The Hamburg Ship Model Basin

Setting the Standard in Ship Optimisation

Video 100 years

Propellers & Cavitation

Dipl.-Ing. Christian Johannsen


regarding any questions you may have
about Propellers & Cavitation are:

Dipl.-Ing. Christian Johannsen
Head of Department
Tel. +49-40-69203-339

Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Luecke
Deputy Head of Department
Tel. +49-40-69203-253

Cavitation is the undesired but unavoidable phenomenon that water vaporizes due to the low local pressure level whenever local flow velocities become extreme. This happens at propeller and rudder blades for example and results in

  • damages of propeller or rudder material due to very high energy collapses of the cavities
  • ship vibrations excited by pressure variations resulting from periodically growing and collapsing cavities
  • noise radiation.

To avoid those effects, propeller and rudder designs require much care and experience. Even if powerful numerical tools are available for this purpose, the final approval of a rudder or propeller design still requires reliable model testing in the large Hydrodynamics and Cavitation Tunnel. This is the core business of Christian Johannsen's team.

On the numerical side the Propellers & Cavitation Department is responsible for design, optimisation, performance prediction and reviewing of propellers and rudders.

Beside all that the department is in charge of propeller open water testing as well as three-dimensional wake measurements performed in the large towing tank.