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OBJICTIVE :

To determine the metacentric height. The position of the so -called metacentric, the
metacentric height is of crucial significance to the stability of a floating body. The
metacentric height is an essential factor when assessing the of a ship in waves stability.
APPARATUS :
i. Water tank
ii. Metacentric Height Apparatus

The unit shown in Fig. 1 consists of a pontoon (1) and a water tank as float vessel. The rectangular
pontoon is fitted with a vertical sliding weight (2) which permits adjustment of the height of the centre
of gravity and a horizontal sliding weight (3) that generates a defined tilting moment. The sliding

weights can be fixed in any positions using knurled screws. The positions (4, 5) of the sliding weights
and the draught (6) of the pontoon can be measured using the scales. A heel indicator (7) with scale in
degrees is also provided.

THEORY :
3.1 Buoyancy

Fig 3.1
Buoyancy

A body
floats in
liquid if
the
buoyancy
of
the
fully
immersed
body is
greater
than its
weight. It
will only sink into the liquid until the buoyancy F A correspond exactly to its dead weight
FG. The buoyancy is the weight of the water displaced by the body. The centre of gravity
of the displaced water mass is referred to as the centre of buoyancy A. The centre of
gravity of the body is known as the centre of mass S.
3.2 Stability of Floating Body

Figure 3.2Metacentre
and
metacentric
height
For a floating
body to be
stable
buoyancy FA

weight FG
must have
the same
line of
action and
be equal
and
opposite
(Fig;3.1).
Stability
does not necessarily demand that the centre of mass S be below the centre of buoyancy A.
Of far greater importance is the existence of a stabilising, resetting moment in the event
of deflection or heel out of the equilibrium position. Dead weight FG and buoyancy FA
then form a force couple with distance b which provides a righting moment. This distance
or the distance between the centre gravity and the point of intersection of line of action
buoyancy and gravity axis is a measure of stability. This point of intersection is referred
to as the metacentre M and the distance between the centre of gravity and the metacentre
is called metacentric height Zm.
The following conditions the apply to stable floating : Stable floating of a body occurs when the metacentric height Zm is positive ,i.e the
metacentre M is above the centre of gravity S (fig3.3.)
Zm > 0

Unstable floating of a body occurs when the metacentric height Zm is negative , ie.
The metacentre M is below the centre of gravity S (fig3.3.)
Zm < 0

3.3 Determine of Metacentre Position

The position of the metacentre is not gorverned by the position of the centre of gravity. It
merely on the shape of the portion of the body under water and the displacement. There
are two method of determining the position by way of experiment. In the first method ,
the centre of gravity is laterally shifted by a certain constant distance Xs using an
additional weight , thus causing heeling to occur. Further vertical shifting of the centre of
gravity alters the heel . A stability gradient formed the derivation dXs/d is then defined.
The stability gradient decreases as the vertical centre of gravity position approaches the metacentre. If
centre of gravity position and metacentre coincide the stability gradient is equal to zero and the system
is metastable. This problem is most easiy solved using graph (fig3.4). The vertical centre of gravity
position is plotted versus the stability gradient. A curve is drawn through the measurement points and
extended as far as the vertical axis then gives the position wuth the vertical axis the gives the position
of the metacentre. With the second method of determining the metacentre it is assumed that given a
stable intersection of this line of action with the central axis gives he metacentre M(fig3.5). The heel
angle and the lateral displacement of the centre of gravity Xs yield the following for the metacentric
height Zm.
Zm = Xs cot

Figure 3.4- Graphical determination of metacentre

The first step is to determine the position of the overall centre of gravity Xs , Zs from the setting
positions of the sliding weights. The horizontal position is referenced to the centre line:

Xs
6

Fig.4.
1-

dX s
d
PROCEDURES

weight moved to
bottom position.

3. Fill tank provided

with water and the
floating

body

inserted.

4. The vertical sliding weight rose gradually and took

the reading of angle on heel indicator. Recorded the
reading of height of sliding at top edge of weight and an angle when the floating
body stop moving after it inserted into a water tank.
5. The step 1 until 4 is
repeated by replaced
x=6cm.

QUESTION
1. The stated formula are used to calculate the centre of gravity position and stability gradient
and plot them on a graph.
horizontal position of centre of gravity Xs = 0.055x= 0.44
i) the centre of gravity position

10

z = 3 cm
formula:
Zs = mvz + (m+mn)zg/m+mv+mn
= 5.364 + 0.156 z
= 5.364 + 0.156 (3)
= 5.832 cm
xs = 0.44
= 12
formula : dxs/d = xs/
= 0.44/12
= 0.037 cm
ii) the centre of gravity position
z = 5 cm
formula:
Zs = mvz + (m+mn)zg/m+mv+mn
= 5.364 + 0.156 z
= 5.364 + 0.156 (5)
= 6.144 cm
xs = 0.44
= 15
formula : dxs/d = xs/
= 0.44/15
= 0.029
iii) i) the centre of gravity position
z = 7 cm
formula:

11

Zs = mvz + (m+mn)zg/m+mv+mn
= 5.364 + 0.156 z
= 5.364 + 0.156 (7)
= 6.456 cm
xs = 0.44
= 18
formula : dxs/d = xs/
= 0.44/14
= 0.024
iv) the centre of gravity position
z = 9 cm
formula:
Zs = mvz + (m+mn)zg/m+mv+mn
= 5.364 + 0.156 z
= 5.364 + 0.156 (9)
= 6.768 cm
xs = 0.44
= 21
formula : dxs/d = xs/
= 0.44/21
= 0.021

horizontal position of centre of gravity Xs = 0.055x=0.33

i) the centre of gravity position
z = 3 cm
formula:

12

Zs = mvz + (m+mn)zg/m+mv+mn
= 5.364 + 0.156 z
= 5.364 + 0.156 (3)
= 5.832 cm
xs = 0.33
= 11
formula : dxs/d = xs/
= 0.33/11
= 0.03
ii) the centre of gravity position
z = 5 cm
formula:
Zs = mvz + (m+mn)zg/m+mv+mn
= 5.364 + 0.156 z
= 5.364 + 0.156 (5)
= 6.144 cm
xs = 0.33
= 13
formula : dxs/d = xs/
= 0.33/13
= 0.025

iii) i) the centre of gravity position

z = 7 cm
formula:
Zs = mvz + (m+mn)zg/m+mv+mn

13

= 5.364 + 0.156 z
= 5.364 + 0.156 (7)
= 6.456 cm
xs = 0.33
= 14
formula : dxs/d = xs/
= 0.33/14
= 0.024
iv) the centre of gravity position
z = 9 cm
formula:
Zs = mvz + (m+mn)zg/m+mv+mn
= 5.364 + 0.156 z
= 5.364 + 0.156 (9)
= 6.768 cm

xs = 0.33
= 17
formula : dxs/d = xs/
= 0.33/17
= 0.019

2. Determine and show the buoyant force of body (weight of metacentric height apparatus) is
equal the weight of water displaced.

14

G
B

The metacentric height (GM) is a measurement of the initial static stability of a floating
body. It is calculated as the distance between the centre of gravity of a ship and its
metacentre. A larger metacentric height implies greater initial stability against overturning.
Metacentric height also has implication on the natural period of rolling of a hull, with very
large metacentric heights being associated with shorter periods of roll which are
uncomfortable for passengers. Hence, a sufficiently high but not excessively high
metacentric height is considered ideal for passenger ships.
When a ship is heeled, the centre of buoyancy of the ship moves laterally. It may also move
up or down with respect to the water line. The point at which a vertical line through the
heeled centre of buoyancy crosses the line through the original, vertical centre of buoyancy
is the metacentre. The metacentre remains directly above the centre of buoyancy by
definition.

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