When the ship sail in the brash ice channel, it’s inevitable that the propeller will collide with brash ice due to its suction action. In order to study the propeller hydrodynamic performance changes under the brash ice impacting, the CFD and DEM coupling methods is adopted in this paper to simulate the propeller-ice-water coupling interaction near the free surface by taking the INSEAN E1619 propeller as research object. The free surface is captured using VOF model and the propeller rotation motion is realized by overset grid method. Both the brash ice motion and propeller hydrodynamics is obtained through the calculation. The results show that the brash ice distributing regularly on the free surface are speeding forward because of the suction action of the propeller. When the brash ice move close to the propeller plane, they show posture changes such as ups and downs, rotation and rolling. Parts of brash ice finally are involved into the underwater and collide with the blade, then bounce off rapidly. The propeller efficiency drops a little in the ice-water condition compared with open water condition. However the fluctuations of the propeller thrust and torque rise sharply which are unfavorable for propeller vibration and noise performance. The collision area mainly focus on the propeller tip and leading edge. It is suggested that these areas should be strengthened specially in consideration of suffering frequent ice collision.
The area and thickness of the arctic icecap continue to drop for the past few years. As a result, it provide more convenience for the commercial navigating through the arctic route. Although the commercial ship sailing in the polar region is assisted to enter into or depart from the harbor by the ice-breaker, after that the ship have to pass through the brash ice channel or the channel with the thin ice layer which is formed that year on its own. So in order to make sure that the selected main engine and propelling system can satisfy the requirements of polar navigation, the ship performance in the brash ice condition should be paid great attention to in the design stage of ship.