Loading hoses in an offshore loading buoy system in the North Sea were investigated with respect to extreme load resistance and fatigue durability. Both experimental work and fatigue life analyses were carried out. The FLS test is based on the principle of a service simulation test according to the American Petroleum Institute (API) 17B guidelines. The test results given in number of endured cycles from the laboratory test are scaled to the in-service conditions. Although the life estimate is based on one full scale test only, an attempt has been made to account for the inherent scatter in fatigue life. Furthermore, the results are validated by large test series with small scale test specimens for the critical reinforcement components in the composite structure of the hose wall. Test series with steel wires and samples of the steel helix were carried out. Statistically based S-N curves with characteristic scatter are established. Finally, all experimental facts were assembled and fatigue life predictions made. Redesign is considered and a scheduled inspection and replacement program is presented. The rubber-steel composite structure has sufficient strength for both the ULS and FLS case. For a planned replacement interval of 10 years the thickness of the standard steel end fittings has to be increased and the shape of the fitting should be optimized with respect to fatigue.

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