Reliability verification of mooring components for floating marine energy converters
Safety factors are critical to device reliability and are applied during device development to protect against early failures. At each stage of a development a designer may apply their own safety factor in relation to the criticality of the component or subassembly for which they are responsible. This paper seeks to understand how different assessment techniques can assist the design process by refining safety factors, with the aim of reducing device costs and improving economic viability. To achieve this, a methodology is presented to assess and verify the fatigue performance of mooring components. The paper draws on field data and introduces a combined approach of modelling, service simulation and field tests to validate the reliability of components. A shackle is used as a case study to demonstrate the methodology. Results from finite element analysis (FEA) and accelerated service simulation testing on the Dynamic Marine Component test facility (DMaC) are presented and discussed, including fatigue damage and failures. FEA is found to accurately predict areas of weakness within a component, however it underestimates component strength due to unrealistic stress concentrations at applied boundary conditions. Static and fatigue tests demonstrate the complex nature of reliability estimation, with static component safety factors of 8.6 being reduced to less than 3.7 under a fatigue loading regime. Service simulation testing is found to be important in refining initial reliability estimations from S-N curves and FEA models. The effect of mean stress on fatigue failure is also found to be significant.
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the UK Centre for Marine Energy Research (UKCMER) through the SuperGen programme funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
This paper was presented at SHF – conference on MRE – Brest (F), October 2013.
Ocean Renewable Energy - Energies Marines Renouvelables - EMR-2013, 9-10 October 2013, Brest (France)
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