Safety Assessment of Damaged Structures
Structural systems suffer age-related degradation (e.g., corrosion wastage and fatigue cracking) and in-service damage (e.g., local denting) over time. Aging structures may also suffer various minor or moderate structural damage induced by accidents, such as collisions, grounding, fires, explosions, or the dropping of objects. The safety of damaged structures is lower than that of their original, intact states. Preventing such catastrophic failures requires robust design and engineering, regardless of whether the most unfavorable events associated with structural damage are confronted. In rescue and salvage operations, the safety of damaged structures should be sufficient. Structural safety must be assessed rapidly to establish the operation scheme. One criterion used to assess the safety of damaged structures is the amount of reduction in the maximum load-carrying capacity or the remaining ultimate strength. This is called residual strength. This chapter presents methods for predicting the residual ultimate strength of damaged structures using the diagram of the residual strength versus the damage index with an illustrative example for the safety of ships damaged by grounding accidents.
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