This paper deals with the influence that a localised damage induced dimple imperfection can have on the ability of a panel to resist in-plane compressive loads. A single damaged plate on a ship is not a severe problem, but if enough plates have been damaged then the ability of a panel to carry its intended load can be compromised. In this study a finite element non-linear analysis of panels having different geometry is carried out in order to identify the influence of various parameters on the collapse strength. The finite element model used is of a panel, 3 plates long and 3 plates across. It was found that the position of the dimple imperfection on the panel is an important factor, that the dimple imperfection not only reduces the collapse strength but induces a more violent collapse and that it has an influence over the mode of collapse.

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