Finite element simulations of ship collisions: A coupled approach to external dynamics and inner mechanics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Ingmar Pill
  • Kristjan Tabri

Research units

  • Aalto University
  • Tallinn University of Technology


The paper presents a method for dynamic numerical simulations of ship collision with LS-DYNA. The method can be employed to simulate the ship motions and the structural deformations during the collision. The proposed model treats the external dynamics and the internal mechanics simultaneously and thus includes the possible interaction. The ship motions are limited to the horizontal plane of water. The simulation method considers precisely the most important force components - inertia force and the contact force - while neglecting buoyancy, gravity and restoring forces. The striking ship is modelled as a rigid bulb with a number of discrete mass points attached to it. The side structure of the struck ship is modelled in detail in the collision area; the rest of the struck vessel is also modelled with discrete mass elements. The paper describes a numerical simulation of an eccentric collision at an inclined angle and compares the outcomes to the experimental measurements. The numerical simulation results agree well with the experiments, implying the validity of the method.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalShips and Offshore Structures
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Coupling of motions and contact force, Dynamic collision simulations, Non-symmetric ship collisions

ID: 10396130