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Why Marine Portholes Are Round?
Jan 12, 2018

marine porthole

The reason why the marine porthole is designed into a circle is not for beauty but has certain scientific truths.

According to the mechanics, circle is more capable of withstanding stress such as pressing and shearing than other shapes. (In the case of material deformation, internally generated equal and opposite reaction forces counteract the external force and the set of distributed internal forces at one point is called stress.) If the marine portholes are rectangular or diamond shaped and when they are subjected  to external pressure and shear forces. Stress will be concentrated at the corners of the rectangle or rhombus; when the stress is large enough, the porthole window will tend to deform or rupture. This will reduce the strength of the hull structure and affect the safe navigation of the ship. The circular marine porthole is different, when it is a part of the external force, it will be the external force evenly distributed to all parts up. To a large extent, this can avoid the damage caused by over-concentration of a stress. According to the mathematical principle, under certain conditions of circumference, the circle is larger than any other shape. This means  that the circular portlight has the largest amount of light when the construction amount and the appearance of seepage and leakage are the same. In addition, round shape is beautiful.

Based on the above reasons, designers have chosen the shape of a round porthole as ship windows.

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