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# ME2134-1 STABILITY OF FLOATING BODY

(WS2-01-47)

SEMESTER 3

2017/2018

## NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
CONTENTS

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS i

LIST OF SYMBOLS ii

INTRODUCTION 1

THEORY OF OPERATION 1

DESCRIPTION OF EQUIPMENT 5

EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE 6

## ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION 8

REFERENCES 9

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

## Figure 5 Ballasting of 20 compartments of barge with water (top view). 7

i
LIST OF SYMBOLS

B Center of buoyancy

## IOy Second moment of area of plane of floatation about its longitudinal

axis

K Keel

KOy Mass radius of gyration of floating body about its longitudinal axis

M Transverse metacenter

m Mass

T Period of oscillation

Greek Symbols:

## Angle of heel or inclination

Density of seawater

ii
INTRODUCTION

## Stability is a measure of the tendency of an ocean vehicle to return to its upright

configuration if inclined or perturbed by an external force (Figure 1). For different
operating conditions, stability can be classified into the following categories: Intact
stability (static stability and dynamic stability) and damage stability. It is imperative
to ascertain the overall stability of a floating body during the design phase.

Objectives

## (a) To experimentally determine the center of gravity (C.G.) and metacentric

height of a body floating on water.

(b) To investigate the effects of placing a weight vertically above the C.G. on the
stability of a floating body.

(c) To investigate the effects of free surfaces on the stability of a floating body.

Scope

In this experiment, only intact static stability of a vessel at small inclination angles (
< 10) will be investigated. The theory of operation and the experimental procedure
adopted to evaluate the static stability are provided in this manual.

THEORY OF OPERATION

## (I) Static Stability of Floating Body

Referring to Figure 1, the weight W of the floating body passes through its center of
gravity G. The upthrust or buoyancy force FB acting on the floating body passes
through the center of buoyancy B, which corresponds to the centroid of the displaced
fluid. When the floating body is subjected to a small angular displacement or
perturbation about its equilibrium upright configuration, the center of buoyancy
shifts from B to B, while the center of gravity of the floating body remains
unchanged at G. A vertical line drawn upward from B intersects the line of symmetry
at M, known as the metacenter. GM is known as the metacentric height.

(a) If M is above G (GM > 0), a restoring couple acts on the floating body in its
displaced position tending to restore it to its original position. Hence, the body
is in stable equilibrium.

(b) If M is below G (GM < 0), an overturning couple acts on the body. Hence, the
body is in unstable equilibrium.

(c) If M coincides with G (GM = 0), the resultant couple is zero, and the body has
no tendency to return to, nor move further away from its original position.
Hence, the body is in neutral equilibrium.

1
Figure 1 Static stability of a floating body.

If the body floats stably, it may be shown that the period of oscillations for small
angles of displacement is given by
KOy
T 2 , (1)
g GM
where KOy is the radius of gyration of the floating body about its longitudinal axis.

Hence, larger values of GM give rise to more rapid oscillations, thus subjecting
passengers to higher levels of discomfort. However, the larger the value of GM, the
more stable the floating body is. The above are two conflicting requirements for the
choice of GM. A good design should thus entail adequate but not excessive values of
GM.

## (II) Inclined Experiment to Determine GM and KG

In this experiment, a mass m is moved transversely across the deck through a known
distance d, as shown in Figure 2.

2
Figure 2 Inclined experiment to determine GM and KG.

## For small inclination angles , the metacentric height

mgd
GM , (2)
gVsub tan
where Vsub is the volume of fluid displaced, and is the density of the fluid in which
the body floats.

3
From geometry,
KM KB BM KG GM .

Hence,
KG KB BM GM . (3)

## The metacentric radius BM may be evaluated using the expression

I Oy
BM ,
Vsub
where IOy is the second moment of area of the plane of floatation about the
longitudinal axis Oy of the floating body (see Figure 3).

## KB may be evaluated using hydrostatic calculations. In this experiment, a floating

body with a rectangular cross section is used. In this case,
1
KB draught ,
2
where the draught (draft) corresponds to the depth of submergence.

## Consider a tank on board an ocean vehicle which contains a liquid (freshwater,

seawater, fuel, engine oil, etc.) of density f . If the tank is not completely filled with
the liquid, the liquid will move across the tank in the same direction as the vessel
during rolling (see Figure 4). The center of gravity of the vessel is no longer fixed, but
will be shifted away from the centerline plane from G to G1. The moment-arm of the
restoring couple will thus be reduced from GZ to G1Z1 . Note that G1Z1 G2 Z 2 .

4
Figure 4 Effects of free surface.

It can be shown that the virtual reduction in metacentric height due to effects of the
free surface is
f i
GG2 , (4)
Vsub
where i is the second moment of area of the liquids free surface in the tank about the
tanks own centerline. Note that f is the density of the liquid in the tank. If there is
more than one tank not completely filled with liquid of density f , the second
moments of area of the liquids free surfaces due to the individual tanks will have to
be summed up.

## Hence, the effective metacentric height is

G2 M GM GG2 . (5)

DESCRIPTION OF EQUIPMENT

## The equipment consists of a rectangular barge with water-tight sub-division

compartments. The inclining moment is provided by means of masses which can be
moved transversely on either side of the amidship section of the barge, of which the
distance from the centerline can be measured. The angle of heel is taken by means of
a precision inclinometer.

5
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE

## (I) Determination of GM & KG

1. Ballast the barge evenly around its C.G. with the given 10 x 1 kg masses and
place the given 5 kg mass at the C.G of the barge.

2. Check that the barge is at even keel with the spirit level meter.

## 3. Slide the 3 kg mass along the mast onto the deck.

4. Measure the mean draught dl, and hence determine the displacement of the
barge.
Note that the length (l) of the barge is 1.0 m, whereas the width (b) of the
barge is 0.5 m.

## 5. Displace the 5 kg masses from the C.G. transversely through a distance d of

approximately 200 mm and note down the heeling angles (angles of
inclination) of the vessel for a trimming moment of md = 5 kg x 0.2 m = 1.0
kg-m, say.

## 6. Find the metacentric height GM of the vessel using equation (2).

7. Time the period of oscillation T for small heeling angles using a stopwatch
and compare the result obtained with equation (1).
Note that the radius of gyration of the barge about its longitudinal axis is
KOy 0.29 m (without the raised mass).

## 8. Calculate the metacentric radius BM and KB.

Note that the second moment of area of the plane of floatation about the
1
longitudinal axis Oy of the floating body I Oy lb3 , where l 1.0 m and
12
b 0.5 m .
I Oy 1
Also, note that BM and KB draught .
Vsub 2

## 9. Hence obtain KG using equation (3).

10. Slide and fasten the 3 kg mass along the mast vertically at a distance of about
700 mm above the deck.

## 11. Repeat steps (4) to (9).

Note that with the raised mass, the radius of gyration of the barge about its
longitudinal axis is KOy 0.39 m .

6
12. Compare the values of GM and KG obtained in (6) and (9) (with and without
the raised mass) and comment on the stability of the vessel when a mass is
raised vertically above the C.G.

## (II) Effects of Free Surfaces

13. Place the 3 kg mass along the mast back to the deck of the barge and also
remove all the ballasting weights.

## 14. Place the 5 kg mass at the C.G. of the vessel.

15. Evenly ballast the following 20 compartments of the barge with 1/2 litres of
water each, as shown in Figure 5.

## (Note: 1 litre of water is approximately equal to 1 kg of mass, so the draught at even

keel should be approximately the same as in step (4).)

## 16. Repeat steps (4) to (9).

17. What conclusions can be made regarding the effects of free surface on the
stability of the vessel with the same displacement and same KG of a similar
vessel?

18. Using equation (4), check the virtual reduction in metacentric height using
analytical (theoretical) calculations.

Useful information:
Length of each compartment lc 0.195 m
Width of each compartment bc 0.097 m
In the presence of the free surfaces, the radius of gyration of the barge
about its longitudinal axis is KOy 0.28 m .

7
Second moment of area of the free surface in each compartment about
1
the compartments centerline is given by i lc bc3 .
12
Note that there are a total of 20 compartments filled with water.

## 2. Distinguish between the transverse and longitudinal metacenter of a floating

body. For the rectangular barge used in this experiment, explain whether you
expect the transverse or longitudinal metacentric height to be greater.

3. A solid cone of uniform density 0.5 floats in a liquid of density with its
axis upright and its apex submerged in the liquid. The radius and height of the
cone are R and 3R, respectively. Determine the metacentric height and analyze
the static stability of the floating cone.

REFERENCES

## Comstock J. P., Principles of Naval Architecture, Society of Naval Architects and

Marine Engineers, 1967.

## Muckle W., Naval Architecture for Marine Engineers, Newnes-Butterworths, 1975.

Rawson K. J. and Tupper E. C., Basic Ship Theory, Longman, 4th Edition, 1994.

## Nhan P. T., Lecture notes for ME2134: Fluid Mechanics I.

Stokoe E. A., Reed's naval architecture for marine engineers, Thomas Reed, 4th
Edition, 1991.

Edition, 2004.