Damen is currently undertaking a three-year programme to develop in-depth technical knowledge of the use and validity of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools within the Group. Designated the Virtual Towing Tank (VTT) project, it is part of the Damen Cooperative Research (DCR) programme and involves the entire group.

Propeller tip and hub vortex interaction with the rudder

Faster, cheaper and more accurate

The programme was initiated in recognition of the fact that CFD is increasingly a disruptive technology for naval architecture disciplines. It is changing the rules of how vessel design and development is conducted, and is yielding new insights into the behaviour of hulls and underwater appendages.

The objective of the VTT project is to make the design optimisation process for hulls faster, cheaper and more accurate by reducing or eliminating altogether the need to use physical scale models in a towing tank. Instead, sophisticated computer models runs the same tests in a virtual environment. The VTT project is investing in the verification, validation and implementation of a range of CFD tools, both commercial and open source, to determine the margins of accuracy available and the reliability of the answers that can be gained. Damen customers are already benefiting from shorter delivery times, lower build costs, and reduced operational costs as a result of smaller propulsion systems.

Global cooperation in real-time

What makes VTT uniquely effective is its use of a Cloud-based platform. This allows design engineers at Damen companies all over the world to share not only unlimited computing power but also the workspaces in which they operate, ensuring real-time collaboration. To advance the process, Damen researchers are also working with external partners both from research institutes and academia, such as MARIN (Dutch Maritime Research Institute) and TU Delft (Delft University of Technology). Together they are investigating and refining the applicability of the various CFD software packages used within Damen.

Spray comparison between ReFresco and Fine_Marine software for the SPa4708

Applications of VTT / CFD at Damen

  • Conceptual studies of new designs
  • Detailed product development
  • Troubleshooting
  • Research

Benefits of VTT / CFD for Damen and its clients

  • Ability to simulate real and ideal conditions
  • Speed
  • Relatively low cost
  • Delivery of comprehensive information
  • First time right design after verification and validation


Whether it's a simple question or you need assistance with your Damen product, we believe great things can start with a small conversation.

I'm interested in...