The application of both light and heavy sections of high strength metals in weight sensitive ships demands that structural integrity principles be followed during all stages of design, fabrication and life-cycle support of ship structures. The integration of the interfacing disciplines of material sciences, fracture mechanics, structural design, welding engineering, production engineering and nondestructive testing are necessary ingredients of the Navy’s structural integrity plan. The relationships of these groups in the past, and envisioned in the future, are discussed. Results of early structural integrity efforts for present day ships as well as structural integrity aspects of ongoing designs are also discussed.

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