Ships operating in ice-covered waters are exposed to intense loads from ice features. Thus, their structures have to be designed to resist these ice loads. To achieve compliance with classification societies’ rules, analysis of these ice loads is achieved through the introduction of a uniform pressure patch applied to the hull surface. This uniform pressure approach does not account for the high degree of spatial and temporal variations observed in ice load measurements, which are inherent to the ice failure process. Thus, this paper will compare the response of a stiffened panel to ice loading by applying a rule-based uniform pressure patch as well as instantaneous non-uniform pressures based on measured spatial distributions of loads from field tests in order to investigate the effect of spatially localized loads due to high pressure zones on local plastic deformation of the hull.

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