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# TABLE OF CONTENT

No

Subject

Page

1.1

Introduction

1.2

Objective

1.3

Learning Outcome

1.4

Theoretical Background

2.1

Problem Statement

3.1

Apparatus

3.2

Procedure

9-10

4.1

Result

10-12

4.2

Analysis

13-14

4.3

Discussion

15

4.4

Conclusion

16

4.5

Experimental precaution

16

4.6

References

16

4.7

Appendix

17

3-8

EXPERIMENT TITLE
Determination of Metacentric height.

1.1 INTRODUCTION
1

Level 1 laboratory activity refers to condition where the problem and ways & means are
guided and given to the students. However the answers to the assignment are left to the
students to solve using the group creativity and innovativeness. The activity is hope to
slowly introduced and inculcate independent learning amongst students and prepare them
for a much harder task of open-ended laboratory activities.
In this laboratory activity students will be exposed to the equipment that used to measure
the metacentric height of pontoon. For static equilibrium of the pontoon, the total weight,
W, ( which acts through the centre of the gravity, G) must be equal to the buoyancy force
which acts through the centre of buoyancy, B, which is located at the centroid of the
immersed cross-section. When the pontoon heels through a small angle, the metacentre M
is identified as the point of intersection between the lines of action of the buoyancy force
( always vertical ) and BG extend. For stable equilibrium, M must be above G.

Figure 5.0: A floating body is stable if the body is (a). The centre of gravity G is below
the centroid B of the body; (b) The metacentre M is above G; (c) Unstable if M below G.

1.2 OBJECTIVE
To identify the position of the metacentre (M) of a floating body, by referring the distance
from the centre of gravity (G).

## 1.3 LEARNING OUTCOMES

At the end of the laboratory activities, students would be able to: i. Determine the
suitable laboratory tests to be conducted to address the given problem. ii. Analyse test
data and present the solution to the open-ended problem. iii. Work in a group to produce
the relevant technical report

## 1.4 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND

Pontoon is a term used to denote a flat bottomed vessel which is rectangular in cross
section and in plan. Considering Figure 2, we have the weight force, W acting vertically
down through the centre of gravity, G, of the pontoon. Since the pontoon is floating in
water with a constant depth immersion, it follows that there must be an equal force acting
the opposing direction of the weight force, known as buoyancy force, F , which acts
vertically up through the centre of gravity of the displaced water.

## Figure 5.1: A pontoon floating on even keel with W and F collinear.

Since the pontoon is a simple rectangle, the shape of the displaced liquid is also a
rectangle with it centre at the geometrical centre namely the centre of buoyancy, B. The
buoyancy force, F acts upwards through B. Note that W and F act collinearly with G
situated some distance above B.

Figure 5.2: A pontoon floating with an imposed angle of tilt, showing the righting couple

## When a pontoon is tilted as shown in Figure 3, W acts vertically down through G

which maintained at the same position but F now acts through point B* instead of B. This
is because acts through the centre of gravity of the displaced liquid which is now
trapezoidal in shape with its centre of gravity at B*. As a result F and W are no longer
collinear, but a couple of forces that return the pontoon to an even keel are formed. This
is known as righting couple. In this case the pontoon is capable of righting itself when
tilted, hence it is stable.

Figure 5.3: A pontoon with a raised G and an imposed angle of tilt, showing the
overturning couple caused by W acting outside

It a relatively tall piece of weight is placed on the pontoon as shown in Figure 4, the
combined weight, W of the pontoon and its load acts through the centre of gravity, G
which is relatively high. When G becomes higher and the angle of tilt increases, W acts
further and turn further to the left. This means that at the some point the movement of
buoyancy force, F from B to B* is unlikely to be large enough to produce a righting
couple. What we now have is the situation depicted in Figure 5, where the line of action
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of W is outside (nearer the edge of the pontoon) than the line along which F acts. Thus W
is trying to overturn the pontoon. The two forces F and W form an overturning couple.
Thus it is unstable.

## Figure 5.4 : The position of metacentre

A pontoon floating on an even keel has its center of buoyancy at B and its centre of
gravity at G. A line joining B to G would be as shown in Figure 4, that is vertical and at
90 to the deck of pontoon. Imagine line BG extends upwards and how consider the
pontoon in tilted position as in Figure 6, the centre of buoyancy moved from B to B*. A
line drawn vertically upwards through B* will intersect the line BG at the point labelled
M in the diagram. This called the metacentre. Provided the G does not move, then for all
relatively small angle of tilt;
i.

## The vertical line through up B* through M. Consequently if the location of B* can be

calculated, the position of M can be found graphically.

## ii. The distance of M above M constant.

iii. The distance GM is called metacentric height of pontoon.

When considering the stability of floating body, it is usual to assume that the angle of
tilt small. This is necessary to simplify the theory by making the assumption that
Considering the restoring moment that rights a rectangular pontoon to an even keel
when it is tilted, the equation:
BM = Iws / V
5

Where:
V = the volume of water displaced by the body
Iws = the second moment of the area

Figure 5.5: Plan of the pontoon where the tilt takes place about the longitudinal axis X-X
LB 3
Iws =
12
It should be apparent that BM depends only upon:
a.

I and b, the dimensions of the pontoon which govern the value of Iws .

b.

V, the volume of displaced water which depends only upon the weight of the
pontoon.

Referring to Figure 7, you should be able to see that BM = BG + GM or, GM = BMBG. If we can calculate BG, then we can obtain GM and hence determine if the body is
stable or unstable. Now, B is the center of buoyancy, and with the pontoon floating on an
even keel B is located at a height equal to half the depth of immersion (h/2) above the
point O on the bottom of the pontoon.

## Figure 5.6 : A pontoon showing the key points and dimensions

It is common practice to carry out an experiment on vessel to assess its stability by
calculating GM. This is a simple procedure utilizing moveable weight positioned on the
deck at approximately the middle of the longitudinal centreline and a pendulum hanging
inside the vessel. The weight namely jockey weight (wj) is moved from the centreline
known distance ( ) towards the side as shown in Figure 8. This moves the centre of
gravity of the pontoon from G on the centreline to a new position G* and causes the
vessel to tilt at the angle of .

The magnitude of GG* depends upon how far the jockey weight is moved and its size
relatively to the total weight of the pontoon. Using the ratio of weight and x ,
wj
x
W

GG*

GG* GM tan x

wj dx

W d

GM

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## 2.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT

An important application of the buoyancy concept is the assessment of the stability of
immersed and floating bodies when being place in a fluid. Knowing metacentre, M
location is vital and great importance in the design of ships and submarines. The body is
said stable if M is above G and unstable if otherwise. Students are required to perform a
relevant experiment to fulfil the objective stated above using both method namely
adjustable position traversed weight experiment and based upon geometry and depth of
immersion. For computation purpose, the students are asked to find the equation from the
literature or exiting manual for fluid and hydraulic laboratory.

3.1 APPARATUS
a. Metacentric Height Apparatus

1. Pontoon Body
2. Cross - bar
4. Mast
5. Sliding Mass
6. Plumb - line
7. Linear Scale
Figure 1.0 - Metacentric Height
apparatus

3.2 PROCEDURE
1.
2.
3.

## The transverse adjustable mass is weighed.

The pontoon is assembled and weighed.
The sliding mass is positioned along the mast such that the center of gravity occurs at
the top of the pontoon. This can be determined by using either a knife edge or by

4.

## suspending from a light string around the mast.

The basin is filled with water, the pontoon is floated ensuring that the adjustable

5.

## mass is in its central position.

The PVC plates provided is used to level the floating body and zero datum is

6.

## checked between plumb line and scale.

The adjustable mass is moved to the right of centre in 5mm increments to the end of
the scale, nothing the angular displacement of the plumb line for each position.
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7.
8.

## The adjustable mass is repeated for movement to the left centre.

With the exception of weighing the adjustable weight and emptying and refilling the
volumetric tank, all the above is repeated for the sliding mass at different heights up

## the mast, i.e. for different centres of gravity.

9. All the reading is recorded in the result sheet.
10. The graph of lateral position of adjustable mass against angle of list for each sliding
mass height is prepared. The value of

dx
for each sliding mass height is obtained,
d

the metacentric height, GM and distance between the centre of buoyancy and the
metacentre is calculated.
4.1 RESULTS
Total weight of floating assembly (W)
Weight of sliding mass (1)
Length of pontoon (L)
Second moment of area (I)
Volume of water displaced (V)
Height of metacentre above centre of buoyancy (BM)
Depth of immersion of pontoon (IP)
Depth of centre of buoyancy (CB)

2.343
0.208
0.511
200
350
2.33310-4
2.34310-3
0.0996
0.0335
0.0167

kg
kg
kg
mm
mm
m4
m3
m
m
m

Height of

Reading of list for adjustable weight lateral displacement from sail centre line,

20

30

40

50

weight, y1

-50

-40

-30

-20

-10

(mm)
0
10

(mm)
0

54

42

30

20

10

-10

-20

-31

-42

-56

-66

50

62

32

-18

-46

-60

100

-50

-68

10

60

Table 1: Lateral displacement of ropefor each height of adjustable weight from sail centre
line

## In order to find the angle, we need to use trigonometry rule.

Where, Y=300 mm

Height of

Angles of list for adjustable weight lateral displacement from sail centre line, x1

(mm)
0
10

weight, y1

-50

(mm)
0

-40

-30

-20

-10

1.91

20

30

40

50

3.81

5.90

7.97

10.8

12.4

10.2
50

0
-

-6.09

6.09

8.72

11.6
100

11.3

60

8
-

9.46

12.7
7

11

Height of

-50

-40

-30

-10
0
10
20

-20

30

40

50

60

weight, y1
(mm)
0

50

8.79

8.34

26.70
8.34 11.74 13.56

100

5.41

8.05

4.2 ANALYSIS

12

= 1.06
= 5.25

## Slope for 50mm

dx/d = (10 -20)/(6.09 -11.68)
=1.64

13

LB 3
10 12
12
350 200 3 10 12

12
2.333 10 4 m 4

W
103
2.343

103
2.343 103 m3

## iii) Metacentric Height, x 50, 54

H

mx
m p sin

( 0.208 )( 50)005)
10.20
( 2.343 ) sin
1 iii)
25.07 mm
Metace
ntric
Height
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK
KKKK

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I
V
2.333 10 4

2.343 10 3
0.0996m

BM

## v) Depth of immersion of pontoon, IP

V 10 6
LB
(2.343 10 3 ) 10 6

350 200
0.0335m

IP

## vi) Depth of centre of buoyancy, CB

V 10 6
2 LB
2.343 10 3 10 6

2 350 200
0.0167m

CB

4.3 DISCUSSION
i.

The effect of changing the position of G on the position of the metacentre (M).
Changing the position of G on the position of the metacentre (M) will cause change

## If M lies above G a righting moment is produced, equilibrium is stable and

GM is regarded as positive.

## If M lies below G an overturning moment is produced, equilibrium is

unstable and GM is regarded as negative.

## If M coincides with G, the body is in neutral equilibrium.

ii. Why the values of GM at lowest values of the angle () are likely to be less accurate.

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The angle(s) obtained during the experiment are directly related to GM. Typically,
the angle occur when more of the hull on one side get deeper into the water, and the hull
on the other side moves out of the water. The result is that the center of buoyancy shifts
to the side where more water is displaced, while the center of gravity remains in the same
place at the pontoon since the pontoon itself has not changed. When the centre of
buoyancy change, this make the result GM less accurate and negative GM may be
resulted.

iii. What is the most sensitive parameter that affects the accuracy of the results?
Make sure the water is in steady condition to prevent existence of large waves on the
water before taking the reading. Besides, when taking the reading of the angles for
adjustable weight lateral displacement from sail centre line, the eyes must be
perpendicular to the pontoon to get accurate reading.

## 4.4 EXPERIMENTAL PRECAUTION

1) Make sure the water is in steady condition to prevent existence of large waves on the
2) When taking the reading of the angles for adjustable weight lateral displacement from
sail centre line, the eyes must be perpendicular to the pontoon to get accurate reading.
3) This experiment involves large volume of liquid. Thus, ensure that the water flows
accordingly in the container/apparatus to prevent flood occur in the laboratory.
4.5 CONCLUSION
Therefore, we can conclude that the objective of this experiment is achieved because we
are able to identify the position of the metacentre (M) of a floating body, by referring the
distance of the adjustable weight from the centre of gravity (G). We are also able to
determine whether the pontoon is stable or unstable by getting the position of centre of
gravity. However, some precautions are also should be taken to increased the probability
of our group results so that we can get the exact values and avoided more errors.

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4.6 REFERENCES
1. Sir Embam Ak Daud, Laboratory Manual of Hydraulics and Water Quality,
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Uitm Samarahan 2.
2. Suhaimi Abdul Talib, Hamidon Ahmad, Turahim ABd Hamid and Junaidah
Ariffin, Fluid Mechanics, 2nd Edition, 2002
3. John.F.Douglas, Janusz M.Gasiorek, John A.Swaffield, and Lynne B.Jack , Fluid
Mechanics, Pearson, 5th Edition, 2006.
4. http://www.codecogs.com/library/engineering/fluid_mechanics/floating_bodies/st
ability-and-metacentric-height.php
5. http://www.engineering.uiowa.edu/~cfd/pdfs/57-020/stability.pdf

APPENDIX
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