Mooring of offshore structures in very deep water has been made possible through the use of lines made of fibres of synthetic material. The mechanical behaviour of synthetic ropes is considerably more complex than that of steel wire rope and chain, due to the visco-elastic and visco-plastic properties of the synthetic material. In particular, the gradually developing permanent increase in rope length will affect the offset and motion of the moored structure and make its characteristics change from one storm to the next.
For design and analysis of offshore mooring systems incorporating synthetic ropes it is valuable to have good models that can be used for response simulation in the time domain. The paper describes the development of a time domain model for synthetic rope. The model structure and the values of the parameters are determined from experimental data using a system identification technique. The resulting model is implemented in an existing computer program for analysis of mooring and riser systems. In particular, the permanent elongation of the synthetic rope appears to be well represented.