This paper is concerned with the hydroelastic response of multiple floating beams connected together by mechanical joints with rotational spring stiffness under wave action. A frequency domain approach is developed for the hydroelastic analysis. The fluid is assumed to be incompressible, inviscid and its motion irrotational so that a velocity potential exists and thus the fluid motion is governed by the Laplace" s equation. The floating beams are modelled by the Timoshenko beam theory which allows for the effects of transverse shear deformation and rotary inertia. The boundary element method (BEM) is used to solve the governing equation and boundary conditions of the fluid domain. The finite element method (FEM) is employed for solving beam equation of motion. The study investigates the effects of shear deformation and rotary inertia, relative beam stiffnesses, rotational stiffness of mechanical joints, and the varying seabed profile on the hydroelastic responses of the interconnected floating beams.
Pontoon-type, very large floating structure (VLFS) technology is considered as an alternative for creating land from the sea. In contrast to land reclamation which is considered as a traditional way for creating land from the sea, VLFSs have several advantages under certain conditions. They are more cost effective when the water depth is large, environmental friendly, easy and fast to construct (and to be removed if needed), inherently base isolated from seismic shocks, and they provide readily available interior space. A typical VLFS has large horizontal dimensions ranging from several hundred meters to several kilometers. For example, the Mega-Float project (which tests the feasibility of VLFS for use as a airplane runway) has a length of 1,000 meters and a width of 121 meters (at the widest part) with a depth of only 3 meters which means that it has a small depth-to-length ratio or small bending rigidity.