Free and forced vibration analyses of ship structures using the finite element method

Adil Yucel*, Alaeddin Arpaci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


With increases in ship size and speed, shipboard vibration becomes a significant concern in the design and construction of vessels. Excessive ship vibration is to be avoided for passenger comfort and crew habitability. In addition to the undesired effects on humans, excessive ship vibration may result in the fatigue failure of local structural members or malfunctioning of machinery and equipment. The propeller induces fluctuating pressure on the surface of the hull, which induces vibration in the hull structure. These pressure pulses acting on the ship hull surface above the propeller are the predominant factor for vibrations of ship structures are taken as excitation forces for forced vibration analysis. Ship structures are complex and may be analyzed after idealization of the structure. Several simplifying assumptions are made in the finite element idealization of the hull structure. In this study, a three-dimensional finite element model representing the entire ship hull, including the deckhouse and machinery propulsion system, has been developed using solid modeling software for local and global vibration analyses. Vibration analyses have been conducted under two conditions: free-free (dry) and in-water (wet). The wet analysis has been implemented using acoustic elements. The total damping associated with overall ship hull structure vibration has been considered as a combination of the several damping components. As a result of the global ship free vibration analysis, global natural frequencies and mode shapes have been determined. Moreover, the responses of local ship structures have been determined as a result of the propeller-induced forced vibration analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-338
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • Finite element method
  • Modal analysis
  • Ship hull vibrations


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