The failure risk of fish cages has increased in the harsher environmental conditions as fish farms have moved into the open sea in recent years. Fatigue failure is an important limit state for the floating system of the fish cage under the long-term action of waves. This study is presented to investigate the applicable probability density function for estimating fatigue life of the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) floating collars. The stress response of the floating collars system in random wave is firstly analyzed based on the finite element analysis combined with a hydrodynamic model. The stress histories of floating collars under each sea state are counted using the rainflow method as a benchmark for fatigue frequency domain analysis. The distribution of stress range was fitted by various probability density functions including Rayleigh, Weibull, Gamma and generalized extreme value (GEV) distributions. Comparisons of the estimated fatigue life using different distributions with rainflow statistic results were performed. Results indicate fatigue estimation based on the GEV and Gamma distributions by removing the negligible low stress range give much more accurate fatigue damage results of the short-term stress range distribution. While Weibull distribution overestimates the fatigue lifetime of the floating collar based on the short-term distribution of stress ranges.

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