Scantlings & Corrosion Margins
 
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Scantlings & Corrosion Margins

      4/22/2002

The risk attached to the continued acceptance of minimal initial scantlings and corrosion margins, and of the short life ships they spawn, is too great for this industry to feel comfortable,” ABS President Robert D. Somerville told delegates to a shipping conference in Athens last year. “To my mind it makes no sense for ABS to demand a 25 percent margin for corrosion but for other societies to accept margins as low as 15 percent. We should not expose ourselves in this way to the inevitable commercial pressure from the shipyards.” Somerville was addressing recent industry criticism of classification society standards and calls for common scantling criteria.

Mr. Somerville forcefully rejected suggestions that blame for light scantling ships should be laid at classification’s door. “Modern computing power allows a design to be optimized against class rules from the outset,” he pointed out. “The ship-yard’s intent is to meet class requirements without wasting somuch as an additional ton of steel or unnecessary man hour. These are bare bone designs.” Many responsible ship owners, who intend to operate that ship for many years, will then specify additional steel that will give them a stronger, more robust ship that should, if well maintained, require less repair and steel replacement as it ages. “ It is really quite simple,” he said. “The shipyard will build whatever the owner wants. But the yard expects and deserves to get paid for what is requested. It is equally simple from the owner’s viewpoint. He wants as much ship as possible for the lowest price. Caught in the middle of this negotiation is the class society.”


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