av e
S e p
S p
Y
A b t
A b t
=
+
+
(1)
where ( )
av
is an average stress at compressed edge, ( )
e
is edge function ( ( ) 1 1
e
),
A
S
is a cross section area of the stiffeners, ( )
( ) ( )
b b
e
e e
=

\

2 25 125
2
. .
is an effective width
calculated based on generalised slenderness of plating ( )
e
p
Y
b
t E
= , and not greater
than b, t
p
is a thickness of plate, b is distance between stiffeners,
Y
is yield stress. Similar
equations have been specified for beamcolumn, flexuraltorsional and local web failure
modes. The equations were verified against results of finite element calculations, and the
obtained correlation was satisfactory for technical purpose [26].
3. TRANSVERSALLY STIFFENED PLATES
Two types of stiffening systems can be applied when designing and building ship hull;
transverse and longitudinal. The choice of the system is associated with predominant loading
carried by structural members. Transversally stiffened ships were built until sixties/seventies.
With the growing size of merchant vessels application of longitudinal system became a must,
at least in regions carrying largest stresses due to overall ship hull bending. Some regions are
still transversally stiffened. Most typical examples are bulkcarrier sides, and precisely a part
of the side between hopper and wing tank, and some parts of the double sides of container
ships  Fig. 2 and 3. In bulkcarriers the side is transversally stiffened due to exploitation and
6
strength reasons  large shear forces appear for this type of ship which are more effectively
carried by transversally rather than longitudinally stiffened plating. In container ships it is due
to manufacturing. Transversally stiffened plates are generally much less resistant to buckling,
induced by overall bending stresses, however their influence must be also taken into
consideration. Moreover, a part of the plate can be subject to compression while other to
tension what makes the problem more complex.
Fig. 2. Typical crosssection of bulkcarrier Fig. 3. Typical crosssection of container
Papers by SCHULTZ [23] and FAULKNER [10] can be given as examples of early attempts
of investigation on behaviour of transversally stiffened plates. First practical formula was cast
by VALSGAARD [27] who presented a design equation for the ultimate strength of simply
supported plates in compression with unrestrained shorter edges  Eq. (2). The formula was
based on the results of numerical investigation performed using nonlinear shell computer
code. The formula covered the range of plate aspects and slenderness ratios typical for ship
and offshore structures.
( )
( ) ( )
transv
e
e e
Y
a
b
a
b
=

\


+

\
 +

\


(
(
2 1
0 08 1 1
1
2 2
2
. (2)
where a is length of shorter, unloaded edge of the plate and b is length of longer, loaded edge.
Buckling and postbuckling behaviour of plates under nonuniform compressive edge stress
were also addressed to by BEDAIR [4,5], following earlier contribution by WALKER [28].
7
Galerkin method was applied for solution, however, all investigations were restricted to
elastic range. NARAYAN and CHAN [19] examined behaviour of plates containing holes
under linearly varying edge displacements in pre and postbuckling range. They assumed that
the ultimate capacity of plate is equivalent to load level when edge strips reached yield. No
other papers concerning the problems are available; especially plates subject to both tension
and compression are not treated. This type of loading occurs for plates being bulkcarriers
side. For the purpose of calculations performed in the present paper it was assumed for
transversally stiffened plate that the actual stress for a given coordinate (distance from the
neutral axis) can be evaluated using generalised form of modified Valsgaard equation for
evaluation of average critical compressive stress  Eq. (3). Stress distribution along the
compressed edge can be thus found  Fig. 7. For plate induced failure of transversely stiffened
plates, the equation for evaluation of the average stress at a given strain takes the form:
( ) ( ) ( )
transv e we Y
=
(3)
where ( )
transv
is an average stress at compressed edge,
( )
( )
( ) ( )
we
e
e e
a
b
a
b
=

\


+

\
 +

\


18 08
01 1 1
1
2 2
2
. .
. is a normalised collapse load for
transversally stiffened plate (modified Valsgaard equation).
4. FINITE ELEMENT CALCULATIONS OF PLATES
Finite element calculations using the computer code for elasticplastic nonlinear analysis of
plates [] have been performed for verification of the values of ultimate capacities of plates.
Finite element model and initial deflection corresponding to the failure mode are shown in
Fig. 4. Plates were loaded by displacement at the longer edges what modelled conditions of
loading in the ship hull. Typical loadend shortening curve is presented in Fig. 5
8
Fig. 4. Finite element model of plate Fig. 5. Loadend shortening curve
Calculations were performed for models of plates covering the whole range of dimensions of
all transversally stiffened plates occurring in the analysed ships. Exemplary results for 3 plates
of the double side of the container ship (L=225 m) are shown in Table 1. The values given
there are representative for the whole set of results.
Table 1. Comparison of ultimate capacity for transversally stiffened plates
No. a b t
p
Ultimate capacity according to
[MPa]
[mm] [mm] [mm] Valsgaard
equation
Eq. (2)
Modified
Valsgaard
equation
Eq. (3)
Finite
element
1. 800 1880 8.0 64.5 63.5 62.8
2. 800 1880 13.5 93.7 92.9 102.7
3. 800 1880 24.0 136.1 142.8 167.5
A good agreement of results obtained using finite element method and approximate
formulations can be noticed. The value of the ultimate capacity according to modified
Valsgaard equation is slightly overestimated for slender plates and, on the other hand,
underestimated for more stocky plates comparing to the finite element results.
Finite element calculations have also been performed for the case of a plate subject to both
tension and compression. The plate represented a bulkcarrier side of dimensions
5000x850 mm, and thickness 15 mm. It was assumed that the place of zero strain was fixed in
9
the middle of the longer edge of the plate what corresponded to fixed position of neutral axis
while increasing load. Comparison of stress distribution along the compressed edge with finite
element results is shown in Fig. 6 and 7. for two levels of loading, generating strains in most
remote parts equal to 05 .
Y
and
Y
, respectively where
Y Y
E = / . It can be seen that
restraining effect of simply supported edges is underestimated on compressive side.
Fig. 6. Stress distribution for 05 .
Y
Fig. 7. Stress distribution for
Y
5. EVALUATION OF SHIP HULL ULTIMATE CAPACITY
A series of calculation of ultimate capacity has been performed for bulkcarriers and container
ships as ships having transversally stiffened regions. An aim of the calculation was to
compare the ultimate capacities of ship hulls obtained using approximate formulation 
modified Valsgaard equation  and values and distributions from the finite element analysis.
Such an analysis was performed for each transversally stiffened plate from the hull and the
results were coded in the program for ultimate capacity evaluation. The results are given in
Table 2 for bulkcarriers and Table 3 for container ships.
Table 2. Ultimate capacity of bulkcarriers
No L [m] Loading
condition
Bending
moment
(Valsgaard)
[MNm]
Bending
moment
(FEM)
[MNm]
Difference
1. 230 hogging 9400 9403 0.0%
sagging 8772 8890 1.3%
10
2. 185 hogging 3748 3749 0.0%
sagging 3610 3682 2.0%
3. 180 hogging 3518 3519 0.0%
sagging 2911 3247 11.5%
4. 179 hogging 4572 4572 0.0%
sagging 3253 3417 5.0%
5. 257 hogging 14053 14053 0.0%
sagging 10082 10250 1.7%
6. 210 hogging 6112 6226 1.9%
sagging 5076 5353 5.5%
7. 257 hogging 14042 14042 0.0%
sagging 10073 10236 1.6%
8. 211 hogging 5696 5866 3.0%
sagging 5238 5367 2.5%
Table 3. Ultimate capacity of container ships
No L [m] Loading
condition
Bending
moment
(Valsgaard)
[MNm]
Bending
moment
(FEM)
[MNm]
Difference
1. 225 hogging 6640 6770 2.0%
sagging 8045 8107 0.8%
2. 121 hogging 995 1021 2.6%
sagging 775 789 1.8%
3. 135 hogging 2202 2239 1.7%
sagging 1789 1826 2.1%
It can be seen from the tables that determination of behaviour of transversally stiffened plates
using the finite element method has almost no influence in case of container ships. Small
increase of the ultimate bending moments were in fact within limits of an error of the
simplified method. It has larger influence in case of bulkcarriers, especially in sagging. It can
be explained in the following way; due to initial position of neutral axis transversally stiffened
11
side is normally compressed in sagging. Increased level of stress in this region has stabilising
effect on the actual position of neutral axis which is shifted downward more slowly. For two
cases increase was about 5%, and in the case of bulkcarrier no. 3 increase was 11.5%. It can
be explained by the configuration of this ship; transversally stiffened is not only the part of the
side between tanks but also the part within the wing tank. This example shows that for ships
with extensive use of transversally stiffened plating analysis should be performed employing
finite element results otherwise the ultimate bending moment can be significantly
underestimated.
6. CONCLUSIONS
The problem of transversally stiffened plates has been presented in the paper in reference to
ship hull. Approximated formulation given by Valsgaard [27] was applied for evaluation of
ultimate capacity of transversally stiffened plates. The results were verified against the results
obtained using the finite element method. Both groups of results were then applied to
evaluation of the ultimate bending moment of ship hulls. The results confirmed usefulness of
the Valsgaard equation for approximate calculation of the ultimate capacity of transversally
stiffened plates compressed with uniform loading and correctness of the generalisation of the
equation to obtain full range of stressstrain curve. It also turned out that plates subject to
linearly varying loading should be treated separately by the finite element method as there is
presently no appropriate approximate method for this type of plates. On the other hand, it
must be pointed that application of the approximate formulation causes acceptable error in
most analysed cases.
12
REFERENCES
1. ADAMCHAK, J.C., An approximate method for estimating the collapse of a ship's hull
in preliminary design. Ship Structure Symposium'84, October 1516, 1984, The
Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.
2. BGHIN, D., BAUMANS P., JASTRZBSKI, T., TACZAA, M., RESULT  A computer
code for evaluation of ultimate longitudinal strength of hull girder, Proceedings of
PRADS'95, Seoul, 1995.
3. BGHIN, D., JASTRZBSKI, T., TACZAA, M., RESULT  computer code for evaluation
of ultimate longitudinal strength of ship hull, Bureau Veritas  Marine Branch Report
No. BM/DB/01/98, Paris, May 1998.
4. BEDAIR, O.K., Buckling behaviour of plates partially restrained against rotation under
stress gradient, Int. J. Structural Engineering and Mechanics, 4, 1996, 383396.
5. BEDAIR, O.K., On the postbuckling behaviour of plates under stress gradient,
Structural Engineering and Mechanics, 4, 1996, 397413.
6. BENDIKSEN, E., Hull girder collapse, Department of Ocean Engineering, Technical
University of Denmark, March 1992.
7. CALDWELL, J.B., Ultimate Longitudinal Strength, Trans. RINA, 107, 1965, 411430.
8. CHALMERS OBE, D.W., SMITH, C.S., The Ultimate Longitudinal Strength of Ships
Hull, Proc. PRADS77, Tokyo, 1977.
9. DOW, R.S., HUGILL, R.C., CLARKE, J.D., SMITH, C.S. Evaluation of ultimate ship hull
strength, Trans. SNAME, 1981,133147.
10. FAULKNER, D. Synthesis of welded grillages to withstand compression and normal
loads, Comp. Struct., 1973, 3, 221246.
11. GORDO, J.M., GUEDES SOARES, C., Approximate load shortening curves for stiffened
plates under uniaxial compression, Proceedings of Conference Integrity of Offshore
Structures, Glasgow, 1983.
12. GUEDES SOARES, C., SOREIDE, T.H., Behaviour and design of stiffened plates under
predominantly compressive loads, International Shipbuilding Progress, 30, 1983, 13
27.
13. HANSEN, A.M., Strength of midship sections, Marine Structures, 9, 1996, 471494.
14. International Ship Structures Congress Proceedings, Report of Committee III.1,
Ductile Collapse, St. Johns, Canada, 1994.
15. KUTT, L.M., PIASZCZYK, C.M., CHEN, Y.K., LIN, D., Evaluation of the longitudinal
ultimate strength of various ship hull configurations, Trans. SNAME, 93, 1985, 33
53.
16. LEE, J.S., YANG, P.D.C., On the reliability assessment of double skinned hull
structures against ultimate bending and fatigue strengths, Proceedings of PRADS'95,
Seoul, 1995.
17. MANSOUR, A.E., LIN, Y.H., PAIK, J.,K., Ultimate strength of ships under combined
vertical and horizontal moments, Proc. PRADS'95, Seoul, 1995.
13
18. MANSOUR, A.E., YANG, J.M., THAYAMBALLI, A., An experimental investigation of
ship hull ultimate strength, Transactions of SNAME, 98, 1990, 411439.
19. NARAYAN, R., CHAN, L., Ultimate capacity of plates containing holes under linearly
varying edge displacements, Comp. Struct., 21, 1985, 841849.
20. NISHIHARA, A.C., Ultimate longitudinal strength of midship cross section, Naval
Arch. & Ocean Engng, 22, 1984, 200214.
21. RAHMAN, M.K., CHOWDBURY, M., Estimation of Ultimate Longitudinal Bending
Moment of Ships and Box Girders, Journal of Ship Research, 1996, 40, 244257.
22. RUTHERFORD, S.E., CALDWELL, J.B., Ultimate Longitudinal Strength of Ships, A
Case Study, SNAME Transactions, 1990, 98, 441471.
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effective Widerstandsmoment des Schiffkastentrgers mit ausbeulenden
Lngsverband, Schiff und Hafen, 1964, 8, 730739.
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a ships hull, Proc. PRADS77, Tokyo, 1977.
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Technical University of Gdask, Gdask, 1995 (Ph.D. dissertation).
26. TACZAA, M., JASTRZBSKI, T., Verification of simplified formulae for determination
of stressstrain curves for various modes of failure, Report No 46S, Technical
University of Szczecin, October 1997.
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Veritas Technical Report No 790104, 1979.
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Windus, London, 1967.
Streszczenie
Artyku dotyczy nonoci granicznej kadubw okrtowych. Pokrtce przedstawiono sposoby
rozwizywania tego zagadnienia. Wykorzystujc wzory przyblione oraz wyniki oblicze
metod elementw skoczonych okrelono krzywe obcienieprzemieszczenie dla pyt
usztywnionych poprzecznie poddanych dziaaniu obcienia rozoonego rwnomiernie i
liniowo wzdu krawdzi. Wyniki wykorzystano do oblicze momentw granicznych statkw
z rejonami usztywnionymi poprzecznie. Przedstawiono porwnanie wynikw wartoci
nonoci granicznej kadubw.
Acknowledgement
14
This paper is a part of the joint Bureau Veritas  Technical University of Szczecin research
project on the ultimate capacity of ship hulls. Personal engagement of Mr. Bghin in the
project is kindly acknowledged.
Figure captions
Fig. 1. Stress distribution in ship hull crosssection subject to vertical bending
Fig. 2. Typical crosssection of bulkcarrier
Fig. 3. Typical crosssection of container
Fig. 4. Finite element model of plate
Fig. 5. Loadend shortening curve
Fig. 6. Stress distribution along compressed edge for 05
0
.
Fig. 7. Stress distribution along compressed edge for
0
Rys. 1. Rozkad napre w przekroju poprzecznym kaduba poddanego pionowemu zginaniu
Rys. 2. Typowy przekrj poprzeczny masowca
Rys. 3. Typowy przekrj poprzeczny kontenerowca
Rys. 4. Model obliczeniowy pyty w MES
Rys. 5. Krzywa obcienie  skrcenie
Rys. 6. Rozkad napre wzdu ciskanej krawdzi dla odksztacenia 05
0
.
Rys. 7. Rozkad napre wzdu ciskanej krawdzi dla odksztacenia
0
Tabela 1. Porwnanie nonoci granicznej dla pyt usztywnionych poprzecznie
Tabela 2. Nono graniczna masowcw
Tabela 3. Nono graniczna kontenerowcw