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Stern slamming of a LNG carrier

Article  in  Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering · August 2009

DOI: 10.1115/1.3124131

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5 authors, including:

Jan Oberhagemann Michael Holtmann



Ould el Moctar Thomas Erling Schellin

University of Duisburg-Essen DNV GL SE


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Jan Oberhagemann
Stern Slamming of a LNG Carrier
Rational assessment of stern slamming of a large twin screw liquefied natural gas (LNG)
Michael Holtmann carrier comprised prediction of hydrodynamic impact loads and their effects on the
e-mail: dynamic global structural behavior of the hull girder. Linear theory obtained regular
equivalent waves that caused maximum relative normal velocities at critical locations
underneath the ship’s stern. Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes computations based on the
Ould el Moctar volume of fluid method yielded transient (nonlinear) hydrodynamic impact (slamming)
loads that were coupled to a nonlinear motion analysis of the ship in waves. At every time
step of the transient computation, the finite volume grid was translated and rotated,
Thomas E. Schellin simulating the actual position of the ship. Hydrodynamic loads acting on the hull were
converted to nodal forces for a finite element model of the ship structure. Slamming-
Germanischer Lloyd AG, induced pressure peaks, typically lasting for about 0.5 s, were characterized by a steep
Vorsetzen 35, increase and decrease before and after the peak values. Shape and duration agreed
Hamburg 20459, Germany favorably with full-scale measurements and model tests carried out on other ships, indi-
cating the plausibility of our numerical predictions. Hull girder whipping was analyzed to
investigate dynamic amplification of structural stresses. Short-duration impact-related
slamming loads excited the ship structure to vibrations in a wide range of frequencies.
Daewoong Kim Excitation of the lowest fundamental eigenmode contributed most to additional stresses
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine
Engineering Co. Ltd., caused by hull girder whipping. Although, for the cases investigated, longitudinal stresses
541 Daewoo Center Building and shear stresses caused by quasisteady wave bending were uncritical, we obtained a
Namdaemunro 5-Ga, significant amplification (up to 25%) due to the dynamic structural response.
Jung-Gu 656-714, South Korea 关DOI: 10.1115/1.3124131兴
Keywords: stern slamming, LNG ship, whipping, RANS

1 Introduction needed to be computed in a transient way. Slamming loads ob-

tained with the RANS method served as boundary conditions for
At the bottom of the stern section of a ship, high amplitude
transient finite element 共FE兲 computations.
short-duration impact-related slamming loads may occur when
this part enters the water at a small angle of inclination. These 2 Fluid-Structure Coupling
loads may not only cause local damage of the hull structure, but
also increase hull girder loads that contribute to long-term fatigue To assess effects of hull girder whipping due to slamming, in-
of the hull girder structure. Our objective was to assess stern teractions between the dynamic structural behavior and the sur-
slamming for a modern LNG carrier under two loading condi- rounding fluid flow had to be accounted for. Therefore, we per-
tions. Particularly the flat areas between propeller shafts may be formed transient coupled computations that combined
subject to stern slamming. Figure 1 shows the stern region of this computational fluid dynamics 共CFD兲 and computational structural
ship, seen from below, and Table 1 lists principal particulars. dynamics 共CSD兲 methods 关5兴. Whipping is dominated by the low-
The relative velocity between the ship’s hull in the stern region
and the water surface normal to the hull surface 共normal relative
velocity兲 was the criterion to identify critical situations with re-
spect to severe slamming. A linear panel code using zero-speed
Green functions and a forward speed correction 关1兴 obtained
transfer functions of ship motions in regular waves. A consecutive
seakeeping analysis, based on these transfer functions and the
wave climate of the North Atlantic according to IACS Recom-
mendation 34 关2兴, yielded maximum normal relative velocities.
Equivalent regular design waves, leading to the same relative ve-
locities, were identified. Based on these regular equivalent design
waves, input parameters were defined for Reynolds-averaged
Navier–Stokes 共RANS兲 simulations 关3兴 coupled with the compu-
tation of the nonlinear ship motions in these waves. The computed Fig. 1 Stern region of the LNG carrier, seen from below
pressures were relevant for a comparison with design pressures
according to classification society rules 关4兴. Table 1 Principal particulars of the LNG carrier
The impulsive nature of slamming caused hull girder structural
vibrations, known as whipping, in a wide range of frequencies.
The lowest fundamental modes were significant. Structural vibra- Length between perpendiculars 303.0 m
Beam at waterline 50.0 m
tions as well as slamming impacts were dynamic phenomena that
Design speed 19.5kn
Draft 共ballast condition兲 9.4 m
Draft 共design condition兲 11.7 m
Contributed by the Ocean Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for
publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manu- Metacentric height 共ballast condition兲 14.0 m
script received July 3, 2008; final manuscript received October 5, 2008; published Metacentric height 共design condition兲 6.7 m
online June 2, 2009. Assoc. Editor: Rene Huijsmans. Paper presented at the ASME Longitudinal gyradius 共ballast condition兲 75.3 m
27th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Enginering Transverse gyradius 共design condition兲 16.3 m
共OMAE2008兲, Estoril, Portugal, June 15–20, 2008.

Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering AUGUST 2009, Vol. 131 / 031103-1
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regular design waves for stern slamming. As a matter of fact, our
procedure only results in extreme events and does not allow for
long-term statistical distributions of slamming pressures.
At the moment of water entry, maximum relative normal ve-
locities were computed for 20 critical areas underneath the ship’s
stern region, as shown in Fig. 2. Because of symmetry about the
ship’s centerline, only locations on the port side were investigated.
To account for 360 deg of wave encounter angles, computed ship
motions were mirrored about the ship’s vertical center plane.
Long-term statistical analyses were performed, assuming equal
distribution of wave encounter angles for each given loading con-
dition and ship speed. Short-term statistics relied on Pierson–
Moskowitz seaway spectra with a cosine squared distribution of
wave energy about the primary wave direction. For long-term sta-
tistics, frequencies of occurrence of sea states were accounted for.
The applied probability of exceedance was 10−8 for 17 years of
Fig. 2 Locations of investigated slamming loads operational time. Multiplication of transfer functions for normal
relative velocities with the corresponding maximum wave ampli-
tudes yielded complex response spectra of normal relative veloci-
est hull girder natural frequencies. At such low frequencies, there ties. Values of maximum normal relative velocities were always
is a time lag between excitation and structural response. Hence, taken at the peak of the response spectra.
the influence of hull girder vibration on impact loads is relatively A subsequent analysis determined amplitudes of regular design
small, and the coupling here was done in a one-way manner. The waves for each combination of wave encounter angle, wave pe-
influence of structural deformations on the surrounding flow was riod, and ship speed. Amplitudes of these regular waves were
assumed small and was thus neglected. chosen to meet the long-term statistical value of normal relative
The RANS solver COMET 关6兴 computed fluid dynamics pres- velocities. Some restrictions based on operating experience with
sures, and the finite element software package ANSYS 关7兴 per- similar ships were introduced to avoid unrealistic design waves.
formed the structural analysis. Hydrodynamic forces and moments • Wave steepness must not exceed a value of 0.156, corre-
acting on the ship’s hull were converted to nodal forces for the FE sponding to a ratio of wave height to wavelength of 0.1.
model. Mass inertia forces and moments were also added to nodal • Except at zero forward speed, maximum acceleration on the
forces, allowing computations to be carried out in a ship-fixed bridge deck must not exceed the acceleration of gravity.
coordinate reference frame. • Depending on the ratio of forward speed V to design speed
V0, the propeller tip must not emerge for V ⬎ 1 / 3 V0, or the
3 Computational Procedure propeller emergence should not exceed one-third of the pro-
The computational procedure consisted of the following four peller radius for V = 1 / 3 V0. At zero speed, this criterion is
steps. invalid.
• Wave heights greater than 15 m are only allowed for ship
1. A linear seakeeping analysis to obtain transfer functions of speeds of less than one-third design speed.
normal relative velocities at previously defined critical areas • For critical locations that do not emerge, maximum normal
underneath the ship’s stern. relative velocity is set to zero.
2. Based on these results, a statistical analysis combined with
certain operational restrictions to determine maximum nor- As a representative sample, here for the ship in the ballast con-
mal relative velocities and selection of regular design waves dition, Fig. 3 shows plots of maximum normal relative velocities
for stern slamming led to these same normal relative veloci- that resulted for different ship speeds and wave encounter angles
ties. observing these restrictions. Circles display maximum relative ve-
3. Computation of RANS based slamming pressures coupled locities obtained from long-term statistical analyses; line con-
with predictions of nonlinear ship motions in selected design nected curves, relative velocities restricted by wave amplitudes
waves. based on operating experience. These velocities act on the critical
4. Numerical simulations of hull structural response caused by area located 6.0 m to port from the centerline bottom of the ship
slamming loads to determine dynamic amplification of hull and a distance of 1.77 m from the aft perpendicular.
girder stresses due to whipping. The ballast loading condition always resulted in higher maxi-
mum normal relative velocities than the loaded 共design兲 condition,
The principal idea of this procedure was to find regular waves, and the zero speed cases always gave higher values than other
so-called design waves, that can be assumed to cause an impact ship speeds. This was because wave height restrictions depended
event leading to the long-term statistical maximum. on ship speed and high relative velocities occurred together with
For the seakeeping analysis, discretization of the ship’s hull high relative motions, causing parts of the propeller to emerge.
consisted of 4290 triangular and quadrangular surface panels. For the RANS computations, we selected three regular design
Computations for the ballast condition as well as the design con- waves that caused maximum normal relative velocities, all for the
dition were carried out for 13 wave encounter angles ranging from ship in ballast condition at zero forward speed. The location of the
␮ = 0 deg 共stern waves兲 to ␮ = 180 deg 共head waves兲 at 15 deg corresponding critical area is the one for the representative
intervals for 30 wave periods ranging from 5.0 s to 18.0 s and for sample. Table 2 lists the selected wave parameters.
six different ship speeds ranging from vship = 0.0 kn to vship The RANS code not only computed slamming pressures, but
= 19.5 kn. also solved the nonlinear ship motion equations by imposing ini-
Since accurate potential theory based prediction of slamming tial and boundary conditions according to the regular design
pressures in high waves is not possible, we instead assumed that waves. For each design wave, volume grids consisting of tetrahe-
the highest relative velocities between water and hull normal to dral cells were created. As a sample, Fig. 4 shows the volume grid
the hull surface resulted in maximum slamming pressures. There- for wave 2.
fore, standard spectral techniques together with the linearly com- For wave 2, the volume grid comprised 1.5⫻ 106 cells and
puted transfer functions of ship motions were employed to specify covered a fluid domain extending two ship lengths aft and three

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Fig. 3 Maximum normal relative velocities obtained from long-term statis-
tics and restricted by wave amplitude

ship lengths forward of the ship’s center of gravity, two ship 4 Slamming Pressures
lengths to port and starboard of the ship’s centerline, and 200 m
Computed time series of slamming pressures are shown in Fig.
above and one ship length below the calm waterline. We refined
7. For waves 1 and 2, pressures reach similar peak values of about
the grid in the region of the water-air interface and stretched the
305 kPa. The duration of peaks and the slope of pressure curves
cells toward the outlet boundaries and in the regions far from the
after the first peak are similar. Shape and duration of these pres-
free surface. Stretching cells toward the outlet boundaries numeri-
sure traces generally agreed favorably with full-scale as well as
cally damped outgoing waves and avoided reflections. Distur-
model test measurements carried out on other ships 关8–10兴. Al-
bances of the flow field caused by the ship’s hull were also nu-
though the pressure time history for wave 3 resembles the time
merically damped toward the boundaries. Boundary faces on the
histories from waves 1 and 2, pressures were significantly lower.
hull surface in the critical stern region had a size ranging from
The peak pressure from wave 3 was only about 25% of the peak
0.2 m2 to 0.25 m2, allowing for an accurate representation of the
pressure from waves 1 and 2.
pressure distribution. About 4000 time steps with a time step size
We integrated pressures acting on an area of 235 m2 in the
of 0.02 s were computed, corresponding to 80 s of simulation time
stern region. Figure 8 displays several impact peaks for wave 2
or about six wave encounter periods.
and lists the associated time-integrated impulses 共I兲 over an inte-
For wave 1, the finite volume grid created was similar to the
grid for wave 2. However, because of symmetry 共stern wave con- gration interval of 0.7 s for this area. Shape, duration, as well as
ditions兲 we modeled only the port side of the hull and the sur- the integrated hydrodynamic impulse agreed well with those of
rounding fluid domain. Thus, the number of grid cells was re- similar studies, where we compared computations with model test
duced to about 700,000. Again, about 4000 time steps with the measurements 关10兴.
same time step size were computed, corresponding to about six As a further comparison, Fig. 9 presents time histories of com-
wave periods. puted and measured pressures acting in the stern region of a large
For wave 3, the volume grid also consisted of 700,000 grid containership at zero speed in regular following waves having a
cells, and because of symmetry 共head wave conditions兲 we mod- height of 19.6 m and a period of 16.0 s 关10兴.
eled only the port side of the fluid domain. Regions of refined and Although computed pressure peaks varied, experience showed
stretched cells were adjusted to reflect head wave conditions. that computations and measurements yielded similar integrated
Again, about 4000 time steps with the same time step size were
computed, corresponding to about six wave periods.
Figure 5 shows comparative time histories 共t is time兲 of heave
共at the ship’s center of gravity兲 and pitch motions and accelera-
tions computed with the panel code 共thin lines兲 and the RANS
solver 共thick lines兲 for the LNG carrier under wave 1 conditions.
Figure 6 displays the time history of the corresponding 共RANS
computed兲 normal relative velocity acting at the center of the
critical area referred to in Fig. 3.

Table 2 Selected design waves

Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3

Wave amplitude 共m兲 14.2 14.2 12.2

Wave period 共s兲 13.5 13.5 12.5
Wave encounter angle 共deg兲 0 15 180
Fig. 4 Volume grid for wave 2

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Fig. 5 Time histories of heave and pitch motions „upper graph… and accel-
erations „lower graph…

Fig. 6 Time history of normal relative velocity

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Fig. 7 Time histories of computed slamming pressure in †kPa‡ Fig. 8 Impact peaks of hydrodynamic force
for wave 1 „highest values…, wave 2 „somewhat lower values…,
and wave 3 „lowest values…

Fig. 9 Time histories of computed and measured pressures in the stern

region of a large containership

Fig. 10 Computed pressure distribution for wave 2 occurring at time of peak slamming

Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering AUGUST 2009, Vol. 131 / 031103-5

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pressure impulses. These impulse loads excite hull girder whip-
ping and they are independent of single peak pressures.
In the computations, stern slamming occurred only between the
two propeller axes. The pressure distribution shown in Fig. 10,
here for wave 2, is typical for the pressure distribution acting at a
time of the peak slamming pressure.

5 Whipping Analysis
Impact-related short-time loads excite ship hull structural vibra-
tions, known as whipping, in a wide range of frequencies. These
vibrations increase structural stresses above stress levels caused
by stillwater and wave-induced loads. Coupled CFD and CSD
analyses were performed, using the hydrodynamic loads obtained
by the RANS computations as transient loads acting on the FE
model of the ship structure. The FE model consisted of 263,000
elements and considered a total of 575,000 nodal degrees of free-
dom. The mass distribution of the light-ship weight was com-
pleted by adding masses of filled and partially filled tanks.
We performed transient FE computations for one wave encoun-
ter period and found that the excitation of the lowest fundamental
eigenmode contributed most to the additional stresses caused by
hull girder vibrations. Of interest were accelerations at the ship’s
bow and stern, longitudinal stresses at the ship’s midship section,
and torsional stresses at the one-quarter and three-quarter ship
We selected large amplitude waves with periods where the
probability of exciting whipping responses of the ship structure
was relatively high. These waves caused not only maximum slam-
ming pressures, but also high shear forces, bending moments, and,
for wave 2, torsional moments acting on the ship‘s stern section.
Slamming loads obtained from RANS computations were con-
verted to nodal forces for the FE model. Two-dimensional Lewis
form hydrodynamic masses were distributed to appropriate shell
nodes. A total hydrodynamic mass of 19,359 t resulted in the
transverse direction and 199,024 t in the vertical direction.
For wave 1, the simulated time ranged from 22.6 s to 36.1 s.
Results for wave 1 are presented in Figs. 11–16. Figure 11 shows
time histories of vertical accelerations 共av兲 at the ship’s stern and
at the ship’s bow. For convenience, the vertical slamming force
共Fz兲 is also plotted. Although the influence of slamming on the
acceleration at the bow is significant, it is less than at the stern.
High frequency vibrations were not observed at the bow. The
Fourier decomposition of vertical accelerations for both locations,
shown in Fig. 12, indicates the dominance of the two vibration
Fig. 11 Time histories of vertical acceleration „highly oscillat- modes of 0.79 Hz and 3.59 Hz at the stern. The second peak at
ing curve… in †m / s2‡ and vertical force „other cuve… in †kN‡ at 3.59 Hz almost vanishes at the bow. In Fig. 13 effects of the
stern „upper graph… and at bow „lower graph… for wave 1

Fig. 12 Frequency spectra of vertical acceleration at stern „left… and at bow „right… for wave 1

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Fig. 13 Hull girder modes at eigenfrequencies of 0.79 Hz „upper graph… and 3.59 Hz
„lower graph… for wave 1

fundamental vibratory hull girder modes with eigenfrequencies of bending was low, as seen in Fig. 16 共upper graph兲. Therefore, the
0.79 Hz and 3.59 Hz are seen to be more pronounced in the ship’s maximum total longitudinal stress turned out to be only slightly
stern region. Superposition of ship motion induced vertical accel- larger than the maximum quasistatic longitudinal stress. The lower
erations and slamming-induced accelerations, shown in Fig. 14, graph of Fig. 16 shows the hull at the moment of maximum lon-
depicts the influence of the dynamic contribution to total accelera- gitudinal stresses in the hull girder.
tions. For wave 2, the simulated time ranged from 61.5 s to 75.0 s.
Computed time histories of midship longitudinal stresses in the Frequency spectra of computed vertical accelerations also re-
hull girder, plotted in Fig. 15, consist of the quasistatic wave- vealed three- and four-node eigenmodes of vertical hull bending at
induced bending stress, the dynamic slamming-induced vibratory 1.41 Hz and 1.81 Hz, respectively. Our results indicate that no
stresses, and the total longitudinal stress. The maximum value of torsional or other asymmetric eigenmodes were excited although
the dynamic slamming stress is seen to be about 22% of the maxi- wave 2 共wave encounter angle of 15 deg兲 caused a relatively small
mum value of the quasistatic bending stress. The slamming event torsional moment to act at the ship’s stern. Computed time series
occurred at the time when the hull girder stress level due to wave of vertical accelerations in Fig. 17 show a relatively larger influ-

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Fig. 14 Time histories of elastic „highly oscillating curve…, rigid body „thicker curve…, and superimposed
„total… vertical acceleration „curve oscillating about the thicker curve… in †m / s2‡ at stern „left… and at bow
„right… for wave 1

ence than for wave 1 of the slamming-induced dynamic contribu- 6 Discussion and Concluding Remarks
tion. The corresponding stress analysis yielded longitudinal hull
To assess the relevance of slamming in the ship’s stern region,
girder stresses. The maximum slamming-induced dynamic stress
was about 23% of the maximum quasistatic wave bending stress. we assumed that the relative velocity between the ship’s hull and
Similar to the wave 1 case, the slamming event occurred at the the water surface was the governing criterion to identify critical
instant of time when the total hull girder bending stress was al- slamming situations. The relative angle between the water surface
most zero. and the ship’s hull was an important parameter that was consid-
For wave 2, we evaluated shear stresses at three stations on one ered by looking at the velocity component normal to the hull
side of the ship. Similar to longitudinal stresses, maximum surface.
slamming-induced 共dynamic兲 shear stresses did not occur at times For this LNG carrier, we relied on one-way coupling to analyze
of maximum quasistatic wave-induced shear stresses. Neverthe- hull girder whipping in waves because the influence of structural
less, dynamic effects led to increased total shear stresses of up to deformation on hydrodynamic load predictions is believed to be
25% at the ship’s quarter stations. small. However, future investigations based on two-way coupling
For wave 3, slamming pressures were not found to be critical will have to verify this assumption.
共see Fig. 7兲 and their effects, therefore, were not separately inves- For waves 1 and 2, computed hydrodynamic slamming pres-
tigated. sures were characterized by pronounced peaks lasting about 0.5 s.

Fig. 15 Time histories of longitudinal midship quasi-static wave bending

stress „unidentified curve…, slamming stress „curve identified by 22593
kN/ m2…, and superimposed „total… stress „curve identified by −105939
kN/ m2… in †kN/ m2‡ for wave 1

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Fig. 16 Longitudinal stress distribution in kn/ m2 at time of maximum midship dynamic
stress amplification „upper graph… for wave 1

Fig. 17 Elastic „highly oscillating curve…, rigid body „thicker curve…, and superposed „total… vertical
acceleration „curve oscillating about the thicker curve… in †m / s2‡ at stern „left… and at bow „right… for
wave 2

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For wave 3, although the pressure time history was qualitatively 关2兴 IACS, 2001, Standard Wave Data Recommendation No. 34, International As-
sociation of Classification Societies Ltd., London.
similar, its pressure peak value was only about 25% of the peak
关3兴 El Moctar, O., Brehm, A., and Schellin, T. E., 2004, “Prediction of Slamming
values from waves 1 and 2. Shape and duration of these pressure Loads for Ship Structural Design Using Potential Flow and RANSE Codes,”
traces agreed favorably with full scale measurements carried out Proceedings of the 25th Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics, St. John’s,
on other ships, indicating the plausibility of our numerical predic- National Academy Press, Washington, DC, Vol. 4, pp. 116–129.
tions. 关4兴 Germanischer Lloyd, 2007, Rules for Classification and Construction, I – Ship
The investigated regular design waves were chosen to cause Technology, Part 1 – Sea-Going Ships, Chapter 1 – Hull Structures, Hamburg.
关5兴 El Moctar, O., Schellin, T. E., and Priebe, T., 2006, “CFD and FE Methods to
stern slamming, not high hull girder loads. For the three cases Predict Wave Loads and Ship Structural Response,” Proceedings of the 26th
investigated, the quasistatic hull girder stress analysis demon- Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics, Rome.
strated that longitudinal and shear stresses caused by wave bend- 关6兴 Star-CD, 2002, COMET User Manual 2.0, CD-Adapco, Nürnberg.
ing were uncritical. The hull girder whipping analysis showed that 关7兴 Müller, G., and Groth, C., 2002, Practical Application of FEM Code ANSYS,
dynamic stress amplifications of up to 25% occurred. This dem- Vol. 1, 7th ed., Expert, Renningen, Germany.
关8兴 Schellin, T. E., and el Moctar, O., 2007, “Numerical Prediction of Impact-
onstrated the necessity to consider dynamic amplifications of the Related Wave Loads on Ships,” ASME J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng., 129共1兲,
structural response due to hydrodynamic impact loads. Further pp. 39–47.
investigations are required to quantify the impact of whipping on 关9兴 El Moctar, O., Brunswig, J., Brehm, A., and Schellin, T. E., 2005, “Computa-
structural scantlings. tion of Ship Motions in Waves and Slamming Loads for Fast Ships Using
RANS,” Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Fast Sea Trans-
portation, St. Petersburg, Russia.
References 关10兴 Oberhagemann, J., el Moctar, O., and Schellin, T. E., 2008, “Fluid-Structure
关1兴 Papanikolaou, A. D., and Schellin, T. E., 1991, “A Three-Dimensional Panel Coupling to Assess Whipping Effects on Global Loads of a Large Container-
Method for Motions and Loads of Ships With Forward Speed,” J. Ship Tech- ship,” Proceedings of the 27th Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics, Seoul,
nology Research, 39共4兲, pp. 147–156. South Korea.

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