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Non-Conservative Consequences of “Conservative” Assumptions in Ship-Platform Collision Analysis

[+] Author Affiliations
Martin Storheim, Jørgen Amdahl

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Paper No. OMAE2014-24457, pp. V04BT02A034; 6 pages
  • ASME 2014 33rd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 4B: Structures, Safety and Reliability
  • San Francisco, California, USA, June 8–13, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4543-1
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


When designing offshore structures it is normally required to withstand a ship impact of a given magnitude without having progressive collapse of the structure. A common assumption when verifying a structure’s crashworthiness is to consider impact from a rigid vessel. This is argued to be a conservative assumption, as the struck structure will have to dissipate all energy. At a given time instant during a real collision, the weakest body will deform. Thus, if the actual strength of the platform is greater than that of the striking vessel, the rigid assumption will be wrong.

For impact between a platform and a supply vessel, contact can occur for both the stem (forecastle structure) and the bulb simultaneously. Analyses show that there is a large difference between the strength of the stem and the bulb structure for conventional supply vessels, both in terms of total force and more importantly the pressure exerted to the struck structure. Thus, while the bulb might be stronger than the struck object, the stem is normally crushed.

If a completely rigid vessel is assumed, the strain energy dissipation in the struck structure in way of the stem would be highly overpredicted, thereby lowering the estimate of the damage caused by the bulb.

This paper investigates the consequences of the rigid assumption by nonlinear finite element analysis. A modern large supply vessel design is checked. The differences between a rigid and a deformable vessel are highlighted, and non-conservative results identified.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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