A general computational framework for the simulation of ships advancing through brash ice based on the coupling of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to the Discrete Element Method (DEM) as implemented in Simcenter STAR-CCM+ is presented. The method was applied to predict resistance of a bulk carrier advancing through brash ice and explore implications for propulsion and structural responses. The study demonstrated the capabilities for the simulation of ship-ice interactions, encompassed relevant sensitivity studies regarding the modeling of material properties, packing density of brash ice, boundary conditions, the degree of coupling of CFD to DEM and implications for computational cost. Simcenter STAR-CCM+ offers uni- and bidirectional coupling of CFD to DEM. The was to derive best practices for the application to resistance, propulsion, local flow field and maneuvering analysis and related validation exercises. It was shown that different modeling approaches and simulation inputs affect both forces on the hull and local flow field variables. The method can be applied to simulations of ships advancing through a field if scattered ice floes of arbitrary shape and distribution.
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