Research & Development
Marine & Offshore units operate in very difficult environments as they are subject to constant action from waves. Owners of these vessels or floating units require absolute safety, cost-efficiency and sustainability.
Bureau Veritas invests in research and development in order to acquire a deeper knowledge of such fields and to improve our suite of software programs. This technology enables us to carry out complex cutting-edge studies.
Our researchers aim to help ship designers optimize their hull forms over a wide range of loading conditions. They can also improve structural analysis tools.
We can help you develop your design as well as save time and money while producing safe and efficient units.
Our research & development strategy is based on building a wide platform of knowledge and bringing together the best universities, ship owners, engineering and manufacturing companies and research institutes.
Learn more about our R&D projects:
- Model and full scale measurements
- Asset Integrity Management / HLC
- Safety, Energy, Environment
One specificity of marine and offshore structures is that they are constantly subjected throughout their operational lifetime to waves. This, as well as the structure's interaction with floating units, is a key factor in marine engineering.
As a consequence, hydrodynamic knowledge has been a topic of research & development for many years at Bureau Veritas, yielding cutting-edge tools and methodologies essential to an efficient ship design and classification process.
Although significant progress has been made over the past decades, the hydrodynamic field is far from being a closed topic. There is great room for improvement on many critical points: non-linearities, forward speed, viscous effect, wave-current interaction, and more.
For this reason, Bureau Veritas's main hydrodynamic software HydroStar is continuously being upgraded, providing the industry with a more accurate and efficient tool. R&D is also done in CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), which, by becoming computationally affordable, opens new possibilities.
As a classification society, Bureau Veritas evaluates the structural integrity of floating units. Therefore, alongside the development of complex hydrodynamic tools, coupling with structural models must be developed, both in terms of tools and methodologies.
For this reason, a tremendous R&D effort has been recently underway to achieve an efficient, innovative and accurate numerical tool, one that is able to deal with any practical hydro-structure interaction issue, for the assessment of extreme or fatigue failure of floating units.
Among the many specific issues related to hydro-structure coupling, HOMER is the leading software in the field of hydro-elastic structural responses of highly flexible structures (springing and whipping of ultra large container ships for example).
Another important R&D field is the measurement of hull girder loads, both during full-scale measurement campaigns and model scale experiments; these loads cannot be measured directly, and are assessed through the conversion of local structural response (strains).
The Structure Team assists Bureau Veritas classification departments and Bureau Veritas clients in all matters related to a ship's or offshore structure's capacity to withstand loads induced by operational, environmental and accidental conditions.
We develop and apply advanced methods and tools to evaluate structure strength against the different failure modes, with a particular focus on fatigue, crack propagation, and fractures.
We act in cooperation with universities, research centers and with the industry, through the participation in national and international R&D projects and committees.
As for other Research Department teams, our role encompasses transforming research results into improved practices and rule criteria for strength assessment, as well as disseminating information in order to maintain and increase the expertise of the marine and offshore industry.
An increasing number of floating units are moored everywhere in the world. FPSOs, FSRUs, semi-submersibles, TLP, buoys, spars and more, are a set of permanent mooring system examples that operate without interruption in the harshest environmental conditions.
Associated with all convex applications like supply vessels, offloading operations (buoy, tandem, side-by-side), dynamic positioning, etc., mooring activities represent a challenge that offshore designers face daily.
As a classification society, Bureau Veritas continuously improves its knowledge. In the mooring field, the Research and Development department adds to our expertise with new methodologies and tools. The ARIANE project is Bureau Veritas's mooring software which began over three decades ago.
Thanks to feedback from hundreds of users over the years, our philosophy is to be and to remain absolutely state-of-the-art. Benefiting from our large network, this software is distributed and supported worldwide. Initially dedicated to large floating units, Ariane7.1's last upgrade can design most marine and offshore operations.
Motivated by Ariane's success, our research team continues to invest in anticipating industry needs, to participate in major joint-research projects, to share our experience in conferences, and to compile our competencies and knowledge for future releases.
Model and full scale measurements
Our experimental projects are key components to the development process of tools and methods.
Firstly, measurements are essential to the validation scheme of our numerical tools: field results, from both model scales and full scale tests that enrich and improve model hypotheses and calculation results.
Secondly, monitoring systems, from simple surveys to decision aid systems, rely on smartly combining numerical and experimental expertise.
Measurement activities in the research department are thus essential to the development of new tools and services. The different issues are addressed through research projects and joint development projects with major stakeholders or are internal and self-funded.
This experimental research aims to ensure a strong and winning combination of calculations and operational on-site measurement teams.
Sloshing may be defined as the violent behavior of liquid contents in tanks that are subjected to the forced external ship motions at sea.
Sloshing represents one of the major factors in LNG vessels, FSRU & FLNG design. Sloshing loads can be extreme and require careful investigation before construction to ensure the design strength of the tanks is sufficient to withstand the expected sloshing loads for the conditions at sea during the ship’s lifespan.
Bureau Veritas’s comprehensive sloshing assessment is broken down as the following services:
- Advanced seakeeping analysis taking into account coupling between seakeeping and liquid motions inside tanks (HydroSTAR software).
- Sloshing analysis – CFD calculations (OpenFOAM software). The objective of the CFD numerical sloshing simulations is to provide independent verification of sloshing effects on cargo tank walls, to evaluate the representative design loads on ship inner-hull structures and to provide fluid velocities and accelerations at the pump mast location for its strength assessment. Moreover, Bureau Veritas has developed a dedicated plug-in called “Dynamic Probes” that provides complete information on the sloshing events over the tanks’ boundaries during the complete simulation.
- Sloshing model tests – Statistical post-processing. Based on Bureau Veritas’s own sloshing model testing experience, Bureau Veritas carries out independent statistical post-processing of sloshing model tests.
- Structural assessment for plates and stiffeners according to Bureau Veritas rules.
A surge in shipping traffic via the Northern Sea Route and keen interest in developing hydrocarbon reserves in the Arctic region, have caused an increase in demand for operational safety in ice-covered waters and protection for the fragile Arctic environment.
Bureau Veritas Research & Development activities in arctic conditions aim at improving existing rules and guidelines and developing new tools intended for calculation of ice loads exerted on the ship's hull. Particular attention is paid to offshore engineering structures and large tonnage vessels due to lack of operating experience of these types of units in arctic conditions.
Bureau Veritas suggests a number of rules for construction and classification of polar vessels, guidelines for appropriate ice-class notations and the ship hull ice-strengthening numerical tool IceSTAR, which is based on direct calculation methods and enables direct calculation of ice loads, assessment of safe navigation speed in ice and prediction of ship kinematics due to ice collisions.
For optimal results, Bureau Veritas works closely with experienced ice specialists, companies and organizations, such as ISO, IACS, Aker Arctic (Finland), State Marine Technical University of Saint Petersburg (Russia), etc.
Asset Integrity Management / HLC
Asset Integrity Management is at the heart of our business. It is the reason why the Research Department developed methods and tools with the objective to implement and manage Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) plans for new and existing offshore units (FPSOs and fixed structures).
Risk Based Inspection focuses efforts and resources on the most critical structural components while making sure that performance criteria regarding safety and the environment are always met throughout the unit's service life. Bureau Veritas proposes customized solutions which may include qualitative and/or quantitative approaches for corrosion and fatigue issues. If required, Risk Based Inspection solutions may also include cost optimization.
Bureau Veritas is developing its advanced and innovative tool, VeriSTAR HLC for managing the hull structure of ships and offshore hulls using today’s upfront technologies. Based on a 3D model of the structure, ship managers can instantly see inspection results and hull condition. The tool provides all the information needed for preparing inspections, dry-docks and repairs.
Safety, Energy and the Environment
The main R&D activities related to Safety, Energy and the Environment are:
- Quantitative risk methods to evaluate design safety levels. The main technical topics address new material and assembly technologies (composites, adhesive joints), collision, fire safety, evacuation, gas dispersion and explosion, dynamic stability and manoeuvrability on waves.
- Simulation-based ship energy efficiency analysis methods, based on Bureau Veritas SEECAT numerical tools. Most recent developments include the application of energy analysis, engine models and specific components for LNG carrier studies. The energy simulations are coupled with advanced hull and appendage hydrodynamic analyses using CFD in cooperation with our partner Hydrocean, to optimize the hull and propulsion train, including wave performance.
- Assessment methods dedicated to marine renewable energy (floating offshore wind turbines, tidal turbines, wave energy converters, ocean thermal energy conversion, multi-use offshore platforms): loads due to marine environment, component reliability and certification procedures.
Marine & Offshore R&D Department
Tel: +33 (0)22.214.171.124.00
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