Design methodology for crash occupant protection in cabin design of the high speed vessel

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Expansion of marine transport and growing number of high speed vessels travelling in the neighbourhood of the coastline significantly increase the risk of the crash on the sea. Within the existing high speed craft legislations there are no regulations related to prediction of the vessel occupants injury and trauma. Former research has exposed the similarities between the high speed vessel crash and automotive collision enabling the transfer of advanced crash safety technologies between the automotive and marine.This paper investigates the application of the most recent CAE automotive safety technologies to predict the injuries of high speed Cruise Logistics Ferry (CLF) occupants in 40 knots crash with a harbour peer. At first, the probability of occupant injuries was studied using a 50th percentile HYBRID III standing crash test dummy model. The study considered various occupant positions within the boat cabin for two different cabin orientations. The investigation was then followed by computer analyses utilising the state of the art Total Human computer Model for Safety (THUMS) to evaluate the localised passenger traumatology. This model is the most advanced human computer model available, capable of computing injury risks at organ levels.Results from the analyses using both models showed that the standing HYBRID III dummy was suitable to assess the overall risk of occupants' injuries in a cabin design context, while the THUMS model added detailed trauma injuries for selected occupant locations. The results of both investigation indicated very high risk of life changing injuries or even death to the boat occupant within the cabin.A strong relationship between the probability of severe injury and the distance between the passenger and any obstacle in the cabin was found. In conclusion, the research is proposing a design methodology for cabin occupant protection based on the location of each individual passenger relative to obstacles and the associate risk of injury. This is in stark contrast to the general design guidelines of the High Speed Craft code (2000) which are based on threshold values of a global collision design acceleration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalMarine Structures
Early online date8 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Marine Structures. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Marine Structures [51 (2016)] DOI: 10.1016/j.marstruc.2016.10.001

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Safety
  • Finite element
  • Human model
  • HYBRID III dummy


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