We are conducting an extensive study of the strength of ships subject to ice loads. The work is in support of new international ship construction standards for the design of ships for Polar Regions. The work involves a combination of full scale structural testing, finite element modeling and analytical study of structural behaviour. The experimental research has involved a series of increasingly complex structures. The importance of plastic behaviour in ships is becoming very clear.
The work has the potential to significantly change the way that all ship structures are designed, not just ice-class ships. Significant improvements in both safety and cost are possible, when the structures are optimized for ductility, rather than for simple strength as they are now.
The research is contributing to St. John’s reputation as a center for oceans and ship-structures research, with the consequent impact of increased research and consulting, which are the exports of a knowledge economy.