Engineering Design Driven by Models and Measures: The Case of a Rigid Inflatable Boat

Rigid-hulled inflatable boats are extremely practical and popular nowadays, offering an effective conciliation among usability and costs. Their stable and seaworthy behavior is guaranteed by performing hydroplaning hulls coupled with unsinkable inflated tubes. At the same time, their design is often based on tradition and preconceptions. In this article, both numerical methods and experimental mechanics techniques are proposed as an essential way for supporting the designers in decisive tasks. Three different situations are detailed where a numerical or an experimental approach shows its benefit inside the engineering design process: firstly, permitting investigation of the behavior of materials driving the fiberglass selection; then measuring the levels of stress and strain in the hull during sailing; and finally, using information as a base for developing numerical models of the hull slamming in waves. Even if the discussion is focused on a rigid inflatable boat, a large part of these considerations is relevant beyond this particular case.


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  • Accession Number: 01695749
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 24 2019 11:56AM