Understanding Stress in Ship Hulls to Enhance Reliability

Defence Research and Development Canada sponsors research that needs stress data from the CNBC to understand the strength of ship hulls.

Source: Canadian Neutron Beam Centre (CNBC)
Contact: cnbc@cnl.ca
Image: Military ship hull

Eliminating failures of ship hulls is a goal of several North American defence agencies that collaborate on research through the Ship Structures Committee, which aims to lower maintenance costs and enhance the reliability of naval vessels. Because stresses in hull materials may lead to fractures, Professor Sreekanta Das of the University of Windsor collaborated with Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) to better understand stresses in welded ship hull material.

Sara Kenno, a Ph.D. student studying under Prof. Das, used the CNBC’s neutron stress scanner to map the stresses deep inside twelve plates that replicate the welded and stiffened panels in a ship’s hull. These plates exhibited three different spacings for L-shaped stiffeners, which are beams welded onto the inside of the hull to add strength. Knowledge of the stress distributions produced by various welding patterns or methods will help to predict how well a hull will resist fractures.

“My time spent with the world class scientists at CNBC has been invaluable toward completing my Master’s and Ph.D. research,” says Sara. “I developed research and deductive reasoning skills useful in any research project, in addition to experience using specialised neutron diffraction techniques.”