Wire rope for installations of subsea components offshore have been used for years in different configurations as single-fall or multi-fall. With greater water depths multi fall solutions become more challenging as even low torque ropes induce some torque and great technical effort has to be made to overcome this problem. An alternative solution is the use of a single-fall system employing a large diameter wire rope. Installations are often carried out with the aid of a heave compensation system to keep the load steady during final approach or to pass through resonance zones. As a result such a large diameter wire rope is subjected to frequent bending. It is well known that cyclic bending over sheave (CBoS) can significantly reduce the lifetime of ropes depending on rope utilisation factors and sheave diameters. While there is a lot of data available for smaller rope sizes, very limited data has been generated with large diameter ropes. It was therefore considered necessary to build a bending fatigue test rig and perform bending fatigue tests with the aim of reducing the uncertainty in the fatigue life of large diameter wire ropes. This paper presents the bending fatigue test rig capable of testing O̸109 mm wire rope to up to 330 t, describes the bending fatigue tests carried out and presents bending fatigue test results. Furthermore, results from non-destructive tests, which were frequently performed during the fatigue tests to obtain further information of rope deterioration over its lifetime, will be presented in this paper.

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