Structures in civil, naval and aeronautical engineering commonly use plates that experience shear loading. When subjected to loading, such as shear, axial compression, bending and lateral pressure, many panel designs use stiffeners to reinforce the structure and increase the buckling capacity. Particularly, in the oil industry, platform side shell structures are made up of stiffened panels that experience a considerable amount of shear force. When added to geometrical imperfection (e.g. fabrication or supply vessel collision), this compromises the ultimate strength capability. The aim of the present study is to develop a simplified model, using FEM, to predict the ultimate loading capability of stiffened panels under pure shear stress. Furthermore, an amplified parametric study varying the geometry and initial imperfection was considered to verify such influences. Comparison with several current and published studies yielded positive and conclusive results.

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