Recidivism of SSPA regarding the M/V Estonia
© Anders Björkman 22 June, 2008
SSPA ship model laboratory at Gothenburg was a Swedish government owned company that now belongs to the Chalmers University of Technology (a foundation) and calls itself SSPA Marin AB. It apparently produces scientific reports to suit its past Owner!
951205 SSPA produced report no. 7524/1995 that suggested that the Estonia visor and locks were subject to very big wave and inertia loads that caused the loss of the visor. The findings of that report cannot be verified by independent experts and authorities and is thus an embarrassment for SSPA!
The loads (inertia, buoyancy, damping, friction, impact(?), etc) acting on a visor and its locks consist of many different components and there is no agreed procedure to scale up the various components of the model loads recorded only by strain gauges to full scale loads and then add them up. It is as simple as that. And one load - the wave impact load - does not really act on the whole visor and its locks. A wave impact only produces a very high, local pressure of very short duration on a small part of the visor surface. The energy of that wave impact transmitted to the visor surface is generally absorbed by the plate panel itself and is not transmitted to the visor locks far away (or the strain gauges). To suggest that you can record wave impacts on model visors with strain gauges recording the total load on the visor is incorrect. You need local pressure transducers for that and SSPA never used them. The report is thus nonsense. But it was presented 1997 as evidence that the Estonia visor was subject to big loads >1000 tons that knocked off the visor! Even worse, the Finnish State Laboratory VTT produced a theoretical simulation concluding the same thing. Another falsification to support an initial falsification! International cooperation of the worst kind.
080505 SSPA has produced report no. 134/2008 reviewed below: It contains three serious errors:
1. In spite of recent model tests by SSPA itself 2007 showing that inflow through an open bow ramp of the Estonia in the given conditions at the accident is >2.000 tons/minute causing a very rapid listing >45° within a couple of minutes, the report concludes that it actually didn't happen - the inflow must have been much less (JAIC suggest <300 tons/minute) as the angle of heel was <15° for 10 minutes allowing 300 persons to evacuate.
2 It is suggested that Estonia was floating on its deck house for 22 minutes as >250 windows in the side with a total glass pane area >110 m² did not really break, when rolling and smashing into the waves and later when submerged >10 metres! The flimsy doors at the aft bulkhead of the deck house were also water tight! The deck house remained water tight. This is in total contradiction with international standards and experience that a deck house is not watertight and that its windows always break, when submerged and the complete full scale deck house is flooded instantaneously when submerged. JAIC/Final report strangely assumes decks 4 and 5 are completely flooded but not decks 6 and 7 of the deck house. They are watertight! You cannot have it both ways!