Changes in propeller shaft behavior by fluctuating propeller forces during ship turning

Ji-Woong Lee, Quang Dao Vuong, Byongug Jeong, Jae-ung Lee

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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It is known that a ship’s shafting system can be adversely affected by hull deformation, variations in the engine power, the propeller load, and eccentric propeller thrusts, thereby increasingly affecting the behavior of the shaft’s movement. A deformed shafting system may also lead to a potential risk of bearing damage by causing a change in the local load of the rear part of the after-stern tube bearing of the propeller shaft. With this concern, a series of previous studies were focused on optimizing the effects of hull deformation by securing a proper level of propulsion shaft stability and optimizing the relative inclination angle and oil film retention based on a quasi-static state, that is, Rules for the Classification of Steel Ships and experiences of shipyards. However, despite our efforts to resolve this issue, marine accidents involving stern tube bearing damage have continued to occur under relatively unattended ship motions in a transient state, that is, a quasi-static state that can possibly cause sudden stern flow field changes. Therefore, to improve the stability of the propulsion shaft, it is necessary to understand ship motions and the conditions of shafting systems in a dynamic state and a transient state when the system is designed. From this point of view, this study investigated the effect of changes in eccentric propeller forces on the motion of the propeller shaft in a representative transient state of a 50,000 deadweight tonnage tanker by means of the strain gauge method and a displacement sensor. The research findings demonstrate that propeller thrust fluctuations have a direct effect on the shaft stability by significant changes in the shaft motion that can lead to unbalanced supporting loads on the stern tube bearing. These results clearly reproduce the cause of damage to the ship in which the accident occurred at a reliable level and will be a reference for establishing pragmatic guidelines for preventing damage to similar ships in the future
Original languageEnglish
Article number5041
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number10
Early online date17 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022


  • shaft movement
  • propeller forces
  • shafting system
  • strain gauge
  • displacement sensor


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