Use in Fluid Dynamics Ι lab.

  • Shows how to find the metacentric height of a floating body.
  • Allows full investigations into theoretical predictions.

Determination and analysis of the stability of floating bodies, such as ships, rafts and pontoons, is important throughout many branches of engineering. This experiment allows students to determine the stability of a pontoon with its centre of gravity at various heights. They can then compare this to predictions calculated from theory.

The experiment consists of a rectangular pontoon floating in water. Plastic materials and corrosion-resistant finishes throughout the equipment gives the fullest possible protection against corrosion. The pontoon has a metallic mast with vertical-moving weight, and a horizontal one.

To change the centre of gravity and the tilt angle of the pontoon, students position the two adjustable weights into specified posiosions along the vertical and the horizontal axes. A plumb line from the top of the mast and a scale at the base indicate the tilt angle. The metacentric height of the floating body is obtained from the weight positions and the tilt angle observations.