Abstract

A double-module semi-submersible platform for scientific experiment has been applied firstly in practical engineering. Hinge-type connectors are used to link the two modules reliably and release the relative pitch freedom, and the strength of connector structures determines directly the integrity and safety of the platform. In this paper, the three-dimensional finite element model of the platform structure is developed including the local features of connectors, and main elastic modes are obtained. By using the Potential flow theory and the Green Function method, the hydrodynamic coefficients of the model are determined. Based on the three-dimensional hydroelastic theory, the response amplitude operators (RAOs) of generalized coordinates associated with different order modes are investigated. That indicates the structural deformation of connectors is excited mainly by modes of horizontal bending moment and torsion, and the stress responses in the longitudinal bulkheads close to bearings are generally marked. Using the modal superposition method, the RAOs of stress in the typical joints of connector structures are calculated under the given wave directions. Considering the JONSWAP spectrum and the amplitudes of stress responses of connector structures following Rayleigh distribution in short term, the strength of the connector structure is predicted in short term. In order to verify the correctness of the strength prediction method presented in this paper, more than thirty stress sensors are installed on the typical joints of connector structures of the double-module semi-submersible platform located in the real sea. Those stress responses are monitored during the typical typhoon activity, and the statistical data is compared with the predicted results from the theoretical model. Both the distribution trend and magnitudes of the results from the two methods are principally consistent that validates the given model. This theoretical method may provide an effective tool to analyze the strength of connector structures of multiple-module offshore platform.

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