In the life cycle of ships, corrosion exists and deteriorates ship structures, resulting in the degradation of ship structural capacity. Based on practical observations, non-uniform corrosion takes place instead of uniform corrosion which is adopted widely in design rules. So it is necessary to study the load capacity of ship structures under non-uniform corrosion. In this paper, the ultimate strength of typical bottom panels in container ships under localized pitting corrosion is studied by Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis (NFEA). The pitting corrosion is supposed to be of normally distributed circular shapes whose radius is in accordance with observational statistics. Different pitting corrosion densities with perforation in both the stiffener and panel plate are considered. Structural ultimate strengths under pitting corrosion are studied under longitudinal loads, transverse loads and combination of both, and the results are compared with that from equivalent uniform corrosion. Finally, the probabilistic characteristics of structural ultimate strength under pitting corrosion in life cycle are studied.

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