EVALUATE shipboard stability by analyzing weight and moment considerations.
ENABLING OBJECTIVES:
EXPLAIN why Free Communication Effect impairs stability.
DESCRIBE how pocketing, surface permeability, and size of hole, impact Free Surface Effect and Free Communication Effect.
Given an uncorrected statical stability curve, CORRECT the curve for Free Surface Effect and Free Communication Effect.
Loose Water is the shifting of liquid from side to side as a ship rolls. Water that partially fills a compartment, as a result of underwater damage, drainage, or fire fighting, is Loose Water.
FREE SURFACE EFFECT
Liquid that only partially fills a compartment is said to have a free surface that tends to remain horizontal (parallel to the waterline). When the ship is inclined, the liquid flows to the lower side (in the direction of inclination), increasing the inclining moment.
Background:
If the tank contains a solid weight, and the ship is inclined, the center of buoyancy shifts in the direction of the inclination and righting arms (GZ) are formed.
Replacing the solid with a liquid of the same weight, when the ship is inclined, the surface of the liquid remains horizontal. This results in a transfer of "a wedge of water," which is equivalent to a horizontal shift of weight, causing gravity to shift from G_{0} to G_{2}.
The wedge of water transferred increases as the angle of inclination increases, therefore, the center of gravity shifts a different amount for each inclination.
Due to the horizontal shift of the center of gravity, the righting arm is now G_{2}Z_{2}. To determine the effect on stability, a vertical line is projected upward through G_{2} (see below). Where this line crosses the ships centerline is labeled G_{3}. The righting arm G_{3}Z_{3}is the same length as the righting arm G_{2}Z_{2}. Therefore, moving the ships center of gravity to position G_{2} or G_{3} yields the same effect on stability. Movement from G_{0} to G_{3} is referred to as a Virtual Rise of the center gravity.
To calculate the virtual rise in the center of gravity due to the Free Surface Effect, use the following equation:
B = The breadth (width) of the compartment
L = The length of the compartment
W_{F} = The ships final displacement (after flooding water added)
POCKETING
Free Surface Effect can be reduced, to some extent, by creating pocketing. Pocketing occurs when the surface of the liquid contacts the top or bottom of the tank, reducing the breadth (B) of the free surface area.
Pocketing with top of tank.

Pocketing with bottom of tank.

Since the effects of pocketing can not be calculated, it is an indeterminate safety factor. The Free Surface correction will therefore indicate less overall stability than actually exists.
SURFACE PERMEABILITY
Impermeable objects (engines, pumps, piping systems, etc) inside a flooded space project through and above the liquid surface. These objects inhibit the moving water and the "shifting of the wedge" may or may not be complete, thus reducing Free Surface Effect. The impermeable objects also occupy volume, reducing the amount of flooding water (movable weight) that can fill the space.
SWASH BULKHEADS (BAFFLE PLATES)
In addition to some structural support, these bulkheads are designed to reduce Free Surface Effect. They are longitudinal bulkheads that hinder, but do not prevent, the flow of liquid from side to side as the ship rolls or heels. They are found in tanks, voids, double bottoms, bilges, etc.
SLUICE VALVES
Sluice valves allow opposing tanks to be crossconnected. When large, partially filled tanks are connected, Free Surface Effect increases, and the vessel becomes less stable. Ships like oilers and tenders use these valves to create long, slow roll periods during ammunition handling and refueling.
Sluice Valve Closed:

Sluice Valve Open:

FREE SURFACE EFFECT
1. FSE increases with increased length and width of compartment
2. FSE increases when displacement decreases (deballasting)
3. FSE is independent of the depth of the liquid
Example Problem
The firemain ruptures, flooding space 11300L with three feet of saltwater. Displacement prior to flooding was 4530 LT. The dimensions of the space are: L=30FT B=42FT H=8FT
1. Calculate the weight added by the flooding water:
2. Calculate the new displacement:
3. Calculate the virtual rise in G due to Free Surface Effect:
Free Communication Effect occurs when the ships hull is ruptured, allowing sea water to flow in and out as the ship rolls. This continuous weight addition and removal causes a horizontal shift in the center of gravity, which then equates to another virtual rise in the center gravity.
Three conditions must exist for Free Communication Effect:
1. The compartment must be open to the sea.
2. The compartment must be partially flooded.
3. The compartment must be off centerline or asymmetrical about centerline.
 
When the vessel below is inclined, it experiences a horizontal weight shift due to the Free Surface Effect. The center of gravity shifts from G_{0} to G_{2}. The center of gravity is shifted further from centerline due to the flooding weight addition/removal as the ship rolls. This reduces the righting arm from G_{2}Z_{2} to G_{4}Z_{4}. By extending the line of gravitational force up to the centerline, position G_{5} is found. This increase from G_{3} to G_{5} is the virtual rise of gravity due to the Free Communication Effect.
The virtual rise in the center of gravity due to the Free Communication Effect (G_{3}G_{5}) is found using the equation:
B = Breadth (width) of the compartment (FT)
L = Length of the compartment (FT)
W_{F} = The ship's displacement following damage (LT)
The factors which minimize Free Surface Effect (pocketing, surface permeability, swash bulkheads, etc) will also minimize Free Communication Effect. There is one additional factor associated with Free Communication: the size of the hole in the ship.
How the size of the hole affects Free Communication is not something that can be calculated. The FCE equation does not account for the hole. Basically, if the hole is small, less water will be added/removed to/from the ship. The larger the hole, the closer Free Communication Effect is to its calculated value.
Example Problem
The vessel below (viewed from stern) has a hole in the starboard side of compartment 3820L. Displacement prior to damage was 3700 LT. Flooding depth is 5 FT. Calculate the total virtual rise in the center of gravity (FSE + FCE). Compartment length is 30 FT.
1. Calculate the weight added due to flooding water:
2. Calculate the ship's final displacement:
3. Calculate the virtual rise in G due to Free Surface Effect:
4. Determine the distance "Y" for calculating the Free Communication Effect:
The center of the compartment is 13.5 FT from the inboard bulkhead, and the ships centerline is 9 FT from the inboard bulkhead.
5. Calculate the virtual rise in G due to Free Communication Effect:
6. Calculate the total virtual rise in the center of gravity:
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