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Buoyancy and Stability

Anchor Handling Vessel in heavy seas off Newfoundland


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Stability

The objective of this presentation is to explain core concepts of stability for subsurface and surface vessels. The relationships between centre of gravity (C of G) and centre of buoyancy (C of B) is the key to understanding the stability of floating vessels.

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Stability

Buoyancy and stability are critical design issues for all vessels, e.g. tankers, ROVs, TLPs, semisubmersible rigs, pipe laying barges, FPSOs etc. The re-floatation of submerged structures has a potential role to play in the decommissioning of offshore facilities.

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Archimedes - The Eureka Moment


Archimedes found that any object immersed in a fluid is subjected to an upthrust. This upthrust force is equal to the weight of fluid displaced. Why?

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Buoyant Force on Submerged Cylinder


10 ft

10 ft

By Archimedes Principle
Density water = 62.4 lb/ft3 Submerged vol. = 3141.6 ft3 Upthrust = (3141.6 x 62.4)/2000 = 98.02 short tons
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By Considering Hydrostatic Pressure


Pressure acting on underside = 10 x 62.4 = 624 lb/ft2 CSA of underside = 314.16 sq ft Upthrust = 98.02 short tons

Buoyancy

An object floats when it displaces its own weight of fluid before becoming completely submerged. Objects sink when their weight exceeds the weight of fluid displaced by the submerged object. It follows that a completely submerged body can hover in equilibrium if its weight equals its buoyancy. Buoyant force acts at the centroid of the displaced volume.

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Static Stability of Submerged Vessels


Consider a cylindrical submerged body with centre of buoyancy at B. Upthrust (Fb) = Weight of body (W) Imagine the weight to be concentrated at G. If the body is disturbed through an angle , the body is subjected to a restoring couple = W. BG' . Sin and it will return to its original position. The body is in stable equilibrium.
Fb = V.w = W

B G' G W W

W = weight of body in air V = submerged volume


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w = specific weight of fluid

Unstable Equilibrium
It is evident that if G were positioned at A and the body was subjected to a small disturbance, a toppling couple would apply and cause the body to rotate until eventually G would lie directly below B. The position with G at A is said to be unstable.
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W B

Submerged Bodies in Stable Equilibrium

Deep water ROV


Courtesy Aerosaurus Balloons

Lindstrand 210,000 cu ft hot air balloon


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Stability of Surface Vessels


For stability, a righting moment must be produced when the vessel pitches or rolls to restore it to an even keel. Vessels are designed to remain stable when fully loaded and subjected to the severest environmental loads anticipated in the design brief. Cargo loads carried by a vessel must be distributed evenly to maintain stability. When hull integrity is breached, vessels should be designed to remain stable for a specified period of time to allow for emergency evacuation of personnel.

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Vessel Environmental Loads

Canadian Coast Guard vessel Sir William Alexander searching for a lost fishing vessel off New Brunswick in the winter of 2004. Ice loading is an important design factor for vessels operating in extreme latitudes. Ice builds up rapidly in bad weather as sea spray freezes on contact with the superstructure. The vessel can become top heavy as a result with the risk of capsize.

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The Typhoon Mini-TLP

Once topsides are in place, the TLP is de-ballasted to increase the tension in the tendons connecting it to the seabed. If the tendons fail for any reason, platform may become unstable.

Chevrons Typhoon Mini-TLP before Hurricane Rita


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P-36 Semi-Submersible Platform

An gas explosion in a corner column caused loss of 11 lives and breached the hulls integrity. 165 survivors were successfully evacuated from the platform and pollution was said to be minimal. Attempts to stabilise the vessel in using 4,100mT of N2 were ultimately unsuccessful. The vessel sank in 1,350 m water. Loss of the platform and associated equipment was estimated to have cost US$800 million.

Platform P-36 listing at 250 Roncador Field, March 2001

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Ballast Control Systems

BPs Thunder Horse listing 200 after Hurricane Dennis.


It is thought the instability was caused by a ballast control problem. In addition, extensive damage was caused to the topsides by the hurricane.

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Heavy Lift Barges

Heeremas Thialf heavy lift barge shown lifting a topside package Each crane can lift up to 7,826 sT at a radius of 102 ft As the load is taken up, ballast must be transferred to the bow side to maintain stability. Ballast system pump capacity of 20,800 cu metres/hour (2,182 bbl/min)

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Metacentric Height and Stability


The upthrust through B and the weight through G is a couple that tends to rotate the vessel back to an even keel. M is called the metacentre and is the imaginary point where the line of action of the upthrust R cuts the original vertical line through the centre of gravity G.
M A A' D B

GM is the metacentric height. GZ is known as the righting lever.

D O G Z B x C C

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R=W

Metacentric Height and Stability


Provided the angle of tilt is small: x = GM x since sin = in radians. BM is called the metacentric radius.
M A A' D G B B x

D O C C

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R=W

Stable Equilibrium
If M is above G, as shown, a righting moment of W x GM x is produced when the vessel is tilted. Therefore equilibrium is stable and GM is said to be +ve.
M A A D G B B x

x = GM x Since sin = in radians.

D O C C

R=W
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Unstable Equilibrium
If M lies below G, an overturning moment W x GM x is produced, equilibrium is unstable and GM is regarded as negative. Note that if G and B coincide, M will also coincide with B and G. This is the condition known as neutral equilibrium.

W M G G B W
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Roll and Heave Response Periods

The roll period of a vessel is inversely proportional to the square root of its metacentric height.
Passenger ships have short metacentric heights and long period rolls. Warships have a large metacentric height and a short period roll. Comfort is sacrificed for extra stability!

Heave response periods for semi-submersibles are confirmed by extensive tank testing.
To avoid 1:1 resonance response, heave response periods should be significantly greater than the wave periods typically encountered. The heave response period of a 700 series semi-submersible is 21s. A typical North Sea wave period is 12 14 s.

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Determination of BM and GM (i)


Weight of wedge AOA = Weight of wedge COC If a is a small area in the waterline plane at a distance x from the axis of rotation OO, it sweeps out a small volume when the vessel is tilted. Volume swept by a = DD . a = a . x .

a M x A A D a G B B x D O C C O

R=W
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Determination of BM and GM (ii)


Summing all such volumes and multiplying by the specific weight of the fluid w. Wt of wedge AOA = w.a.x., from x = o to x = AO Wt of wedge COC = w.a.x., from x = 0 to x = CO

a M x A A D a G B B x D O C C O

R=W
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Determination of BM and GM (iii)


Since there is no change in displacement these summations are equal. It follows that a .x = 0

a .x is the first moment of area of the waterline


plane about OO. It follows that OO passes through the centroid of the waterline plane. Since the couple produced by the movement of wedge AOA to COC must equal the couple due to the movement of R from B to B, BB can now be calculated.

a M x O O C C B x

A A D

D G B

R=W
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Determination of BM and GM (iv)


Moment about OO of the weight of fluid swept out by area a = w.a.x..x Total moment due to altered displacement = w. ax Now ax = I, the second moment of area of the waterline plane about OO. Therefore: Total moment due to altered displacement = w..I and Moment due to movement of R = R . BB = w.V.BB Where V is the volume of fluid displaced by the vessel.

a M x O O C C B x

A A D

D G B

R=W
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Determination of BM and GM (v)


These two moments are equal and opposite in sense, hence: w.V.BB = w..I Therefore Giving BB = .I/V BM = BB/ = I/V

If the position of G is known relative to B, the initial metacentric height may be determined from: GM = BM BG ------- a) - ve sign applies to (stable) case of G lying above B.

a M x O O C C B x

A A D

D G B

Equation a) is valid for small angles of heel where sin = (radians)


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R=W