Marine Fluid Dynamics

Our hydrodynamics and aerodynamics simulation services give instrumental information for an optimal design below and above the surface. We can handle the world’s biggest ships, in full scale with reasonable budget and content. This remarkable feat has been achieved by developing projects, streamlining the project structure and investing in computational hardware.

We have experience in completing various demanding marine fluid dynamics CFD projects:

  • hydrodynamics: total hull resistance, wakefields
  • aerodynamics: wind loads, comfort factors
  • propeller optimization and cavitation simulations
  • exhaust gas dispersion and liquid discharges
  • time dependent fin-stabilizer movement
  • engine misfires and pipe explosions
  • sinking simulations, water movement and load re-balancing
  • exhaust pipe explosion simulation: LNG explosion

“We have worked together with Process Flow for several years and we are impressed about their capability to develop and customize the simulation methods responding to the industry requirements. Especially the complex full scale simulations utilizing huge size of grids have been very successful and reliable. “

– Janne Niittymäki, Head of Hydrodynamics, Foreship Ltd.


Does the size matter?

An ant can drink from a drop of water, but man has to use a glass. All things are not scalable. This is also true when you compare model scale prototype testing to a full-scale model. For instance, the boundary layer is relatively thinner, flow separation is usually delayed, and vortices encounter higher damping in full scale. In the picture below we have demonstrated the difference in the real-life simulation case.

Physical prototypes will always have limitations in size. Until recent years, full scale marine hydrodynamics simulations have been too computationally intensive for commercial use, and small scale simulations have been performed also in the simulation environment. Fortunately for the maritime industry, the computational resources have increased. At Process Flow, full scale fluid dynamics CFD simulations are in everyday commercial use.

Wake fields for full scale (left) and model scale (right). Over 10 % change observed in axial velocity in typical design point of 0.7R wake curve on the top position of the propeller