Voyage optimization for mitigating ship structural failure due to crack propagation
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2018

Fatigue damage in ship structures starts to be accumulated from the first day when a ship is launched, while the average
age of current ship fleets in different shipping segments is often older than15 years. After many years of fatigue accumulation,
fatigue cracks are widely existing in today’s ocean-crossing ships. The existence of fatigue cracks brings great challenges
to ship safety, structural maintenance, associated operation cost, and so on. In order to reduce the crack
propagation and enhance a ship’s structural safety during its service period, various methods could be implemented, such
as decreasing cargo loadings, reducing ship speed, or even changing trade regions to be sailed in moderate sea environments.
In this article, the so-called voyage optimization is proposed to plan a ship’s sailing courses with a well-designed
schedule to minimize the fatigue accumulation in ship structures. Two types of optimization algorithms are used for the
voyage planning, namely, the static waypoint/grid–based and dynamic waypoint/grid–based optimization systems. The
capabilities of these two optimization systems are demonstrated by a 2800TEU container vessel, which was also instrumented
with an old style weather routing system. One entire year of full-scale measurement data are available for the
demonstration, and the crack propagation is estimated by a linear fracture mechanics–based spectral method. It is concluded
that the benefits of using the proposed voyage optimization to mitigate the risk associated with a structural crack
failure by more than 50%.

fatigue failure risk

ship routing optimization algorithms

fatigue route planning

ship structures

voyage optimization

Fatigue crack propagation


Helong Wang

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Marin teknik

Wengang Mao

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Marin teknik

Di Zhang

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part O: Journal of Risk and Reliability

1748-006X (ISSN) 1748-0078 (eISSN)

Vol. X X 1-13


Hållbar utveckling

Innovation och entreprenörskap





Teknisk mekanik

Tillförlitlighets- och kvalitetsteknik

Annan matematik

Marin teknik



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