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Marine Structures 15 (2002) 113

Comparative fatigue strength assessment of a structural detail in a containership using various approaches of classication societies
W. Frickea,*, W. Cuib, H. Kierkegaardc, D. Kihld, M. Kovale, T. Mikkolaf, G. Parmentierg, M. Toyosadah, J.-H. Yooni
a . TU Hamburg-Harburg, AB 3-06, Lammersieth 90, D-22305 Hamburg, Germany School for Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China c Odense Steel Shipyard Ltd., P.O. Box 176, DK-5100 Odense C., Denmark d Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, West Bethesda, MD 20817, USA e Kvaerner Krylov Maritime Ltd., 196158 Moskovskoye shossee, 44 St. Petersburg, Russia f VTT Manufacturing Technology, P.O. Box 1705, 02044 VTT, Finland g Bureau Veritas, 17 Bis Plau des la Defense 2, Paris la Defense 92077 Cedex, France h Department of Marine Engineering, Kyushu University, 6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan i Samsung Heavy Industries, 530 Jangyung-ri, Shinhyun-up, Koje-City, Kyungnam 656-710, South Korea b

Received 18 October 2000; received in revised form 23 March 2001; accepted 13 May 2001

Abstract A comparative study on fatigue strength assessment procedures used by the classication societies has been performed by Committee III.2, Fatigue and Fracture, of the International Ship and Oshore Structures Congress (ISSC2000). A pad detail on the longitudinal coaming of a Panamax container vessel was selected as an example. This detail was chosen because of the well-dened loading due to hull girder bending. Large dierences in predicted fatigue lives were found, ranging from 1.8 to 20.7 years. The spreading of results is attributable to assumptions regarding loads, local stress determination and SN curve. For comparison, a direct calculation of loads using the spectral method was performed. Also this calculation showed a relatively short fatigue life of 5.3 years, although the structural detail is considered not to be prone to fatigue failures. r 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Fatigue strength assessment; Welded detail; Classication society; Container ship; Fatigue life

*Corresponding author. Tel.: 49-40-428-32-3148; fax: 49-40-428-32-3337. E-mail address: (W. Fricke). 0951-8339/02/$ - see front matter r 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 9 5 1 - 8 3 3 9 ( 0 1 ) 0 0 0 1 6 - 8

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1. Introduction During the past decades, a great number of fatigue failures occurred in ship structures, particularly in areas made of higher tensile steel. In the early 1990s, following the occurrence of cracks in side shell longitudinals of very large crude carriers (VLCCs) after only a few years in service [1], all major classication societies issued or revised rules and guidelines for explicit fatigue analyses. Failures in side shell longitudinals were generally used for calibrating the load assumptions and fatigue damage calculations. It is quite natural that several investigations in the following years were focussed on the complex load process at the ships sides (e.g., [24]) and on the fatigue resistance of the aected structural details (e.g., [5]). Additional studies were performed to review various procedures of the classication societies for fatigue strength assessment, which showed large dierences in the assumptions and results [6]. In order to further investigate the dierent procedures for fatigue strength assessment of ship structural details, the members of ISSC Committee III.2, Fatigue and Fracture, decided to perform another comparative study in which the procedures of the dierent classication societies were applied by the individual participants. It was decided, however, not to investigate structural details at the ships side again for following reasons:

Side shell longitudinals are not the only ship details prone to fatigue. Longitudinal members in the upper and lower anges of the hull girder require at least the same attention given side shell longitudinals in view of the cyclic vertical and horizontal wave bending moments. Recent casualties of ships breaking apart (MSC Carla, Flare and Erika) underline the possible consequences of such failures, although the contribution of fatigue to the cases mentioned still needs to be claried. The load process at the ships sides is very complex, being characterized by uncertainties in the combination of local and global hull girder loads and in nonlinear eects particularly related to local pressure loads. These uncertainties consequently aect the assumptions contained in the dierent fatigue assessment procedures and, hence, the spread of results.

Therefore, a detail in the upper longitudinal structural members was selected. The loading for this detail is relatively well dened in the rules of the classication societies. With respect to criticality, a detail in a relatively large container vessel has been considered, where the use of higher-tensile steel and the presence of high tensile stillwater stresses increase the failure probability. Frequent recommendations to pay attention to outtting details at the coaming of container vessels indicate that fatigue cracks have occurred there.

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2. Selected example The example ship chosen is a 3800 TEU Panamax container vessel. The principal particulars of the vessel are given as follows: Length between perpendiculars, Lpp Rule length, L=0.97 LWL Breadth moulded, B Depth moulded, D Draught moulded, T Block coecient, Cb Maximum service speed, v Web frame spacing Max still water bending moment, hogging 242.000 m 234.740 m 32.250 m 21.300 m 14.000 m 0.670 24.000 kn 3.144 m 210000 t m

A welded pad detail on top of the longitudinal hatch coaming bar, where the hatch covers are supported for vertical loads, was selected for the analysis. The longitudinal elements in the midship section and the pad detail are given in Fig. 1. The vessel has higher-tensile steel, HTS 36, in the upper part, noted AH and EH in Fig. 1, with the rest of the ship made of mild steel, noted A. The pad detail for the comparative study is located at mid-ship, midway between the fore and aft end transverse coaming. The eects of torsional loading and stresses due to warping distortion are therefore disregarded. The shape of the pad detail was designed to reduce the notch eect in the longitudinal direction. The size of welding is specied by a throat thickness of 10.0 mm. Cracks are expected to initiate at the weld toes on the top of the coaming plate. The midship section properties of the hull grider were calculated and given as: Moment of inertia about the vertical axis Moment of inertia about the horizontal axis Height of neutral axis above base line Section modulus at coaming (rule z=22.781 m) 3. Applied rules and guidelines The fatigue analyses were performed according to current rules and guidelines from the following classication societies:
* * * * *

659.765 m4 258.740 m4 8.496 m 18.114 m3

American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Bureau Veritas/Registro Italiano Navale (BV/RINA) Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Germanischer Lloyd (GL) Korean Register (KR)

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Fig. 1. Midship section with longitudinal elements for a Panamax container vessel. Details of the pad plate on the longitudinal hatch coaming bar are also seen.

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* * *

Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR) Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK) Russian Register of Shipping (RS)

Direct calculations using the spectral method and statistical approach were also performed. The SN approach was generally applied, mostly in a simplied way, by prescribing the shape of the stress histogram together with the number of load cycles. The stresses used were either nominal stresses in the top of coaming, hot-spot stresses at the critical weld toe, or else notch stresses. The hot-spot stress concentration factor (SCF) was either calculated using a local nite element model or estimated on the basis of tabulated SCFs, while the notch factor for the weld toe was taken from the rules or guidelines, where applicable. Special aspects of the dierent rules and guidelines are given in the following. 3.1. American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) ABS supports both the nominal and the hot-spot stress approaches in their simplied fatigue strength assessment method [7]. The fatigue stress ranges are assumed to follow a Weibull probability distribution. For the present pad detail, the design stress range is the same as that specied by IACS UR S11 [8]. The Weibull shape parameter is a function of both ship length and location, and under some assumptions, is estimated to be 0.81. The eect of mean stress has been ignored. DEn SN curves were used to describe the fatigue strength of the details. In order to account for corrosion, a net ship concept was used together with a stress reduction factor of 0.95. For more detailed description using ABS approach to analyze this pad detail, please refer to [9]. 3.2. Bureau Veritas/Registro Italiano Navale (BV/RINA) By the BV rules [10], which are comparable to RINA rules, two load cases should be taken into account: half-time in head sea conditions and half-time in oblique sea conditions. The stresses are based on the rule bending moment specied by IACS UR S11 [8]. The stresses and SN curve are based on the notch stress approach. The hot-spot stress concentration factor was obtained from a nite element calculation, while the notch stress concentration factor was obtained from a table depicting the type of weld and quality of welding. The calculation included the stress component from the IACS head sea vertical bending moment, transferred to a probability of 105 using a Weibull distribution with a shape parameter of 0.943 combined with a horizontal bending moment. Another combination of vertical and horizontal bending moments provided the oblique seas component. A reduction of life for thickness above 16 mm is included as well as a reduction of stress amplitude when the notch stress amplitude corresponding to a probability of 105 is above the yield stress. The part of stress above the yield stress was weighted with a factor of 0.6 (compressive stress factor).

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3.3. Det Norske Veritas (DNV) The procedure from DNV [11] for fatigue strength assessment is based on the hotspot stress approach. The stress concentration factor was obtained from a table of standard details which contains doubler plates. However, the stress range was multiplied by a stress concentration factor for the weld (notch stress) before entering the SN curve. The calculations only include the stress component from the vertical bending moment, per IACS UR S11 [8], transferred to a probability of 104 by the Weibull distribution with a shape parameter of 0.93. The stress range was further reduced by a factor of 0.80 to account for worldwide operation. A reduction in life for a plate thickness above 22 mm was included. 3.4. Germanischer Lloyd (GL) The simplied approach of GL [12] assumes a long-term histogram of stress ranges characterised (a) by a maximum stress range of 75% of the IACS UR S11 [8] design value for vertical hull girder bending in order to account for the eect of varying loading conditions and worldwide service, (b) by a total of 50 million load cycles, and (c) by a Weibull shape parameter x 1: Both, the hot-spot as well as the nominal stress approach are supported; the latter based on the recommendations of the International Institute of Welding [13]. Here, a relatively conservative detail category of FAT 50 is assumed, which may be substantially increased in case of a reduced weld ank angle. Mean stress is taken into account by a correction factor. 3.5. Korean Register (KR) The guidance for the fatigue strength assessment of ship structures of KR [14] is based on the hot-spot stress approach. Since the mean stress eect is to be considered in the case of compressive mean stress only, it was ignored in this calculation. The thickness eect is to be considered for plate thicker than 22 mm. In the calculation of the SCF, if the weld is not considered in the nite element model, the stresses at the distance t/2 and 3t/2 from the weld toe are determined by the Lagrange interpolation using the element stresses in the region. The hot-spot stress was then obtained by linear extrapolation to the weld toe using the stresses determined at distances of t/2 and 3t/2 from the weld toe. 3.6. Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR) From Lloyds Register, the ShipRight Fatigue Design Assessment Level 3 procedure [15] was applied. FDA Level 3 is a spectral approach where, in this case, a scaled hull form and weight distribution from a similar ship was used for generation of the vertical bending moment response amplitude operator from 2D strip theory. A typical container trade pattern was assumed and a 20-year simulation period with 27% non-sailing days was chosen. The fatigue stress was obtained from a detailed FE-model composed of 4-noded shell elements, representing the geometric stress

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(hot-spot stress) with some embedded notch stress eects. The analysis was performed in-house by LR. 3.7. Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK) NK [16] guidance supports the hot-spot stress approach. The stresses are normally based on direct calculation using a spectral method and statistical approach. The hot-spot stress is determined with the aid of a zooming FE-model with element sizes of approximately t t in the critical area. Several standard SN curves for each welded joint were prepared and the eects of mean stress with residual stress were considered. In the present case, the stress range was based on 100% of the rule bending moment according to IACS UR S11 [8] since direct calculation using the spectral method was not carried out. The SN curve for non-load carrying type llet welded joints in NK guidance was used. 3.8. Russian Register of Shipping (RS) RS [17] supports both the nominal stress approach for standard details and the hot-spot stress approach for other details, including the present pad detail. For this calculation, only the stress component from the vertical bending moment was included and transferred to a probability level of exceedance 103 by a Weibull distribution with a shape parameter of 0.88. Mean stress was taken into account by a correction factor. Corrosion eect may be considered.

4. Calculated results The calculated results have been derived independently by the responsible participants and, in most cases, in co-operation with the respective society. The details of the applied approaches are very dierent, ranging from the nominal stress approach to spectral load analysis and local FE analysis of the patch detail. However, the collected results are assessed by comparing the loading, the local stress, and the fatigue life. The results are presented in Table 1. The third column in Table 1 (after the classication society and type of approach) contains information on the loading, i.e., the stress histogram as explained in the lefthand diagram of Fig. 2. The highest stress range Dsmax was generally based on nominal stresses in order to allow a better comparison. Although the loading was governed by vertical hull girder bending only, signicant dierences can be observed in Dsmax assumed, ranging from 199 to 319 MPa. Also, the Weibull shape parameter, as well as the number of stress cycles, vary to a certain extent. It is interesting to note that the Weibull shape parameter apparently decreases with increasing maximum stress range, indicating some calibration behind the load assumptions. The stress concentration factors in the centre column are partly derived from nite element analyses with models as shown in Fig. 3. The hot-spot SCF derived varies

Table 1 Comparison of results from comparative study Rules and guidelines ABS [7] BV/RINA [10] DNV [11] GL [12,18] KR [14] LR [15] NK [16] RS [17]
a b

Type of stress approach Nominal Hot spot Notch Notch Nominal Hot spot Hot spot Hot spotg Hot spot Hot spot

Histogram of nominal stress ranges Dsmax (MPa) 318.7 318.7 278b 136c 233.0 209.2 209.2 278.8 210e 281.5 199.0 nmax 5 107 5 107 2.8 107 2.8 107 6.65 107 5 107 5 107 5.64 107 5.7 107 108 5 107 x 0.81 0.81 0.943 0.943 0.93 1.0 1.0 0.943 F 1.0 0.88 sma(MPa) F F F F F 104.9 104.9 F 108.9 113.8

SCF (hot spot/weld) F/F 1.736/F 1.63/1.84 1.47/1.5 F/F 1.9/F 1.66/F 1.81g 2.15/F 1.80/F

Design SN curve DsR (MPa) 49.9 80.3 142.6 142.2 50 110f 91.3 124g 95 100 Nq 107 107 107 F 5 106 5 106 107 107 5 106 5 106 m 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3.5 r 5 5 5 F 5 5 5 5 5 5.5

Fatigue life (yr) W. Fricke et al. / Marine Structures 15 (2002) 113 8.9 7.0 6.0 20.6 13.4d 20.7d 6.5 12.0 1.8 15.2 h

Mean stress only given if it aects life. Part from head seas. c Part from oblique seas. d Estimated from usage factor. e Read from 108 probability of exceedence. f Including 10% increase for exact stress analysis. g Hot spot with some embedded notch stress eects. h Life 13.2 years for corrosion wastage by 0.5% of section modulus every year.

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Fig. 2. Denitions for Table 1.

Fig. 3. Typical FE-model for calculation of hot-spot stress concentration factor.

considerably from 1.47 to 2.15. Table 2 gives some additional information about the nite element calculations, i.e., element types and sizes used and the stress evaluation technique applied. The assumed notch factors vary as well. The SN data in Table 1 are further explained in the right-hand diagram of Fig. 2. The reference stress range DsR is related to the type of stress mentioned in the second column. Again, the numbers vary considerably, while the knuckle points of the SN curves and the slope exponents show less scatter. As a consequence, the resulting fatigue lives in the last column dier by a factor of more than ten, i.e. from 1.8 to 20.7 years. The low fatigue lives are somewhat surprising because the opinion of some experienced designers was that the detail analyzed is very good and should not show any problems in service. Also, the service of container vessels, with even worse details for more than 20 years, has demonstrated a better fatigue life than predicted here.


Table 2 Calculation of hot-spot SCFs Guidelines Element at hot-spot Elem. type ABS BV/RINA GL [18] KR [14] LR [15] NK [16] RS [17]
a b

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Stress Evaluation Weld modeling Triang. No Prism. No Shella Prism. Prism. Stress type v. Mises Principal Perpend. Principal Normalb Principal Perpend. Extrapolation to surface hot-spot Linear Linear Linear Linear None Linear Linear 0.5/1.5 0.5/1.5 0.5/1.5 0.5/1.5 0.5 0.5/1.5 0.5/1.5 Weld Weld Weld Weld 0.5 t Weld Weld toe toe toe toe toe toe Ref. points (t) Hot Spot loc.

Size long./transv./vert. 30 30 30 mm 30 30 10 mm3 30 30 30 mm3 30 30 30 mm3 30 30 mm2 30 30 15 mm3 10 10 7.5 mm3


Solid20 Solid8 Solid20 Solid8 Shell Solid8 Solid20

Linear Linear Linear Linear Linear Linear Nonlinear

45 mm thick elements. Stress component normal to crack plane within 7401 from principal crack plane.

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5. Direct calculation using a spectral method and statistical approach The fatigue life of the coaming pad detail was further predicted using a linear spectral method and long-term wave statistics. The analysis is briey described in the following. A detailed description is given in [19]. The following assumptions were made:

* *

* *

hydrodynamic calculations based on strip theory for 50 wave frequencies between 0.2 and 2.5 rad s1 ISSC wave spectrum and cosine-squared spreading function Long-term wave data from Global Wave Statistics [20] from relevant North Atlantic areas duration at sea 85% of 20 years speed prole (24 kn up to Hs=5 m, 20 kn up to 7 m, 15 kn up to 9 m, 10 kn up to 11 m and 0 kn above 11 m)

The resulting long-term distribution of nominal stress ranges is characterized by a Weibull distribution with the following data: Ds=274.1 MPa n =5.37 107 x =1.0205 The rst two values agree quite well with the assumptions of IACS R 56 [21], whereas the shape parameter x of the Weibull distribution obtained by a linear leastsquares procedure is much higher than that proposed by IACS. Assuming the rainow correction factor in [22] as well as FAT 50 together with the associated design SN curve according to IIW [13], a fatigue life of 5.3 years is obtained. The eect of several input parameters on fatigue life was investigated in a parametric study, which is summarized in Table 3. None of these parameters, i.e. sea area, ships speed, rainow correction and SN curve with or without change in
Table 3 Results of direct calculations with parameter variation Sea area N. Atlantic N. Atlantic N. Atlantic N. Atlantic Northern N. A. Pacic N.A.+Pacic N. Atlantic N. Atlantic N.A.+Pacic Speed Prole Prole Prole Prole Prole Prole Zero 24 kn Prole Knuckled SN curve Yes No No Yes No No No No No Yes Rainow correction Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Dsmax (MPa) 274.1 274.1 274.1 274.1 290.8 255.0 267.6 274.6 298.3 267.6 nmax (107) 5.37 5.37 5.37 5.37 5.18 5.55 5.46 5.62 5.37 5.46 x 1.0205 1.0205 1.0205 1.0205 1.0677 0.9991 1.0040 0.9663 0.9893 1.0040 Fatigue life (yr) 5.3 4.0 4.7 4.5 2.9 5.3 4.6 4.8 3.5 6.2


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slope, had a large eect on the calculated fatigue life, ranging from 2.9 to 6.2 years. The only major eect found was when the maximum signicant wave height was reduced, i.e., the wave climate became more moderate.

6. Conclusions Approaches for fatigue strength assessment have been developed during the recent years and implemented in several classication societies rules and guidelines. These have been applied, within a comparative study, to the fatigue assessment of a pad detail on the coaming of a Panamax container ship. Although the loading is quite well dened in the upper part of the hull girder, the predicted lives vary considerably; between 1.8 and 20.7 years. It has been shown that the high scatter is attributable to dierent assumptions regarding load eects as well as local stress analyses and SN curves. In most cases, a simplied approach has been applied using standardized stress histograms (Weibull distributions) together with the SN approach. The type of stress varies between nominal, hot spot and notch stress, each coupled with certain uncertainties regarding the detail classication or determination of stress concentration factors. In addition, a direct calculation of the loading has been performed. It showed a relatively short fatigue life of 5.3 years, assuming the North Atlantic wave climate and a certain speed prole. In a parametric study several assumptions and input parameters have been modied, resulting in calculated fatigue lives, ranging from 2.9 to 6.2 years, which is in the lower end of the results based on the rules and guidelines of the classication societies. In conclusion, the situation appears to be unsatisfactory, particularly in view of the large scatter of result, but also because of the fact that designers regard the detail as unproblematic with respect to fatigue. This indicates that several procedures including the direct load calculation yield overly conservative results.

Acknowledgements The comparative study was performed as part of the work of Committee III.2, Fatigue and Fracture, of the International Ship and Oshore Structures Congress (ISSC) during the working period 19972000. The authors wish to thank those members of the classication societies, who have actively contributed to the calculations, as well as the remaining members of the Committee, who have contributed valuable comments to the study.

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