Rheological and plate’s hydrodynamic resistance in fluid mud measurements for the nautical bottom applications

An experimental study for sailing through fluid mud applications

More Info


When a ship reaches the shore, the water depth reduces and thus the under-keel clearance also reduces. The ship keel clearance influences the maneuverability of the sailing ship.

In this thesis project, the link between the fluid mud rheology and its density is first investigated. The exponential relation reformulated between the density and yield stress necessitates the direct measurement of rheology for navigability. It was confirmed true that the yield strength grows exponentially with the density of the fluid mud. However, at higher densities of mud, more thixotropy is observed in the flow curves. Besides, the Power-law relations were found for the relation with volumetric concentration, for yield stress in agreement with fractal dimension theory.

Second, quantification of the thixotropy effect of fluid mud is conducted to justify the importance of the time-dependency effect in the rheological modeling. We found that an unremolded fluid mud has high thixotropy even at high shear rates. However, diluted and remolded fluid mud at high shear rates found a negligible thixotropy effect. We also observed that Houska's modeling curve coincides perfectly with the flow curve of fluid mud at high shear rates, and also it integrates the thixotropy into the modeling.

Third, the total resistance of a plate moving through fluid mud is measured and compared to the frictional forces calculated using the available analytical formulas of a plate moving in Bingham fluids and Power-law fluids. The moving plate is an abstraction of a vessel's keel sailing through the fluid mud. We found that the total resistance of the plate moved in fluid mud at low velocity agrees with the frictional force of a plate moved in Bingham fluids. As the velocity increases, the stagnation pressure becomes significant, and the deviation of the total resistance of plate and frictional force of a plate increases. Thus, to estimate the total resistance of a plate moved in mud, normal forces (stagnation pressure) and vortices at edges should be investigated because these need to be subtracted.

The experimental data in this thesis are made resourceful to help researchers validate their Computational fluid dynamics(CFD) models in the application of sailing through the mud.