Stiffened panels are commonly used in ships and offshore structures. Ultimate strength is the true load limit of inelastic stiffened panels under axial compression and combined loads. The ultimate strength of stiffened panels can be assessed by the simplified beam-column model consisting of stiffener and attached plating. This research uses a semi-analytical method to calculate the ultimate strength of inelastic beam-columns with I-shaped cross-section by using geometrically exact beam theory. The results of uniaxial compression load case agree with nonlinear finite element analysis. Compared with previous step-by-step integration approach, this new method is more efficient and can be extended to multi-span beam-columns. Next, the beam-column ultimate strength is compared with stiffened panel ultimate strength. A linear regression analysis is performed to develop the formula of correction factor. By using the forward selection stepwise regression, important panel parameters like virtual aspect ratio and slenderness ratio are retained in the linear regression formulation. Finally, the beam-column ultimate strength results corrected by the factor agree with corresponding stiffened panel ultimate strength calculated by nonlinear FEA very well.

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