A new fatigue lifetime assessment approach for offshore jacket structures is presented. It combines a previously developed numerical framework for automated determination of stress concentration factors in tubular joints and a multidimensional finite element modelling approach. The approach is explained based on a case study of an OC4 type offshore jacket. To determine the fatigue life, a directional wave spectrum is combined with the JONSWAP spectrum. The fatigue life of the jacket is assessed for two different sea states. Based on the fatigue analysis the most fatigue critical wave direction is identified. The hot spot stresses in one of the most critical joints are determined and compared to stresses obtained with the Efthymiou equations. The shortcomings of these equations are highlighted and it is shown how the numerical framework can be used to improve the current fatigue design philosophy for offshore jackets which relies on the Efthymiou equations for stress concentration factors in the welded tubular joints.

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