Grain Stability Calculation and Grain Stability Curve

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grain stability calculation curve

Grain is an important commodity which is carried onboard ships since ancient days. Right from the moment the Grain cargo is fixed for the vessel, the Chief Officer, who is usually the Cargo Officer, gets busy! This topic will show you how to draw grain stability calculation curve.

From cleaning of Cargo holds as per “grain clean” standards to hold inspection by the surveyor and loading of grain cargo to discharging the cargo safely is a mammoth task in itself. Not to forget the care for the cargo during the voyage, each step requires thorough monitoring and requires sincere effort. After all, it is the freight of the cargo which pays our salary!

What is Grain?

The term ‘grain’ includes wheat, maize, corn, oats, rye, barley, rice, pulses, seeds and their processed forms, whose behavior is similar to that of grain in its natural state. <International Grain Code’ 91>.

What are the hazards of Grain?

The Grain mainly has two hazards, namely Settling and Shifting. Both these factors affects the stability of the vessel.

Flowchart of Grain Loading

  • Calculate the maximum quantity that can be loaded into the account the ship’s deadweight, the load line zones she will pass through, the weights on board, draft limitations etc. This process is called the Deadweight Calculation
  • Distribute this cargo into the holds so as to have the maximum number of filled holds but also considering the vessel’s required draft, trim, stresses etc.
  • Divide the cargo weight by the stowage factor to obtain the cargo volume/depth of cargo in each hold
  • From the heeling moment diagrams in the grain loading booklet, find out the volumetric heeling moments for each hold
  • Multiply the volumetric heeling moments by the appropriate factor to compensate for the vertical shift of G
  • Divide the corrected Volumetric Heeling Moments by stowage factor to obtain Weight heeling moments
  • Add up all the heeling moments for each hold to calculate Total heeling moments
  • Compare the Total Heeling Moments with the Allowable Heeling Moments obtained from the Grain Stability Booklet
  • If the calculated Total Heeling Moments are lesser than Allowable Heeling Moments. Proceed with the loading else re – distribute the cargo and re-work the calculation

Two crucial things are required to be considered for Carriage of Grain –  

  • The ship should have a valid Document of Authorization
  • The ship should have an approved Grain Stability Booklet/Grain Loading Manual

Document of Authorization

  • Document of authorization shall be issued to a ship which is permitted to be loaded in accordance with the regulations of the Grain Code and is authorized to carry grain in bulk
  • It shall be incorporated in the Grain Stability Booklet/Grain Loading Manual.
  • A ship can’t load grain without DoA unless Master demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Administration that the ship is under loaded condition complies to the regulation of the Code.

Grain Loading Booklet 

  • Grain loading manual or Grain Stability Booklet are Class Approved information booklets which gives the ship’s officer various information with respect to Grain Loading onboard
  • Following are the contents of Grain Loading Booklet —
  1. Ship’s particulars, lightship displacement & KG values
  2. Table giving values Free Surface Correction 
  3. Capacities and Centre of Gravity of Hold Compartments
  4. KN Curves and angle of flooding tables, where less than 40 degrees, at all degrees of heel
  5. Curves or tables of hydrostatic properties suitable for the range of operating drafts
  6. Cross curves of stability at 12 and 40 degrees
  7. Curves/tables of volume/vertical centre of volumetric and assumed heeling moments for every compartment, including the effects of the temporary fittings.
  8. Tables/curves of maximum permissible heeling for varying displacements
  9. Details of scantlings or any temporary fittings
  10. Loading instructions in the form of notes
  11. A worked example for Master.
  12. Typical service, loaded departure and arrival conditions 

Drawing of Grain Stability Curve

grain stability calculation curve
The Grain Stability Curve
  • The righting arm (GZ) for various angles of heel is calculated from the formula:


where the KN values are obtained from the Grain stability booklet which includes cross curves for various angles of heel, positively including 12 and 40 degrees.The KG values can be obtained for various displacements change during loading and discharging

  • The GZ values so obtained are plotted for various angles of heel and are joined by a smooth curve.
  • The heeling arm curve is now drawn using θ = 0 degrees and 40 degrees as shown-

The heeling arm is equal to GG1 given by:

λ0 = Total heeling moments/displacement = (w x d)/W 

          = (Volumetric Heeling Moments)/SF x W

  • The heeling arm at 0 degrees is maximum and is equal to λ0. Thus, λ varies from 0 degrees to 90 degrees as a cosine function where:

λ0 = λ0 Cos 0

λ40 = λ0 Cos 40 and so on

  • AB represents the Heeling arm.
  • The area of the green shaded portion needs to be more than 0.075 m radians.
  • This area is calculated using the Simpson Rules.

The diagram shown above is self explanatory in itself. I have written a separate article on a worked example which you can check out. Also, you can read about Grain Loading Manual in detail in our other blogs. However, if you have any queries do let us know in the comment section below.

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Bon Voyage and Fair Seas !

1 Comment

  1. Mr T says:

    Thanks for your topic, but can you pls list down which document we should have on board for grain carriage?

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