IHB Ship Design in numbers –  15 years of experience, 80 in-house engineers, 400+ completed projects

Using Finite Element Analysis in ship design

Finite element analysis (FEA) is the process of simulating the behavior of a part or assembly under given conditions so that it can be assessed using the finite element method (FEM).

The use of the finite element in engineering applications has grown rapidly in recent years. Finite element analysis (FEA) is based on numerical computation that calculates all parameters and boundaries given. Supported with powerful computer processors and continuous software development, the finite element method is rapidly advancing.

The finite element requires an understanding of how a component works and will support the correct information and data. The quality of the data provided is a key element for the successful outcome of the simulation.

In our designs, the usage of FEA is highly important in order to adequately determine the root cause of material failure.

Using the ANSYS software, we are able to analyze existing projects as well as our own original designs. An analysis is possible for the entire vessel or only for certain areas of interest, such as a foundation that is expected to experience high loads. The fidelity of the analysis is determined and the analysis is carried out in an efficient and professional manner.

Two outcomes are required: the answer and an explanation. The failure of a mechanical component is usually associated with materials, the environment, a third party, or human error.

Take a look at the different implementations of the FEA analysis in our line of work. We are using the results from the calculations to assess the design and to decide on the needed modifications.

Every analysis is comprised of the following steps:

  1. Identifying the acting forces – they can be wind, current, temperature, self-weight, concentrated force, pressure, gravity, drag forces and etc.
  2. Determination of the distribution of the forces
  3. Calculations – total deformation, equivalent stress, maximum shear stress, safety factor, fatigue, and others.
  4. The results are being analyzed by our engineers and we make an assessment of the design.

In our line of work, we are implementing the results of the FEA calculation in various of different projects. The usage of the analysis can be on both local or global ship structure. Here are a few different cases:


The case objective is to determine the design strength of the spud pole securing ring and the impact of the external forces on the hull construction.

  1. Identify the acting forces – wind and current.
  2. Determination of the distribution of the forces.


3. Calculation of total deformation and the equivalent stress.

4. Analysis of the results

5. Design assessment

Check out other FEA case studies by IHB ShipDesign here!


Ship Design

Ship Design

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Interior Design and 3D Visualization

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Industrial Design

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