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A risk-based first-principles approach to assessing green seas loading on the hatch covers of bulk carriers in extreme weather conditions

Vassalos, D. and Guarin, L. and Jasionowski, A. and Zheng, Y. (2003) A risk-based first-principles approach to assessing green seas loading on the hatch covers of bulk carriers in extreme weather conditions. Marine Structures, 16 (8). pp. 659-685. ISSN 0951-8339

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This paper aims to present and explain the work undertaken at the SSRC on the Safety of Bulk Carriers in extreme weather conditions over the past 3 years, to draw conclusions deriving there from, concerning key influencing design, operational and environmental parameters and to offer recommendations regarding the rule development process and on the way forward considering research, development and implementation to ship design and operation with the view to improving the safety of these ships cost-effectively. In severe storms, hatch covers of low freeboard vessels such as bulk carriers are the first-line of protection against flooding. Present methods of hatch covers design are still empirical because impact loads due to green seas and structural behaviour due to this type of loads have not been examined, hence not known accurately. The loading due to green seas is implicitly non-linear and, as model test results demonstrated, bulk carriers in extreme conditions are exposed to significant loads, which in some cases exceed current design standards. Since the consequences of hatch cover failure are potentially catastrophic, the risk of this happening should be quantified in probabilistic terms as required by modern safety standards. To this end, the paper aims to propose and implement a methodology for estimating probabilities of deck wetness and impact loads due to green seas as a function of key design and operational parameters.