Numerical analysis of pitting corrosion fatigue in floating offshore wind turbine foundations

Moghaddam, Behrooz Tafazzoli and Hamedany, Ali Mahboob and Mehmanparast, Ali and Brennan, Feargal and Nikbin, Kamran and Davies, Catrin Mair (2019) Numerical analysis of pitting corrosion fatigue in floating offshore wind turbine foundations. Procedia Structural Integrity, 17. pp. 64-71. ISSN 2452-3216 (

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The mooring system of offshore floating wind foundations, which anchors the floating foundations to the seabed, sustains large dynamic loads during operation. The mooring chains are connected to the floating foundation below the water level through fairleads and chain-stoppers. The corrosive marine environment and the cyclic loading make the mooring connection prone to corrosion pitting and fatigue crack initiation and propagation from the pits, particularly in the weld zones. In this study, a finite element analysis of the crack growth from corrosion pits has been performed and the results are presented in order to provide an estimate of the extent of damage after the crack is detected. A Python script have been developed which generates the pit profiles based on a non-uniform random distribution of pit dimensions. 3D pits and elliptical cracks are embedded at critical points of weldment on the mooring point and analysed using ABAQUS XFEM. The Walker's model has been applied in the model to examine the effect of realistic R ratios in floating structures on pitting corrosion fatigue crack propagation along with direct cyclic solver. The numerical results obtained from this study are discussed in terms of the corrosion pitting effects on fatigue crack propagation behaviour in Spar-type floating offshore wind turbine foundations.