Architecture for Ships?
By: Thomas Yoon
Today, we are starting an entirely different subject - Naval
Architecture. It's a field of study that involves Physics,
Mechanics, Engineering and Legislation.
Architecture involves design of buildings.
Naval Architecture is slightly different. Many considerations
need to be made when we construct a ship that can travel
through stormy seas, maintain the stability with constantly
changing cargo loading patterns, determine speeds and
resistances when moving through the water - in short a moving
and functional building structure, floating on the oceans.
Building a ship involves many aspects of engineering - just
like building a skyscraper on land. Modern ships are built of
steel. However, there are also many smaller boats made of
fiberglass, ferro-cement, wood and other laminations.
Building for strength is a must. However, in order for a ship
to float, the shell of the ship's hull must be relatively
thin. The strength is obtained from frames and stiffeners,
just like the skeleton in our bodies.
Then, there are also the stability considerations. It must not
be so easily toppled over. It must also be designed for
various situations of loading. Special considerations need to
be made for liquid cargo or fuel oil that could lead to
instability due to a phenomenon called free surface effect.
Trimming a ship involves making it as horizontal as possible
when considering the front (fore) and the back (aft) of the
ship. Water ballast can be used to adjust the trim. These will
have to be considered in the design.
In an accidental flooding of any of the tanks, for example,
when a ship is involved in a collision, it must have some means
to maintain the floatation without sinking.
The amount of power to be applied for the propulsion of the
ship,the amount of speed and resistances it will encounter will
have to be considered when designing a ship.
The size of the rudder and how the ship will behave during
turning is also considered in the study of Naval Architecture.
Does it sound like an interesting study to you? This is just a
very brief introduction. Competent Marine Engineers have to
study the subject of Naval Architecture in order to qualify
for their licenses.
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