It is well known that ships vibrate due to waves. The wave induced vibrations of the hull girder are referred to as springing (resonance) and whipping (transient vibration from impacts). These vibrations contribute to the fatigue damage of fatigue sensitive details. An Ore Carrier of 400 000 dwt is currently being built by DSME, and at time of delivery, it will be the world’s largest bulk (ore) carrier. The scantlings of large ships must be carefully designed with respect to global loading, and when extending the design beyond experience, it is also wise to consider all aspects that may affect operation and the life time costs. The vessel will also enter a long term contract and is therefore to be evaluated for 30 year Brazil-China operation. In order to minimize the risk of fatigue damage, the vessel is designed according to DNV’s class notation CSA-2 requiring direct calculations of the loading and strength. Further it has been requested to include the effect of springing and whipping in the design. Reliable numerical tools for assessing the additional fatigue effect of vibrations are non-existing. DNV has, however, developed an empirical guidance on how the additional effect may be taken into account based on previous development projects related to the effect of vibrations on large ore carriers Due to the size and route of operation of the new design, it has, however, been required by the owner to carry out model tests in both ballast and cargo condition in order to quantify the contribution from vibration. The results from this project have been used for verification and further calibration of DNV’s existing empirical guidance. A test program has been designed for the purpose of evaluating the consequence in head seas for the Brazil to China trade. Full scale measurements from previous development projects of ore carriers and model tests have been utilized to convert the current model tests results into estimated full scale results for the 400 000 dwt vessels. It is further important to carefully consider how the vibrations are to be included in the design verification, and to develop a procedure for taking into account the vibrations which results in reasonable scantlings based on in-service experience with similar designs and trades. This procedure has been developed, and a structural verification has been carried out for the design. The final outcome of the model test was in line with previous experience and in overall agreement with DNV’s empirical guidance, showing a significant contribution from vibrations to the fatigue damage. The springing/whipping vibrations more than doubled the fatigue damage compared to fatigue evaluation of the isolated wave induced loading. The cargo condition vibrated relatively more than experienced on smaller vessels. Various sources to establish the wave conditions for the Brazil to China ore trade were used, and the different sources resulted in significant differences in the predicted fatigue life of the design.

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