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The University of Southampton

Research project: Influence of ultimate strength on aged and corroded ships

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The aim of this work is to model the ultimate strength degradation of steel structural members used in the construction of ships, such as found within cargo holds and ballast tanks.  There is a vital need to develop enhanced modelling techniques based on more rationalised corrosion patterns that are directly informed by classification societies.  By determining the influence of steel plate thinning, the most significant corrosion features for these aged and corroded structures will be highlighted.  Thus, allowing more appropriate surveying strategies to be undertaken and importantly what steps should be implemented to ensure identification of susceptible corrosion locations.

Computer model mesh of random pitting on a steel plate
Random pitting on a steel plate

The strength modelling has been based on a limit state, non-linear finite element (FE) modelling accounting for both geometric and material non-linearities.  Studies into corrosion mechanisms of the hull constructural materials typically used in ships, i.e. mild and high tensile steel have been included.  Thus, this work explores the state-of-the-art in modelling strategies (single-side and double-side corrosion), plus provide results from the FE validation modelling. 

Thermoelastic stress analysis - principle stress distribution of random pitting on a steel plate
Thermoelastic stress analysis

Building on the initial study, a novel FE model with a random surface has also been introduced to simulate general corrosion damage.  Non-Gaussian random surfaces applying skewness and kurtosis parameters have been utilised to simulate corrosion depth and coverage. 

Finite element analysis - principle stress distribution of random pitting on a steel plate
Finite element analysis

In addition, the initial approach for modelling of single isolated pits to multiple coalesced pitting on one side of a steel plate will be included.  Ultimately, the outcome of this study will be used to inform and enhance survey strategies and repair methods.


Industry Partner:  Lloyd's Register.

Related research groups

national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)
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