Structural analysis of the 17th century warship Vasa : Influence of the dowels on the stiffness of the hull

University essay from Högskolan i Skövde/Institutionen för ingenjörsvetenskap; Högskolan i Skövde/Institutionen för ingenjörsvetenskap


After 333 years under depths of the Baltic Sea, the warship Vasa was salvaged and nowadayslies in a dry dock inside the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. Its current support system, which consists on eighteen cradle-stanchions pairs of steel, is not able to handle the present loads in a satisfactory manner. Experimental tests showed that the Vasa's hull is gradually deforming mainly due to creep behavior.

Thus, in order to preserve the Vasa for future generations, a new support system has to be implemented in a foreseeable future. There are several factors to take into consideration for its construction, which are: the degradation of the oak, its current mechanical properties and its inhomogeneity in addition to the climatic conditions of the Museum and the impossibility of taking unlimited specimens for its analysis. Hence, it is crucial to investigate the areas where the stresses and deformations are critical in the ship and how affected is the stiffness of the hull, its most important component.

In this dissertation work two Finite Element Analyses are accomplished. The first study consists on the creation of a superelement of a section of Vasa's hull with the intention of investigating the influence of the dowels on the stiffness of the hull. In the second analysis a simplied model of the entire warship Vasa is created in order to analyze it and locate possible critical areas on the hull due to its own weight and the stresses originated by the support system. The software selected for these simulations are Abaqus and CreoSimulate 2.0.

From the first study it is concluded that that the dowels do not have a signicant influence in the stiffness coeffcients of the hull. The second analysis determines that the maximum stresses are located on the bottom part of the hull. This dissertation work concludes with a suggested future work.

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