MARSTRUCT – Network of Excellence on Marine Structures

Field of Research: Fatigue Strength; Fabrication Effects on Structural Behaviour; Collision and Grounding

Duration: 01.02.2004 – 31.01.2010 

Project leader: Prof. Dr.-Ing. W. Fricke

Funded by: EU (FKZ TNE-CT-2003-506141) – 33 partners, Coordinator: IST (Portugal)



The overall objective of the Network, which has a duration of 5 years, is to improve the safe-ty, effectiveness, reliability, environmental behaviour and comfort of ship structures through the application of advanced structural and reliability assessment within design, fabrication and operation, leading to increased public and commercial confidence in the competitiveness and use of waterborne transportation. This objective will be achieved by strengthening the European competitiveness aiming at a permanent organisation of the type of a virtual institute, which will ensure the integration of the various European groups in a European Centre of Competence for structural analysis of ships with improved safety environmental behaviour and comfort. The objective will be achieved through a programme for jointly executed research in the area of structural analysis of ships, the creation of research facilities and platforms and a continuous programme of dissemination and communication of research results. The way in which the programme is designed contributes to the mutual specialisation and complementari-ty through building up of strengths and the shrinking of weaknesses of the participants. This programme will strengthen the scientific and technological excellence of the European Re-search Area by integrating at a European Level a critical mass of resources and expertise that will be able to provide European leadership in the design of efficient and safe ship structures.

The activities of the Network will cover the different areas related with advanced structural analysis such as:

  • Specification of the loading appropriate for the various modes of structural response and strength.
  • Methods and tools for the analysis both numerically and experimentally of the structural strength and performance, including aspects such as ultimate strength, fatigue, crashworthi-ness, fire and explosion, resistance, and noise and vibration.
  • Influence of fabrication methods and new and advanced materials on the structural strength and performance of ships.
  • Tools for design and optimisation of ship structures.
  • Tools and methods of structural reliability, safety and environmental protection of ships.

The various assessment methods will be incorporated in the methods to design and optimise efficient ship structures as well as in the methods of structural reliability to be used to ensure the safety and environmental behaviour of the ships.

The progress towards the overall objective will be managed by setting measurable intermediate objectives, such as:

  • To document current practices and trends. Measurable by: Publication of state-of-the-art surveys and expert predictions; provision of a database to back up needs of Structural Reliabi-lity Analysis (including data on distribution shapes and cut-offs, assessment of quality and limitations of data, materials information, load states.
  • To establish guidelines to best practices and generate case studies and benchmark test results wherever possible, after identification. Measurable by: Drafting best practice guidelines and standards proposals. Publish results of case studies and benchmark tests.
  • To identify the research required by European universities and research institutes, in con-junction with industry. Measurable by: Results of survey of academic and industrial organisa-tions in the marine field, with monitoring of progress by the Network in meeting those needs.
  • To provide a forum where specific research and development issues can be discussed, inclu-ding Modelling Process. Measurable by: Establishment of active network with opportunities for personal contacts, and associated online and paper publications, courses, workshops, se-minars and conferences (including virtual conferencing), and provision of internal documents on methodologies and data.
  • To ensure that reports of research projects are disseminated to industrial partners and policy-makers, and help industry to use these results in their design process. Measurable by: Publica-tion and promotion to all involved in the industry, with guidance workshops provided to pro-fessional practitioners.
  • The improvement in the advanced analysis and reliability techniques derived through the Network will be measurable by: Provision of reliability methodologies to the industry throug-hout Europe. Acknowledging that the provision of software tools is less likely to be practi-cable for many smaller companies, due to purchase and support costs, the network will aim to provide a methodology, with worked examples and comparisons from which designers can write their own computer code.
  • To promote better understanding of industry’s requirements in the application of reliability analysis techniques, incorporating advanced structural analysis. Measurable by: Networking activities to ensure industry has the opportunity to let researchers know their requirement.
  • To enable a common basis for contracting within membership. Measurable by: Establish-ment of a common simplified form of contract agreed by members.
  • To work in a cohesive manner within Europe. Measurable by: range and number of joint projects, reports and publications, the establishment of e-working and long-term virtual links.

Main Involvement of TUHH:

WP 2:  Methods and Tools for Strength Assessment:

Sub-Task 1.1.: Hot-Spot Stress Analysis (Leader)

Task 2.4: Fatigue and Fracture Strength (Leader)

Task 2.5, Crash Worthiness and Impact Strength (Participant)

WP 3:  Experimental Analysis of Structures (Leader):

Task 3.1, Experimental Equipment and Techniques (Participant)

Task 3.4, Fatigue and Fracture Tests (Leader)

Subtask 3.4.1, Investigations for Structural Hot-spot Stress Approach (Leader)

WP 4:  Materials and Fabrication of Structures:

Subtask 4.2, Fabrication Imperfections of Metallic Structures (Participan)

Final Report

Overwiev Paper:
Guedes Soares, C.; Juncher Jensen, J.; Incecik, A.; Downes, J.; Romanoff, J.; Gordo, J.M.; Fricke, W.; Vredeveldt, A.; Jastrzebski, T.; Hayman, B.; Besnard, N.; Codda, M.; Das, P.K. and Garbatov, Y.: European Research in Marine Structures. Trans. SNAME, Vol. 117, The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Jersey City, 2011.

Further Publications:

W. Fricke, A. Kahl and H. Paetzold: Fatigue Strength Assessment of Fillet Welds Predominantly Subjected to Throat Bending.In: Maritime Transportation and Exploitation of Ocean and Coastal Resources (Ed. C. Guedes Soares, Y. Garbatov, N. Fonseca), Vol. 1, S. 405-412, Taylor & Francis Group, London 2005.

W. Fricke, A. Kahl and H. Paetzold: Fatigue Assessment of Root Cracking of Fillet Welds subject to Throat Bending using the Structural Stress Approach. IIW-Doc. XIII-2072-05 / XV-1198-05, Int. Inst. of Welding, 2005 and Welding of the World 50, No. 7/8, pp. 64-74.

W. Fricke: Round-Robin Study on Stress Analysis for the Effective Notch Stress Approach. IIW-Doc. XIII-2129-06 / XV 1223-06, Int. Inst. of Welding, 2006 and Welding in the World 51, No. 3/4, 68-79

W. Fricke and A. Kahl: Comparison of different structural stress approaches for fatigue assessment of welded ship structures. Marine Structures 18 (2005), 473-488 W. Fricke and A. Kahl: Fatigue assessment of weld root failure of hollow section joints by structural and notch stress approaches. Proc. Tubular Structures XI (Ed. J.A. Packer & S. Willibald), Taylor & Francis, London 2006.

W. Fricke: Weld root assessment of fillet-welded structures based on structural stresses. Proc. 25th Int.Conf. on Offshore Mechanics & Arctic Engng., paper OMAE2006-92207, Hamburg 2006.

W. Fricke: Assessment of weld root fatigue of fillet-welded structures based on local stresses. Int. J. of Steel Structures 6 (2006), 299-306. W. Fricke, A. Bollero, I. Chirica, Y. Garbatov, F. Jancart, A. Kahl, H. Remes, C.M. Rizzo, H. von Selle, A. Urban, L. Wei (2007): Round Robin study on structural hot-spot and effective notch stress analysis. In: Advancements in Marine Structures (Ed. C. Guedes Soares & P.K. Das), 169-176, Taylor & Francis, London.

W. Fricke, A. Bollero, I. Chirica, Y. Garbatov, F. Jancart, A. Kahl, H. Remes, C.M. Rizzo, H. von Selle, A. Urban, L. Wei: Round Robin study on structural hot-spot and effective notch stress analysis. Ships and Offshore Structures 3 (2008), pp. 335 – 345

W. Fricke, A. Kahl: Numerical end Experimental Investigation of Weld Root Fatigue in Fillet-Welded Structures. Int. Shipbuilding Progress 55 (2008), pp. 29 – 45 W. Fricke, T. Gosch, A. von Lilienfeld-Toal, H. Paetzold: Schwingfestigkeitsuntersuchungen an Rahmenecken von Ro/Ro-Schiffen. Jahrb. der Schiffbautechn. Ges. 102 (2008)

W. Fricke: Guideline for the Fatigue Assessment by Notch Stress Analysis for Welded Structures. IIW-Doc. XIII-2240r1-08/XV-1289r1-08, Int. Institute of Welding 2008

Feltz, O. and Fricke, W. (2009): Experimental and numerical fatigue analysis of partial-load and full-load carrying fillet welds at doubler plates and lap joints. In: Analysis and Design of Marine Structures (Ed. Guedes Soares & Das), Taylor & Francis, London Fricke,

W. and Feltz, O. (2009): Fatigue Tests and Numerical Analyses of Partial-Load and Full-Load Carrying Fillet Welds at Cover Plates and Lap Joints. IIW-Doc. XIII-2278-09/XV-1320-09, Int. Inst. of Welding.

Fricke, W.; Codda, M.; Feltz, O.; Garbatov, Y.; Remes, H.; Risso, G.; Rizzo, C. and Romanoff, J.: Round-robin on local stress determination and fatigue assessment of load-carrying fillet joints. In: Advances in Marine Structures (Eds.: C. Guedes Soares & W. Fricke), 295-302, Taylor & Francis Group, London 2011.