Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries is said to have inked an order for two 9,000-teu containerships from a Singapore-based shipowner.
Of interest is the cavitating structure at the trailing edge of the root cavity which was in the root erosion region. An air injection system was devised based on previous successful experience by Lloyd’s Register’s Technical Investigations.
This proved to be moderately successful in that it allowed the vessel to enter restricted service while a more permanent solution was found. Full-scale observation of the air injection process on the ship provided key information for a subsequent series of model tests.
The video images showed that due to the high pitch ratio of the blades, in excess of 1.7, this conventional approach did not allow sufficient air to be held in the cavities and hence could not fully cushion the cavity collapse process, producing the erosion damage.
Model tests were used to develop an alternative air supply configuration and machined holes in the blade roots at approximately the one-third and two-third chord positions at the 0.3R radius. Through an iterative process, a suitable air-flow rate was determined such that a minimum speed loss was achieved while maintaining intact stencil ink coatings on the model blades, which were used to assess the tendency to cavitation erosion.
The machined holes in the blade roots appeared to delay the onset of erosion and increased the speed at which air injection would need to be started. In addition, the holes provided a mechanism by which air could transfer from the pressure side to the suction side and ensured that air was resident in the root cavities for a substantial part of each blade revolution. The vessel is now in normal service and, after the equivalent of one full year of high-speed running, some minor erosion damage is still present but it appears to have stabilised.
Cavitation problems can be solved much more readily when the problem area can be viewed either by window or boroscope. Possible solutions include re-profiling, drilling of pressure-relief holes, flow pattern changes and/or air injection.