Many offshore constructions and operations involve water impact problems such as water slamming onto a structure or free fall of objects with subsequent water entry and emergence. Wave slamming on semi-submersibles, vertical members of jacket structures, crane operation of a diving bell and dropping of free fall lifeboats are some notable examples. The slamming and water entry problems lead to large instantaneous impact pressures on the structure, accompanied with complex free surface deformations. These need to be studied in detail in order to obtain a better understanding of the fluid physics involved and develop safe and economical design. In the special case of free-fall lifeboats, model testing can be expensive and time consuming. Here, numerical modelling can make useful contributions to the design process. The slamming of a free falling body into water involves several complex hydrodynamic features after its free-fall such as water entry, submergence into water and resurfacing. The water entry and submergence lead to formation of water jets and air cavities in the water resulting in large impact forces on the object. In order to evaluate the forces and hydrodynamics involved, the numerical model should be able to account for the complex free surface features, the instantaneous pressure changes around the lifeboat and accurately evaluate the loads on the lifeboat. As a step towards simulating free-fall lifeboats, water entry of a free-falling wedge into water is studied in this paper using a CFD model. The vertical velocity of the wedge during the process of free fall and water impact are calculated for different cases and the free surface deformations are captured in detail. Numerical results are compared with experimental data and a good agreement is seen. The open-source CFD model REEF3D is used in this study. The model solves the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations to evaluate the fluid flow. The convective terms are discretized using a 5th-order conservative finite difference WENO scheme. Time discretization is carried out using a 3rd-order Runge-Kutta scheme. Pressure discretization is carried out using Chorins projection method. The Poisson pressure equation is solved using a pre-conditioned BiCGStab algorithm. A sharp representation of the free surface is obtained using the level set method. The falling wedge is represented using the level set paradigm as well, avoiding the need for re-meshing during the simulation. Turbulence modeling is carried out using the k-ω model. Computational performance of the numerical model is improved by parallel processing using the MPI library.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.