Frontal collision of a tanker against a rigid structure

Miguel A G Calle, Roberto E. Oshiro, Marcílio Alves

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


In this research, an evaluation of a frontal collision of a tanker with bulbous bow against a rigid structure was performed by reproducing experimentally this scenario in reduced scale and by numerical modeling using the finite element method. The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate the impact force and structural collapse mode of the bulbous bow. A model of an oil tanker in a reduced scale of 1:100 was fabricated for the collision test based on a simplified geometries of naval structures made of mild steel sheets. Similarity laws, developed particularly for structural impact, were presented and employed to predict the mechanical response of a real scale collision accident from the reduced scale test results. Advantages, challenges and limitations in fabrication and employment of reduced scale models were also commented. A finite element model of tanker collision against a rigid wall was also presented. The material model took the mechanical properties of naval steel into account, under static and dynamic loading. The collapse mode appearance of the bulbous bow observed in the numerical modeling resulted to be analogous with experimental results in reduced scale. Furthermore, results obtained from experimental and numerical approaches were compared with empirical formulae of impact force when a ship collides a bridge pier showing a good agreement and demonstrating the potential of using reduced scale ship models in collision evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMARINE 2015 - Computational Methods in Marine Engineering VI
PublisherInternational Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9788494392863
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Computational Methods in Marine Engineering - Rome, Italy
Duration: 15 Jun 201517 Jun 2015
Conference number: 6


ConferenceInternational Conference on Computational Methods in Marine Engineering
Abbreviated titleMARINE


  • Finite element method
  • Reduced scale model
  • Ship collision

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