When ice floes collide against marine structures, pronounced hydrodynamic loads are induced by the water-ice-structure interaction. With today’s highly competitive structural design market, it is nearly impossible to ignore the advances that have been made in the computer analysis of fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems. FSI methods can provide accurate representation of hydrodynamic effects. A number of commercial programs have been developed, and their applications in structural design increases rapidly. For instance, Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) formulations have been used to solve underwater explosions problems in ocean engineering, and soil-structure interaction problems in civil engineering. Application to fluid-ice-structure interaction problems is more recent and growing. This paper represents a contribution in assessing the capabilities of the ALE formulation for fluid-ice-structure collision problems. The ALE and coupling algorithms have been successfully validated through the comparison against model tests of an ice-structure collision. The work also examines the numerical convergence and the sensitivity of the results to the theoretical modelling used. From the sensitivity study it is concluded that the effect of viscosity and equation of state for the water model within the ALE formulation are insignificant, whereas the choice of the element size has a noticeable effect on the computed contact forces and the motions of the impacted structure.

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