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Hull stress monitoring system for oceangoing bulk carriers

The stresses upon the structure of bulk carriers are at their extreme limit in heavy seas; this is the time when most bulk carrier losses have been recorded. The IMO, therefore, recommended fitting hull stress monitoring systems on bulk carriers over 20,000 tonnes to minimise the dangers associated with longitudinal stresses due to vessels bending and pitching in a seaway and possibly triggering fatigue failure and above.

The HSMS consists of the following components:

Sensors ­ also known as strain gauges, fitted at various locations on the vessel's deck to sense stresses during loading, discharging and at sea

Accelerometer ­ one fitted at the bow to measure the vertical acceleration of the bow, and two fitted on the centreline to measure the roll and swing of the vessel.

The HSMS information is fed into a central computer and the information is normally provided in the cargo office and on the bridge. If the stresses reach a predetermined stress level, an audio visual alarm sounds to warn the operators.

This means that ship's personnel can use the HSMS at sea to select a better course or speed if the ship is subjected to heavy stresses, and also during loading and discharging operations if loads are exceeded.

Related guideline

Risk of Heavy cargoes & Monitoring the Ship's Loading limits

How to avoid risk of vessel being overloaded

Local loading criteria defining maximum allowable cargo weight in each cargo hold

Structural standards & strengthening of bulk carriers

Mandatory requirement for monitoring water ingress in cargo holds

Deterioration of ships structure and consequences of forward flooding

Handling water ingress problems in bulk carrier, investigation and countermeasures

Actions in the event of water ingress alarm activated

Damage investigation and countermeasures for bulk carriers

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Operation of sea going bulk carriers involved numerous hazards . Careful planning and exercising due caution for all critical shipboard matters are important . This site is a quick reference to international shipping community with guidance and information on the loading and discharging of modern bulk carriers so as to remain within the limitations as specified by the classification society.
It is vital to reduce the likelihood of over-stressing the ship's structure and also complying with all essential safety measures for a safe passage at sea. Our detail pages contain various bulk carrier related topics that might be useful for people working on board and those who working ashore in the terminal. For any remarks please Contact us

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