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This paper presents an experimental and numerical investigation of the entry of a rigid square flat plate into pure and aerated water. Attention is focused on the measurement and calculation of the slamming loads on the plate. The experimental study was carried out in the ocean basin at Plymouth University’s COAST laboratory. The present numerical approach extends a two-dimensional hydro-code to compute three-dimensional hydrodynamic impact problems. The impact loads on the structure computed by the numerical model compare well with laboratory measurements. It is revealed that the impact loading consists of distinctive features including (1) shock loading with a high pressure peak, (2) fluid expansion loading associated with very low sub-atmospheric pressure close to the saturated vapour pressure, and (3) less severe secondary reloading with super-atmospheric pressure. It is also disclosed that aeration introduced into water can effectively reduce local pressures and total forces on the flat plate. The peak impact loading on the plate can be reduced by half or even more with 1.6% aeration in water. At the same time, the lifespan of shock loading is prolonged by aeration, and the variation of impulse is less sensitive to the change of aeration than the peak loading.


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