Title: Improving the early steel design process by integrating strength calculation and rule checking capabilities in a ship design tool.
Written by: Nicolas Rox
in: <em>OMAE, San Francisco, USA</em>. (2014).
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Abstract: A well-founded determination of steel structure scantlings is essential during the early design process of a ship or an ocean structure. In the first 4 up to 6 weeks of a new building project, the major part of the final building costs has to be fixed. Amongst others a proper steel weight estimation is crucial. The weight depends on the structural dimensions which are determined mostly by experience and rarely by direct calculations. Therefore, a simple direct strength calculation tool has been integrated in a ship design software. The tool uses structural and general ship design information. Besides the structural constraints, posed by the project design, the steel designer has to fulfill also the structural constraints posed by the classification societies. Normally they are checked with software solutions provided by the societies. However these software tools are not well adapted to the early design process as various design parameters change frequently. For this purpose a link has been created between a rule scantling tool on one side and a design software on the other. The link allows an automated exchange of steel scantlings and project information. By this the modeling and design work as well as the structure scantling and steel weight determination is performed in the design software tool, while the rule scantling tool is only used for a quick assessment of class conformity. With the help of the mentioned methods, the structure can be pre-dimensioned directly based on the early design model in accordance with the classification rules. Furthermore the steel dimensions can not only be optimized with regard to local and global loads, but also with regard to design boundary conditions. In consequence the early steel design process is improved by a more accurate steel scantlings determination and results in a better optimized steel structure as well as severely reduced time spent on the steel iterations.