Fatigue life calculations have been recently introduced as explicit checks in classification societies rules for shipbuilding. Such checks are based on the classic S-N approach, which cannot be easily applied to the condition assessment of structural details. Fracture mechanics approach allows describing the structural degradation of ageing structures and the reliability framework accounts for the inherent probabilistic aspects of fatigue. This approach gains relevance as many ship tankers are being converted to operate as offshore ships. This paper carries out a sensitivity analysis of the reliability model for fatigue life calculations of typical ship’s welded joints based on fracture mechanics, aiming to select the most influencing parameters, before and after inspection updating.

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