Structural integrity assessment of floating offshore wind turbine support structures

Behrooz Tafazzoli Moghaddam, Ali Mahboob Hamedany, Jessica Taylor, Ali Mehmanparast, Feargal Brennan, Catrin Mair Davies, Kamran Nikbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Floating offshore wind turbines are becoming more attractive to the wind industry due to their capability to operate larger turbines in deeper waters. The floating support structures are anchored to the seabed via mooring chains to impede the structure's unwanted movements. The combination of cyclic stresses and the corrosive marine environment makes the floating support structures vulnerable to corrosion pitting and subsequently fatigue crack initiation and propagation. In this study a framework is proposed to simulate fatigue crack growth from multiple corrosion pits at critical spots of the Spar-type floating support structures to examine the status of the crack during several years of operation. The proposed advanced fracture mechanics based approach provides a methodology to assess the integrity of the structure and subsequently plan for preventive or curative maintenance. The crack growth rate is examined for both singular and multiple cracks at different R ratios and for different stress levels using ABAQUS XFEM. Following numerical simulations, a sensitivity analysis is carried out using Crackwise software for different values of plate thickness, R ratio and initial crack size. The numerical results are discussed in terms of the corrosion pitting effects on fatigue life assessment of floating offshore wind turbines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107487
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date15 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2020


  • corrosion fatigue crack growth
  • defect assessment
  • floating offshore wind turbine
  • pitting corrosion
  • spar foundation


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