Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Methodology for approximating material loss on structural plating subjected to dissimilar marine environments
by Ernsting, Robert A., Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2009, 117; 3344754
Abstract (Summary)

Non destructive measurement technologies such ultrasonic pulse echo are typically employed to measure remaining shell plating thickness for determining remaining life on marine structures. However, the technology provides total material loss across the shell plate and cannot distinguish how much material loss occurs on each plate side. By understanding material loss contribution on each plate side, engineers and maintenance personnel can have a better understanding of the environments influencing material loss, optimally plan, and schedule maintenance activities. This need is evermore important today as the U.S. proceeds to address its aging infrastructure problems.

This research defines and tests a new maintenance inspection methodology called relative material loss (RML) used for distinguishing the material loss contribution on each shell plate side separating dissimilar marine environments. The RML methodology leverages actual “at sea” environmental and operational conditions and the relationships between to solve for material loss contribution. In much the same fashion as a structural engineer isolate joints on a truss and solve free body diagram equations to determine member forces, relative loss equations are defined across various environmental boundaries (such as shell plating) and solved simultaneously to suggest solutions.

To demonstrate and test the RML theory, a case study is presented using a sixty five year old “at-sea” structure; a dry dock caisson gate. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques are used to valid the model. Shell plate material loss contribution profiles are defined using statistical and regression techniques and correlated to profiles of environmental factors known to influence marine corrosion. Spin off discoveries and recommendations for future research are included.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mazzuchi, Thomas A., Sarkani, Shahram
Commitee: Allario, Frank, Hack, Harvey P., Murphree, Edward L., Jr.
School: The George Washington University
Department: School of Engineering and Applied Science
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-B 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Ocean engineering, Materials science
Keywords: Dissimilar environments, Dry dock caisson gates, Maintenance inspections, Marine corrosion, Relative material loss, Shell plates, Structural plating
Publication Number: 3344754
ISBN: 978-1-109-03949-8
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