A review of challenges and opportunities associated with bolted flange connections in the offshore wind industry

Mehmanparast, Ali and Lotfian, Saeid and Vipin, Sukumara Pillai (2020) A review of challenges and opportunities associated with bolted flange connections in the offshore wind industry. Metals, 10 (6). 732. ISSN 2075-4701

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    Abstract

    The use of bolted flange connections in the offshore wind industry has steeply risen in the last few years. This trend is because of failings observed in other modes of joints such as grouted joints, coupled with enormous economic losses associated with such failures. As many aspects of bolted flange connections for the offshore wind industry are yet to be understood in full, the current study undertakes a comprehensive review of the lessons learned about bolted connections from a range of industries such as nuclear, aerospace, and onshore wind for application in offshore wind industry. Subsequently, the collected information could be used to effectively address and investigate ways to improve bolted flange connections in the offshore wind industry. As monopiles constitute an overwhelming majority of foundation types used in the current offshore wind market, this work focusses on large diameter flanges in the primary load path of a wind turbine foundation, such as those typically found at the base of turbine towers, or at monopile to transition piece connections. Finally, a summary of issues associated with flanges as well as bolted connections is provided, and insights are recommended on the direction to be followed to address these concerns.

    ORCID iDs

    Mehmanparast, Ali, Lotfian, Saeid ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8542-933X and Vipin, Sukumara Pillai;