Corrosion pits with a conical shape are typically observed in hold frames in way of cargo holds of bulk carriers which carry coal and iron ore. The ratio of the diameter to the depth of the typical corrosion pits is in the range between 8–1 and 10–1 and its diameter might become up to 50mm. The evaluation of residual strength of members with large uneven pitting corrosion is difficult compared with that of members with general corrosion. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to develop a method for the evaluation of residual strength of pitted members. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of pitting corrosion on the ultimate strength of steel plates under various loading conditions and explore a method for the evaluation of residual thickness of pitted plates. In the present study, a series of non-linear FE-analyses has been conducted with steel plates with a variety of random pit distributions under various loading conditions such as uni-axial compression, bi-axial compression, shear and combination of these. In these analyses, random pit distributions were calculated by the previously developed corrosion model. It has been shown that equivalent thickness loss, which is defined as thickness loss of uniformly corroded plates with the same ultimate strength as the randomly pitted plates, is smaller than or equal to 1.25 times the average thickness loss. It has been also revealed that the equivalent thickness loss for the ultimate strength under the above-mentioned loading conditions is smaller than average thickness loss at the minimum cross section, where the average thickness loss at the minimum cross section almost corresponds to the equivalent thickness loss for the tensile strength. Based on these findings, a method for the estimation of equivalent thickness loss of pitted plates has been discussed using the thickness diminution-DOP relationship, where DOP (Degree of Pitting Intensity) is defined as the ratio of the pitted surface area to the total surface area.

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