Assessment of the crashworthiness of a selection of innovative ship structures
Journal article, 2013

The purpose of the current study is to assess a selection new innovative crashworthy side-shell structures, with respect to their contribution to the crashworthiness of ships, and compare them to a conventional reference structure. Explicit finite element (FE) simulations are used to assess the performance of each structure on a small-scale experimental structure as well as in simulations of large-scale ship collisions. The structures compared are divided into two concepts: the maximization of striking bow-struck ship contact area by allowing for a large intrusion depth of the bow before the watertight integrity is breached (ductile design), and the maximization of energy absorption of the structure and low intrusion depth of the striking bow (strength design). The assessment is made by comparing the intrusion depth before rupture of the inner side-shell of a double-hull structure occurs, energy absorption during the indentation, the final damage opening area as well as the weight and manufacturing costs of each structure. It was found that the strength design concept – the X-core structure – was in favour of the ductile design concept – the corrugated inner side-shell structure. The results provide basis for discussing the potential and challenges related to the implementation of each structure.

Ship collision

Non-linear FEA

Energy absorption


Innovative structures


Per Hogström

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Division of Marine Design

Jonas Ringsberg

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Division of Marine Design

Ocean Engineering

0029-8018 (ISSN)

Vol. 59 1 58-72

Subject Categories

Mechanical Engineering

Vehicle Engineering

Metallurgy and Metallic Materials

Probability Theory and Statistics

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance



Materials Science



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