Ultimate strength of thin steel plates was studied under shear loading when pitting corrosion and cracking occur simultaneously. Nonlinear finite element method was used and the effects of different geometrical parameters, such as crack position, crack length, pit depth, pit diameter, number of the pits, and the inclination angle of the crack, were investigated. It was found that the degree of the pitting (DOP) significantly reduces the ultimate shear strength of the pitted plates when the corrosion is low. For high amount of corrosion, the reduction of the ultimate shear strength remains the same regardless of the amount of the DOP. In plates with short cracks, the crack length has no influence on the reduction of the ultimate shear strength. Also, it was found that the position of the crack is more effective than the length of the crack on the reduction of the ultimate shear strength of the cracked plates. In the cracked-pitted plates, there was no interaction between crack and pit for extremes value of DOP. For low value of DOP, the ultimate shear strength of the cracked-pitted plate was the same as the cracked plate, and for large value of DOP, it is the same as pitted plate.


According to a study performed between 2002 and 2008 by American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) (“Review of Current Practices of Fracture” 2012), majority of reported fractures of the ships were structural failures, such as weld defect, buckling, fracture, and cracking. Cracks and corrosion are two more common defects, which are the main reasons of the failure of the aged steel structures.

Plates and stiffened plates are the main structural elements in many structures, including airplanes, bridges, offshore structures, and ships. Ultimate strength evaluation of these structural elements is crucial for rational design of structures, such as Load Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) methods in civil engineering and Ultimate Strength (UTS) evaluation in ship structure. Many studies are carried out to evaluate ultimate strength of intact and damaged plates/ stiffened plates under in-plane compressive stress. Ranji (2012) studied ultimate strength of plate with general corrosion under in-plane compression. He proposed a spectrum for random generation of corroded surface and ultimate strength of corroded plate was evaluated using computer code ANSYS. Ranji and Zarookian (2015) analyzed ultimate strength of cracked stiffened plates with cracks having different stiffeners numerically.

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