meters (8 to 10 feet) high is designed in the forward partof the vessel that is likely to encounter waves. This isreduced linearly as you move aft from the bow of thevessel where a value of 30.6 kPa (640 psf) is used to aminimum value of 1.2 meters (4 feet) of head,equivalent to about 12.3 kPa (256 psf). Military vesselsinclude additional design conservatism to account forthe need to resist blast over pressure during combatoperations.Both military and commercial vessels are designed tostay afloat with one or more hull compartments flooded.In the case of commercial vessels, one or two floodedcompartments is the norm, while for the navy it is three.The military has progressed from using steel with ayield strength of 207 to 276 MPa (207 to 276 N/mm
or30,000 to 40,000 psi) called HTS or high strength steelto using high yield strength steels (called HY steels) thathave a yield strength of 551 MPa (80,000 psi).Submarines use 714 MPa (100,000 psi) HY steel. Thenorm for commercial ships is HTS at 276 MPa (40,000psi). Further verification of ship designs isaccomplished by carrying out model tests in wave tanks.Once the vessel is commissioned, it will undergo seatrials to verify performance and operationalcharacteristics.
IACS Common Structural Rules
One of the vagaries of ship design is that there are nouniform codes or international standards as in the caseof building design. Instead, ship design has evolvedfrom centuries-old traditions where ship insurersinspected and classified vessels in accordance with therisks they perceived and the premiums they wouldimpose. Over time this system evolved from vesselinspection to a classification system that stipulateddesign rules for a vessel to be eligible for rating in aspecified class. Today there are more than 50classification societies worldwide, each with differentrules. The rules vary depending on the type of vessel aswell.In 1968 a group of classification societies formed theInternational Association of Classification Societies(IACS). Today the IACS membership consists of 10classification societies representing China, France,Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Russia, UnitedKingdom, and United States. The IACS claims that itsmembers collectively class more than 90 percent of allcommercial tonnage involved in international trade.Historically IACS resolutions have not been mandatoryfor implementation by member organizations, whichhave been free to develop their own rules for shipdesign.In response to growing discontent by ship ownersconcerned about the fact that ships being built today areless robust, three classification societies announced in2001 that they would work together to establishcommon design criteria for standard ship types,beginning with tankers. Subsequently, a task force wasformed to develop common structural rules for bulk carriers (IACS, 2006). As part of this effort, vesselinspection reports were reviewed to assess problemareas. The IACS reported that the majority of bulk carriers lost were more than 15 years old, were carryingiron ore at the time, and failed as the result of corrosionand cracking of the structure within cargo spaces, and asa result overstressing by incorrect cargo loading andcargo discharging operations. (IACS 1997). Curiously,there was no mention of extreme waves or rough seas asa cause of failure. The
, only 4 years old,likely sank when 20+m (70 ft) high waves collapsedhatch covers (Tarman and Heitman, no date).Incidentally, bulk carriers continue to sink, the mostrecent example being May 2006 when 190,000 gt
M/V Alexandros T
broke up off the coast of South Africa inan area noted for extreme waves.In 2004, the chairman of the IACS council, UgoSalerno, issued a letter reporting on the status of common rules for oil tankers and bulk carriers. (IACS,2004). Salerno stated that IACS’s objective is that thenew rules will be adopted and applied uniformly by allIACS members. The new ship design criteria—called
Common Structural Rules—
were released in April 2006,and will apply to tankers and bulk carriers designed andconstructed after that date. The design wave loads in thenew rules will be based on IACS Recommendation 34,described previously.
Should Design Loads be Increased?
Although the IACS Common Structural Rules (CSR)for bulk carriers state that they are based on IACSRecommendation No. 34, “Standard Wave Data,” therelationship is not obvious. (IACS 2001). The CSR (seeChapter 1 page 17) defines a "wave parameter" C that isa function of vessel length and has a maximum value(dimensionless) of 10.75. The CSR rules specifymaterial properties and design calculations that arerequired for vessel classification. The rules also containa number of "check values" that stipulate certainminimum parameters, such as minimum hull platethickness, that must be met by the design. In otherwords, the designer can use his or her own methods tosize structural members but must ensure that resultsmeet or exceed the checking criteria.To get a feel for applying the CSR, I made a series of calculations for a hypothetical bulk carrier based onthese parameters:Rule length L = equal to 275 m (900 feet)Breadth B = 45 m (147.5 feet)Depth D = 23.8 m (78 feet) depth.Draught T = 17.5 m (57.4 feet) displacement.
Displacement Δ = 161,000 metric tons
Here the nomenclature is as given in the CSR chapter 1page 16.