Sunday, March 28, 2021

The curse of silty clay


This is a great geotechnical story.  As we know, the once-great field of geotechnical engineering has joined the dodo bird in retirement.  Everybody and their dog now think they can bury that bone without any help, thank you very much.  Now, everything is a 'handyman special' that gets into trouble once in a while.

This isn't just sand, but they think it is.  This is silty clay, probably with a lot of clay content.  Not your average dirt.  Clay has adhesion, like crazy glue.  Now, had there been a protocol to stop all engines when impacting the side, we might have less trouble.  But I'm sure they gunned it back and forth a bit, saying 'Oh my god, mom's going to kill me!'.

We are talking massive adhesion.  If they had mounted accelerometers on the ship while they were pulling, they would know.  But handymen never monitor, they just bash away with a hammer.

They think it's the bow, so the next attempt will be to unload some containers from the bow, all without monitoring.  Most likely it will do nothing, but we'll never know.  It will cost the world billions, but it is run like a laundromat.  See you next week.

ps.  the guys with hammers think they moved it 2 inches, but it probably just settled back.  You would need drones to put on differential gps bow and aft to get that kind of information.  

pps.  Yeah, 10 days and it's free!


Penny said...

I saw an article stating plan B was too offload some of the cargo.
Maybe that should have been plan A?

Harold Asmis said...

The other problem is that these ships are just a paper shell, compared to the size and load. There's just no place to hook onto it and pull with a lot of force. If the shell splits and takes on water, then it is more fun.