Title page for ETD etd-01152003-150650

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Chen, Yong
Author's Email Address yochen2@vt.edu
URN etd-01152003-150650
Title Ultimate Strength Analysis of Stiffened Panels Using a Beam-Column Method
Degree PhD
Department Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hughes, Owen F. Committee Chair
Allen, Michael J. Committee Member
Brown, Alan J. Committee Member
Johnson, Eric R. Committee Member
Kapania, Rakesh K. Committee Member
  • ultimate strength
  • orthotropic plate method
  • beam-column method
  • stiffened panels
Date of Defense 2003-01-15
Availability unrestricted
An efficient beam-column approach, using an improved step-by-step numerical method, is developed in the current research for studying the ultimate strength problems of stiffened panels with two load cases: 1) under longitudinal compression, and 2) under transverse compression.

Chapter 2 presents an improved step-by-step numerical integration procedure based on (Chen and Liu, 1987) to calculate the ultimate strength of a beam-column under axial compression, end moments, lateral loads, and combined loads. A special procedure for three-span beam-columns is also developed with a special attention to usability for stiffened panels. A software package, ULTBEAM, is developed as an implementation of this method. The comparison of ULTBEAM with the commercial finite element package ABAQUS shows very good agreement.

The improved beam-column method is first applied for the ultimate strength analysis of stiffened panel under longitudinal compression. The fine mesh elasto-plastic finite element ultimate strength analyses are carried out with 107 three-bay stiffened panels, covering a wide range of panel length, plate thickness, and stiffener sizes and proportions. The FE results show that the three-bay simply supported model is sufficiently general to apply to any panel with three or more bays. The FE results are then used to obtain a simple formula that corrects the beam-column result and gives good agreement for panel ultimate strength for all of the 107 panels. The formula is extremely simple, involving only one parameter: the product λΠorth2.

Chapter 4 compares the predictions of the new beam-column formula and the orthotropic-based methods with the FE solutions for all 107 panels. It shows that the orthotropic plate theory cannot model the "crossover" panels adequately, whereas the beam-column method can predict the ultimate strength well for all of the 107 panels, including the "crossover" panels.

The beam-column method is then applied for the ultimate strength analysis of stiffened panel under transverse compression, with or without pressure. The method is based on a further extension of the nonlinear beam-column theory presented in Chapter 2, and application of it to a continuous plate strip model to calculate the ultimate strength of subpanels. This method is evaluated by comparing the results with those obtained using ABAQUS, for several typical ship panels under various pressures.

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