Monday, 24 February 2014

What's with the Bulb? - Part One

Shipping has always remained the backbone of world trade contributing over 90% of the total trade. The world economy would collapse and it would be impossible to transport the vast quantities of food, raw materials and manufactured products without shipping. As the economy prospered the demand for long range cruisers increased and so did the requirements to enhance sea keeping and efficiency. Lots of money was spent on research and experiments to find out that one innovation which would promise to save money and improve comfort at sea.

In the late 50's and 60's research was undertaken to reduce drag on large commercial cargo ships. With the development of Naval Architecture came efficient model testing, this along with advanced knowledge of Hydrodynamics led to the creation of the Bulbous bow which was formulated typically to provide 5% reduction in fuel consumption over a narrow range of speed and draft. This was significant for a large ship crossing vast oceans at the time when the price of fuel was rising. As the market for displacement ship opened up, Naval Architects began to innovate the design of the bulbous bow to provide more efficacy.

Although available in various shapes and sizes, generally the bulb looks like a section of a pipe with large diameter with a domed end sticking out of the bow of the vessel. Today, it's a very rare sight to find a large ship without a bulbous bow. Their results have been proven over a countless number miles in all kinds of weather by all kinds of vessels. LSD

 For Part-Two click on the following link .

Article By: Tanumoy Sinha

Author's Note: This article is the first part of the topic 'What's with the Bulb?'. It gives us a very brief introduction about the need of a bulbous bow followed by a general description of it. This article was written keeping in mind that the reader has a very little knowledge about the bulbous bow. The up coming articles would focus upon the various types and hydrodynamics of the bulbous bow. The picture used above does not belong to LSD, and full credit for the same goes to their respective owners. If you have any queries or doubts, write to me