On the Global Ship Hull Bending Energy in Ship Collisions

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During ship collisions part of the kinetic energy of the involved vessels prior to contact is absorbed as energy dissipated by crushing of the hull structures, by friction and by elastic energy. The purpose of this report is to present an estimate of the elastic energy that can be stored in elastic hull vibrations during a ship collision. When a ship side is strengthened in order to improve the crashworthiness it has been argued in the scientific literature that a non trivial part of the energy released for structural deformation during the collision can be absorbed as elastic energy in global ship hull vibrations, such that with strong ship sides less energy has to be spent in crushing of the striking ship bow and/or the struck ship side. In normal ship-ship collision analyses both the striking and struck ship are usually considered as rigid bodies where structural crushing is confined to the impact location and where local and global bending vibration modes are neglected. That is, the structural deformation problem is considered quasi-static. In this paper a simple uniform free-free beam model is presented for estimating the energy transported into the global bending vibrations of the struck ship hull during ship-ship collisions. The striking ship is still considered as a rigid body. The local interaction between the two ships is modeled by a linear load-deflection relation. The analysis results for a simplified model of a struck coaster and of a large tanker show that the elastic energy absorbed by the struck ship normally is small and varies from 1 to 6 % of the energy released for crushing. The energy stored as elastic global hull girder vibrations depends on the ship mass, the local stiffness of the side structure, and of the position of contact. The results also show that for highly strengthened ship sides the maximum global bending strains during collisions can lead to hull girder failure.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociety of Naval Architects of Japan
Pages (from-to)1-6
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventProceedings of 3rd International Conference on Collision and Grounding of Ships, ICCGS 2004 - Japan
Duration: 1 Jan 2004 → …


ConferenceProceedings of 3rd International Conference on Collision and Grounding of Ships, ICCGS 2004
Period01/01/2004 → …


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