Assessment of corroded mooring chain for continued service is a challenging task faced by industry. Current best practice relies heavily on qualitative inspection information collected during inspection campaign. There has been little investigation into this practice and whether it is an appropriate technique or can be improved. To address this issue, the Fatigue of Corroded Mooring Chains (FoCCs) Joint Industry Project (JIP), initiated in 2016 with fifteen (15) participating organizations, including oil majors, chain manufactures, consulting firms, and classification societies, to examine assessment methods for evaluating remaining fatigue life. JIP teams were formed to progress fatigue testing and finite element objectives. One such team, comprised of ExxonMobil, ABS and Asian Star Anchor Chain, has performed an additional series of fatigue tests beyond the core JIP work effort.

A fatigue test was conducted to 1) demonstrate the utility of finite element analysis in the assessment of fatigue life and 2) demonstrate performance of simulated damage. This unique fatigue test program was conducted on mooring chain with manufactured “corrosion pits” of different dimensions. All chain surface features were digitally recorded and converted into finite element models. These models were subsequently analyzed to compare with test results — both cycle count and failure location. This paper presents the findings from these fatigue tests and finite element analyses and how they can be utilized for assessment of remaining fatigue life.

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