The segmented model test is often used to study the wave load characteristics of large ships as it can account for the hydroealstic effect. The vertical bending moment (VBM) is of crucial importance in ensuring the safety of ocean-going vessels in rough seas, and there exists in the literature a large number of experimental studies of the VBM. For ships with large openings in the deck, for instance, container ships, the lateral wave loads, such as horizontal bending moment (HBM) and torsional moment (TM) in quartering seas, are as important as VBM. There are, however, few studies on the measurement of the coupled horizontal-torsional vibrations of such ships in model tests. In the paper, a method is proposed for designing flexible backbone models that satisfy the similarities of vertical and horizontal bending stiffness as well as the torsional stiffness, and the measurement of the wave load components is also described. In order to meet the similarity of the hull girder stiffness, the backbone cross-section of a complex form is designed. Finite element method (FEM) is used to calculate the natural frequencies and mode shapes of the segmented model. Measurement of the vertical bending moment, horizontal bending moment and torsional moment are calibrated by applying various combinations of loads.

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