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Padeye strength

Padeyes are frequently applied for use as lift points or as

hinged connections.Several calculation methods are
available (from class and industry) for strength
assessment of padeyes. Generally, the following
stresses are evaluated:
contact stress between pin and eye
tensile stress next to the eye
tensile stress at the extreme fibre of the eye plate
shear stress in the eye plate.
Stresses in the connection of the padeye to the structure
and in the welds of possible doubler plates in way of the
eye are important as well, but not subject of the current
Not all methods make use of all stresses mentioned,
reflecting different philosophies on stress components
governing padeye design. Formulae for stress
calculation show principal differences between methods.
All methods are using more or less approximate
(nominal) calculation methods. However, the compact
geometry of padeyes will cause actual stress peaks
deviating from the nominal values. These stress
concentration effects are accounted for by factors on
loads or nominal stresses and / or relatively low
allowable stresses. Each method has its own set of
factors. Obviously all existing padeye methods are based
on experience and give no insight in the actual stress
peak values. Furthermore, it is not clear which stress
components are actually critical for strength.

Eye plate

Tensile stress Contact stress Padeye on

next to eye

R&D project
Eye plate structures are designed for ever growing load
levels. In order to guarantee structural safety as well as
economic design (plate thickness) Vuyk Engineering
Rotterdam initiated a research and development project
with the goal to clarify above issues and to develop a tool
for more accurate padeye strength analysis.
Finite element analysis is applied to investigate the
stress fields in padeyes for a range of geometries and
load directions. It was found that each padeye generally
is governed by the peak tensile stress at the edge of the
hole only. Extreme fibre tensile stress is secondary and
shear stress is not significant.
As a next step, the contact condition between the pin
and the eye plate was considered. It was found that the
classic Hertz theory is very well suited for the contact
pressure analysis. The influence of the clearance
between the pin and the eye as well as the relative
magnitude of loading on stress peaks was investigated.
It appeared that higher load intensities have a favourable
effect on stress concentration effects, depending on the
clearance applied. This resembles the supporting effect
of the pin on the padeye where a larger padeye
deformation (related to larger stresses) induces a larger
contact area which on its turn lowers the stress
All analyses are performed using fine-mesh models
including the modelling of the contact zone which
requires non-linear calculations. Using these FE routines
for each padeye design is not practical. Therefore, FE
results were systematically generated and used as input
for a spread sheet program. This tool now facilitates the
quick and accurate evaluation of padeye strength, based
on thorough knowledge of eye plate stress response and
the pin to eye interaction behaviour.
Future developments
Strength evaluation requires accurate stress analysis on
the one hand in combination with knowledge of allowable
values on the other hand. Allowable stresses should be

based on structural failure modes with corresponding

critical (failure) values. Since the failure limit of padeyes
is not as obvious as one might think, another research
project is currently ongoing at Vuyk Engineering