Wave-induced vibrations, such as whipping and springing, of container carriers have been attracting much attention because of their effects on hull-girder bending moments and fatigue damage. An investigation has been carried out comparing experimental measurements and numerical predictions of symmetric wave-induced loads (i.e. vertical bending moment) of the latest River-sea link container ship design, LPP = 130 m. The dual mission characteristics, namely rivers and open seas, make this type of ship an extremely interesting type of container carrier, particularly in terms of springing and whipping.

A backbone beam segmented model is used in the experiments with the focus on springing- and whipping-induced vertical bending moments, for the model travelling at Fn = 0.21 in regular and long-crested irregular head waves, of 2.5m full-scale height or significant wave height. In addition higher order (harmonics) vertical bending moments (VBM) are also extracted from the experiments. The measurements are taken at amidships and the fore and aft quarters. Numerical predictions, for both the full-scale vessel and segmented model, are obtained using the two-dimensional linear hydroelasticity theories, where the hull structure is idealized as a non-uniform beam and the fluid actions evaluated using strip theory.

The measured model test results, in relatively moderate conditions based on a particular area of operation for this low-draught vessel, indicate that nonlinear springing accounts for a significant portion of the total wave-induced bending moments in regular and, to an extent, irregular waves and slamming effects are small due to the operational area selected. The numerical predictions in regular waves show that linear hydroelasticity analysis can only predict similar trends in the variation of the VBM and the resonance peak. On the other hand, in long crested irregular waves the linear hydroelasticity analysis provides peak statistics that are commensurate with the measurements. The numerical predictions were obtained for two variants, having L = LPP and L = 0.9 LPP, the latter corresponding to the length of the backbone.

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