The University of Southampton

SESS3026 Marine Structures

Module Overview

This module provides the fundamental aspects of advanced concepts associated with isotropic and orthotropic laminae marine plating structures.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Develop and deepen knowledge already gained in FEEG2005 and SESS2016. • Provide the student with a fundamental understanding of the strength, stability and dynamic behaviours of thin plated isotropic plates, sandwich structures and thick Mindlin plates. • Provide the student with enhanced understanding of ultimate strength of plate beam combinations and ultimate strength of ship cross section.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The behaviour of isotropic plates under lateral loading.
  • The behaviour of isotropic plates under uniaxial compressive loading.
  • The behaviour of sandwich beams.
  • The behaviour of thick Mindlin plates.
  • Plastic behaviour of plates.
  • The dynamic behaviour of plates.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Assess the strength of un/stiffened plate panels under point, linearly varying and uniformly distributed loads.
  • Characterise the elastic buckling limit of un/stiffened plate panels.
  • Characterise the structural response of sandwich beams.
  • Characterise the structural response of thick Mindin plates.
  • Assess ultimate strength of plates, beams and structures.
  • Characterise the vibrational features of plated structures.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Improve powers of critical assessment and review, and ability to review, analyse and synthesise plate structures knowledge into ship and marine structure design.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply the knowledge to practical ship design and assessment.


Thin Plate Bending: • Cylindrical bending; • Small deflection and Lagrange’s plate bending equation; • Boundary Conditions and Energy methods; • Plate response under uniform load; • Plate bending under patch load; • Plate bending subject to point load and load combinations; • Plate bending – Stiffened panels. Thin Plate Buckling: • Wide and simply supported panels; • Influence of curvature; • Merits of stiffening panels • Influence of longitudinal stiffening; • Influence of transverse stiffening. Sandwich Beams: • Sandwich concept and materials properties; • Bending stiffness and strength; • Shear stiffness and strength estimation; • Deflections in sandwich structure. Mindlin Theory for Isotropic Thick Plate: • Basic assumptions, plane stress condition; first-order shear effects; • Displacement field; strain-displacement relations; stress-strain relations; • Constitutive relations; governing equations for bending; • Bending of the Mindlin plate under transverse loading. Ultimate strength of plate beam combinations: • Concepts, load effects, effective width/breadth; • Concepts of plasticity, plastic modulus, plastic moment of resistance; • Ultimate strength of beams with various boundary conditions – cantilever, simply supported, clamped; • Ultimate strength of columns, effect of imperfections, modified Perry-Robertson formula. Ultimate strength of ship cross section: • Fundamentals of ship hull girder collapse, characteristics of loads; • Plastic moment of resistance, modelling of plate stiffener combinations, axis of zero strain, plastic strength; • Ultimate strength, effects of local buckling of stress distribution, axis of zero strain, ultimate moment. Vibration of Plates • Dynamic loads and effect of vibration; • The governing differential equations of classical plate theory; • Free vibration analysis; • Forced vibration of plates by superposition method; • Dynamic responses subject to various loads; • Approximate numerical methods.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures • Class discussions • Example sheets and directed self-study. Learning activities include • Directed reading • Independent learning to broaden understanding.

Wider reading or practice28
Completion of assessment task6
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Follow-up work20
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Resources and reading list. Available on blackboard



MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (120 minutes) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (120 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: FEEG2005 Materials And Structures.

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