American Society of Civil Engineers

Wooden Ship Hulls as Box Girders with Multiple Interlayer Slip

by H. R. Milner, (Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Monash Univ., Wellington Rd., Clayton 3800, Victoria, Australia) and Jan Peczkis, (corresponding author), (Dept. of Earth Sci., Northeastern Illinois Univ., 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 E-mail:

Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 133, No. 6, June 2007, pp. 855-861, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
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Abstract: The difficulties of modeling the vertical flexure of mechanically fastened wooden ship hulls as that of box beams, a mainstay of naval architecture when applied to iron and steel ships, can largely be overcome by factoring the incomplete composite action of timber components in terms of a reduced shear modulus, an increased shear lag, and a reduced sectional area in tension (owing to butt joints). Sample computations on a large wooden hull indicate that its deflection can be limited to about twice that of a completely composite hull if stiff fasteners (drift pins) are used at a much greater density than is typical of traditional construction. The lengths of timber pieces become severely limiting only if they are below 1/5th of hull length. The methodology has broad application to the preliminary design of many-piece timber box beam structures in general.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Composite beams
Semi-rigid connections
Shear flow
Shear lag
Wood structures