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Hull inspection

Hull inspection include as definition all activities related to the steel part of the ship.

It means all hull structure within hull girders, superstructure and deck houses and
foundations welded to the hull, but not include equipment and appendages.

Light steel work is also included as locksmith work in shipbuilding.

Mechanics and systems are also a part of the ship inspection which also makes our
scope of analyze.

In the accommodation aria are included insulation, specific accommodation work,

carpenter work.

The scope of inspection is to verify:

That the construction is scantling comply to the rules and approved plans

That the required material is used

The workmanship is in compliance with the rules and normal good practice

The strength and tightness is satisfactory


Often the yard personnel use production or shop drawings different from the so-
called class drawings. Comments are sometimes indicated on the drawings.

In this respect only approved drawings should be used during survey. Acceptance
criteria are given by yard ship-building


The methods of inspection should reflect following factors:

- Previous experience with the yard

- Yard QC/QA system and implementation of the system

- Yard quality record

Structural survey should comprise:

System and fabrication survey.

Product survey

- Soundness of welds and scantling should be verified by:

a.Nondestructive tests

b.Strength / tightness test

System and fabrication survey

The scope of system and fabrication survey is to assess the yard the various and
QA/QC system and fabrication processes. The survey may be scheduled or not
scheduled but in some cases unscheduled one reveal more product errors and
process non conformity and give a more correct picture of the quality than the
planed final product survey.

The following will be checked:

- Material flow and control (marking, traceability , use correct grade and group)
- Edge preparation (bevel, cleaning , removal of dust )
- Qualification welders
- Qualification of welding procedure
- Treatment of welding consumable in special for high strength steel (drying,
- The welding process (adherence to WPS, protection against weather, wind)
- Alignment procedure (100 mm marking etc.)
- Preheating and inter pass temperature e.g. of rudder horn and sterntube
- Flame straightening procedure (procedure and cooling)
- Welding sequence
- Weld repair procedure
The surveyor will be informed by the yard according the building schedule in order
to follow up the fabrication from start up to each side shop .

Product survey

By product survey it is meant the survey of part of the product , as blocks ,

superblocks , final tanks or spaces , erection joints. We can divide hull inspection
according to the subject means part in discussion.

Section inspection
Joint inspection
Compartments: tanks, cofferdams, technical spaces, accommodations.
Special steel parts as :

Funnel, selguides , cargo hatches , foundations , corrugated bulkheads, rudder ,

Ideally compliance with the rules is taken care of the approval stage, but in some
cases modification could appear.
During inspection of the superstructure and deckhouses compliance with
requirements related to the structural fire protection should be verified.

Check penetration of the steel walls, draft stops and integral trunks and ventilation
channels. Not all drawing contains information as fire integrity of decks and

During final inspections of tanks and spaces or parts thereof, satisfactory removal of
temporary fitting as e.g. lifting lugs and staging pieces should be checked. Fittings in
highly stressed aria that introduce local stresses should be removed.

Aria of special attention.

There are some structural elements are more important than others, that stress
level in some elements is higher, some elements have higher damage frequency ,
arias of special attention should be identified.

- Longitudinal strength members are subject to hull girder bending

and sheer stresses are of great importance .

- Bend stresses are greatest in deck and bottom within 0.4 L

amidships and shear stresses in ship sides and longitudinal
bulkheads are normally greatest at quarter length forward and aft ,
and at transverse bulkhead position . Longitudinal girders , and
stiffeners ,eventual inner bottom and continuous hatch coaming are
included in this category .

- Important continuity

- Alignment

- Plate thickness

- Termination of longi members at traverse bulkhead fore and aft of cargo aria
(termination brackets , tapering )

- Straightness of deck and bottom plate in middle ship aria

- Edge finish and radius of corners in way of openings , in particular of large

openings in deck

Primary strength members:

Primary members are:

-girders and girders supporting plate panel

-transverse strength bulkheads

-girders system providing transverse hull strength

Most of those memes are primary strength members ,which means that failure may
have great consequences .

Important check points :

-alignment of the cross joint (in particular at toe of girder brackets)

-end size at end girders

-flange tapering and weld finish at toe of girder bracket

-there is no un-approved large opening in web plates towards end of girders.

-the tripping brackets are fitted

Secondary strength members:

There are structural members mainly subjected to local loads and forces , ex
bulkheads stiffeners , longitudinal and frames.

Other secondary members are buckling stiffeners , means failure of one of these
elements have not serious consequences as primary strength members . Stress in
normal low, check if stiffener is fitted ,weld size is less important .

The stress in laterally loaded stiffener is generally greatest within 20% of the length
from his length . Concentrate on the ends and check connection to girder (lugs,
brackets and weld size)
1 . Center girder 18 . 2nd deck beam
2. Side girder 19 . Beam bracket
3. Bottom longitudinal 20 Second deck
4 . Top longitudinal of double bottom 21 . Upper deck
5. Solid foor 22. Stringer plate
6. Keel 23. Tripping bracket
7 . Astrake 24. Deck transverse beam
8. Bottom plating 25. Deck longitudinal
9. Bilge strake 26. Deck girder
10. Side plating 27. Hatch coaming
11 . Top side strake 28. Strong beam
12 . Sheer strake 29. Web frame
13 . Inner bottom plating 30. Hold pillar
14 . Tank side bracket 31 . Tween deck pillar
15 . Gusset plate 32. Bulwark plate
16 . Hold frame 33. Hand rail
17 . Tween deck frame 34. Bulwark stay
35. Horizontal stiffener 43 . Scallop or Serration
36 . Bilge keel 44 . Lightening hole
37 . Docking bracket 45 . Margin plate
38 . Bracket to margin plate 46 . Manhole
39 . Water tight floor 47 . Water tight bulkhead
40 .; Bracket to water tight floor 48 . Bulkhead stiffener
41 . Vertical stiffener 49 . Doubling
42 . Strut
Members subjected to higher dynamic stresses:

Those members are susceptible to fatigue cracking. In case of high tensile steel is
applied and stress level increase the risk of cracking also increase.

Example of members susceptible to fatigue cracking are :

- Ship side longitudinal and side web frames in way of tanks ,

- Structure in way of rudder horn

- Structural members in way of tanks intended for partial filing

It is important for those elements good weld finish and good alignment , wich
is more important for high strength steel than for mild steel .

In particular important detail is :

- In way of connection between shipside longi and webframes /bulckheads in

tankers: sharp undercuts are not accepted, weld size and detail must be
approved or better all brackets shown in approved drawing must be fitted.

Highly stress aria:

Local stress could be in :

-in way of knuckle aria

-in brackets toe

- in way of abrupt thickness changes

-in way of snipping

-in way of cut outs ,particular for square , rectangular

-at end connection of stiffeners

- termination of cargo hath coamings and brackets

Higher stress level may also be expected in arias where thickness are
increased or where materials high tensile is used .

Points to be checked:


-weld size and finish

- material strength group

- detail design

-fittings (unnecessary fittings should be avoided in these arias)


The rules specify: at least all welds crossing in the bottom and deck
plantings within 0.4 L amidship are to be examinated

Tightness and strength test

Test of tanks have to be verified as :

-air test by pressuring tank

- vacuum test of individual welds

- injection of air into root gap fillet weld joint

A thin layer of shoprimer applied to welds prior to testing will normaly be

acceptable .

In principle all welds must be checked , in exceptional cases some pipe

penetrations , temporary acces openings could be separate tested by an
acceptable method .

Strength test or hydraulic test is to verify that scantling and welds of tanks
boundaries are adequate. Satisfactory testing on one vessel should not be
applied automatic on sister vessel.

Decision belongs to the class surveyor satisfaction .