Hydrodynamic response of a composite structure in an Arctic environment
Bolstad, Scott H.
Kwon, Young W.
Didoszak, Jarema M.
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Climate change has resulted in an increase in naval activity in the Arctic Ocean. While extensive research has been done on the interaction between different forms of ice and conventional steel hulls, little work has been done to assess the potential for composite-hulled vessels to operate safely in Arctic sea lanes. The goal of this experiment was to determine how well a composite hull can withstand ice loading and impacts with free-floating ice and whether a tumblehome, conventional, or a vertical hull performs best in the presence of ice. In order to do this, the tow tank at the Naval Postgraduate School was used. An ice equivalent was found which allowed for repeatable experimentation. Strain gauges were attached to critical locations of the composite plate towed through the tank. Both plate deformation and the resulting hydrodynamic force were measured for various ice conditions. A high-speed camera was used to qualitatively understand the flow characteristics of the ice around the composite plate. Finally, Ansys was used to determine if it was possible to replicate the experimental results. This work lays a basis for future tow tank experimentation involving ice interaction at the Naval Postgraduate School.
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