Compared to an empty ship, the same ship loaded with styrofoam will float

cruise, ship, ocean @ Pixabay

What if our ship was loaded with styrofoam?

The same would happen, except the water level would be so high that it would start to seep into the cargo hold. This is an important point when considering a floating vessel. A boat’s buoyancy only depends on how much air or gas is in its hull and not on its weight, which means it doesn’t matter what materials are used to construct the ship’s hull.

A good rule of thumb for determining whether or not a ship will float, is to estimate its weight. If it’s less than the total water displaced by the boat when floating, then that vessel has enough buoyancy and can be considered “floatable.”

On an empty ship, there couldn’t be any difference in depth between one side of the hull and another because they would both have the same volume and therefore equal weight. With styrofoam on board though, you could see a dramatic change in specific gravity from one end to another as we add more materials with different densities (like steel). The interesting phenomenon here is that while some parts are sinking under their own weight due to increased density- others are actually


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