This paper deals with the slamming phenomenon experienced by ships during impact between the bow and the water free surface. Slamming loads on ships may be sufficiently important to induce plastic deformation of the hull external structure. For extreme loading cases, they have been identified as the cause of ship loss. The problem to be solved is transient and highly nonlinear due to the complex water flow conditions. In the present paper, the three-dimensional Wagner problem is solved numerically using the finite element method. A numerical analysis is performed for both rigid and deformable structures. After this numerical analysis, an original experimental investigation is presented. It consists of a series of free fall drop-tests of rigid and deformable cone-shaped samples with different deadrise angles and thickness. Distribution and evolution of pressure are analyzed. Finally, our numerical results are successfully compared with experimental data. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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