WIT Press

Finite Element Modelling Of Floating Pier Units In Personal Computers


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WIT Press


R C Barros


Finite element modelling of floating pier units in personal computers R. C. Barros Department of Civil Engineering, Faculdade de Engenharia FE UP, Porto, Portugal Abstract Floating pier assemblages constituting a floating marina infrastructure are studied for a potential site, on the banks of Douro River at the city of Porto, Portugal. Buoyancy characteristics of a singular floating pontoon, as referred in the literature, are extended to redundant systems of floating units. Finite element modelling of such floating pier structure permits to access its static performance in terms of safe advisable pontoons displacements and rotations. Floating pier dynamic stability is addressed preliminarily, using simple formulas for determining rolling and pitching periods and insuring adequately long periods and acceptable motions with respect to human perception. 1 Introduction During last decade the riverfront at the city of Porto as been witnessing a series of investments, contributing not only to an increased quality of life of its natural population but mainly constituting an incentive and a needed added value for the local and regional tourism. As a gateway for river Douro local cruises (at this city that during 2001 was one of the two European cultural capitals) or for inland regional cruises (to the Douro-Port wine region), some floating pontoons units were developed constituting small floating piers with associated articulated approach bridges (Figure 1). However, in view of the large number of sailing vessels and yachts that pass along the Portuguese coast (without a northern nearby safe haven from harsh sea- weather) and as an additional means to attract tourists to the city, some riverfront sites for implementation of a complete floating marina infrastructure have been accessed. The present work addresses the study of such a possible floating marina, modelling its overall static performance by the finite element method.