Following the warning of a flooded bow horizontal brace of a semi-submersible production platform, an inspection diving team was mobilized and cracks were found at both bow and aft K-joints. Analysis of the service life of the platform, together with the results of structural analysis and local strain measurements, concluded that cracking was caused by fatigue initiated at high stress concentration points on the gusset plates inserted in the tubular joints. As a consequence of the fractured plates other cracks were nucleated close to the intersection lines of the braces that compose the K-joints. Based on this analysis different repair possibilities were proposed. To comply with the production goals of the Business Unit it was decided to repair the platform on-site and in production in agreement with the Classification Society. The proposed repair contemplated the installation of two flanges on the gusset plates between the diagonal braces by underwater wet (UWW) welding. Cracks at the gusset plates were also removed by grinding and wet welding. Defects located at the braces are being monitored and repaired by the installation of backing bars, by wet welding, followed by grinding and welding from the inside. To carry out the job two weld procedures and ten welder-divers were qualified.

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