ABS Introduces Guide on the Use of Higher-Strength Thick Steel Plates

May 18, 2009

For more information, contact: Jennifer Bewley, ABS External Affairs 1 281 877 5851 or jbewley@eagle.org

(Houston, TX–) ABS has issued a new guide intended to provide supplementary requirements for the application of higher-strength, thick steel plates, greater than 51 mm, within the structure of large container carriers. The requirements in the Guide for Application of Higher-Strength Hull Structural Thick Steel Plates in Container Carriers are based on ABS¹ extensive experience with the design, construction and in-service performance of large and ultra large container carriers. The society classes the largest container ships currently in service.

Application of hull structural thick steel plates in the upper flange of large container carriers becomes a natural choice for the hull structure to meet the required hull girder strength. Steel plates well in excess of 51 mm are now commonly specified for these vessels. More recently, one technical innovation that is having a significant impact on the next generation of container carriers is the application of hull structural thick steel plates with a minimum yield stress of 460 N/mm2 (H47).

For thick steel plates, the new requirements reflect a large and successful body of experience with large container carriers in service, taking into consideration the first principles structural analysis methodologies and the experience in material, welding, and construction that is being routinely applied to large container carriers.

³Despite the global downturn that has resulted in concerns over the new containership orderbook, a significant number of these ultra large containerships will still be built and delivered over the next two years,² said Bill Shi, Director, ABS Corporate Engineering Support. ³We feel that industry can benefit from additional guidance on the application of these high strength steels within these technically challenging vessels.²

Shi also notes that the Guide addresses not only the design and construction of vessels using higher strength thick steel plates but also the in-service operation. ³In response to requests from industry for the adoption of H47 grade steel, this Guide has been developed to also provide guidance on the operation of container carriers built with such high strength steel plates. It includes specific requirements for all three stages of the vessel’s life.²

Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification society devoted to promoting the security of life, property and the marine environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities.

Editor¹s Note: The ABS Guide for Application of Higher-Strength Hull Structural Thick Steel Plates in Container Carriers is available for download from the ABS website at Resources, Rules & Guides, Downloads (Publication #165).

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By Professional Mariner Staff