Many modern ships, particularly large containerships, are characterized by extreme bow flare, large stern overhang, and low torsional rigidity due to an open deck structural configuration. Software package GL ShipLoad was developed as an aid to assess the structural integrity of such ships. This software tool became the standard method to generate rule based loads for a global strength finite element analysis of sea going displacement ships. It efficiently generates loads based on first principles. A graphical user interface facilitates the convenient application of ship and cargo masses to the finite element model and aids in the selection of relevant design wave situations. User defined selection criteria, such as maximum values of rule based bending moments, shear forces, or torsional moments, specify which waves have to be chosen for the global strength analysis. This approach yields a reduced number of balanced load cases that are sufficient to dimension the hull structure. To adequately simulate roll motion, additional roll angles are analyzed that simulate realistic distributions of torsional moments over the ship length. A strength analysis of a typical post-panamax containership demonstrated the load generation procedure. First, efficiently modeled mass items were grouped into reusable assembled masses for the ship at hydrostatic equilibrium. Second, regular design wave scenarios were estimated, and hydrodynamic pressures for a large number of regular waves were computed. Third, a reduced number of relevant wave situations were automatically selected, and balanced hydrostatic, hydrodynamic, and inertia loads were applied to the finite element model. Enforced roll angles were found to contribute significantly to the initial torsional moment in the fore holds. Finally, based on a locally refined FE submodel of the hatch corners in way of the ship’s fore hold, a fatigue analysis was performed to assess effects of critical loading under enforced roll angles.

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