rigidity to guarantee rigid supports to the in-
terframe panels (between two transverse frames).
• Allowable stresses under the resultant forces (bending,
shear, torsion)
— Elastic analysis,
— Elasto-plastic analysis.
• Fatigue (Subsection 18.6.6)
Ultimate limit state
• Frame bucklings: These failures modes are considered
as ultimate limit states rather than a service limit state.
If one of them appears, the assumption of rigid supports
is no longer valid and the entire stiffened panel can reach
the ultimate limit state.
— Buckling of the compressed members,
— Local buckling (web, flange).
18.6.1.3 Hull Girder Collapse modes
Service limit state
• Allowable stresses and first yield (Subsection 18.4.3.1),
• Deflection of the global structure and relative deflec-
tions of components and panels (Subsection 18.4.3.7).
Ultimate limit state
• Global ultimate strength (of the hull girder/box girder).
This can be done by considering an entire cargo hold or
only the part between two transverse web frames (Sub-
section 18.6.5). Collapse of frames is assumed to only
appear after the collapse of panels located between these
frames. This means that it is sufficient to verify the box
girder ultimate strength between two frames to be pro-
tected against a more general collapse including, for in-
stance, one or more frame spans. This approach can be
un-conservative if the frames are not stiff enough.
• Collision and grounding (Subsection 18.6.7), which is
in fact an accidental limit state.
A relevant comparative list of the limit states was de-
fined by the Ship Structure Committee Report No 375 (32).
18.6.2 Yielding
As explained in Subsection 18.5.1 yield occurs when the
stress in a structural component exceeds the yield stress.
It is necessary to distinguish between first yield state and
fully plastic state. In bending, first yield corresponds to the
situation when stress in the extreme fiber reaches the yield
stress. If the bending moment continues to increase the yield
area is growing. The final stage corresponds to the Plastic
Moment (M
p
), where, both the compression and tensile sides
are fully yielded (as shown on Figure 18.47).
Yield can be assessed using basic bending theory, equa-
tion 29, up to complex 3D nonlinear FE analysis. Design
criteria related to first yield is the von Mises equivalent
stress (equation 45).
Yielding is discussed in detail in Section 18.4.
18.6.3 Buckling and Ultimate Strength of Plates
A ship stiffened plate structure can become unstable if ei-
ther buckling or collapse occurs and may thus fail to per-
form its function. Hence plate design needs to be such that
instability under the normal operation is prevented (Figure
18.44a). The phenomenon of buckling is normally divided
into three categories, namely elastic buckling, elastic-plas-
tic buckling and plastic buckling, the last two being called
inelastic buckling. Unlike columns, thin plating buckled in
the elastic regime may still be stable since it can normally
sustain further loading until the ultimate strength is reached,
even if the in-plane stiffness significantly decreases after the
inception of buckling. In this regard, the elastic buckling of
plating between stiffeners may be allowed in the design,
sometimes intentionally in order to save weight. Since sig-
nificant residual strength of the plating is not expected after
buckling occurs in the inelastic regime, however, inelastic
buckling is normally considered to be the ultimate strength
of the plate.
The buckling and ultimate strength of the structure de-
pends on a variety of influential factors, namely geomet-
ric/material properties, loading characteristics, fabrication
related imperfections, boundary conditions and local dam-
age related to corrosion, fatigue cracking and denting.
18.6.3.1 Direct Analysis
In estimating the load-carrying capacity of plating between
stiffeners, it is usually assumed that the stiffeners are sta-
ble and fail only after the plating. This means that the stiff-
eners should be designed with proper proportions that help
attain such behavior. Thus, webs, faceplates and flanges of
the stiffeners or support members have to be proportioned
so that local instability is prevented prior to the failure of
plating.
18-38 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
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Four load components, namely longitudinal compres-
sion/tension, transverse compression/tension, edge shear and
lateral pressure loads, are typically considered to act on ship
plating between stiffeners, as shown in Figure 18.39, while
the in-plane bending effects on plate buckling are also some-
times accounted for. In actual ship structures, lateral pres-
sure loading arises from water pressure and cargo weight.
The still water magnitude of water pressure depends on the
vessel draft, and the still water value of cargo pressure is de-
termined by the amount and density of cargo loaded.
These still water pressure values may be augmented by
wave action and vessel motion. Typically the larger in-plane
loads are caused by longitudinal hull girder bending, both
in still water and in waves at sea, which is the source of the
primary stress as previously noted in Subsection 18.4.3.
The elastic plate buckling strength components under
single types of loads, that is, σ
xE
for σ
xav
, σ
yE
for σ
yav
and
τ
E
for τ
av
, can be calculated by taking into account the re-
lated effects arising from in-plane bending, lateral pressure,
cut-outs, edge conditions and welding induced residual
stresses.
The critical (elastic-plastic) buckling strength compo-
nents under single types of loads, that is, σ
xB
for σ
xav
, σ
yB
for σ
yav
and τ
B
for τ
av
, are typically calculated by plasticity
correction of the corresponding elastic buckling strength
using the Johnson-Ostenfeld formula, namely:
[47]
where:
σ
E
= elastic plate buckling strength
σ
σ σ σ
σ
σ
σ
σ σ
B
E E F
F
F
E
E F
for
for
·


|
.

`
,

>
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
0 5
1
4
0 5
.
.
σ
B
= critical buckling strength (that is, τ
B
for
shear stress)
σ
F
= σ
Y
for normal stress
= σ
Y

4
3 for shear stress
σ
Y
= material yield stress
In ship rules and books, equation 47 may appear with
somewhat different constants depending on the structural
proportional limit assumed. The above form assumes a struc-
tural proportional limit of a half the applicable yield value.
For axial tensile loading, the critical strength may be
considered to equal the material yield stress (σ
Y
).
Under single types of loads, the critical plate buckling
strength must be greater than the corresponding applied
stress component with the relevant margin of safety. For
combined biaxial compression/tension and edge shear, the
following type of critical buckling strength interaction cri-
terion would need to be satisfied, for example:
[48]
where:
η
B
= usage factor for buckling strength, which is typically
the inverse of the conventional partial safety factor.
η
B
= 1.0 is often taken for direct strength calculation, while
it is taken less than 1.0 for practical design in accor-
dance with classification society rules.
Compressive stress is taken as negative while tensile
stress is taken as positive and α = 0 if both σ
xav
and σ
yav
are
compressive, and α = 1 if either σ
xav
or σ
yav
or both are ten-
sile. The constant c is often taken as c = 2.
Figure 18.40 shows a typical example of the axial mem-
brane stress distribution inside a plate element under pre-
dominantly longitudinal compressive loading before and
after buckling occurs. It is noted that the membrane stress
distribution in the loading (x) direction can become non-
uniform as the plate element deforms. The membrane stress
distribution in the y direction may also become non-uni-
form with the unloaded plate edges remaining straight, while
no membrane stresses will develop in the y direction if the
unloaded plate edges are free to move in plane. As evident,
the maximum compressive membrane stresses are developed
around the plate edges that remain straight, while the min-
imum membrane stresses occur in the middle of the plate
element where a membrane tension field is formed by the
plate deflection since the plate edges remain straight.
With increase in the deflection of the plate keeping the
edges straight, the upper and/or lower fibers inside the mid-
dle of the plate element will initially yield by the action of
bending. However, as long as it is possible to redistribute
σ
σ
α
σ
σ
σ
σ
σ
σ
τ
τ
η
xav
xB
c
xav
xB
yav
yB
yav
yB
c
av
B
c
B
|
.

`
,
− +
|
.

`
,

+
|
.

`
,

Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-39
Figure 18.39 A Simply Supported Rectangular Plate Subject to Biaxial
Compression/tension, Edge Shear and Lateral Pressure Loads
MASTER SET
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the applied loads to the straight plate boundaries by the
membrane action, the plate element will not collapse. Col-
lapse will then occur when the most stressed boundary lo-
cations yield, since the plate element can not keep the
boundaries straight any further, resulting in a rapid increase
of lateral plate deflection (33). Because of the nature of ap-
plied axial compressive loading, the possible yield loca-
tions are longitudinal mid-edges for longitudinal uniaxial
compressive loads and transverse mid-edges for transverse
uniaxial compressive loads, as shown in Figure 18.41.
The occurrence of yielding can be assessed by using the
von Mises yield criterion (equation 45). The following con-
ditions for the most probable yield locations will then be
found.
(a) Yielding at longitudinal edges:
[49a]
(b) Yielding at transverse edges:
[49b]
The maximum and minimum membrane stresses of equa-
tions 49a and 49b can be expressed in terms of applied
stresses, lateral pressure loads and fabrication related ini-
tial imperfections, by solving the nonlinear governing dif-
ferential equations of plating, based on equilibrium and
compatibility equations. Note that equation 44 is the linear
differential equation.
On the other hand, the plate ultimate edge shear strength,
τ
u
, is often taken τ
u

B
(equation 47, with τ
B
instead of σ
B
).
Also, an empirical formula obtained by curve fitting based
on nonlinear finite element solutions may be utilized (33).
The effect of lateral pressure loads on the plate ultimate edge
shear strength may in some cases need to be accounted for.
σ σ σ σ σ
x min
x min y max y max
2 2 2
− + ·
Y
σ σ σ σ σ
x max x max y min
y min
2 2 2
− + ·
Y
18-40 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.40 Membrane Stress Distribution Inside the Plate Element under
Predomianntly Longitudinal Compressive Loads; (a) Before buckling, (b) After
buckling, unloaded edges move freely in plane, (c) After buckling, unloaded
edges kept straight
Figure 18.41 Possible Locations for the Initial Plastic Yield at the Plate Edges
(Expected yield locations, T: Tension, C: Compression); (a) Yield at longitudinal
mid-edges under longitudinal uniaxial compression, (b) Yield at transverse
mid-edges under transverse uniaxial compression)
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For combined biaxial compression/tension, edge shear
and lateral pressure loads, the last being usually regarded
as a given constant secondary load, the plate ultimate
strength interaction criterion may also be given by an ex-
pression similar to equation 48, but replacing the critical
buckling strength components by the corresponding ulti-
mate strength components, as follows:
[50]
where:
α and c = variables defined in equation 48
η
u
= usage factors for the ultimate limit state
σ
xu
and σ
yu
= solutions of equation 49a with regard to σ
xav
and equation 49b with regard to σ
yav
, respec-
tively
18.6.3.2 Simplified models
In the interest of simplicity, the elastic plate buckling strength
components under single types of loads may sometimes be
calculated by neglecting the effects of in-plane bending or
lateral pressure loads. Without considering the effect of lat-
eral pressure, the resulting elastic buckling strength predic-
tion would be pessimistic. While the plate edges are often
supposed to be simply supported, that is, without rotational
restraints along the plate/stiffener junctions, the real elastic
buckling strength with rotational restraints would of course
be increased by a certain percentages, particularly for heavy
stiffeners. This arises from the increased torsional restraint
provided at the plate edges in such cases.
The theoretical solution for critical buckling stress, σ
B
,
in the elastic range has been found for a number of cases
of interest. For rectangular plate subject to compressive in-
plane stress in one direction:
[51]
Here k
c
is a function of the plate aspect ratio, α = a/ b,
the boundary conditions on the plate edges and the type of
loading. If the load is applied uniformly to a pair of oppo-
site edges only, and if all four edges are simply supported,
then k
c
is given by:
[52]
where m is the number of half-waves of the deflected plate
in the longitudinal direction, which is taken as an integer
satisfying the condition For long plate in α · m(m + 1).
k
m
m
c
· +
|
.
`
, α
α
2
σ
π
ν
B c
k
E t
b
·

|
.
`
,
2
2
2
12 1 ( )
σ
σ
α
σ
σ
σ
σ
σ
σ
τ
τ
η
xav
xu
c
xav
xu
yav
yu
yav
yu
c
av
u
c
u
|
.

`
,
− +
|
.

`
,

+
|
.

`
,

compression (a > b), k
c
= 4
,
and for wide plate (a ≤ b) in
compression, kc = (1 + b
2
/ a
2
)
2
, for simply supported edges.
For shear force, the critical buckling shear stress, τ
B
, can
also be obtain by equation 51 and the buckling coefficient
for simply supported edges is:
kc = 5.34 + 4(b/a)
2
[53]
Figure 18.42 presents, k
c
, versus the aspect ratio, a/b, for
different configurations of rectangular plates in compression.
For the simplified prediction of the plate ultimate strength
under uniaxial compressive loads, one of the most common ap-
proaches is to assume that the plate will collapse if the maxi-
mum compressive stress at the plate corner reaches the material
yield stress, namely σ
x max
= σ
Y
for σ
xav
or σ
y max
= σ
Y
for σ
yav
.
This assumption is relevant when the unloaded edges
move freely in plane as that shown in Figure 40(b). Another
approximate method is to use the plate effective width con-
cept, which provides the plate ultimate strength components
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-41
Figure 18.42 Compressive Buckling Coefficient for Plates in Compression; for
5 Configurations (2) (A, B, C, D and E) where Boundary Conditions of Unloaded
Edges are: SS: Simply Supported, C: Clamped, and F: Free
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under uniaxial compressive stresses (σ
xu
and σ
yu
), as fol-
low:
[54]
where a
eu
and b
eu
are the plate effective length and width at
the ultimate limit state, respectively.
While a number of the plate effective width expressions
have been developed, a typical approach is exemplified by
Faulkner, who suggests an empirical effective width (b
eu
/b)
formula for simply supported steel plates, as follows,
• for longitudinal axial compression (34),
[55a]
• for transverse axial compression (35),
[55b]
where:
β = is the plate slenderness
E = the Young’s modulus
t = the plate thickness
c
1
, c
2
= typically taken as c
1
= 2 and c
2
= 1
The plate ultimate strength components under uniaxial
compressive loads are therefore predicted by substituting
the plate effective width formulae (equation 55a) into equa-
tion 54.
More charts and formulations are available in many
books, for example, Bleich (36), ECCS-56 (37), Hughes
(3) and Lewis (2). In addition, the design strength of plate
(unstiffened panels) is detailed in Chapter 19, Subsection
19.5.4.1, including an example of reliability-based design
and alternative equations to equations 56 and 57.
18.6.3.3 Design criteria
When a single load component is involved, the buckling or
ultimate strength must be greater than the corresponding ap-
plied stress component with an appropriate target partial
safety factor. In a multiple load component case, the struc-
tural safety check is made with equation 48 against buck-
ling and equation 50 against ultimate limit state being
satisfied.
To ensure that the possible worst condition is met (buck-
ling and yield) for the ship, several stress combination must
be considered, as the maximum longitudinal and transverse
σ
b
t E
Y
a
a
b
a
eu
· + −
|
.

`
,

0 9 1 9
1
0 9
2 2
. . .
β
β
β
b
b
for
c c
for
eu
·
<
− ≥
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
1 1
1
1 2
2
β
β
β
β
σ
σ
σ
σ
xu
Y
eu
yu
Y
eu
b
b
a
a
· · and
compression do not occur simultaneously. For instance,
DNV (4) recommends:
• maximum compression, σ
x
, in a plate field and phase
angle associated with σ
y
, τ (buckling control),
• maximum compression, σ
y
, in a plate field and phase
angle associated with σ
x
, τ (buckling control),
• absolute maximum shear stress, τ, in a plate field and
phase angle associated with σ
x
, σ
y
(buckling control),
and
• maximum equivalent von Mises stress, σ
e,
at given po-
sitions (yield control).
In order to get σ
x
and σ
y
, the following stress compo-
nents may normally be considered for the buckling control:
σ
1
= stress from primary response, and
σ
2
= stress from secondary response (that is, double
bottom bending).
As the lateral bending effects should be normally in-
cluded in the buckling strength formulation, stresses from
local bending of stiffeners (secondary response), σ
2
*
, and
local bending of plate (tertiary response), σ
3
, must there-
fore not to be included in the buckling control. If FE-analy-
sis is performed the local plate bending stress, σ
3
, can easily
be excluded using membrane stresses.
18.6.4 Buckling and Ultimate Strength of Stiffened
Panels
For the structural capacity analysis of stiffened panels, it is
presumed that the main support members including longi-
tudinal girders, transverse webs and deep beams are de-
signed with proper proportions and stiffening systems so
that their instability is prevented prior to the failure of the
stiffened panels they support.
In many ship stiffened panels, the stiffeners are usually
attached in one direction alone, but for generality, the de-
sign criteria often consider that the panel can have stiffen-
ers in one direction and webs or girders in the other, this
arrangement corresponds to a typical ship stiffened panels
(Figure 18.43a). The stiffeners and webs/girders are at-
tached to only one side of the panel.
The number of load components acting on stiffened steel
panels are generally of four types, namely biaxial loads, that
is compression or tension, edge shear, biaxial in-plane bend-
ing and lateral pressure, as shown in Figure 18.43. When the
panel size is relatively small compared to the entire structure,
the influence of in-plane bending effects may be negligible.
However, for a large stiffened panel such as that in side
shell of ships, the effect of in-plane bending may not be
negligible, since the panel may collapse by failure of stiff-
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eners which are loaded by largest added portion of axial
compression due to in-plane bending moments.
When the stiffeners are relatively small so that they
buckle together with the plating, the stiffened panel typi-
cally behaves as an orthotropic plate. In this case, the av-
erage values of the applied axial stresses may be used by
neglecting the influence of in-plane bending. When the stiff-
eners are relatively stiff so that the plating between stiffen-
ers buckles before failure of the stiffeners, the ultimate
strength is eventually reached by failure of the most highly
stressed stiffeners. In this case, the largest values of the axial
compressive or tensile stresses applied at the location of the
stiffeners are used for the failure analysis of the stiffeners.
In stiffened panels of ship structures, material properties of
the stiffeners including the yield stress are in some cases
different from that of the plate. It is therefore necessary to
take into account this effect in the structural capacity for-
mulations, at least approximately.
For analysis of the ultimate strength capacity of stiffened
panels which are supported by longitudinal girders, trans-
verse webs and deep beams, it is often assumed that the
panel edges are simply supported, with zero deflection and
zero rotational restraints along four edges, with all edges
kept straight.
This idealization may provide somewhat pessimistic,
but adequate predictions of the ultimate strength of stiffened
panels supported by heavy longitudinal girders, transverse
webs and deep beams (or bulkheads).
Today, direct non-linear strength assessment methods
using recognized programs is usual (38). The model should
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-43
Figure 18.43 A Stiffened Steel Panel Under Biaxial Compression/Tension,
Biaxial In-plane Bending, Edge Shear and Lateral Pressure Loads. (a) Stiffened
Panel—Longitudinals and Frames (4), and (b) A Generic Stiffened Panel (38).
(a)
(b)
Figure 18.44 Modes of Failures by Buckling of a Stiffened Panel (2).
(a) Elastic buckling of plating between stiffeners (serviceability limit state).
(b) Flexural buckling of stiffeners including plating (plate-stiffener combination,
mode III).
(c) Lateral-torsional buckling of stiffeners (tripping—mode V).
(d) Overall stiffened panel buckling (grillage or gross panel buckling—mode I).
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
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be capable of capturing all relevant buckling modes and
detrimental interactions between them. The fabrication re-
lated initial imperfections in the form of initial deflections
(plates, stiffeners) and residual stresses can in some cases
significantly affect (usually reduce) the ultimate strength of
the panel so that they should be taken into account in the
strength computations as parameters of influence.
18.6.4.1 Direct analysis
The primary modes for the ultimate limit state of a stiffened
panel subject to predominantly axial compressive loads may
be categorized as follows (Figure 18.44):
• Mode I: Overall collapse after overall buckling,
• Mode II: Plate induced failure—yielding of the plate-
stiffener combination at panel edges,
• Mode III: Plate induced failure—flexural buckling fol-
lowed by yielding of the plate-stiffener combination at
mid-span,
• Mode IV: Stiffener induced failure—local buckling of
stiffener web,
• Mode V: Stiffener induced failure—tripping of stiffener,
and
• Mode VI: Gross yielding.
Calculation of the ultimate strength of the stiffened panel
under combined loads taking into account all of the possi-
ble failure modes noted above is not straightforward, be-
cause of the interplay of the various factors previously noted
such as geometric and material properties, loading, fabri-
cation related initial imperfections (initial deflection and
welding induced residual stresses) and boundary conditions.
As an approximation, the collapse of stiffened panels is then
usually postulated to occur at the lowest value among the
various ultimate loads calculated for each of the above col-
lapse patterns.
This leads to the easier alternative wherein one calcu-
lates the ultimate strengths for all collapse modes mentioned
above separately and then compares them to find the min-
imum value which is then taken to correspond to the real
panel ultimate strength. The failure mode of stiffened pan-
els is a broad topic that cannot be covered totally within this
chapter. Many simplified design methods have of course
been previously developed to estimate the panel ultimate
strength, considering one or more of the failure modes
among those mentioned above. Some of those methods have
been reviewed by the ISSC’2000 (39). On the other hand,
a few authors provide a complete set of formulations that
cover all the feasible failure modes noted previously, namely,
Dowling et al (40), Hughes (3), Mansour et al (41,42), and
more recently Paik (38).
Assessment of different formulations by comparison
with experimental and/or FE analysis are available (43-45).
An example of reliability-based assessment of the stiff-
ened panel strength is presented in Chapter 19. Formula-
tions of Herzog, Hughes and Adamchack are also discussed.
18.6.4.2 Simplified models
Existing simplified methods for predicting the ultimate
strength of stiffened panels typically use one or more of the
following approaches:
• orthotropic plate approach,
• plate-stiffener combination approach (or beam-column
approach), and
• grillage approach.
These approaches are similar to those presented in Sub-
section 18.4.4.1 for linear analysis. All have the same back-
ground but, here, the buckling and the ultimate strength is
considered.
In the orthotropic plate approach, the stiffened panel is
idealized as an equivalent orthotropic plate by smearing the
stiffeners into the plating. The orthotropic plate theory will
then be useful for computation of the panel ultimate strength
for the overall grillage collapse mode (Mode I, Figure
18.44d), (31,46,48).
The plate-stiffener combination approach (also called
beam-column approach) models the stiffened panel behav-
ior by that of a single “beam” consisting of a stiffener to-
gether with the attached plating, as representative of the
stiffened panel (Figure 18.38, level 3b). The beam is con-
sidered to be subjected to axial and lateral line loads. The
torsional rigidity of the stiffened panel, the Poisson ratio ef-
fect and the effect of the intersecting beams are all neg-
lected. The beam-column approach is useful for the
computation of the panel ultimate strength based on Mode
III, which is usually an important failure mode that must be
considered in design. The degree of accuracy of the beam-
column idealization may become an important considera-
tion when the plate stiffness is relatively large compared to
the rigidity of stiffeners and/or under significant biaxial
loading.
Stiffened panels are asymmetric in geometry about the
plate-plane. This necessitates strength control for both plate
induced failure and stiffener-induced failure.
Plate induced failure: Deflection away from the plate as-
sociated with yielding in compression at the connection be-
tween plate and stiffener. The characteristic buckling
strength for the plate is to be used.
Stiffener induced failure: Deflection towards the plate as-
sociated with yielding in compression in top of the stiffener
or torsional buckling of the stiffener.
Various column strength formulations have been used as
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the basis of the beam-column approach, three of the more
common types being the following:
• Johnson-Ostenfeld (or Bleich-Ostenfeld) formulation,
• Perry-Robertson formulation, and
• empirical formulations obtained by curve fitting exper-
imental or numerical data.
A stocky panel that has a high elastic buckling strength
will not buckle in the elastic regime and will reach the ulti-
mate limit state with a certain degree of plasticity. In most
design rules of classification societies, the so-called John-
son-Ostenfeld formulation is used to account for this behav-
ior (equation 47). On the other hand, in the so-called
Perry-Robertson formulation, the strength expression as-
sumes that the stiffener with associated plating will collapse
as a beam-column when the maximum compressive stress in
the extreme fiber reaches the yield strength of the material.
In empirical approaches, the ultimate strength formula-
tions are developed by curve fitting based on mechanical
collapse test results or numerical solutions. Even if limited
to a range of applicability (load types, slenderness ranges,
assumed level of initial imperfections, etc.) they are very
useful for preliminary design stage, uncertainty assessment
and as constraint in optimization package. While a vast num-
ber of empirical formulations (sometimes called column
curves) for ultimate strength of simple beams in steel framed
structures have been developed, relevant empirical formu-
lae for plate-stiffener combination models are also available.
As an example of the latter type, Paik and Thayamballi (49)
developed an empirical formula for predicting the ultimate
strength of a plate-stiffener combination under axial com-
pression in terms of both column and plate slenderness ra-
tios, based on existing mechanical collapse test data for the
ultimate strength of stiffened panels under axial compres-
sion and with initial imperfections (initial deflections and
residual stresses) at an average level. Since the ultimate
strength of columns (σ
u
) must be less than the elastic col-
umn buckling strength (σ
E
), the Paik-Thayamballi empiri-
cal formula for a plate-stiffener combination is given by:
[56]
and
with
β σ ·
b
t
Y
E
σ
σ
λ
σ
σ
u
Y
E
Y
≤ ·
1
2
σ
σ
λ β λ β λ
u
Y
·
+ + + −
1
0 995 0 936
2
0 17
2
0 188
2 2
0 067
4
. . . . .
and
where:
r = radius of gyration
= √
4
I / A, (m)
I = inertia, (m
4
)
A = cross section of the plate-stiffener combination with full
attached plating, (m
2
)
t = plate thickness, (m)
a = span of the stiffeners, (m)
b = spacing between 2 longitudinals, (m)
Note that A, I, r, ... refer to the full section of the plate-
stiffener combination, that is, without considering an ef-
fective plating.
Figure 18.45 compares the Johnson-Ostenfeld formula
(equation 47), the Perry-Robertson formula and the Paik-
Thayamballi empirical formula (equation 56) for on the col-
umn ultimate strength for a plate-stiffener combination
varying the column slenderness ratios, with selected initial
eccentricity and plate slenderness ratios. In usage of the
Perry-Roberson formula, the lower strength as obtained
from either plate induced failure or stiffener-induced fail-
ure is adopted herein. Interaction between bending axial
λ
π
σ
σ
σ
· ·
a
r
Y
E
Y
E
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-45
Figure 18.45 A Comparison of the Ultimate Strength Formulations for
Plate-stiffener Combinations under Axial Compression (η relates to the
initial deflection)
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compression and lateral pressure can, within the same fail-
ure mode (Flexural Buckling—Mode III), leads to three-fail-
ure scenario: plate induced failure, stiffener induced failure
or a combined failure of stiffener and plating (see Chapter
19 – Figure 19.11 ).
18.6.4.3 Design criteria
The ultimate strength based design criteria of stiffened pan-
els can also be defined by equation 50, but using the corre-
sponding stiffened panel ultimate strength and stress
parameters. Either all of the six design criteria, that is, against
individual collapse modes I to VI noted above, or a single de-
sign criterion in terms of the real (minimum) ultimate strength
components must be satisfied. For stiffened panels follow-
ing Mode I behavior, the safety check is similar to a plate,
using average applied stress components. The applied axial
stress components for safety evaluation of the stiffened panel
following Modes II–VI behavior will use the maximum axial
stresses at the most highly stressed stiffeners.
18.6.5 Ultimate Bending Moment of Hull Girder
Ultimate hull girder strength relates to the maximum load
that the hull girder can support before collapse. These loads
induce vertical and horizontal bending moment, torsional
moment, vertical and horizontal shear forces and axial force.
For usual seagoing vessels axial force can be neglected. As
the maximun shear forces and maximum bending moment
do not occur at the same place, ultimate hull girder strength
should be evaluated at different locations and for a range of
bending moments and shear forces.
The ultimate bending moment (M
u
) refers to a combined
vertical and horizontal bending moments (M
v
, M
h
); the
transverse shear forces (V
v
,V
h
) not being considered. Then,
the ultimate bending moment only corresponds to one of
the feasible loading cases that induce hull girder collapse.
Today, M
u
is considered as being a relevant design case.
Two major references related to the ultimate strength of
hull girder are, respectively, for extreme load and ultimate
strength, Jensen et al (24) and Yao et al (50). Both present
comprehensive works performed by the Special Task Com-
mittees of ISSC 2000. Yao (51) contains an historical re-
view and a state of art on this matter.
Computation of M
u
depends closely on the ultimate
strength of the structure’s constituent panels, and particularly
on the ultimate strength in compressed panels or components.
Figure 18.46 shows that in sagging, the deck is compressed

deck
) and reaches the ultimate limit state when σ
deck
= σ
u
.
On the other hand, the bottom is in tensile and reaches its ul-
timate limit state after complete yielding, σ
bottom
= σ
0

0
being the yield stress).
Basically, there exist two main approaches to evaluate
the hull girder ultimate strength of a ship’s hull under lon-
gitudinal bending moments. One, the approximate analy-
sis, is to calculate the ultimate bending moment directly
(M
u
, point C on Figure 18.46), and the other is to perform
progressive collapse analysis on a hull girder and obtain,
both, M
u
and the curves M-φ.
The first approach, approximate analysis, requires an
assumption on the longitudinal stress distribution. Figure
18.47 shows several distributions corresponding to differ-
ent methods. On the other hand, the progressive collapse
analysis does not need to know in advance this distribution.
Accordingly, to determine the global ultimate bending
moment (M
u
), one must know in advance
• the ultimate strength of each compressed panel (σ
u
), and
• the average stress-average strain relationship (σ−ε), to
perform a progressive collapse analysis.
For an approximate assessment, such as the Caldwell
method, only the ultimate strength of each compressed panel

u
) is required.
18.6.5.1 Direct analysis
The direct analysis corresponds to the Progressive collapse
analysis. The methods include the typical numerical analy-
18-46 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.46 The Moment-Curvature Curve (M-Φ)
Figure 18.47 Typical Stress Distributions Used by Approximate Methods. (a)
First Yield. (b) Sagging Bending Moment (c) Evans (d) Paik—Mansour (e)
Caldwell Modified (f) Plastic Bending Moment.
(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f)
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sis such as Finite Element Method (FEM) and the Idealized
structural Element method (ISUM) and Smith’s method,
which is a simplified procedure to perform progressive col-
lapse analysis.
FEM: is the most rational way to evaluate the ultimate
hull girder strength through a progressive collapse analysis
on a ship’s hull girder. Both material and geometrical non-
linearities can be considered.
A 3D analysis of a hold or a ship’s section is funda-
mentally possible but very difficult to perform. This is be-
cause a ship’s hull is too large and complicated for such kind
of analysis. Nevertheless, since 1983 results of FEM analy-
ses have been reported (52). Today, with the development
of computers, it is feasible to perform progressive collapse
analysis on a hull girder subjected to longitudinal bending
with fine mesh using ordinary elements. For instance, the
investigation committee on the causes of the Nakhodka ca-
sualty performed elastoplastic large deflection analysis with
nearly 200 000 elements (53).
However, the modeling and analysis of a complete hull
girder using FEM is an enormous task. For this reason the
analysis is more conveniently performed on a section of the
hull that sufficiently extends enough in the longitudinal di-
rection to model the characteristic behavior. Thus, a typi-
cal analysis may concern one frame spacing in a whole
compartment (cargo tank). These analyses have to be sup-
plemented by information on the bending and shear loads
that act at the fore and aft transverse loaded sections. Such
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has shown that accuracy is
limited because of the boundary conditions along the trans-
verse sections where the loading is applied, the position of
the neutral axis along the length of the analyzed section and
the difficulty to model the residual stresses.
Idealized Structural Unit Method (ISUM): presented in
Subsection 18.7.3.1, can also be used to perform progres-
sive collapse analysis. It allows calculating the ultimate
bending moment through a 3D progressive collapse analy-
sis of an entire cargo hold. For that purpose, new elements
to simulate the actual collapse of deck and bottom plating
are actually underdevelopment.
Smith’s Method (Figure 18.48): A convenient alterna-
tive to FEM is the Smith’s progressive collapse analysis
(54), which consists of the following three steps (55).
Step 1: Modeling (mesh modeling of the cross-section
into elements),
Step 2: Derivation of average stress-average strain rela-
tionship of each element (σ−ε curve), Figure
18.49a.
Step 3: To perform progressive collapse analysis, Figure
18.49b.
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-47
Figure 18.49 Influence of Element Average Stress-Average Strain Curves
(σ−ε) on Progressive Collapse Behavior. (a) Average stress-average strain
relationships of element, and (b) moment-curvature relationship of cross-
section.
(a)
(b)
Figure 18.48 The Smith’s Progressive Collapse Method
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In Step 1, the cross-section of a hull girder is divided
into elements composed of a longitudinal stiffener and at-
tached plating. In Step 2, the average stress-average strain
relationship (σ−ε) of this stiffener element is derived under
the axial load considering the influences of buckling and
yielding. Step 3 can be explained as follows:
• axial rigidities of individual elements are calculated using
the average stress-average strain relationships (σ−ε),
• flexural rigidity of the cross-section is evaluated using
the axial rigidities of elements,
• vertical and horizontal curvatures of the hull girder are
applied incrementally with the assumption that the plane
cross-section remains plane and that the bending occurs
about the instantaneous neutral axis of the cross-section,
• the corresponding incremental bending moments are
evaluated and so the strain and stress increments in in-
dividual elements, and
• incremental curvatures and bending moments of the
cross-section as well as incremental strains and stresses
of elements are summed up to provide their cumulative
values.
Figure 18.48 shows that the σ−ε curves are used to es-
timate the bending moment carried by the complete trans-
verse section (M
i
). The contribution of each element (dM)
depends on its location in the section, and specifically on
its distance from the current position of the neutral axis (Y
i
).
The contribution will then also depend on the strain that is
applied to it, since ε = –y φ, where φ is the hull curvature
and y is the distance from the neutral axis (simple beam as-
sumption). The average stress-average strain curve (σ-ε)
will then provide an estimate of the longitudinal stress (σ
i
)
acting on the section. Individual moments about the neu-
tral axis are then summed to give the total bending moment
for a particular curvature φ
i
.
The accuracy of the calculated ultimate bending mo-
ment depends on the accuracy of the average stress-aver-
age strain relationships of individual elements. Main
difficulties concern the modeling of initial imperfections
(deflection and welding residual stress) and the boundary
conditions (multi-span model, interaction between adjacent
elements, etc.).
Many formulations and methods to calculate these av-
erage stress-average strain relationships are available:
Adamchack (56), Beghin et al (57), Dow et al (58), Gordo
and Guedes Soares (59,60) and, Yao and Nikolov (61,62).
The FEM can even be used to get these curves (Smith 54).
For most of the methods, typical element types are: plate
element, beam-column element (stiffener and attached plate)
and hard corner.
An interesting well-studied ship that reached its ultimate
bending moment is the Energy Concentration (63). It fre-
quently is used as a reference case (benchmark) by authors
to validate methods.
Figure 18.49 shows typical average stress-average strain
relationships, and the associated bending moment-curva-
ture relationships (M-φ). Four typical σ−ε curves are con-
sidered, which are:
Case A: Linear relationship (elastic). The M-φ relationship
is free from the influences of yielding and buck-
ling, and is linear.
Case B: Bi-linear relationship (elastic-perfectly plastic,
without buckling).
Case C: With buckling but without strength reduction be-
yond the ultimate strength.
Case D: With buckling and a strength reduction beyond
the ultimate strength (actual behavior).
In Case B, where yielding takes place but no buckling,
the deck initially undergoes yielding and then the bottom.
With the increase in curvature, yielded regions spread in the
side shell plating and the longitudinal bulkheads towards
the plastic neutral axis.
In this case, the maximum bending moment is the fully
plastic bending moment (Mp) of the cross-section and its
absolute value is the same both in the sagging and the hog-
ging conditions.
For Cases C and D, the element strength is limited by
plate buckling, stiffener flexural buckling, tripping, etc. For
Case C, it is assumed that the structural components can con-
tinue to carry load after attaining their ultimate strength.
The collapse behavior (M-φ curve) is similar to that of Case
B, but the ultimate strength is different in the sagging and
the hogging conditions, since the buckling collapse strength
is different in the deck and the bottom.
Case D is the actual case; the capacity of each structural
member decreases beyond its ultimate strength. In this case,
the bending moment shows a peak value for a certain value
of the curvature. This peak value is defined as the ultimate
longitudinal bending moment of the hull girder (M
u
).
Shortcomings and limitations of the Smith’s method re-
lates to the fact that a typical analysis concerns one frame
spacing of a whole cargo hold and not a complete 3D hold.
As simple linear beam theory is used, deviations such
as shear lag, warping and racking are thus ignored. This
method may be a little un-conservative if the structure is
predominantly subjected to lateral pressure loads as well as
axial compression, and if it is not realized that the trans-
verse frames can deflect/fail and significantly affect the stiff-
ened plate structure and hull girder bending capacity.
18-48 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
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18.6.5.2 Simplified models
Caldwell (64) was the first who tried to theoretically eval-
uate the ultimate hull girder strength of a ship subjected to
longitudinal bending. He introduced a so-called Plastic De-
sign considering the influence of buckling and yielding of
structural members composing a ship’s hull (Figure 18.47).
He idealised a stiffened cross-section of a ship’s hull to
an unstiffened cross-section with equivalent thickness. If
buckling takes place at the compression side of bending,
compressive stress cannot reach the yield stress, and the fully
plastic bending moment (Mp) cannot be attained. Caldwell
introduced a stress reduction factor in the compression side
of bending, and the bending moment produced by the reduced
stress was considered as the ultimate hull girder strength.
Several authors have proposed improvements for the
Caldwell formulation (65). Each of them is characterized
by an assumed stress distribution (Figure 18.47). Such meth-
ods aim at providing an estimate of the ultimate bending
moment without attempting to provide an insight into the
behaviour before, and more importantly, after, collapse of
the section. The tracing out of a progressive collapse curve
is replaced by the calculation of the ultimate bending mo-
ment for a particular distribution of stresses. The quality of
the direct approximate method is directly dependent on the
quality of the stress distribution at collapse. It is assumed
that at collapse the stresses acting on the members that are
in tension are equal to yield throughout whereas the stresses
in the members that are in compression are equal to the in-
dividual inelastic buckling stresses. On this basis, the plas-
tic neutral axis is estimated using considerations of
longitudinal equilibrium. The ultimate bending moment is
then the sum of individual moments of all elements about
the plastic neutral axis.
In Caldwell’s Method, and Caldwell Modified Methods,
reduction in the capacity of structural members beyond their
ultimate strength is not explicitly taken into account. This
may cause the overestimation of the ultimate strength in
general (Case C, Figure 18.49).
Empirical Formulations: In contrast to all the previous
rational methods, there are some empirical formulations
usually calibrated for a type of specific vessels (66,67). Yao
et al (50), found that initial yielding strength of the deck
can provide in general a little higher but reasonably accu-
rate estimate of the ultimate sagging bending moment. On
the other hand, the initial buckling strength of the bottom
plate gives a little lower but accurate estimate of the ulti-
mate hogging bending moment. These in effect can provide
a first estimate of the ultimate hull girder moment.
Interactions: In order to raise the problem of combined
loads (vertical and horizontal bending moments and shear
forces), several authors have proposed empirical interac-
tion equations to predict the ultimate strength. Each load
component is supposed to act separately. These methods
were reviewed by ISSC (68) and are often formulated as
equation 57.
[57]
where:
M
v
and M
h
= vertical and horizontal bending moments
M
vu
and M
hu
= ultimate vertical and horizontal bending mo-
ments
a, b and α = empirical constants
For instance, Mansour et al (47) proposes a=1, b=2 and
α= 0.8 based on analysis on one container, one tanker and
2 cruisers, and Gordo and Soares (60) 1.5<a=b<1.66 and
α= 1.0 for tankers. Hu et al (69) has proposed similar for-
mulations for bulk carriers. Paik et al (70) proposes an em-
pirical formulation that includes the shear forces in addition
to the bending moments.
18.6.5.3 Design Criteria
For design purpose, the value of the ultimate longitudinal
bending moment (capability) has to be compared with the
extreme bending moment (load) that may act on a ship’s hull
girder. To estimate the extreme bending moment, the most
severe loading condition has to be selected to provide the
maximum still water bending moment. Regarding the wave
bending moment, the IACS unified requirement is a major
reference (71,72), but more precise discussions can be found
in the ISSC 2000 report (24).
To evaluate the ultimate longitudinal strength, various
methods can be applied ranging from simple to complicated
methods. In 2000, many of the available methods were ex-
amined and assessed by an ISSC’2000 Committee (50). The
grading of each method with respect to each capability is
quantitatively performed by scoring 1 through 5. The com-
mittee concluded that the appropriate methods should be se-
lected according to the designer’s needs and the design
stage. That is, at early design stage, a simple method based
on an Assumed Stress Distribution can be used to obtain a
rough estimate of the ultimate bending moment. At later
stages, a more accurate method such as Progressive Col-
lapse Analysis with calculated σ−ε curves (Smith’s Method)
or ISUM has to be applied.
Main sensitive model capability with regards to the as-
sessment of ultimate strength can be ranked in 3 classes, re-
spectively, high (H), medium(M) and low(L) consequence
of omitting capability (Table 18.IV).
Based on the different sources of uncertainties (model-
M
M
M
M
v
vu
a
h
hu
b
|
.

`
,

+
|
.

`
,

· α 1
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-49
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ing, σ−ε curves, curvature incrementation), the global un-
certainty on the ultimate bending moment is usually large
(55). A bias of 10 to 15% must be considered as acceptable.
For intact hull the design criteria for M
u
, defined by clas-
sification societies, is given by:
M
S
+ s
1
M
w
≤ s
2
M
U
[58]
where:
s
1
= the partial safety factor for load (typically 1.10)
s
2
= the material partial safety factor (typically 0.85)
M
S
= still water moment
M
w
= design wave moment (20 year return period)
18.6.6 Fatigue and Fracture
18.6.6.1 General
Design criteria stated expressly in terms of fatigue damage
resistance were in the past seldom employed in ship struc-
tural design although cumulative fatigue criteria have been
used in offshore structure design. It was assumed that fa-
tigue resistance is implicitly included in the conventional
safety factors or acceptable stress margins based on past
experience.
Today, fatigue considerations become more and more
important in the design of details such as hatch corners, re-
inforcements for openings in structural members and so on.
Since the ship-loading environment consists in large part
of alternating loads, ship structures are highly sensitive to
fatigue failures. Since 1990, fatigue is maybe the most sen-
sitive point at the detailed design stage. Tools are available
but they are time consuming and there is large uncertainty
of using simplified methods.
With the introduction of higher tensile steels in hull struc-
tures, at first in deck and bottom to increase hull girder
strength, and later in local structures, the fatigue problem
became more imminent. The fatigue strength does not in-
crease according to the yield strength of the steel. In fact,
fatigue is found to be independent of the yield strength. The
higher stress levels in modern hull structures using higher
tensile steel have therefore led to a growing number of fa-
tigue crack problems.
To ensure that the structure will fulfill its intended func-
tion, fatigue assessment should be carried out for each in-
dividual type of structural detail that is subjected to extensive
dynamic loading. It should be noted that every welded joint
and attachment or other form of stress concentration is po-
tentially a source of fatigue cracking and should be indi-
vidually considered.
This section gives an overview of feasible analysis to be
performed. A more complete description of the different fa-
tigue procedures, S-N curves, stress concentration factors,
and so on, are given in: Almar-Naess (73), DNV (4), Fricke
et al (74), Maddox (75), Niemi (76), NRC (77) and Peter-
shagen et al (78). Reliability-based fatigue procedure is pre-
sented by Ayyub and Assakkaf in Chapter 19. These authors
also have contributed to this section.
18.6.6.2 Basic fatigue theories
Fatigue analyses can be performed based on:
• simplified analytical expressions,
• more refined analysis where loadings/load effects are
calculated by numerical analysis, and
• a combination of simplified and refined techniques.`
There are generally two major technical approaches for
fatigue life assessment of welded joints the Fracture Me-
chanics Approach and the Characteristic S-N Curves Ap-
proach.
The Fracture Mechanics Approach is based on crack
growth data assuming that the crack initiation already ex-
ists. The initiation phase is not modeled as it is assumed that
the lifetime can be predicted only using fracture mechan-
ics method of the growing cracks (after initiation). The frac-
ture mechanics approach is obviously more detailed than
the S-Ncurves approach. It involves examining crack growth
and determining the number of load cycles that are needed
for small initial defects to grow into cracks large enough to
cause fractures. The growth rate is proportional to the stress
range, S (or ∆σ) that is expressed in terms of a stress in-
tensity factor, K, which accounts for the magnitude of the
stress, current crack size, and weld and joint details. The
18-50 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
TABLE 18.IV Sensitivity Factors for Ultimate Strength
Assessment of Hull Girder.
Model Capability Impact
Plate buckling H
Stiffened plate buckling H
Post buckling behavior H
Plate welding residual stress H
M-φ curve (post collapse prediction) H
Plate initial deflection M
Stiffener initial deflection M
Stiffener welding residual stress M
Multi-span model (instead of single span) H
(see Figure 19.12 – Chapter 19)
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basic equation that governs crack growth (79) is known as
the Paris Law is:
[59]
where:
a = crack size,
N = number of fatigue cycles (fatigue life),
∆K = S.Y(a) range of stress intensity factor, (K
max
– K
min
)
C, m = crack propagation parameters,
S = constant amplitude stress range,
= ∆σ = σ
max
– σ
min
Y(a) = function of crack geometry.
Fatigue life prediction based on the fracture mechanics
approach shall be computed according to the following
equation:
[60]
Equation 60 involves a variety of sources of uncertainty
and practical difficulties to define, for instance, the a and a
o
crack size. The crack propagation parameter Cin this equa-
tion is treated as random variable (80). However, in more
sophisticated models, equation 60 is treated as a stochastic
differential equation and C is allowed to vary during the
crack growth process. State of art on the Fracture Mechan-
ics Approach is available in Niemi (76) and Harris (81).
The characteristic S-N curves approach is based on fa-
tigue test data (S-N curves—Figure 18.50) and on the as-
sumption that fatigue damage accumulation is a linear
phenomenon (Miner’s rule). According to Miner (82) the
total fatigue life under a variety of stress ranges is the
weighted sum of the individual lives at constant stress range
S as given by the S-N curves (Figure 18.50), with each being
weighted according to fractional exposure to that level of
stress range.
The S-N curve approach related mainly to the crack ini-
tiation and a maximum allowable crack size. After, cracks
propagate based on the fracture mechanics concept as shown
in Figure 18.51. The propagation is not explicitly consid-
ered by the S-N curve approach.
Fatigue life strength prediction based on both the S-N
approach and Miner’s cumulative damage shall be evalu-
ated with equation 61 or, in logarithmic form, with equa-
tion 62 (Figure 18.50).
[61]
N
A
k S
S
m
e
m
·

N
C S
da
Y
m m
a
a
·

1
0 .
π . a ,
da
dN
C
m
· . ( K) ∆
logN = log (∆A) – m log (∆σ) [62]
where:
∆ = fatigue damage ratio (≤ 1)
log(∆A) = intercept of the S-N curve of the Log N axis
–1 / m = slope of the S-N curve, (≅3 ≤ m ≤ ≅7)
S

e
= mean of the Miner’s equivalent stress range S
e
, de-
fined at Table 18.V
k
S
= fatigue stress uncertainty factor
∆σ = k
S
. S

e
(or the constant amplitude stress range for fail-
ure at N cycles)
N = fatigue life, or number of loading cycles expected dur-
ing the life of a detail
The Miner’s equivalent stress range, S
e
, can be evalu-
ated based on the models provided in Table 18.V (83). The
most refined model would start with a scatter diagram of
sea-states, information on ship’s routes and operating char-
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-51
Figure 18.50 A Typical S-N Curve
Figure 18.51 Comparison between the Characteristic S-N Curve and Fracture
Mechanics Approach
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acteristics, and use of a ship response computer program to
provide a detailed history of stress ranges over the service
life of the ship. For such model, the wave exceedance dia-
gram (deterministic method) and the spectral method (prob-
abilistic method) can be employed (Table 18.V).
S-N curves are obtained from fatigue tests and are avail-
able in different design codes for various structural details
in bridges, ships, and offshore structures. The design S-N
curves are based on the mean-minus-two-standard-devia-
tion curves for relevant experimental data (Figure 18.50).
They are thus associated with a 97.6% probability of sur-
vival. Some classification societies use 90%.
In practice, the actual probabilities of failure associated
with fatigue design lives is usually higher due to uncer-
tainties associated with the calculated stresses, the various
S-N curve correction factors, and the critical value of the
cumulative fatigue damage ratio, ∆.
Cumulative damage: The damage may either be calculated
on basis of the long-term stress range distribution using
Weibull parameters (simplified method), or on summation of
damage from each short-term distribution in the scatter dia-
gram (probabilistic and deterministic methods, Table 18.V).
The stress range (S or ∆σ): The procedure for the fa-
tigue analysis is based on the assumption that it is only nec-
essary to consider the ranges of cyclic principal stresses in
determining the fatigue endurance. However, some reduc-
tion in the fatigue damage accumulation can be credited
when parts of the stress cycle range are in compression.
Fatigue areas: The potential for fatigue damage is de-
pendent on weather conditions, ship type, corrosion level,
location on ship, structural detail and weld geometry and
workmanship. The potential danger of fatigue damage will
also vary according to crack location and number of po-
tential damage points. Fatigue strength assessment shall
normally be carried out for:
• longitudinal and transverse element in:
— bottom/inner bottom (side),
— longitudinal and transverse bulkheads.
• strength deck in the midship region and forebody, and
• other highly stressed structural details in the midship re-
gion and forebody, like panel knuckles.
Time at sea: Vessel response may differ significantly for
different loading conditions. It is therefore of major im-
portance to include response for actual loading conditions.
Since fatigue is a result of numerous cyclic loads, only the
most frequent loading conditions are included in the fatigue
analysis. These will normally be ballast and full load con-
dition. Under certain circumstances, other loading condi-
tions may be used.
Environmental conditions: The long-term distribution
of load responses for fatigue analyses may be estimated
using the wave climate, represented by the distribution of
Hs and Ts, representing the sea operation conditions. As
guidance to the choice between these data sets, one should
consider the average wave environment the vessel is ex-
pected to encounter during its design life. The world wide
sailing routes will therefore normally apply. For shuttle
tankers and vessels that will sail frequently on the North At-
lantic, or in other harsh environments, the wave data given
in accordance with this should be applied. For vessels that
will sail in more smooth sailing routes, less harsh environ-
mental data may be applied. This should be decided upon
for each case.
Geometrical imperfections: The fatigue life of a welded
joint is much dependent on the local stress concentrations
factors arising from surface imperfections during the fab-
rication process, consisting of weld discontinuities and geo-
metrical deviations. Surface weld discontinuities are weld
toe undercuts, cracks, overlaps, incomplete penetration, etc.
Geometrical imperfections are defined as misalignment, an-
gular distortion, excessive weld reinforcement and other-
wise poor weld shapes.
Effect of grinding of welds: For welded joints involving
potential fatigue cracking from the weld toe an improve-
ment in strength by a factor of at least 2 on fatigue life can
be obtained by controlled local machining or grinding of
the weld toe. Note that grinding of welds should not be used
as a “design tool”, but rather as a mean to lower the fatigue
damage when special circumstances have made it necessary.
This should be used as a reserve if the stress in special areas
turns out to be larger than estimated at an earlier stage of
the design.
18.6.6.3 Stress concentration and hot spot stress
The stress level obtained from a structural analysis, such as
FEA, will depend on the fineness of the model. The differ-
ent analysis models described in Subsection 18.7.2 will
therefore lead to different levels of result processing in order
to complete the fatigue calculations.
In order to correctly determine the stresses to be used in
fatigue analyses, it is important to note the definition of the
different stress categories (Figure 18.52).
Nominal stresses are those, typically, derived from coarse
mesh FE models. Stress concentrations resulting from the
gross shape of the structure, for example, shear lag effects,
have to be included in the nominal stresses derived from
stress analysis.
Geometric stresses include nominal stresses and stresses
due to structural discontinuities and presence of attach-
ments, but excluding stresses due to presence of welds.
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Stresses derived from fine mesh FE models are geometric
stresses. Effects caused by fabrication imperfections as mis-
alignment of structural parts, are normally not included in
FEA, and must be separately accounted for, using, for in-
stance (equation 65).
Hot spot stress is the greatest value of the extrapolation
to the weld toe of the geometric stress distribution imme-
diately outside the region affected by the geometry of the
weld (Figure 18.52).
Notch stress is the total stress at the weld toe (hot spot
location) and includes the geometric stress and the stress
due to the presence of the weld. The notch stress may be
calculated by multiplying the hot spot stress by a stress con-
centration factor, or more precisely the theoretical notch
factor, K
2
(equation 65).
FE may be used to directly determine the notch stress.
However, because of the small notch radius and the steep
stress gradient at a weld, a very fine mesh is needed.
In practice, the stress concentration factors (K-factors)
may be determined based on fine mesh FE analyses, or, al-
ternatively, from the selection of factors for typical details.
The notch stress range governs the fatigue life of a de-
tail. For components other than smooth specimens the notch
stress is obtained by multiplication of the nominal stress by
K-factors (equation 63). The K-factors in this document are
thus defined as
[63]
The relation between the notch stress range to be used
together with the S-N-curve and the nominal stress range
is
[64]
All stress risers have to be considered when evaluating
S K
notch nominal
· · · ∆ ∆ ∆ σ σ σ .
K
notch
nominal
·
σ
σ
the notch stress. This can be done by multiplication of K-
factors arising from different causes. The resulting K-fac-
tor to be used for calculation of notch stress is:
K = K1 . K2 . K3 . K4 . K5 [65]
where:
K
1
= stress concentration factor due to the gross geometry
of the detail considered
K
2
= stress concentration factor due to the weld geometry
(notch factor); K
2
= 1.5 if not stated otherwise
K
3
= additional stress concentration factor due to eccen-
tricity tolerance
K
4
= additionally stress concentration factor due to angu-
lar mismatch
K
5
= additional stress concentration factor for un-symmet-
rical stiffeners on laterally loaded panels, applicable
when the nominal stress is derived from simple beam
analyses
Fatigue cracks are assumed to be independent of princi-
pal stress direction within 45° of the normal to the weld toe.
Hot spot stress extrapolation procedure: The hot spot
stress extrapolation procedure (Figure 18.52) is only to be
used for stresses that are derived from stress concentration
models (fine mesh). Nominal stresses found from other
models should be multiplied with appropriate stress con-
centration factors (equation 65). The stress extrapolation
procedure is specific to each classification societies (74).
Today, there is unfortunately no standard procedure.
18.6.6.4 Direct analysis
Several S-N fatigue approaches exists, they all have ad-
vantages and disadvantages. The different approaches are
therefore suitable for different areas. Load effects, accu-
racy of the analysis, computer demands, etc. should be eval-
uated before one of the approaches is chosen.
Full stochastic fatigue analysis: The full stochastic analy-
sis, for example the Spectral Model of Table 18.V, is an
analysis where all load effects from global and local loads,
are included. This is ensured by use of stress concentration
models and direct load transfer to the structural model.
Hence, all stress components are combined using the cor-
rect phasing and without simplifications or omissions of
any stress component.
This method usually will be the most exact for determi-
nation of fatigue damage and will normally be used together
with fine meshed stress concentration models. The method
may, however, not be suitable when non-linearities in the
loading are of importance (side longitudinals). This is es-
pecially the case for areas where wave or tank pressures in
the surface region are of major importance. This is due to
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-53
Figure 18.52 Definition of Stress Categories (4)
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the fact that all load effects result in one set of combined
stresses, making it difficult to modify the stress caused by
one of the load effects.
The approach is suitable for areas where the stress con-
centration factors are unknown (knuckles, bracket and flange
terminations of main girder, stiffeners subjected to large
relative deformations).
18.6.6.5 Simplified models
The stress component based stochastic fatigue analysis:
The idea of the stress component based fatigue analysis is
to change the direct load transfer functions calculated from
the hydrodynamic load program into stress transfer func-
tions by use of load/stress ratios, H
i
(equation 66). The load
transfer functions, H
i
, normally include the global hull girder
bending sectional forces and moments, the pressures for all
panels of the 3-D diffraction model, the internal tank pres-
sures.
The stress transfer functions, H
i
, are combined to a total
stress transfer function, H
σ
, by a linear complex summation
of the different transfer functions (4), as:
[66]
where:
A
i
= stress per unit axial force defined as the local stress
response in the considered detail due to a unit sec-
tional load for load component i.
Η
σ
= total transfer function for the combined local stress,
H
i
= transfer function for the load component i, that is, axial
force, bending moments, twisting and lateral load.
This approach enables the use of separate load factors on
each load component and thus includes loads non-linearities.
Few load cases have to be analyzed and it is possible to use
simplified formulas for the area of interest but errors are eas-
ily made in the combination of stresses, manual definition of
extra load cases may cause errors and simplifications are usu-
ally made in loading. Suitable areas are components where
geometric stress concentration factors, K
1
, are available (lon-
gitudinals, plating, cut-outs and standard hopper knuckles)
and areas where side pressure is of importance.
The simplified design wave approach (Weibull Model,
Table 18.V) is a simplification to the previous component
based stochastic fatigue analyses. In this simplified ap-
proach, the extreme load response effect over a specified
number of load cycles, for example, 10
4
cycles, is deter-
mined. The resulting stress range, ∆σ, is then representa-
tive for the stress at a probability level of exceedance of
10
-4
per cycle. The derived extreme stress response is com-
bined with a calculated Weibull shape parameter, k, to de-
fine the long-term stress range distribution (Table 18.V).
The Weibull shape parameter, k, for the stress response
should be determined from the long-term distribution of the
dominating load calculated in the hydrodynamic analysis.
This simplified approach only requires the considera-
tion of one load case. It is easy and fast to perform but it
can only be used if one load dominates the response and
the results are very sensitive to selection of design wave.
Suitable areas concern components where one load is dom-
inating the response, that is, deck areas and other areas with-
out local loading.
H A H
i i
i
σ
·

18-54 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
TABLE 18.V Commonly Used Expressions for Evaluating
Miner’s Equivalent Stress Range (S
e
), (83)
1. Wave Exceedance Diagram (Deterministic Method)
S
i
= stress range
F
i
= fraction of cycles in the ith stress block
n
b
= number of stress block
2. Spectral Method (Probabilistic Method)
λ(m) = rainflow correction
Γ(.) = gamma function
γ
ι
= fraction of time in ith sea-state
f
i
= frequency of wave loading in ith sea-state
σ
ι
= RMS of stress process in ith sea-state
3. Weibull Model for Stress Ranges (Simplified Method)
S
d
= stress range that is exceeded on the average once out of
N
d
stress cycles
Γ(.) = gamma function
k = Weibull shape parameter
N
d
= total number of stress ranges in design life
S f S S f S
e
m
i
i
m
i
n
e i
i
m
i
n
m
b b
· → ·
∑ ∑
S m
f
m
f
e
m
m
i i
i
m
i
· ( )
( )
+
|
.
`
,

λ γ σ
2 2
2
1
0
Γ
S f S S f S
e
m
i
i
m
i
n
e i
i
m
i
n
m
b b
· → ·
∑ ∑
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18.6.6.6 Design criteria
The standard fatigue design criterion is basically the ex-
pected lifetime before that significant damage appears
(cracks). It usually is taken as being 20 years. Then, the de-
signer’s target is to design structural details for which the
fatigue failure happens after, for instance, 20 years. If it
happens before, the fixing cost is very high and induces
owner losses. If the first failure only happens after 30 years
or later, the structural detail scantlings were globally over-
estimated, the hull weight too high and, therefore, that the
owner had lost payload during 20 years.
Partial safety factors, additional stress concentration fac-
tors and the stress extrapolation procedure are typically de-
fined by the classifications societies.
18.6.7 Collision and Grounding
18.6.7.1 Present design approaches
The OPA 90 and equivalent IMO requirements must be sat-
isfied in structural design of ships carrying dangerous or pol-
lutant cargoes, for example, chemicals, bulk oil, liquefied
gas. The primary requirements are to arrange a double bot-
tom of a required minimum height, and double sides of a
required minimum width. In this context, to reduce the out-
flow of pollutant cargoes in ship collision or grounding ac-
cident, OPA 90 and IMO both require that the minimum
vertical height, h, of each double bottom ballast tank or void
space is not to be less than 2.0 m or B/15 (B = ship’s beam),
whichever is the lesser, but in no case is the height to be
less than 1.0 m. OPA and IMO also require that the mini-
mum width, w, of each wing ballast tank or void space is
not to be less than 0.5+DWT/20 000 (m) or w =2.0 (m),
whichever is the lesser, where DWT is the deadweight of
the ship in tonnes. In no case is w to be less than 1.0 (m).
More detailed information is available in Chapter 29 on Oil
Tanker.
18.6.7.2 Direct analysis
To reduce the probability of outflow of hazardous cargo in
ship collisions and grounding, the kinetic energy loss dur-
ing the accident should be entirely absorbed by damage of
outer structures, that is, before the inner shell in contact
with the cargo can rupture. Of crucial importance, then, is
how to arrange or make the scantlings of strength members
in the implicated ship structures such that the initial kinetic
energy is effectively consumed and the structural perform-
ance against an accident will be maximized. For this pur-
pose, the structural crashworthiness of ships in collisions
and grounding must be analyzed using accurate and efficient
procedures (84).
Figure 18.53 shows direct design procedures of ship
structures against collision and grounding (85). For the ac-
cidental limit state design, the integrity of a structure can
be checked in two steps. In the first step, the structural per-
formance against design accident events will be assessed,
while post-accident effects such as likely oil outflow are
evaluated in the second step.
The primary concern of the accidental limit state design
in such cases is to maintain the water tightness of ship com-
partments, the containment of dangerous or pollutant car-
goes, and the integrity of critical spaces (reactor compart-
ments of nuclear powered ships or tanks in LNG ships) at
the greatest possible levels, and to minimize the release/out-
flow of cargo. To facilitate a rescue mission, it is also nec-
essary keep the residual strength of damaged structures at
a certain level, so that the ship can be towed to safe harbor
or a repair yard as may be required.
18.6.7.3 Simplified models
Since the response of ships in collision or grounding acci-
dent includes relatively complicated behavior such as crush-
ing, tearing and yielding, existing simplified methods are
not always adequate. However, many simplified models
useful for predicting accident induced structural damages
and residual strength of damaged ship structures have been
developed and continue to be successfully used. Simplified
models for collision are rather different from those of
grounding since both are different in the nature of the me-
chanics involved. As it is impossible to describe them in a
limited space, valuable references are Ohtsubo et al (86),
and Kaminski et al (39).
18.6.7.4 Design criteria
The structural design criteria for ship collisions and ground-
ing are based on limiting accidental consequences such as
structural damage, fire and explosion, and environmental
pollution, and to make sure that the main safety functions
of ship structures are not impaired to a significant extent dur-
ing any accidental event or within a certain time period
thereafter.
Structural performance of a ship against collision or
grounding can be measured by:
• energy absorption capability,
• maximum penetration in an accident,
• spillage amount of hazardous cargo, for example, crude
oil, and
• hull girder ultimate strength of damaged ships (Section
18.6.5).
Design acceptance criteria may be based on the follow-
ing parameters (87):
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• minimum distance of cargo containment from the outer
shell,
• ship speed above which a critical event (breaching of
cargo containment) happens,
• allowable quantity of oil outflow, and
• minimum values of section modulus or ultimate hull
girder strength.
And the design results must satisfy:
• cargo tanks/holds are not breached in an accident so that
there will be no danger of pollution, or
• if the cargo tanks are breached, the oil outflow follow-
ing an accident is limited, and/or
• the ship has adequate residual hull girder strength so that
it will survive an accident and will not break apart, min-
imizing a second chance of pollution.
18.6.8 Vibration
18.6.8.1 Present Vibration Design Approaches
The traditional design methodology for vibration is based on
rules, defined by classification societies. Vibrations are not
explicitly covered by class rules but their prediction is needed
to achieve a good design. Ship structures are excited by nu-
merous dynamic oscillating forces. Excitation may originate
within the ship or outside the ship by external forces. Reci-
procating machinery such as large main propulsion diesel
produce important forces at low frequency. Pressure fluctu-
ations due to propeller at blade rate frequency induce pres-
sure variation on the ship’s hull. Varying hull pressures
associated with waves belong also to external excitations. All
these forces can be approximated by a combination of har-
monic forces. If their frequencies coincide with the structure
eigen frequencies, resonant behavior will happen.
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It is of prime importance to avoid global main hull vi-
brations. If they do occur, the remedial action will proba-
bly be very costly. So, during early design, the hull girder
frequencies must be compared to wave excitation (spring-
ing risk), and to propeller and engine excitation. Table 18.VI
gives some typical values of the first hull girder frequen-
cies in Hz of some ship types.
Hull girder frequencies and modes should be computed
using approximate empirical formulae (88), simple beam
models for long prismatic structures (VLCC, container ships,
etc.) associated with lumped added mass models, or using
3D finite element models for complex ships (RO-RO, cruise
ship), LNG, and short and non-prismatic structures (tug,
catamaran, etc.).
18.6.8.2 Fluid structure interaction
Fluid structure interaction is evidenced in the dynamic be-
havior of ships. As a first approximation, the ship is con-
sidered as a rigid body, for the sea keeping analyses (wave
induced motions and loads).
Wave vibration induced: An early determination of hull
girder vibration modes and frequencies is important to avoid
serious problems that would be difficult to solve at a later
stage of the project.
Risk of springing (occurring when first hull girder fre-
quency equals wave encounter frequency) has to be detected
very early. Springing may occur for long and/or flexible
ships and for high speed craft and it increases the number
of cyclic loads contributing to human fatigue. Various meth-
ods to assess the first hull girder frequency can be used at
preliminary design stage.
Engine/propeller vibration induced: Resonance prob-
lems may also appear on small ships like tugs, where hull
girder frequency can be close to the propulsion excitation
(around 7Hz). High vibration levels contribute to human
fatigue and dysfunction, besides the discomfort aspect.
Fluid added mass: Hull girder vibrations induce dis-
placement of the surrounding fluid. Therefore imparting ki-
netic energy in the fluid. This phenomenon can be taken
into account for the hull girder modes and frequencies cal-
culation as added mass terms. Various methods can be used
for the determination of added mass term. Lumped mass ap-
proach is the simplest one (89) but is only valid for simple
prismatic slender shapes, and for a single mode. Fluid fi-
nite and semi-infinite elements or boundary integral for-
mulation lead to the calculation of more accurate added
mass matrices (90), especially for complex hull forms and
appendices study (rudder). Added mass matrices associated
with 3D finite element model of the structure, allow for an
accurate determination of hull girder modes and frequen-
cies. Added mass terms may also be needed for the vibra-
tions of tank walls. The corresponding methods and
associated software are available for industrial usage (Fig-
ure 18.54) and numerical simulations are today predictable
with good accuracy (91). Figure 18.54 shows a fluid-struc-
ture coupled FE-model of a 230 m long passenger vessel
using 150 000 degrees of freedom.
A difficult coupled problem is the fluid impact occur-
ring in slamming or due to sloshing in tanks. The local de-
formation of the impacted shells and plating influences the
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-57
TABLE 18.VI Typical Values of the First Hull Girder
Frequencies (in Hertz)
Large
Order Cruise Fast
(mode) ship monohull LNG VLCC Frigate Tug
1 1.0 Hz 1.8 0.9 0.8 1.9 7.0
2 1.5 Hz 2.9 2.0 1.7 3.8 13
3 2.6 Hz — — — 5.8 —
4 3.2 Hz — — — 7.8 —
Figure 18.54 Fluid/Structure FE-Model of a Passenger Vessel (Principia
Marine, France)
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pressures and fluid velocities. Moreover, air trapped in such
an impact may have a cushioning effect, softening its sever-
ity. The numerical simulation of those heavily coupled prob-
lems still belongs to the research domain, though its
industrial importance for the design of ship structures (92).
18.6.8.3 Direct analysis
Vibration problems are critical for passenger ships with typ-
ically a 12-Hertz blade excitation. Ship owners demand very
low vertical velocity levels incabins and public areas (less
than 1.2 mm/s in the 5-25 Hz frequency band).
Numerical simulation using 3D finite element models is
the only method to predict ship response (including the var-
ious frequency modes) to pressure fluctuation on the ship
hull. Such simulation is now used as a design tool to select
appropriate scantlings of decks, location of pillars, detect
possible resonance, and select the number of propeller
blades. The main difficulty is to perform this analysis early
enough in a very short design cycle.
Local analyses also have to be performed, based on fi-
nite element models to check the potential risk of vibration
of local areas, when local modes can be considered as de-
coupled from global hull girder modes. Decks, superstruc-
ture, appendices (rudder, radar mast, etc.) can be analyzed
to check scantling and avoid the risk of resonance.
Slamming impacts generate impulsive response of the
hull girder (whipping), which affects comfort and fatigue.
Prediction of stress fluctuations and vibration levels in var-
ious parts of the ship can only be performed by simulation
in the time domain based on 3D detailed finite element mod-
els (Figure 18.55). The main difficulty is the determination
of the time and space dependent slamming forces.
18.6.8.4 Simplified models
Unfortunately, they are of little use for simplified vibration
predictions. Beam models associated to database can be
used for an approximate determination of hull girder modes
and frequencies at early stage of the project. Decks zones
and equipment frequencies may also be estimated by for-
mulas given by reference books (94).
Dedicated software has also been written for the study
of shafting, including journal and bearing stiffness and
whirling effect (95).
18.6.8.5 Design criteria
The most effective way to control vibration resides in the
reduction of the excitation. This can be achieved by bal-
ancing all forces in reciprocating and rotary machinery and
using special mounts. Hydrodynamic forces can be reduced
by improving the flow around the propeller and siting it
clear of the hull. Propulsion using pods can dramatically re-
duce pressure fluctuations. Excitation frequencies can also
be modified by changing the number of propeller blades.
A good design, ensuring continuity of vertical bulkheads,
avoiding cantilevered and stiff or mass discontinuities, con-
tributes to improving the dynamic behavior of the ship. The
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Figure 18.55 Hull Girder Vibration—Mode #3 (Principia Marine-France)
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second action consists in avoiding resonance by modifica-
tion of the hull scantlings, and addition of pillars, in order
to increase or lower the eigen frequencies.
Reduction of unavoidable vibration levels can be
achieved for local vibrations by dynamic isolation for equip-
ments, passive damping solutions (floating floors on ab-
sorbing material), and dynamic energy absorbers. All these
curative actions are usually difficult, costly, only applica-
ble for local vibrations and nearly impossible for vibrations
due to global modes. Local modes determination is diffi-
cult at early stage of the design mainly due to the uncer-
tainty on mass distribution, non-structural mass (outfitting
and equipments) being of the some order of magnitude as
the steelwork part.
18.6.9 Special Considerations
In addition to the considerations for LNG tank, container
ship, bulk carrier and passenger vessel, special considera-
tions are available in Volume II of this book. Moreover,
ISSC committees 1997 and 2000 also provide valuable in-
formation on specific ship types, that is, high-speed vessels
and ships sailing in ice conditions.
18.6.9.1 LNG Tanks
General information on such ships is available in Chapter
32 – Liquefied Gas Carriers. These ships contain usually a
double hull (sides and bottom). Major structural concerns
deal with the tanks themselves and with their support legs.
Dilatation, tightness and thermal isolation are important as-
pects. There are several patented concepts: independent
tanks, membrane tanks, semi-membranes tanks and inte-
gral tanks. Excepted for the integral tanks, the tanks are self-
supporting and are not essential to the hull strength. When
supported by legs, these legs require a particular attention.
Integral tanks form a structural part of the ship’s hull and
are influenced in the same manner by wave loads.
18.6.9.2 Container ships
The design of container ships of 5000 and 6000 TEU hav-
ing a beam of 40m has increased the standard torsional prob-
lem of ships having a large open deck. Torsional strength
and limitation of the equivalent stress (equation 45) at the
hatch corners are the major issues in the evaluation of the
strength of main hull structure. Use of multicell structures
in side shell and double bottom is recommended. More-
over, the torsional moment distribution must be assessed
with care.
As hatch covers are not considered as hull strength mem-
bers, omission of hatch covers does not impose any partic-
ular effects in the structural design of a main hull structure.
The general characteristics of container ships are detailed
in Chapter 36 – Container Ships.
18.6.9.3 Bulk carriers
Casualty of bulk carriers was very high in the early 1990s.
The main reasons were a lack of maintenance, excessive cor-
rosion and fatigue (77). Weak point of these ships is the
lower part of the side plate at the junction with the bilge
hopper. Now, classification societies are aware about this
problem and had updated their rules and associated struc-
tural details. The general design practice on bulk carriers is
detailed in Chapter 33 – Bulk Carriers.
18.6.9.4 Passenger vessels
Ship strength analysis is based on a beam model. The com-
plexity of large passenger ships, with a low resistant deck
and wide openings, windows and openings in the side in-
duces a much more complex behavior. Rational approach
is necessary to get a realistic understanding of the flux of
forces and capture the complex behavior of such ships.
Due to the large openings and discontinuities, racking and
stress concentration are two major concerns. For archi-
tectural reason, pillars are often omitted in large public
areas (theater, lounge, etc.). Today, 3D FEA is usually car-
ried out to design large passenger vessels (Figures 18.54
and 18.55). Due to large opening in the side shells, the ver-
tical stress distribution is not linear (Figure 18.35). This
means that the basic beam bending formulation is no valid
(equation 29). More general information related to pas-
senger vessels is available in Chapter 37 – Passenger Ships
and in reference 68.
18.6.9.5 Composite material
Fiberglass boat building started in the 1960s. Today, de-
signers are trying to plan composite construction of ships
up to 100 meters in length. A comprehensive guide for the
design of ship structures in composites is the Ship Struc-
ture Committee Report SSC-403 of Greene (96). Design
methodology, materiel properties, micro and macro me-
chanic of composites and failures modes are deeply dis-
cussed.
In addition to the classic failure modes of steel and alu-
minum structures presented in Subsection 18.6.1, compos-
ites are subject to specific failure modes.
In compression, there are the crimping, skin wrinkling
and dimpling of the honeycomb cores (Figure 18.56). In
bending, instead of the traditional first yield bending mo-
ment, for composites, the design limit load corresponds to
the first ply failure.
The creep behavior and the long-term damage from
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water, UV and temperature, and their performance in fires
are other specific structural problems of composites. A re-
view of the performance of composite structures is pro-
posed by Jensen et al (98).
18.6.9.6 Aluminum structures
Compared to steel, the reduced specific weight of aluminum
(2.70 kN/m
3
for aluminum and7.70 kN/m
3
for steel) is a very
interesting property for a ship designer. The yield stress of
unwelded aluminum alloys can be comparable to mild steel
(235 MPa) but changes drastically from one alloy to an-
other (125 MPa for ALU 5083-O and 215 MPa for ALU
5083-H321). The modulus of elasticity of aluminum alloys
is one-third of steel.
The main difficulty for the use of aluminum use deals
with its mechanical properties after welding. The yield stress
of aluminum alloys may decrease significantly after weld-
ing (remains at 125 MPa for
ALU 5083-O but drop to 140 MPa for ALU 5083-H321).
The area close to a weld is called Heat Affected Zone (HAZ).
It is characterized by reduced strength properties. HAZ is
particularly important to assess the buckling and ultimate
strength of welded components such as beam-column ele-
ments, stiffened panels, etc.
For marine applications ALU 5083, 5086 and 6061 can
be used. Nevertheless, the mechanical and strength prop-
erties of aluminum change a lot with the alloy composition
and the production processing. Thus, the alloy selection
must be done with care with regard to the yield strength be-
fore and after welding, the welding and extruding capabil-
ities, the marine behavior, etc.
Fire strength is another concerns when using aluminum
alloys as it quickly loses its strength when the temperature
rises.
Despite the aforementioned shortcomings aluminum al-
loys will be more extensively use in the future for the de-
sign of fast vessels, for which the structural weight is very
important to reach higher speed (for high speed mono hull,
catamaran and trimaran vessels). The good extruding ca-
pability of aluminum alloys has to be enhanced through
scantling standardization. That helps to lower to produc-
tion cost ($/man-hour) and compensate the initial higher
material cost of aluminum, which is approximately 3 times
higher that mild steel ($/kg).
18.6.9.7 Corrosion
Corrosion does not present a structural design problem, as
almost all the classification societies base their rules on a
net scantling. This means that the thickness to consider in
analysis (for empirical formulations up to complex FEA)
is the reduced thickness (without corrosion allowance) and
not the actual thickness. The difference between the reduced
thickness and the actual one is usually fixed by the classi-
fication but can also change according to the owner re-
quirements. This is an economic choice and not a structural
problem.
For bulk carriers, thickness reduction due to corrosion
is generally assumed to be 5 mm for hold frames and 3 mm
for side shell plating.
18.7 NUMERICAL ANALYSIS FOR STRUCTURAL
DESIGN
18.7.1 Motivation for Numerical Analysis
In most of the cases, a ship is a one of a kind product, even
if limited series may exist in some cases. The design, study
and production cycle is very short and major decision have
to be taken very early in the project. It is well known that
the cost of a late modification is very high and such a situ-
ation has to be avoided. Also experience-based design can
be an obstacle to the introduction of innovation. Numerical
analysis clearly is needed to improve the design (innova-
tion) but also to control safety margins. Moreover, it gives
access to local and detailed analysis, which is not possible
with simplified methods. The concept of numerical mock up,
used in aerospace and car industry has proven its efficiency.
Shipbuilding is clearly moving in the same direction.
18.7.1.1 Static and quasi-static analysis
Static and quasi-static analysis represents the traditional
way to perform stress and strength analysis of a ship struc-
ture. Loads are assessed separately of the strength structure
and, even if their origins are dynamic (flow induced), they
are assumed to be static (do not change with the time). This
assumption may be correct for the hydrostatic pressure but
18-60 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.56 Potential Failure Modes of Sandwich Panels (100), (a) Face
yielding/fracture, (b) Core shear failure, (c-d) Face wrinkling, (e) Buckling, (f)
Shear crimping, (g) Face dimpling, (h) Local indentation.
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not when the dynamic wave loads are changed to static loads
applied on the side plates of the hull.
In the future, even if the assumption of static loads is not
verified, static analysis will continue to be performed, as it
is easier and faster to perform. In addition, tens of experi-
ence years have shown that they provide accurate results
when stresses and deflections assessment are the main tar-
get (as defined in Section 18.4).
Such analysis is also the standard procedure for fatigue
assessment to determine the hot spot stress through fine
mesh FEA.
18.7.1.2 Dynamic analysis
When problems occur on a ship due to dynamic effects, it
is very often late in the design and building stage and even
in service, and corrective actions are costly. Simplified meth-
ods can only predict the first hull girder modes frequencies.
Numerical finite element based simulation is mature enough
to predict up to second propeller harmonic, the vibration
level, giving a design tool to comply with ISO or ship owner
requirements. Moreover, possible dynamic problems can
be detected early enough in the design to allow for correc-
tive actions.
18.7.1.3 Nonlinearities analysis
Nonlinear structural analysis is mainly used to analyze buck-
ling, ultimate strength and accidental or extreme situations
(explosions, collisions, grounding, blast). The results of
such costly and difficult analysis are often used to calibrate
simplified methods or rules. But they are also very useful
to understand possible failure modes and mechanical be-
havior under severe loads.
18.7.1.4 Emerging trends
Like the automotive and aerospace industry, there is a clear
trend towards the reduction of design cycle time. Numeri-
cal mock up or virtual ship approach (97), especially for one
of a kind product, is clearly a way to achieve this. Required
computing power is available and will no longer be a con-
straint. The first difficulty is to establish an efficient model
of complex physical problems, associated with increasing
demand for accuracy. The second difficulty is the manpower
needed to prepare and check the models, which will be
solved by the development of integrated solutions for ship
description and modeling (99).
Advances are expected in the field of FE-modeling. The
trend is toward one structure description, one model and sev-
eral applications. This is the field for multiphysics and cou-
pling analysis. The base modeling will be re-used and
adapted to perform successively,
• static, fatigue and fracture analysis,
• buckling and ultimate strength analysis,
• vibration and acoustics analysis, and
• vulnerability assessment.
Progress is expected by the utilization of reliability meth-
ods already used in offshore industry, where uncertainties
and dispersions of the loads, geometrical defaults, initial
stresses and strains, material properties are defined as sto-
chastic (non deterministic) data, leading to the calculation
of a probability of failure. This philosophy can be applied
to fatigue and ultimate strength, but also to dynamic re-
sponse, leading to a more robust design, less sensitive to
defaults, imperfections, uncertainties and stochastic nature
of loads. Reliability-based analyses using probabilistic con-
cept are presented in Chapter 19.
In the future, safety aspects related to structural prob-
lems will also be tackled such as ultimate strength using non-
linear methods. Collision and grounding damages and
improved design to increase ship safety will be studied by
numerical simulation, whereas experimental approach is
nearly impossible and/or too costly. Explicit codes, used in
car crash simulation (101), will be adapted to specific as-
pects of ship structure (size and presence of fluid). In tra-
ditional sea keeping analysis, the ship is considered as a
rigid body. In coupled problems such as slamming situa-
tions, this hypothesis is no more valid and a part of the en-
ergy is absorbed by ship deformation. Hydro-elasticity
methods (102) aim taking into account the interaction of the
flexible ship structure with the surrounding water. Nonlin-
ear effects due to bow and aft part of the ship, ship veloc-
ity, diffraction radiation effects contribute to the complexity
of the problem. The simulation of catamaran, trimaran and
fast monohulls behavior need the development of new meth-
ods to take into account the high velocities and the com-
plex 3D phenomena.
18.7.2 Finite Element Analysis
The main aim of using the finite element method (FEM) in
structural analysis is to obtain an accurate calculation of the
stress response in the hull structure. Several types or levels
of FE-models may be used in the analyses:
• global stiffness model,
• cargo hold model,
• frame and girder models,
• local structure models, and
• stress concentration models.
The model or sets of models applied is to give a proper
representation of the following structure:
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-61
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• longitudinal plating,
• transverse bulkheads/frames,
• stringers/girders, and
• longitudinals or other structural stiffeners.
The finer mesh models are usually referred to as sub-
models. These models may be solved separately by trans-
fer of boundary deformations/ boundary forces from the
coarser model. This requires that the various mesh models
are compatible, meaning that the coarser models have
meshes producing deformations and/or forces applicable as
boundary conditions for the finer mesh models.
18.7.2.1 Structural finite element models
Global stiffness model: A relatively coarse mesh that is used
to represent the overall stiffness and global stress distribu-
tion of the primary members of the total hull length. Typi-
cal models are shown in Figure 18.57. The mesh density of
the model has to be sufficient to describe deformations and
nominal stresses from the following effects:
• vertical hull girder bending including shear lag effects,
• vertical shear distribution between ship side and bulk-
heads,
• horizontal hull girder bending including shear lag ef-
fects, torsion of the hull girder, and
• transverse shear and bending.
Stiffened panels may be modeled by means of layered
elements, anisotropic elements or frequently by a combi-
nation of plate and beam elements. It is important to have
a good representation of the overall membrane panel stiff-
ness in the longitudinal/transverse directions. Structure not
contributing to the global strength of the vessel may be dis-
regarded; the mass of these elements shall nevertheless be
included (for vibration). The scantling is to be modeled with
reduced scantling, that is, corrosion addition is to be de-
ducted from the actual scantling.
All girder webs should be modeled with shell elements.
Flanges may be modeled using beam and truss elements.
Web and flange properties are to be according to the real
geometry.
The performance of the model is closely linked to the
type of elements and the mesh topology that is used. As a
standard practice, it is recommended to use 4-node shell or
membrane elements in combination with 2-node beam or
truss elements are used. The shape of 4-node elements
should be as rectangular as possible as skew elements will
lead to inaccurate element stiffness properties. The element
formulation of the 4-node elements requires all four nodes
to be in the same plane. Double curved surfaces should
therefore not be modeled with 4-node elements. 3-node el-
ements should be used instead.
The minimum element sizes to be used in a global struc-
tural model (coarse mesh) for 4–node elements (finer mesh
divisions may of course be used and is welcomed, specially
with regard to sub-models):
• main model: 1 element between transverse frames/gird-
ers; 1element between structural deck levels and mini-
mum three elements between longitudinal bulkheads,
• girders: 3 elements over the height, and
• plating: 1 element between 2 longitudinals.
18-62 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.58 Cargo Hold Model (Based on the Fine Mesh of the Frame
Model), (4)
Figure 18.59 Frame and Girder Model (Web Frame), (4)
Figure 18.57 Global Finite Element Model of Container Vessel Including a 4
Cargo Holds Sub-model (4).
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Cargo hold model: The model is used to analyze the de-
formation response and nominal stresses of the primary
members of the midship area. The model will normally
cover 1/2+1+1/2 cargo hold/tank length in the midship re-
gion. Typical models are shown in Figure 18.58.
Frame and girder models: These models are used to an-
alyze nominal stresses in the main framing/girder system
(Figure 18.59). The element mesh is to be fine enough to
describe stress increase in critical areas (such as bracket
with continuous flange). This model may be included in the
cargo hold model, or run separately with prescribed bound-
ary deformations/forces. However, if sufficient computer
capacity is available, it will normally be convenient to com-
bine the two analyses into one model.
Local structure analyses are used to analyze stresses in
local areas. Stresses in laterally loaded local plates and stiff-
eners subjected to large relative deformations between gird-
ers/frames and bulkheads may be necessary to investigate
along with stress increase in critical areas, such as brack-
ets with continuous flanges.
As an example, the areas to model are normally the fol-
lowing for a tanker:
• longitudinals in double bottom and adjoining vertical
bulkhead members,
• deck longitudinals and adjoining vertical bulkhead mem-
bers,
• double side longitudinals and adjoining horizontal bulk-
head members,
• hatch corner openings, and
• corrugations and supporting structure.
The magnitude of the stiffener bending stress included
in the stress results depends on the mesh division and the
element type that is used. Figure 18.60 shows that the stiff-
ener bending stress, using FEM, is dependent on the mesh
size for 4-node shell elements. One element between floors
results in zero stiffener bending. Two elements between
floors result in a linear distribution with approximately zero
bending in the middle of the elements.
Stress concentration models are used for fatigue analy-
ses of details were the geometrical stress concentration is
unknown. A typical detail is presented Figure 18.61.
Local FE analyses may be used for calculation of local
geometric stresses at the hot spots and for determination of
associated K-factors to be used in subsequent fatigue analy-
ses (equation 63). The aim of the FE analysis is normally
not to calculate directly the notch stress at a detail, but to
calculate the geometric stress distribution in the region of
the hot spot. These stresses can then be used either directly
in the fatigue assessment of given details or as a basis for
derivation of stress concentration factors. FE stress con-
centration models are generally very sensitive to element
type and mesh size.
Several FEA benchmarks of such structural details were
performed by ISSC technical committees (68,103). They as-
sess the uncertainties of different FE packages associated
with coarse and fine mesh models. Variation is usually
around 10% but is sometime much larger.
This implies that element sizes in the order of the plate
thickness are to be used for the modeling. If solid model-
ing is used, the element size in way of the hot spot may
have to be reduced to half the plate thickness in case the
overall geometry of the weld is included in the model rep-
resentation.
18.7.2.2. Uncertainties related to FEA
An important issue in structural analysis is the verification
of the analysis. The FEM is basically reliable but many
sources of errors can appear, mainly induced by inappro-
priate modeling and wrong data. For this reason, different
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-63
Figure 18.61 Stress Concentration Model of Hopper Tank Knuckle (4)
Figure 18.60 Stiffener Bending Stress with FEM (from left to right: using 1, 2
or 8 elements), (4)
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levels of verification of the analysis should be performed
in order to ensure trustworthiness of the analysis results. Ver-
ification must be achieved at the following steps:
• basic input,
• assumptions and simplifications made in modeling/
analysis,
• models,
• loads and load transfer,
• analysis,
• results, and
• strength calculations.
One important step in the verification is the understanding
of the physics and check of deformations and stress flow
against expected patterns/levels. However, all levels of ver-
ification are important in order to verify the results.
Verifications of structural models: Assumptions and sim-
plifications will have to be made for most structural mod-
els. These should be listed such that an evaluation of their
influence on the results can be made.
The boundary conditions for the global structural model
should reflect simple supporting to avoid built in stresses. The
fixation points should be located away from areas where
stresses are of interest. Fixation points are often applied in the
centerline close to the aft and the forward ends of the vessel.
Verification of loads: Inaccuracy in the load transfer from
the hydrodynamic analysis to the structural model is among
the main error sources in this type of analysis. The load
transfer can be checked on basis of the structural response
or on basis on the load transfer itself.
Verification of response: The response should be veri-
fied at several levels to ensure correctness of the analysis:
• global displacement patterns/magnitude,
• local displacement patterns/magnitude,
• global sectional forces,
• stress levels and distribution,
• sub-model boundary displacement/forces, and
• reaction forces and moments.
18.7.2.3 FEM background
Today the finite element method is studied worldwide in uni-
versities, in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, naval
architecture, etc. Hundreds of papers are published yearly.
Many commercial packages are available including pre and
post processors and many books are published each year on
the subject. Classification Societies also present technical
reports and guidelines associated with their own direct
analysis package (Table 18.VIII).
It is not the purpose of this chapter to present the FE the-
ory and a state of art. This topic is reviewed periodically by
ISSC. For instance, Sumi et al (68) presents finite element
guidelines and a comprehensive review of the available soft-
ware. Mesh modeling is discussed in ISSC’2000 by Por-
cari et al (103). Hughes (3) proposes in Chapter VI and VII
of his book published by SNAME an easy way to learn
FEM that does not require knowledge of variational calcu-
lus or of FEM. The Ship Structure Committee Reports (SSC
387 and 399) contains also Guideline for FEM (43,104).
18.7.3 Other Numerical Approaches
As an alternative to FEA, two other approaches are pre-
sented, namely: the idealized Structural Unit Method (ISUM)
and the Boundary Element Method (BEM). Both are gen-
eral purpose oriented. Many others exist but they are usu-
ally dedicated to a special purpose. For instance, at the
preliminary design stage, the LBR-5 package founded on the
analytical solution of the governing differential equations of
stiffened plates is a convenient alternative to standard FEA.
Such an approach (30,105) allows structural design opti-
mization to be performed at the earliest design stage but does
not have the capability to perform detailed analysis includ-
ing stress concentration and non-linear analysis.
18.7.3.1 Idealized structural unit method (ISUM)
When subjected to extreme or accidental loading, ship struc-
tures can be involved in highly non-linear response associ-
ated with yielding, buckling, crushing and sometimes
rupture of individual structural components. Quite accurate
solutions of the non-linear structural response can be ob-
tained by application of the conventional FEM. However,
a weak feature of the conventional FEM is that it requires
enormous modeling effort and computing time for non-lin-
ear analysis of large sized structures. Therefore, most ef-
forts in the development of new non-linear finite element
methods have focused on reducing modeling and comput-
ing times.
The most obvious way to reduce modeling effort and
computing time is to reduce the number of degrees of free-
dom so that the number of unknowns in the finite element
stiffness equation decreases. Modeling the object structure
with very large sized structural units is perhaps the best way
to do that. Properly formulated structural units or super el-
ements in such an approach can then be used to efficiently
model the actual non-linear behavior of large structural
units. The idealized structural unit method (ISUM), which
is a type of simplified non-linear FEM, is one of such meth-
ods (106). Since ship structures are composed of several
different types of structural members such as beams,
columns, rectangular plates and stiffened panels, it is nec-
essary in the ISUM approach to develop various ISUM units
18-64 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
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for each type of structural member in advance. The non-lin-
ear behavior of each type of structural member is idealized
and expressed in the form of a set of failure functions defin-
ing the necessary conditions for different failures which
may take place in the corresponding ISUM unit, and sets
of stiffness matrices representing the non-linear relationship
between the nodal force vector and the nodal displacement
vector until the limit state is reached. The ISUM super el-
ements so developed are typically used within the frame-
work of a non-linear matrix displacement procedure
applying the incremental method.
Figure 18.62 shows a cantilevers box girder and Figures
18.63 and 18.64 show typical FEM and ISUM models for
the non-linear analysis. For a recent state-of-the-art review
on ISUM theory and applications to ship structures, the
reader is referred to Paik and Hughes (107).
With the existing standard ISUM elements, the main dif-
ficulty is that computation of the post-collapse behavior in
the structural elements beyond their ultimate strength as
well as the flexural-torsional collapse behavior of stiffen-
ers is not very successful.
In fact, ISUM elements accommodating post-collapse
behavior have previously been already developed but im-
provements are under development to better accommodate
such behavior (107, 108).
Usage of ISUM is limited to some specific problems and
is not a general-purpose methodology. In contrast to FEM,
for instance, it is necessary to formulate/develop ISUM el-
ements specifically; by including buckling and collapse be-
havior for ultimate strength analysis or by including tearing
and crushing for collision strength analysis. The former type
element cannot be used for the purpose of latter type analy-
sis and vice versa. ISUM is also not adequate for linear
stress analysis.
ISUM is very flexible, new closed form expressions of
the ultimate strength can be directly utilized by replacing
in the existing ISUM element the previous ultimate strength
formulations with the new ones.
18.7.3.2 Boundary Element Method (BEM)
In contrast to FEM, the boundary element method (BEM)
is a type of semi-numerical method involving integral equa-
tions along the boundary of the integral domain (or vol-
ume). To solve a problem that involves the boundary integral
equations, BEM typically uses an appropriate numerical in-
tegration technique so that the problem is discretized by di-
viding only the boundary of the integral domain into a
number of segments or boundary elements, while the con-
ventional FEM uses a mesh (finite elements) over the en-
tire domain (or volume), that is, inside as well as its
boundary. For a specific problem with a relatively simple
boundary domain, linear or flat boundary elements may be
employed so that analytical solutions for the integral equa-
tions can be adopted, while higher degree boundary ele-
ments must be used for modeling an integral domain with
more complex characteristics with the integration gener-
ally needing to be carried out numerically. Figure 18.65
shows typical FEM and BEM models for analysis of a pres-
sure vessel (109).
Since the publication of an early book on BEM, many
engineering applications using BEM have been achieved.
More recent developments of BEM together with the basic
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-65
Figure 18.63 A Typical FEM Model for NonLinear Analysis of the Cantilever
Box Girder
Figure 18.64 A Typical ISUM Model for Nonlinear Analysis of the
Cantilever Box Girder
Figure 18.62 Cantilever Box Girder
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idea may be found in Brebbia and Dominguez (109). While
there are some problem areas to overcome in use of BEM
for non-linear analysis, it has been recognized that BEM is
a powerful alternative to FEM particularly for problems in-
volving stress concentration or fracture mechanics, and for
cases in which the integral domain extends to infinity. For
example, to design the cathodic corrosion protection sys-
tems for ships, offshore structures and pipelines, it has been
suggested that BEM should be employed, with the region
of interest extending to infinity. BEM can also be applied
to problems other than stress or temperature analysis, in-
cluding fluid flow and diffusion (for example, for fluid-
structure interaction, Subsection 18.6.8.2).
Main advantages of BEM are due that very complex ex-
pressions of integral equations can be adopted, resulting in
higher accuracy of the results.
In this regard, BEM can be involved in the usage of more
refined mathematical treatment than FEM. However, to cal-
culate the integral equations using BEM, appropriate nu-
merical techniques should be used, otherwise the integration
results may not be accurate. For most linear problems, lin-
ear or flat boundary elements along the boundary of the in-
tegral domain can be used so that we don’t have to carry
out numerical integration. If analytical solutions are avail-
able the required computing times will be very small and
the accuracy high. Nevertheless as the required computa-
tional times with the BEM is in general significant, BEM
may be more appropriate for linear analysis of solids and
for fluid mechanics problems.
18.7.4 Presentation of the Stress Result
After performing an analysis, the presentation of the stress
and deformation is very important. It should be based on
stresses acting at the middle of element thickness, exclud-
ing plate-bending stress, in the form of ISO-stress contours
in general. Numerical values should also be presented for
highly stressed areas or locations where openings are not
included in the model.
The following results should be presented for parts of
the vessel covered by the global model, such as, cargo hold
model and frame and girder models:
• deformed shape for each loading condition,
• In-plane maximum normal stresses (σ
x
and σ
y
) in the
global axis system, shear stresses (_) and equivalent von
Mises stress (σ
e
) of the following elements:
— bottom,
— inner bottom,
— deck,
— side shell,
— inner side including hopper tank top,
— longitudinal and transverse bulkheads, and
— longitudinal and transverse girders.
• Axial stress of free flanges,
• Deformations of supporting brackets for main frames
including longitudinals connected to these when appli-
cable,
• Deformation of supports for longitudinals subject to
large relative deformation when applicable.
For parts of the vessel covered by the local model, the
following stresses are to be presented:
• Equivalent stress of plate/membrane elements,
• Axial stress of truss elements,
• Axial forces, bending moments and shear forces for beam
elements.
18.7.5 Relevant Structural Analysis Methods for
Specific Design Stages
Shipbuilding design offices face very challenging situations
(especially for passenger and other complex ships). The
products are one-of-a-kind or at least on short series and
the resulting ships are designed and built within two years
18-66 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.65 A Typical FEM/BEM Model for Analysis of the
Pressure Vessel (109). (a) Typical BEM model, and (b) Typical FEM model.
(b)
Author:
Please
advise
what
symbold
is
needed.
(a)
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for 20 to 30 years of operation. Another impact on design
activities that is also challenging is that the design overlaps
the production. To clarify the actual situation, a common
view of the design workflow for a commercial ship in the
shipyard is shown in Table 18.VII.
18.7.5.1 Basic design
The Basic Design is the design activities performed before
order. This phase does not overlap with the production but
is very short and will become the technical basis for the
contract. The shipyard must be sure that no technical prob-
lem will appear later on, to avoid extra costs not included
in the contract. The structural analysis carried out in this
phase must be as fast as possible because the allocated time
is short. The most time consuming task for analysis is the
data input. The more detailed are the data more accurate the
results. There are three kinds of early analysis:
1. First principles methods: Very simplified geometric rep-
resentation of the structure. These methods are dedicated
to an assessment of the global behavior of the ship. They
mainly use empirical or semi-empirical formulas.
2. Two-dimensional (or almost 2D) geometry-based meth-
ods: These methods are based on one or more 2D views
of the ship sections. The expected results may be:
• Verification of main section scantlings,
• Global strength assessment,
• Global vibration levels prediction,
• Ultimate strength determination, and
• Early assessment of fatigue
Two main approaches exist:
— The main section of the ship is modeled a 2D way
(including geometry and scantlings) then global, and
possibly local, loadings are applied (bending mo-
ments, pressures, etc.). All major Classification So-
cieties provide today the designer with such tools
(Table 18.VIII).
— Various significant sections are described as beam
cross section properties (areas, inertias, etc.) and then
the ship is represented by a beam with variable prop-
erties on which global loading is applied.
3. Simple three-dimensional models: These models are use-
ful when a more detailed response is needed. The idea
is to include main surfaces and actual scantlings (or from
the main section when not available) in a 3D model that
can be achieved in one or two weeks. This approach is
mainly dedicated to novel ship designs for which the
feedback is rather small.
18.7.5.2 Production design
The most popular method for structural analysis at the pro-
duction design stage remains the Finite Elements Analysis
(FEA). This method is commonly used by Shipyards, Classi-
fication Societies, Research Institutes and Universities. It is
very versatile and may be applied to various types of analysis:
• global and local strength,
• global and local vibration analysis (natural frequencies
with or without external water, forced response to the
propeller excitation, etc.),
• ultimate strength, and
• detailed stress for local fatigue assessment,
• fatigue life cycle assessment,
• analysis of various non-linearities (material, geometry,
contact, etc.), and
• collision and grounding studies.
The two main approaches for solving the physical prob-
lem are:
1. implicit method is used to solve large problems (both lin-
ear and non linear) with a matrix-based method. This is
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-67
TABLE 18.VII Timing of a Design Project
Basic Design
Concept Design 1 or 2 days
Preliminary Design About 1 week
Contract Design Months
Receive Order
Production Design
Complete Functional Design 1 or 2 months
Production Design 6–10 months
TABLE 18.VIII Classification Society Tools Overview (110)
Classification Society Product
American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) ABS Safe Hull
Bureau Veritas (BV) VeriSTAR
Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Electronic Rulebook &
Nauticus HULL
Germanisher Lloyd (GL) GL-Rules & POSEIDON
Korean Register of shipping (KRS) KR-RULES, KR-TRAS
Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (LR) Rulefinder, ShipRight
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK) PrimeShip BOSUN
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the favored method for solving global and local linear
strength and vibration problems. But it can also be ap-
plied to non linear calculations when the time step re-
mains rather large (about 1/10 to 1 second), and
2. explicit method is mainly used for fast dynamics (as col-
lision and grounding or explosion) where time step is
quite smaller. This method allows using different for-
mulations for structural elements (Lagrangian) and fluid
elements (Eulerian).
One interesting result from research that is being intro-
duced today is the reliability approach (see Chapter 19).
This approach introduces uncertainties within the model
(non planar plates, residual stresses from welding, dis-
crepancies in the thickness…) to provide the designer with
a level of reliability for a given result instead of a deter-
ministic value.
For FEA models, the modeling time is usually assumed
to be 70% of the overall calculation time and results ex-
ploitation 30%. The computation itself is regarded as neg-
ligible (excepted for explicit analysis). So the main efforts
today are focused on reducing the modeling time.
18.7.6 Optimization
Optimization is a field in which much research has been car-
ried out over a long time. It is included today in many soft-
ware tools and many designers are using it. The aim of
optimization is to give the designers the opportunity to
change design variables (such as thickness, number and
cross section of stiffeners, shape or topology) to design a
better structure for a given objective (lower weight or cost).
Optimization can be performed both at basic and pro-
duction design stages:
• Basic Design: Even with simplified models, the designer
can optimize the scantlings. It can be used for instance
to find out the minimal scantlings for a novel ship for
which the yard have a lack of feedback,
• Production Design: Optimization can be used for three
main purposes:
— Scantlings optimization, which gives the user the
minimum scantlings for a given structure. The num-
ber of longitudinals and the frame spacing for a given
cargo hold/tank can also be optimized (105).
— Shape optimization (111), which uses a given topol-
ogy and scantlings to provide the user the minimum,
required area of material (reducing holes in a plate
for instance), and to improve the hull shape consid-
ering the fluid-structure interaction.
— Topology optimization (112) which uses a given
scantlings and allows the user to find out where to
put material. An academic example of topology op-
timization is given on Figure 18.66.
Weight is the most usual objective function for structure
optimization. Minimizing weight is of particular impor-
tance in deadweight carriers, in ships required to have a
limited draft, and in fast fine lined ships, for example, pas-
senger vessels. However, it is well know that the lowest
weight solution is not usually the lowest acquisition cost.
Today, cost is becoming the usual objective function for op-
timization (124).
For the other ship types it is still desirable to minimize
steel weight to reduce material cost but only when this can
be done without increasing labor costs to an extent that ex-
ceeds the saving in material costs. On the other hand, a re-
duction in structural labor cost achieved by simplifying
construction methods may still be worthwhile even if this
is obtained at the expense of increasing the steel weight.
Rigo (105) presents extensive review of ship structure
optimization focusing on scantling optimization. Vander-
plaats (113), and Sen and Yang (114) are standard reference
books about optimization techniques. Catley et al (115),
Hughes (3) and Chapter 11 of this book also contain valu-
able information on structure optimization.
18.7.6.1 Scantling optimization procedure
A standard optimization problem is defined as follows:
• X
i
(i = 1, N), the N design variables,
• F(X
i
), the objective function to minimize,
• Cj(X
i
) ≤ CM
j
(j = 1, M), the M structural and geomet-
rical constraints,
• X
i min
≤ X
i
≤ X
i max
upper and lower bounds of the X
i
de-
sign variables: technological bounds (also called side
constraints).
18-68 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.66 Topology Optimization
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Constraints are linear or nonlinear functions, either ex-
plicit or implicit of the design variables (XI). These con-
straints are analytical translations of the limitations that the
user wants to impose on the design variables themselves or
to parameters like displacement, stress, ultimate strength,
etc. Note that these parameters must be functions of the de-
sign variables.
So it is possible to distinguish:
Technological constraints (or side constraints) that provide
the upper and lower bounds of the design variables. For ex-
ample:
X
i min
= 4mm ≤ X
i
≤ X
i max
= 40 mm,
with:
X
i min
= a thickness limit dues to corrosion,
X
i max
= a technological limit of manufacturing or assembly.
Geometrical constraints that impose relationships between
design variables in order to guarantee a functional, feasi-
ble, reliable structure. They are generally based on good
practice rules to avoid local strength failures (web or flange
buckling, stiffener tripping, etc.), or to guarantee welding
quality and easy access to the welds. For instance, welding
a plate of 30 mm thick with one that is 5 mm thick is not
recommended. Hence, the constraints can be 0.5 ≤ X2 / X1
≤ 2 with X1, the web thickness of a stiffener and X2, the
flange thickness.
Structural constraints represent limit states in order to avoid
yielding, buckling, cracks, etc. and to limit deflection, stress,
etc. These constraints are based on solid-mechanics phe-
nomena and modeled with rational equations. Rational equa-
tions mean a coherent and homogeneous group of analysis
methods based on physics, solid mechanics, strength and
stability treatises, etc. and that differ from empirical and
parametric formulations. Such standard rational structural
constraints can limit:
• the deflection level (absolute or relative) in a point of the
structure,
• the stress level in an element: σ
x
, σ
y,
and σ
c
= σ
von Mises
,
• the safety level related to buckling, ultimate resistance,
tripping, etc. For example: σ /σ
ult
≤ 0.5.
For each constraint, or solid-mechanics phenomenon,
the selected behavior model is especially important since
this model fixes the quality of the constraint modeling. These
behavior models can be so complex that it is no longer pos-
sible to explicitly express the relation between the param-
eters being studied (stress, displacement, etc.) and the design
variables (XI). This happens when one uses mathematical
models (FEM, ISUM, BEM, etc.). In this case, one gener-
ally uses a numeric procedure that consists of replacing the
implicit function by an explicit approximated function ad-
justed in the vicinity of the initial values of the design vari-
ables (for instance using the first or second order Taylor
series expansions). This way, the optimization process be-
comes an iterative analysis based on a succession of local
approximations of the behavior models.
At least one constraint should be defined for each fail-
ure mode and limit state considered in the Subsection 18.6.1.
When going from the local to the general (Figure 18.38),
there are three types of constraints: 1) constraints on stiff-
ened panels and its components, 2) constraints on trans-
verse frames and transversal stiffening, and 3) constraints
on the global structure.
Constraints on stiffened panels (Figure 18.22): Panels
are limited by their lateral edges (junctions with other pan-
els, AA’ and BB’) either by transverse bulkheads or trans-
verse frames. These panels are orthotropic plates and shells
supported on their four sides, laterally loaded (bending) and
submitted, at their extremities, to in-plane loads (compres-
sion/tensile and shearing).
Global buckling of panels (including the local transverse
frames) must also be considered. Panel supports, in partic-
ular those corresponding to the reinforced frames, are as-
sumed infinitely rigid. This means that they can distort
themselves significantly only after the stiffened panel col-
lapse.
Constraints on the transverse frames (Figure 18.23): The
frames take the lateral loads (pressure, dead weight, etc.)
and are therefore submitted to combined loads (large bend-
ing and compression). The rigidity of these frames must be
assured in order to respect the hypotheses on panel bound-
ary conditions (undeformable supports).
Constraints on the global structure (box girder/hull
girder) (Figure 18.46): The ultimate strength of the global
structure or a section (block) located between two rigid
frames (or bulkheads) must be considered as well as the
elastic bending moment of the hull girder (against yielding).
18.8 DESIGN CRITERIA
In ship design, the structural analysis phase is concerned
with the prediction of the magnitude of the stresses and de-
flections that are developed in the structural members as a
result of the action of the sea and other external and inter-
nal causes. Many of the failure mechanisms, particularly
those that determine the ultimate strength and collapse of
the structure, involve non-linear material and structural be-
havior that are beyond the range of applicability of the lin-
ear structural analysis procedures in Section 18.4, which are
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commonly used in design practice. Most of the available
methods of non-linear structural analysis are briefly intro-
duced in Sections 18.6 and 18.7. Sometimes, these meth-
ods are limited in their applicability to a narrow class of
problems.
One of the difficulties facing the structural designer is that
linear analysis tools must often be used in predicting the be-
havior of a structure in which the ultimate capability is gov-
erned by non-linear phenomena. This is one of the important
sources of uncertainty related to strength assessment.
After performing an analysis, the adequacy or inade-
quacy of the member and/or the entire ship structure must
then be judged through comparison with some kind of cri-
terion of performance (Design Criteria). The conventional
criteria that are commonly used today in ship structural de-
sign are usually stated in terms of acceptable levels of stress
in comparison to the yield or ultimate strength of the ma-
terial, or as acceptable stress levels compared to the criti-
cal buckling strength and ultimate strength of the structural
member. Such criteria are, therefore, intended specifically
for the prevention of yielding (hull girder, frames, longitu-
dinals, etc), plate and stiffened plate buckling, plate and
stiffened plate ultimate strength, ultimate strength of hull
girder, fatigue, collision, grounding, vibration and many
other failure modes specific to particular vessel types. In-
formation related to the design criteria is given in Section
18.6 for each specific failure mode (see also Beghin et al
(116)).
18.8.1 Structural Reliability as a Design Basis
Three categories of design methodology are basically avail-
able. They are usually classified as:
1. deterministic method,
2. semiprobabilistic method, and
3. full probabilistic method.
The deterministic method uses a global safety factor. It
assumes that loads and strength are fully determined. This
means that no aspect of randomness is considered. Every-
thing is assumed to be deterministic. The global safety fac-
tor is compared to the ratio between the actual strength and
the required strength.
The full probabilistic method is an ideal approach as-
suming that all the randomness can be exactly considered
within a global probabilistic approach. All the actual devel-
opment in structural reliability and reliability analysis show
the huge effort actually done to reach that aims. Chapter 19
presents in detail the reliability concept with examples of the
reliability-based strength analysis of plates, stiffened pan-
els, hull girder and fatigue. See also Mansour et al (42).
The semiprobabilistic method corresponds to the cur-
rent practice used by codes and the major classifications so-
cieties. Load, strength, dimensions are random parameters
but their distribution is basically not known. To overcome
this, partial safety factor are used. Each safety factor cor-
responds to a load type, failure mode, etc. This is an inter-
mediate step between the deterministic and the full
probabilistic methods.
18.9 DESIGN PROCEDURE
It does not seem possible to unify all of the design proce-
dures (117-122). They differ from country to country, from
shipyard to shipyard and differ between naval ships, com-
mercial ships and advanced high-speed catamaran passen-
ger vessels. So, as an example of one feasible methodology,
the design procedure for commercial vessel such as tanker,
container, and VLCC is selected. It corresponds to the ac-
tual current shipyard procedure.
This structural design procedure can be defined as fol-
lows:
• receive general arrangement from the basic design group,
• define structural arrangement based on the general
arrangement,
• determine initial scantling of structural members within
design criteria (rule-based).,
• check longitudinal and transverse strength,
• change the structural arrangement or scantling, and
• transfer the structural arrangement and scantling to the
production design group.
The structural design can also be classified according to
available design tool:
• use data of existing ship or past experience—expert sys-
tem, (1st level)
• use of a structural analysis software like FEM (2nd level)
• use optimization software (3rd level)
The adequacy of the relevant analysis method to use for
a specific design stage is discussed in Subsection 18.7.5.
Here the discussion concerns the procedure from a design
point of view and not from the analysis point of view.
18.9.1 Initial Scantling
At the basic design stage, principal dimensions, hull form,
double bottom height, location of longitudinal bulkheads and
transverse bulkheads, maximum still-water bending mo-
ment, etc. have already been determined to meet the owner’s
requirements such as deadweight and ship’s speed. Such a
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parametric design procedure presented in Chapter 11 is rel-
evant for this stage.
For the structural design stage, the structural arrangement
is carried out to define the material property, plate breadth,
stiffener spacing, stiffener type, slot type, shape of open-
ings, and frame spacing. The initial scantling of longitudi-
nal members such as plate thickness and section area of
stiffener can be determined by applying the classification
rules which give minimum required value to meet the bend-
ing, shear and buckling strength. As there are usually no suit-
able rules for the transverse members, the initial scantling
of transverse members such as height and thickness of web,
breadth and thickness of flange are determined by reference
to similar ships or using empirical shipyard database.
18.9.2 Strength Assessment
The purpose of the strength assessment is to validate the ini-
tial design, that is, to evaluate quantitatively the strength ca-
pability of the initial design. This problem was extensively
presented in previous Sections 18.4, 18.5 and 18.6.
In general, the longitudinal members are subjected to
several kinds of stresses in the sea-going condition: pri-
mary, secondary and tertiary stresses (Subsection 18.4.1).
As all these stresses act simultaneously, the superposition
of these stresses should not exceed the allowable equiva-
lent stress given by the classification rules (equations 45
and 46).
There are two kinds of strength to design the longitudi-
nal members. One is the local strength to avoid collapse,
and the other is the longitudinal strength to consider the
collapse of the ships’ hull girder. The local strength is au-
tomatically satisfied if the design is based on the classifi-
cation rules. The hull girder longitudinal strength can be
assessed with the hull section modulus (SM) at bottom and
deck where the extreme stresses are taken place (equation
29). The hull section modulus is calculated easily by using
available software.
If the hull section modulus at bottom or deck part is big-
ger than the required value, this design can be considered
as finished but this design might be too expensive. If the
section modulus at the deck or at the bottom is less than the
required value, the designer should change the initial scant-
lings.
If the calculated hull section modulus at deck part is less
than required, he can increase, step by step, the deck scant-
ling (for example, 0.5 mm for the plate thickness) until the
requirement is satisfied.
The designer also has to modify the scantling (usually
plate thickness) of transverse members, for which the stress
exceeds the allowable value. The designer estimates the in-
creased thickness according to the difference between the
actual stress and allowable stress. If the difference is small,
it is not necessary to perform a new strength assessment
and the design may be completed with only small changes.
If the difference is large, the design should be drastically
changed and it will be necessary to analyze the structure
again (see previous step in this Subsection).
Then, the designer has to check the transverse strength
by comparing the actual stresses in the transverse frames
with the allowable stresses given by the classification rules.
The actual stresses such as equivalent stress and shear stress
can be obtained using commercial FEA packages. If the
stress in some of elements exceeds the allowable stress, the
designer should increase the initial scantling. These changes
are performed at the third step Structural Design using the
results of the Strength Assessment and by comparison with
the design criteria.
18.9.3 Structural Design
If all of local scantlings are determined by the rule mini-
mum values, and if the longitudinal strength satisfies the rule
strength requirement, the design is completed. But, even if
this design is strong enough, it might be too heavy and/or
too expensive and it should be refined. In practice, refining
an already feasible design is a difficult task and requires ex-
perience. The designer can change the structural arrange-
ment, especially the dimensions such as frame spacing, and
material properties to better fit with the longitudinal strength
requirements. This work has to be done in agreement with
the basic design team.
Instead of the trial and error procedure discussed above,
an automatic optimization technique can be used to obtain
the minimum weight and/or cost for the longitudinal and
transverse structural member. The object function(s) can be
structural weight and/or fabrication cost, using either a sin-
gle object function approach or a multiple objective func-
tion method. The design variables can be longitudinal and
transverse spacing, deck/bottom scantlings for the longitu-
dinal and transverse members (web height and thickness,
flange width and thickness). The constraints and limitations
of the optimization process can be the range of each design
variable as well as the required hull section modulus and
minimum deck/bottom scantlings for the longitudinal mem-
bers, and allowable bending and shear stresses for the trans-
verse members (see Optimization in Subsection 18.7.6).
18.9.4 A Generic Design Framework
By comparison with the previous standard procedure, Fig-
ure 18.67 shows a new generic and advanced design method-
Chapter 18: Analysis and Design of Ship Structure 18-71
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ology where the performance of the system, the manufac-
turing process of the system and the associated life cycle
costs are considered in an integrated fashion (120). De-
signing ship structures systems involves achieving simul-
taneous, though sometimes competing, objectives. The
structure must perform its function while conforming to
structural, economic and production constraints. The pres-
ent design framework consists of establishing the structural
system and composite subsystems, which optimally satisfy
the topology, shape, loading and performance constraints
while simultaneously considering the manufacturing or fab-
rication processes in a cost effective manner.
The framework is used within a computerized virtual
environment in which CAD product models, physics-based
models, production process models and cost models are
used simultaneously by a designer or design team. The per-
formance of the product or process is in general judged by
some time independent parameter, which is referred to as
a response metric (R). Specifications for the system must
be established in terms of these Response Metrics. The for-
mulation of the design problem is thus the same whether
the product or process systems (or both) are considered.
The general framework consists of a system definition
module, a simulation module and a design module.
The system definition module [Y(U,V,W)] is used to
build an environmental model [U], a product model [V] and
a process model [W]. The system definition module receives
operational requirements [Z] such as owner’s requirements.
These operational parameters are presumed fixed through-
out the design.
They of course can eventually be changed if no accept-
able design is established, but presumably any design would
have operational parameters, which would not be sacrificed.
The environmental model [U] includes the still water and
wave loading conditions and the product model [V] con-
tains the production information, for example. The process
model [W] is built to consider or define the fabrication se-
quence. A translator (simulation based design translator)
assigns some [Y] model parameters to the simulation pa-
rameters [T] and design variables [X].
These parameters are selected based on the available
simulation tools [S] that require specific data ([T],[X] and
time).
The simulation module [S(T, X, time)] is used to pro-
duce simulation responses such as Response Metrics [R[S(T,
X)]]. The time is needed to consider the dynamic effects and
actual dynamic load conditions [U].
The optimum design module includes the Design Cri-
teria, the Design Assessment and the Optimization compo-
nents. The design criteria module provides constraints [G(T,
X, Y, Z)] and objective functions [F(R, T, X, Y, Z)]. These
are used to assess the design through the Design Assess-
ment component of the module (for example R≤G). The
constraints are obtained by considering not only the simu-
lation parameters [T] and the design variables [X] but also
the operational requirements [Z] and the system definition
parameter [Y]. Also, the objective function [F] is calculated
using the response metrics [R], the operational requirements
[Z], the system definition parameter [Y] as well as the de-
sign variables [X] and simulation parameters [T].
Based on the results of the Design Assessment (Min(F)
and R≤G) several strategies for the design procedure (iter-
ations) can be followed:
• if the object function does not reach its minimum value
or the response metrics do not satisfy the constraints, an
optimization algorithm (steepest descent, dual approach
and convex linearization, evolutionary strategies, etc.) is
adopted to find a new set of design variables. Standard
algorithms are presented in (113,114,123):
— if the optimizer fails to find an improved solution (un-
feasible design space), it is required to change the
simulation parameter values [T] and/or design vari-
ables selection [X] or even to modify the Model Pa-
rameters [Y].
18-72 Ship Design & Construction, Volume 1
Figure 18.67 A Generic Design Framework (120)
Operational Requirements
ParametersZ
System Definition
Model Parameters Y
Environmental Model Product Model Process Model
Parameters U
Parameters V Parameters W
Simulation Based Design Translator
Simulation Parameters T
Design Variables X
Simulations
Simulation Response S(T ,X,time)
Design Criteria
Constraints G(T,X,Y,Z)
Objective Function F(R,T,X,Y,Z)
Response Metrics R [S(T ,X)]
Design Assessment
Min (F) ?
R < G ?
Conditions Satisfied ?
Is Design Space
Feasible?
Redesign?
Stop
Optimization
Steepest Descent
Convex Linearization
Yes
Yes
No Yes
No
No
MASTER SET
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— otherwise, the design space is feasible, and a change
of design variable values [X] is performed based on
the optimizer solution (in other words a new itera-
tion).
• if the object function reaches its minimum value and the
response metrics satisfy the constraints, two alternatives
are examined:
— change the operational requirements parameters [Z],
repeat the previous procedure and to compare with
other alternative designs, or
— end the design procedure.
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36. Bleich, F. Buckling Strength of Metal Structures, McGraw-
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41. Mansour, A. E. and Thayamballi A., “Ultimate Strength of a
Ship’s Hull Girder in Plastic and Buckling Modes,” Ship
Structure Committee (299) NTIS, Washington DC, 1980
42. Mansour, A. E., Lin M., Hovem, L. and Thayamballi, A.,
“Probability-Based Ship Design—Phase 1: A Demonstra-
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43. Chen, Q., Zimmerman, T., DeGeer, D. and Kennedy, B.,
“Strength and Stability Testing of Stiffened Plate Compo-
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