Collisions between ships contribute to ship losses even in modern time. In numerous research projects, new innovative side-shell structures have been proposed and assessed in contrast to conventional side-shell structure designs with respect to their crashworthiness properties. The current paper presents an in-depth comparison and assessment (by means of experiments and nonlinear finite element simulations) of three innovative side-shell structures referred to as the X-core, the Y-core and the intrusion-tolerant corrugated panel structures; all of them have been presented separately in the literature before. The objective is to compare the three concepts against a typical reference double-hull side-shell structure and challenge their structural designs with respect to energy absorption, penetration depth at fracture of the inner barrier during a bulb-impact loading condition, weight and manufacturing cost. It is concluded from the investigation that there is not one candidate who is superior to the others. Hence, the structures have to be further developed or trade-offs have to be made depending on the indented functionality of the structure and risk for collision related to e.g. distribution of likely collision angels.

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