Freeman, Mikhail D. and Marshall, Mervin Allan (2011) An analytical investigation into the design of a shaftless thruster using finite element and computational fluid dynamics approaches. The Journal of Ocean Technology, 6 (4). pp. 55-68. ISSN 1718-3200
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Traditional marine propellers and thrusters driven by a shaft are associated with problems such as debris tangling (e.g., fishing nets), cavitation and limited machinery arrangement. The elimination of such impediments is being investigated through an alternative propulsion method, which is shaftless. To achieve this objective, a model was designed and analyzed using FEA (finite element analysis) and CFD (computational fluid dynamics). By applying these analytical procedures, it was possible to simulate the propeller region under various rotating conditions, so that detailed information on the energy transfer of the inherent complex, unsteady flow field could be obtained. Usually, the design of such structures is enhanced through actual experimental simulations in the appropriate facilities. However, because experimental tests in such facilities (e.g., towing tanks and cavitation tunnels) are sometimes very time-consuming and exorbitant, it is always beneficial to carry out analytical simulations prior to actual testing, so a better understanding of the structure and the results obtained experimentally can be achieved. (Moreover, this approach could also reduce the time and cost associated with such experiments.) In this paper, the analytical simulations approach is being adopted. Based upon the reported results and evaluations, it was concluded that a shaftless thruster of suitable efficiency (in the marine industry) could effectively eliminate tangling, and the need for a conventional driving shaft.
|Keywords:||Shaftless thrusters; Finite element analysis; von Mises Failure Criteria; Free vibration; Computational fluid dynamics; Pressure-velocity distribution; Bernoulli Effect; Cavitation|
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