Structural Mechanics of Ships

Structural Mechanics of Ships


the scientific discipline that deals with methods of analyzing the hull structures of ships with respect to strength and rigidity. It studies the effect of external forces on the structures and investigates the stresses and strains that develop in such structures under the influence of a given system of forces. The discipline is based on the principles of theoretical mechanics and of the theories of elasticity, plasticity, reliability, and the strength of materials.

L. Euler was the first to study problems of strength in ships. The founder of the structural mechanics of ships is considered to be I. G. Bubnov. Important contributions to the field’s development were made by the Soviet scientists A. N. Krylov, Iu. A. Shi-manskii, P. F. Papkovich, V. V. Ekimov, and V. V. Novozhilov.

A simplified model of a ship’s structure is generally used in solving structural mechanics problems. Because the external influences acting on a ship at sea—that is, the wind and waves—are random in nature, the methods used in determining the external design forces and in substantiating the safety factor are drawn from the fields of probability theory, mathematical statistics, and the theory of stochastic processes. The methods use statistical data accumulated from long-term measurements of the loads, stresses, and deformations of hull structures under operating conditions.

The methods of the structural mechanics of ships are used to design warships and are the basis of the corresponding sections of the Shipbuilding Rules of the Registry of the Soviet Union that govern the strength of civil ship hulls.


Papkovich, P. F. Trudy po stroitel’noi mekhanike korablia, vols. 1–4. Moscow, 1962–63.
Korotkin, Ia. I., D. M. Rostovtsev, and N. L. Sivers. Prochnost” korablia. Leningrad, 1974.


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