Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 763849, 39 pages
Research Article

Simplified Analytical Method for Estimating the Resistance of Lock Gates to Ship Impacts

1Faculty of Applied Sciences and ANAST, University of Liège, 1 Chemin des Chevreuils, 4000 Liège, Belgium
2Mechanical Engineering Department (LE2M), ICAM Nantes Campus, 35 avenue du Champ de Manœuvres, 44470 Carquefou, France

Received 19 January 2012; Accepted 26 March 2012

Academic Editor: Celso P. Pesce

Copyright © 2012 Loïc Buldgen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present paper is concerned with the design of lock gates submitted to ship impacts. In this paper, a simplified analytical method is presented to evaluate the resistance of such structures under collision. The basic idea is to assume that the resistance is first provided through a local deforming mode, corresponding to a localized crushing of some impacted structural elements. For consecutive larger deformations, the resistance is then mostly provided through a global deforming mode, corresponding to an overall movement of the entire gate. For assessing the resistance in the case of the local deforming mode, the structure is divided into a given number of large structural entities called “superelements.” For each of them, a relation between the resistance of the gate and the penetration of the striking ship is established. However, as some results are already available in the literature, this subject is not treated extensively in this paper. On the contrary, the calculation of the resistance of the gate provided through the global mode is detailed and the strategy to switch from local to global deformation is highlighted. Finally, we propose to validate our developments by making a comparison between results obtained numerically and those predicted by the present analytical approach.