To achieve an economic and reliable ship design, the ship structure has to be designed with adequate safety margins. This can be accomplished by a reliability-based limit states design approach, in which probabilistic methods are used to guide the development of the design criteria. A tool is developed to probabilistically assess the capacity distribution of the stiffened panels. A Monte Carlo simulation scheme, which samples a number of probability distributions, has been applied using PROBAN (DNV) which interactively utilizes PULS (DNV) as an efficient ultimate strength prediction tool for plated panels. It is demonstrated that this tool can successfully link the two internationally recognized programs, i.e. PROBAN and PULS for probabilistic assessment of stiffened panel’s ultimate strength. The results demonstrate that the suitability of the assumed distribution for the strength can be assessed with relatively little computational time, where the yield stress and imperfection sizes are treated as random variables. Such results are very informative and useful for further development of existing safety format ensuring a safe, economic and reliable ship design.

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