Analysis of Fatigue Crack Growth in Ship Structural Details

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Fatigue failure avoidance is a goal that can be achieved only if the fatigue design is an integral part of the original design program. The purpose of fatigue design is to ensure that the structure has adequate fatigue life. Calculated fatigue life can form the basis for meaningful and efficient inspection programs during fabrication and throughout the life of the ship. The main objective of this paper is to develop an add-on program for the analysis of fatigue crack growth in ship structural details. The developed program will be an add-on script in a pre-existing package. A crack propagation in a tanker side connection is analyzed by using the developed program based on linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) and finite element method (FEM). The basic idea of the developed application is that a finite element model of this side connection will be first analyzed by using ABAQUS and from the results of this analysis the location of the highest stresses will be revealed. At this location, an initial crack will be introduced to the finite element model and from the results of the new crack model the direction of the crack propagation and the values of the stress intensity factors, will be known. By using the calculated direction of propagation a new segment will be added to the crack and then the model is analyzed again. The last step will be repeated until the calculated stress intensity factors reach the critical value.

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