Coastal & Maritime

FLOW-3D’s capabilities with respect to free surface hydrodynamics, wave generation, moving objects, mooring lines and welding processes make it an extremely well-suited tool to model CFD processes in the marine and maritime industry. For coastal applications, FLOW-3D accurately predicts the detail of severe storm and tsunami wave run-up on coastal structures and is used for flash flood and critical structures flood and damage analysis. Capabilities include:

  • Free surfaces – wave hydrodynamics and overtopping: regular and irregular waves, as well as wave spectra (Pierson Moskowitz, JONSWAP)
  • Seakeeping – slamming, planing, porpoising and displacement hulls: fully-coupled ship and underwater vehicle hydrodynamics
  • Ship hulls – Resistance, stability and dynamics: surging, heaving, pitching and rolling motion (response amplitude operators or RAOs)
  • Sloshing – LNG/Ballast tanks
  • Offshore engineering – wave energy converter dynamics

Modeling Moving Objects

FAVORTM is a unique, cartesian fixed-mesh method for handling geometry. This method allows for moving object dynamics to be modeled without the need for a moving/deforming mesh, reducing simulation runtimes while maintaining accuracy. The moving objects model gives the user the flexibility of tracking vessel motion using either an explicit or an implicit method.

The new Immersed Boundary Method allows for highly accurate predictions of forces on fixed and moving objects.

This simulation shows the complex, fully-coupled motion of an LNG tanker moving in waves. Learn more about sloshing & slamming analysis with FLOW-3D >

Mooring Lines, Springs and Ropes

Special objects in FLOW-3D (such as mooring lines and springs) when attached to other moving objects, allow engineers to accurately capture vessel dynamics during ship launches, floating barrier dynamics, buoys, wave energy converters, etc.

In this ship launch example, a ship slides down a slipway and into the water. The motion of the ship is constrained by mooring lines, which prevents it from floating off downstream. Simulation courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding.


With the addition of FLOW-3D’s Weld module, welders in the shipbuilding industry can minimize welding defects such as porosity, significantly increasing the quality of their hulls while optimizing production times.

Coastal & Maritime Case Studies

Our customers use FLOW-3D for coastal and maritime applications, including protecting fragile coastlines, simulating wave impact on structures, optimizing hull design, and studying ventilation within a ship.

(We) were able to see how the boat was likely to perform in the different types of seas we were likely to come across on our global voyage. We were then able to modify the design to ensure that not only speed, but fuel efficiency and safety were taken into account.
– Pete Bethune, skipper of Earthrace