ABS TECHNICAL PAPERS 2004
Proceedings of OMAEFPSO 2004 OMAE Specialty Symposium on FPSO Integrity Houston, USA 2004
OMAEFPSO 2004  0093
ABS FLOATING PRODUCTION INSTALLATIONS GUIDE RULE CHANGE:
FPSO FATIGUE AND STRENGTH ASSESSMENT
Ernesto Valenzuela American Bureau of Shipping
16855 Northchase Drive
Houston, TX 77060, USA evalenzuela@eagle.org
Haihong Sun
American Bureau of Shipping
16855 Northchase Drive
Houston, TX 77060, USA hsun@eagle.org
JerFang Wu
American Bureau of Shipping
16855 Northchase Drive
Houston, TX 77060, USA jwu@eagle.org
Tuanjie Liu
American Bureau of Shipping
16855 Northchase Drive
Houston, TX 77060, USA
tliu@eagle.org
Presented at the FPSO Workshop, OMAE Specialty Symposium on FPSO Integrity (OMAEFPSO 2004) and published in the Proceedings of OMAEFPSO 2004, Houston, Texas, August 30  September 2, 2004 Reprinted with the kind permission of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY
ABSTRACT
SafeHull (SH) is a system that comprises Rules and software programs, as depicted in Figure 1. The ABS Guide for Building and Classing Floating Production Installations ^{[}^{2}^{]} (herein after called ABS FPI Guide) and the associated SHFPSO software system have been in use for over 3 years in the design classification of FPSO new builds and conversion from existing tankers. This paper provides information about the new FPI Rule change (April 2004) regarding the classification process of FPSO conversions as an ongoing effort to address the needs of clients. It highlights the impact of the changes on the two typical conversion processes – the basic Ordinary Conversion and the optional SH (CS) Conversion. The paper focuses on the new requirements for fatigue assessment, i.e., the Environmental Severity Factors (ESF), and strength including loading cases that apply to SH phase A and B as a requirement for the structural review process, which is carried out by the classification society. Class requires not only the certification of the project but also future surveys of the vessel. FPSOs are also considered offshore structures,
therefore, this paper also discusses the application of the ABS Guide for Buckling and Ultimate Strength Assessment of Offshore Structures ^{[}^{4}^{]} applied to FPSOs and makes comparison with the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels ^{[}^{3}^{]} , which uses the net scantling concept to determine buckling of structural members.
INTRODUCTION
ABS introduced the SH criteria for new construction tankers in 1993 and formalized into Rules in 1995. The next step was to extend this technology to tanker conversions already in service. ABS uses the Site Specific Environment Assessment System (SEAS), which is based on the Environmental Severity Factors (ESFs) concept in 1997. The main function of SEAS is to assess the remaining fatigue life of the hull structures, taking into account the sitespecific environment and the fatigue damage accumulated during the trading history. Based on experience gained from actual conversions and further research, this ESFs approach was refined in 1999 and SEAS was made part of the SafeHull FPSO design criteria and analysis system, which was introduced to the industry in 2000. New design criteria introduced in 2004
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have been published in the latest version of the ABS FPI Guide. The concept and details of ABS ESFs approach for extending the SafeHull tanker design rules can be found in papers by Zhao et. al. ^{[}^{8}^{,}^{9}^{]} Basically, the ESFs are a measure of severity of routespecific or sitespecific wave environment relative to the unrestricted service wave environment, which is the North Atlantic environment. Two sets of ESFs are derived for the FPSO fatigue and hull strength design. The α–factors are used to adjust spectral fatigue strength performance between unrestricted ocean going tankers and the longtern site environment. The β–factors are used primarily to adjust the dynamic component of loads that are used to assess the hull strength and fatigue capacity of connection details. Therefore, the base for both factors is the unrestricted service, which uses equal probability to account for the heading effect. The new enhancements introduced in the FPI Guide make now a distinction between spread moored and turret moored FPSOs to better account now for the wave heading effects.
Rules
SpectralBased Fatigue Analysis for Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Systems  2002
SafeHull FEA Guidance for Hull Structures Global 3D Analysis (Draft  2004)
Figure 1 Sketch of ABS SafeHull System
The SafeHull criteria are a written set of equations or requirements published in the ABS Rules and Guides. The software programs are tools that facilitate the use of the Rule requirements, which may not reflect all the requirements covered by the Rule. When applying the SH criteria, it is understood that the design approval is not limited to the execution of the SafeHull software. Often this misconception of some designers needs to be clarified. This paper also illustrates the application of the ABS Guide for Buckling and Ultimate Strength Assessment of Offshore Structures to determine the buckling of stiffened
panels and compares the results to the one obtained using the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels.
PHASE A AND PHASE B REVIEW The SafeHull Phase A criteria contains SafeHull loads, global and local scantling requirements. The scantling review includes strength evaluation for site specific environment and fatigue assessment taking into account previous trading history as a tanker. SH/FPSO Phase B is a verification of the initial scantlings through a total strength finite element stress analysis for a set of standard load cases with defined SafeHull loads. This FEM strength analysis is only required for classification for FPSO seeking SH(CS) notation or new build. The detailed Phase A and Phase B review procedures are described by Tam et. al. ^{[}^{6}^{]}
FATIGUE ASSESSMENT ENHANCEMENTS
Fatigue is one of the important elements in the classification of the FPSO hull structure, and it is even more so for FPSO vessels converted from existing tankers. For FPSO conversions, the estimated remaining fatigue lives of welded joints and critical structural details must be accurately assessed, especially for areas where high strength steel is used. The minimum acceptable target life for converted FPSO is the greatest of the on site design life of the FPSO, the time to the next Special Survey, or five years.
The Definition of Environmental Severity Factor (ESF) α Factors in SEAS
The first step in the SH/FPSO Phase A review is to establish the ESFs for the route, transit and site environments. With the trading route history data and the FPSO site environment inputted, the SEAS program module is executed to determine the α factors for fatigue damage. The general concept of this type of ESF is to compare fatigue damage resulting from different environmental conditions. The alpha type ESFs are obtained for six regions of the hull structure. This set of six structural locations with related alpha factors is compared with the base case for each environment. The six structural locations are:
• Longitudinal on deck.
• Longitudinal on bottom plate.
• Longitudinal on side shell.
• Longitudinal on longitudinal bulkhead.
• Longitudinal on inner bottom.
• Longitudinal on centerline bulkhead.
The ESF α factor is defined in SEAS as:
α =
where
D
U
D
S
(1)
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D _{U} = fatigue damage based on the base environment for the hull structural regions, which is also called ABS base1, and corresponds to the North Atlantic environment. D _{S} = fatigue damage based on the considered environment of historical routes, historical sites or intended site, for the hull structural regions.
New SEAS Spectral Fatigue Approach
The SafeHull simplified fatigue approach had been calibrated with tanker fatigue data. In order to take advantage of this proven approach and to utilize the spectral fatigue analysis, a combined approach is used to calculate the fatigue life for an FPSO at a specific site. This approach employs the concept of ESF factors. The spectral fatigue approach can be calibrated against the simplified approach based on the Unrestricted Service environment as:
L
Simplified
U
(SN curve, Equal prob.)
=
f
(SN curve)
⋅
L
Spectral
U
(SN curve, Equal Prob.)
(2)
where L is fatigue life, U represents the Unrestricted Service (base) environment, and f (SN curve) is the calibration factor between the simplified fatigue approach and the spectral fatigue approach. In equation (2) the fatigue life refers to unrestricted service but the same calibration factor is applicable to environments other than Unrestricted Service.
The SN curve is fixed to F _{2} curve in SEAS spectral fatigue analysis. The difference between F _{2} curve and other structural details that use other SN curves is corrected by the SN curve correction factors that are presented in Figure 2. In the current SEAS approach, equal probability wave heading is always used to calculate fatigue damage in the Unrestricted Service Environment. Therefore, the remaining fatigue life L _{R} for sitespecific environment can be expressed as:
(E  Curve) =
L
f
R
(E  Curve) ⋅
L
Spectral
Site
(E, requried heading)
(3)
and the ESF α factor in Equation 1 can be written as:
α =
L
Spectral
Site
( F
2
, required heading)
L
Spectral
U
( F
2
, equal prob.)
(4)
In the new spectral fatigue approach, the remaining fatigue life is expressed by the following formula:
L
R
(E  Curve) =
L Spectral
Site
(E, required heading)
L
SEAS Spectral
U
(
)
(E, required heading)
⋅ L
Spectral
Site
(E, requried heading)
(5)
The new approach does not use calibration on the spectral fatigue method, because the purpose is not to cancel the simplified fatigue result, but to use it adjusted by a factor that represents the relative severity of the
environments. The fatigue life values calculated for Site and Unrestricted Service environments are consistent with the vessel headings. This means that for any structural detail, if head sea is used for Site, the same heading is also used for Unrestricted Service. Comparison between alpha factors obtained from current SEAS approach and new approach is shown in Figure 2. SN F2 curve was used in this study. The environment for this study is a bimodal sea state with Bretschneider spectrum for local wind generated waves and JONSWAP spectrum for swells. The cosine ^{4} wave spreading is used for swell, and cosine ^{2} spreading for waves. As shown in the figure, the current SEAS approach and the new approach give the same trend for the equal probability case. However, the SEAS current approach predicts more conservative results than the new approach does for oblique, head and following seas.
SN Curve Effect on ESF α Factors
The α values calculated by SEAS are based on the
F2 SN curve. However, the SN curve applicable to an individual structural detail is not always an F2 curve. For different SN curves, there are adjustment factors in the current SafeHullPhase A as shown in Table 1. The factors given in the table are applied to α factors calculated in the SEAS program.
Table 1 SN curve adjustment factors for αfactors
C _{3} (applied to α’s of intended and 
C _{2} (applied to α’s of historical 

Curve 
historical sites) 
routes) 
D 
1.10 
1.10 
E 
1.10 
1.05 
F 
1.05 
1.025 
F2 
1.0 
1.0 
G 
0.925 
0.975 
W 
0.85 
0.95 
The current SafeHull for FPSO system does not consider the B and C detail classifications. With these curve adjustment factors, the remaining fatigue life can be finally written as:
L
R
=
α
3
where:
N _{R} ,N _{S}
S _{i}_{,} S _{j}
α
α
α
_{1}
_{2}_{i}
_{2}_{j}
C
3
⎛ ∑
⎜ ⎜ L
SH
⎝
N
R
S
i
S S
∑
j = 1
j
N
α
1
−
i =
−
1 α
2,
i
C
2
α
2,
j
C 3
⎞
⎟
⎟
⎠
(6)
represent the numbers of historical routes and sites, respectively represent the service year of the vessel on their ith route and jth site is the ESF fatigue calibration factor between spectral fatigue and SafeHull fatigue is the ESF fatigue factor between the Ith historical route and the ABS Base2 wave data is the ESF fatigue factor between the jth historical site and the ABS Base1 wave data
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SN curve correction factor C _{3} for Deck
SN curve correction factor C _{3} for side shell
SN curve correction factor C _{3} for Inner bottom
SN curve correction factor C _{3} for bottom
SN curve correction factor C _{3} for LBHD
SN curve correction factor C _{3} for Centerline Bulkhead
Figure 2 SN curve correction factors for different SN curves
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Figure 3 shows the comparison results of a study that has been conducted for the SN curve correction factors using the new approach. It is noticed that the correction factors are very close between the current SEAS approach and the new approach for SN curves of F, F2, G, and W type.
Longitudinals on deck
probability
Longitudinals stiffners on longitudinal bulkhead
Longitudinals stiffners on centerline bulkhead
probability
For SN curves of D and E type, the current SEAS factors are more conservative than the results obtained for the new approach. In addition, the new approach gives the correction factors for SN curves of B and C type, which are not included in the current version of SEAS.
Longitudinals stiifners on bottom plate
probability
Longitudinals stiffners on side shell
Longitudinals stiffners on inner bottom
probability
Figure 3 Comparison of alpha factors obtained from current SEAS approach and new approach
Wave Characterization
A new update in the SEAS program is the bimodal wave application. A sea state that comprises coupled contributions from both seas and swells is better represented by a sea spectrum in a double peak form, such as OchiHubble 6 parameter spectrum. The current version of SEAS (V10) only accommodates two single peak wave spectra (Bretschneider and JONSWAP). An
alternative approach is proposed to consider the effect of a bimodal sea state. The essence of this approach is to assume that waves and swells can be separated by decomposing a given wave scatter diagram into two independent sections: one on the high frequency side representing waves, and another representing swells. Each section, which is modeled by a single peak spectrum, can be viewed as a new scatter diagram associated with an occurrence probability. The inverse of the calculated
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α−factors represent the damages for waves and swells. These two separated wave scatter diagrams are to be combined to obtain the final damage, as per Equation (7).
1
⎛
⎜
⎜
⎝
1
1
α
final
α
Seas
α
Swells
=
+
where:
⎞
⎠
⎟ ⋅ C
⎟
0
C _{0}
is the time overlap factor for seas and swells occurring at the same time.
(7)
SEAS has also implemented the OchiHubble double peaked spectrum. This allows using the scatter diagrams without decomposition, and allows to use a different heading for swells and waves for each cell in the scatter diagram in the same SEAS run.
Remaining Fatigue Life Calculation
New updates for remaining fatigue life calculation for transverse members have been implemented into SafeHullFPSO phase B. A rapid fatigue calculation scheme for connection details in way of transverse members has been developed for remaining fatigue life calculations for transverse members in phase B. The calculation scheme includes the following steps:
• Make twophase B runs for β = 1 and β at intended site.
• The α _{3} at intended site is then computed based on two FE results.
α _{3}
• Assume
the
α _{2}
(historical
site)
is
close
to
(intended site).
• The α _{2} can be calculated separately.
The detailed procedure of fatigue strength assessment for FPSO is shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4 Flow chart for remaining fatigue life calculation for transverse members in Phase B
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SEAS STRENGTH ASSESSMENT ENHANCEMENTS
The Definition of Environmental Severity Factor (ESF) β Factors
Environment Severity Factor (β) is a severity measure of the intended environment relative to the base environment in SH in terms of extreme loads, or it is sometimes called the ratio between the design case and the base case. It is defined in SEAS as
β =
where
L
S
L U
(8)
L _{S} = the most probable extreme load based on site specific environment with 100year return period for the dynamic load parameters, this is the ‘design case’. L _{U} = the most probable extreme load based on unrestricted service environment with 20year return period for the dynamic load parameters, this is the ‘base case’. A β value of 1.0 corresponds to the unrestricted condition of a seagoing tanker. A value of β greater than 1.0 indicates a more severe wave induced load environment than the unrestricted case, and vice versa.
Approaches
There are two approaches to calculate base case load
L _{U} .
Approach 1 (current SEAS approach):
probability wave heading is used to calculate L _{U} .
Equal
Approach 2: New enhancements introduce in the FPI Guide. The values calculated for L _{S} and L _{U} are to be consistent with vessel headings. This means that for any dynamic load parameter, if head sea is used for example on the calculation of L _{S} , the same heading is to be used for the calculation of L _{U} .
For each dynamic load parameter, the severity
measure β 
is to account for the vessel headings as 
follows: 
• For the intended site, the worst case between head seas, following seas and equal probability
• If no rosette information regarding the environment directionality is available for the transit condition, the worst case between head seas and equal probability between head seas and oblique seas (60 degrees from the bow), with oblique seas coming either from the port or the starboard side There are 13 β factors corresponding to the 13 dynamic load parameters specified in ABS FPI Guide. The applications of these β factors are given in Appendix 2 of the FPI Guide.
As mentioned before, the Beta values are a direct function of the environmentally induced loads at the installation site compared to the unrestricted service environment that is the basis of the Rules. The Beta values can also address other differences and factors between the design basis of a sea going vessel and a moored vessel. These include:
i) Different design basis return periods for environmental loads (20 vs. 100 years).
ii) Major effects of mooring system on predicted vessel load effects (including weathervane type behavior of a turret moored system).
iii) Different assumed wave energy spreading characterization between the open ocean and a sitespecific situation.
iv) Different basis of extreme design storm characterization (e.g., longterm winter storm vs. hurricane dominated characterization).
v) Different assumed wave spectra between the open ocean and a sitespecific situation.
The Loading Condition Used to Determine ESF β
In practice, the hull is loaded over a large range of tank loading patterns and external drafts. To determine the β factors for tankers, it is assumed that the hull loading representing a condition at, or near, the full load case is most appropriate and compatible with the SafeHull criteria of the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels. For FPSOs, local loads become important as they are affected by individual tank filling levels and vessel drafts. The user can input actual loading patterns to reflect these cases, which can be different from those specified for a
tanker in the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels. The ability to input user defined local loading cases can be especially important for an FPSO, which in comparison to a tanker may have reduced local scantlings due to calmer sea conditions. Then otherwise secondary load cases, such as those representing tank testing and the FPSO’s transit voyage to the installation site may become significant, even controlling some aspects of the structural design for FPSOs.
NEW FPSO RAO DATABASE AND USER DEFINED RAOS
SH/FPSO system contains a reference RAO database of global motions and load responses of typical tankers, which are used by the SEAS ESF program module for determining the ESFs. This database is has been built from seakeeping analyses of five tankers with lengths between 150 m to 350 m. A major assumption in the analysis is that the vessels are taken as free floating, and no topside structure has been considered. For FPSOs, the mooring system and topside structure can affect certain global motions and loads considerably ^{[}^{9}^{]} . The mooring/riser system applies restraints on the global motions of the FPSO, which can no longer be considered as free floating and the topside structure adds weight to
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the hull, affecting the FPSO’s hydrostatic characteristics and thus the motioninduced dynamic inertia response. When the system RAOs is used, the results may not be conservative, as each FPSO can have quite different and unique turret position mooring and topside arrangements. The water depth at the installation site is also another factor that can have an influence on the RAOs. SEAS has added an RAO database based on 3 FPSOs with lengths between 320 m and 350 m, besides the database based on tankers. The FPSO database includes the effect of the topsides mass distribution. In addition, ABS encourages designers and shipyards to perform their own seakeeping analysis to obtain the FPSO RAOs. When using user’s RAOs, the RAOs of thirteen (13) DLPs are to be calculated and inputted into the SEAS ESF program module.
PHASE B BUCKLING AND ULTIMATE STRENGTH ASSESSMENT
Buckling and ultimate strength assessments for the hull and topsides structures of an FPSO system are to be performed incorporating Phase B stress analysis. ABS current practice for buckling and ultimate strength assessment for the hull structures of an FPSO system should be based on Ship Rules ^{[}^{3}^{]} meanwhile the criteria in the ABS Guide for Buckling and Ultimate Strength Assessment for Offshore Structures (hereafter called Offshore Guide) ^{[}^{4}^{]} are to be followed for the topsides structures. The buckling and ultimate strength criteria between ABS Ship Rules and the Offshore Guide are different. The criteria from Ship Rules are based on the concept of ‘net scantling’, which is the Rule minimum design thickness of asbuilt ships . The β factors are introduced to consider sitespecific environmental conditions. The stresses obtained from SafeHull with the load condition modified by the β factors are substituted into the buckling and ultimate strength criteria from Ship Rules to assess the buckling and ultimate strength of plate and stiffened panels. The material reduction factor is to be taken into consideration to define the permissible stresses in the criteria. The buckling and ultimate strength criteria in the ABS Offshore Guide are based on the gross thickness, which is the Rule minimum thickness plus the Rule corrosion margin or minimum asgauged value, whichever is smaller. Load conditions representing the operation or most unfavorable loads are to be considered. In the ABS FPI Guide, the primary loading conditions are the ‘Normal Operations’ and ‘Severe Storm’. The former is defined as the operating environmental loading combined with dead and maximum live loads appropriate to the function and operations whereas the latter is the design environmental loading combined with dead and live loads appropriate to the function and operations during the design condition. The different allowable utilization factors to be used to calculate the permissible stresses are specified depending on the structural component geometry, loading type and failure modes ^{[}^{4}^{]} .
Both, the ABS Ship Rules and the Offshore Guide contain the buckling and ultimate strength assessment for plates and stiffened panels. In order to establish the difference between them, a comparison study is made for a converted FPSO hull. The main characteristics of the FPSO are given in Table 2.
Table 2 Main Characteristics of the Converted FPSO
Length overall, L 
334.0 m 

Length between perpendiculars, L _{B}_{P} 
320.0 m 

Breadth molded, B 
54.5 
m 
Depth molded, D 
27.0 
m 
Design draft, T 
21.4 
m 
Block coefficient, C _{B} 
0.83 

Steel grade 
Mild 
To determine the global response of the hull structures, a 3hold FE model of the hull structure within 0.4L was created. The total loads of the 18 SafeHull standard load cases were automatically generated and applied to the 3hold model by SafeHull system. The von Mises stress contour and deflection to Load Case No. 2 is illustrated graphically in Figure 5.
Figure 5 von Mises Stress Contour and Deflection to Load Case No. 2
Figure 6 provides the comparison of buckling and ultimate strength assessment based on Ship Rules and the Offshore Guide. Some observations from the comparison study are given below:
• The ratio of plate buckling for the deck panels and bottom plates is very stable, which lies between 0.83 and 0.85.
• The small slenderness ratio (β = 1.15) of bottom panels and biaxial stresses (σ _{x} ,σ _{y} ) located in the shaded region as shown in Figure 7 cause plate ultimate strength difference relatively large compared with others.
• The buckling and ultimate strength ratios are significantly affected by the ratio of nominal design corrosion value to nominal design thickness. Therefore, they are distributed more widely for side shell and longitudinal bulkhead panels because the plate thickness and stiffener dimensions of side shell and longitudinal
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bulkhead 
vary 
frequently 
along 
the 
vertical 
• When SafeHull standard loads are applied, 

direction. 
the Offshore Guide is generally more 

• 
The effect of nominal corrosion design value on 
conservative than the Ship Rules. 

tripping of anglebar stiffeners is more significant than flat bar and Tbar stiffeners. The tripping ratio of anglebar stiffeners shifts toward 1.0. Some of them are even greater than 1.0. 
• ABS will use the Offshore Guide to determine buckling of stiffened panel after a Rule Change Notice (RCN) is conducted to modify the FPI Guide. 
Ratio = Ship Rules/Offshore Guide
PLATE BUCKLING (Mean=0.8910 COV=7.22%) PLATE ULTIMATE STRENGTH (Mean=0.8725 COV=6.78%) STIFFNER BEAMCOLUMN BUCKLING (Mean=0.8622 COV=1.23%) STIFFNER TRIPPING (Mean=0.9758 COV=3.47%)
Ratio = Ship Rules/Offshore Guide
PLATE BUCKLING (Mean=0.8711 COV=1.62%) PLATE ULTIMATE STRENGTH (Mean=0.8618 COV=2.34%) STIFFNER BEAMCOLUMN BUCKLING (Mean=0.8668 COV=2.51%) STIFFNER TRIPPING (Mean=0.9646 COV=1.48%)
Figure 6 Comparison between Ship Rules and Offshore Guide
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OPTIONAL NOTATIONS FOR FPSO INCLUDING FATIGUE LIFE NOTATIONS
For a newbuild shipshaped FPI (i.e., FPSO, FPS or FSO) hull structure, the SafeHull criteria are meant to provide a minimum design fatigue life of 20 years. Where a vessel’s design calls for a fatigue life in excess of the minimum design fatigue life of 20 years, the optional class notation FL (year) will be assigned at the request of the applicant. This optional notation is eligible provided the excess design fatigue life is verified to be in compliance with the criteria in the Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels. Only one design fatigue life value is published for the entire structural system. Where differing design fatigue life values are intended for different structural elements within the vessel, the (year) refers to the least of the varying target lives. The ‘design fatigue life’ refers to the target value set by the applicant, not the value calculated in the analysis. The notation FL (year) denotes that the design fatigue life assessed according to the Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels is greater than the minimum design fatigue life of 20 years. The (year) refers to the fatigue life equal to 25 years or more (in 5year increments), as specified by the applicant. The fatigue life will be identified in the Record by the notation FL (year); e.g., FL(30) if the minimum design fatigue life assessed is 30 years. When an existing tanker is converted to an FPSO, FPS or FSO, in the process referred to as an ‘ordinary’ conversion, and the FPSO, FPS or FSO is classed under the provisions of Chapter 4, Section 4 of the ABS FPI Guide, the expected minimum remaining fatigue life of the structure is to be documented by recording its value in the Record. The RFL notation will be followed by the value of the expected minimum remaining fatigue life in years, the year of maturation of fatigue life and the specific site of installation. For example, RFL(15), 2018 in Gulf of Mexico indicates that the expected minimum remaining fatigue life of the structure is 15 years, which will be matured in the year 2018 for conditions
anticipated in Gulf of Mexico. The RFL (Year), Year in (site of Installation) notation as applied to ‘ordinary conversions’ is mandatory. Notice that a new build FPSO relocated to another location cannot be considered anymore as a new build. Therefore, for this case still the RFL(year) Year in (site of installation) applies.
SURVEY REQUIREMENT FOR AN “ORDINARY CONVERSION”
Survey Record Review
Ordinary conversions refer to vessel conversions that have been previously classed. Prior to structural review, the survey reports for the vessel that are related to structural fractures, repairs, or modifications during its service history should be obtained. The service records should be reviewed to identify whether fractures have
occurred in the hull structure and/or whether the structure details have been modified during its service life. In addition, it should be noted whether major structural modifications have taken place that will affect the scantling review and analysis.
A Floating Installation is expected to remain moored on site during the entire service life, and it is therefore without the ready access to the repair and maintenance facilities used by a ship. The drydocking survey and special survey of the hull are to be carried out in accordance with the requirements of ABS Rule Requirements for Survey after Construction. All modifications to the vessel are to be carried out in accordance with ABS approved drawings and follow the IACS Shipbuilding and Repair Quality Standard requirements. All renewed material should be replaced by steel of the same or higher grade and to the approved design scantling or greater. Workmanship is to be carried out in accordance with the ABS Guide for Shipbuilding and Repair Quality Standard for Hull Structures.
What needs to be emphasized is that in this new update, new bottom plate pitting repair specifications are recommended. The specifications apply to pitting found in both ballast and cargo tank bottom plating. There are four main approaches used for dealing with severe bottom pitting.
(a) Partially Crop and Renew Affected Bottom
Plating. Partial cropping and renewal is primarily a matter of proper welding technique, selection of an adequately sized plate insert and appropriate nondestructive examination (NDE) of repaired areas.
(b) Clean Pitted Areas and Cover with Special
Coating. Cleaning out and covering with special coating without use of filler or weld buildup need only be limited by the maximum allowable depth of the pits (or allowable minimum remaining thickness of the bottom plating) permitted from a strength or pollution risk standpoint. The allowable loss of bottom crosssectional area must also be considered.
(c) Clean Pitted Areas and Fill with Plastic
Compound Use of plastic compound filler, such as epoxy, can be considered similar to (b) because no strength credit is given to the filler material.
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(d) Fill by welding. Filling with welding warrants
consideration that is more serious. Suggested welding practices for bottom plating are noted below. For pitting up to 15% of bottom plating thickness, no immediate remedial action is necessary. However, if the surrounding tank bottom is specially coated, corrosion progress in the pitted areas may be very rapid due to the area ratio effect of protected versus nonprotected surfaces, therefore, as applicable, the coating is to be repaired. Scattered pitting up to 33% (1/3t) of bottom plating thickness may be filled with epoxy or other suitable protective compounds, provided the loss of area at any transverse section of the strake in question does not exceed 10%. Any areas that have been repaired by this method must be “mapped” and noted for closeup survey in the Survey and Inspection Plan required by ABS FPI Guide. Pitting of any depth may be welded provided there is at least 6 mm (0.25in.) remaining original plating thickness at the bottom of the cavity and there is at least 75 mm (3 in.) between adjacent pit welding areas. The maximum nominal diameter of any pit repaired by welding may not exceed 300 mm (12 in.). The new requirements for the welding of pits are also specified in the new update and listed below.
(a) Pit Welding. It is recommended that pit welding in
bottom plating be built up at least 3 mm (0.125 in.) above the level of the surrounding plating and then ground flush. This is mandatory for higherstrength steels grades D and E, for very small areas (less than 75 mm (3 in.) in diameter and for such welding done afloat.
(b) Surface Preparation. Pitted areas are to be thoroughly cleaned of rust, oil and cargo residues prior to welding.
(c) Filler Metal. When welding, the filler metal grade
appropriate to the pitted base metal and preheating, if applicable, are to be employed.
(d) Welding While A Vessel Afloat. For welding below
the waterline of a vessel afloat, properly dried low hydrogen electrodes are to be used. The pitted areas against water backing are to be preheated sufficiently to drive off any moisture that might be present. The preheat is to cover at least 102 mm (4 in.) of the material surrounding the welding or four times the material thickness, whichever is greater.
(e) Layer of Welding Metal. A layer of weld metal is
to be deposited along a spiral path to the bottom center of the pitted excavation. The slag is to be completely removed and the next successive layer is to be similarly deposited to build up the excavation at least 3 mm (0.125 in.) above the level of the surrounding plating.
(f) Extensive Pit Repairs. For extensive pit repairs,
i.e. greater than 20% intensity, of steel grades D, E and higher strength steel, welding against water backing is not recommended.
(g) Nondestructive Examination. All welds to pitted
areas in bottom plating are to be subject to nondestructive examination, with particular attention to boundaries of the
welded areas and at intersections of the welded areas and existing structural welding. Also, for welds of higher strength steels, the NDE method is to be suitable for detecting subsurface defects. (h) Coating. In order to reduce the likelihood of possible galvanic attack at the boundaries of builtup areas, coating over the area with a compound such as epoxy/glass flake should be considered. Also, where the pitting is in small areas of coating breakdown, it is essential to restore the coating intact in order to avoid the possible rapid corrosion of small bare areas in large protected areas (area ratio effect). (i) Doublers. Fitting of doublers over pits is not considered a satisfactory repair. Cleaning and using non strength contributory fillings to fit doublers is considered a temporary solution subjected to surveyors approval.
NEW UPDATES IN ABS SAFEHULLFPSO V10
RULE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
The ABS SafeHull FPSO approach uses the Environmental Severity Factor (ESF) concept to adjust the tanker unrestricted service criteria of the ABS Steel Vessel Rules. To maintain some degree of minimum safety standards, the FPI Guide has set minimum requirements for certain key design parameters. It is worthwhile to mention them here. In the application of the criteria, no individual value
of a strength β factor is to be less than 0.5 and no minimum required values of any net scantlings is to be less than 85% of the value obtained for the unrestricted service condition. In particularly, ABS require that the minimum hull girder section modulus of an FPSO shall not less than 85% of that required for unrestricted service. This 85% limit is imposed to prevent excessive loss of hull girder strength due to corrosion as a vessel ages. The new FPI Rule Change (ABS FPI Guide, April 2004 version) has released the 0.5 beta limit considering that now it is a requirement to verify the FPSO transit condition as well as the tank test condition at the site with an associated 1year storm environment. Therefore, by imposing the 85% limit on the hull girder section modulus, it has been verified that the 0.5 limit on the beta factors were redundant. Therefore, based on the ABS recent experiences on FPSO conversion projects, the following enhancements have been introduced in the SH/FPSO criteria and software:
• Calculate loads and required Rule minimum scantling for transit condition, which now is included in the FPI Rule Change. This Rule Change also adds minimum heading requirements for spread and, or turret moored FPSOs.
• Calculates fatigue life using asbuilt scantling (Tanker) and Rule reassigned / Gauged for FPSO on site service;
• Provide program flexibly to add special load cases for transit, flooding, offloading and tank inspection, etc. in Phase B finite element analysis.
ABS Floating Production Installations Guide Rule Change: FPSO Fatigue and Strength Assessment
91
ABS TECHNICAL PAPERS 2004
Usually, it is much harder for users to provide the wave conditions that an oil tanker has experienced on route records in past services. SafeHull SEAS provides users the convenience to obtain the approximate wave conditions from the global wave database, which is called ABSWAVE. For the assessment of preexisting fatigue damages of an FPSO conversion, the wave conditions are retrieved from the ABSWAVE database along the routes that a vessel serviced in the past. In current version of SafeHull SEAS program, the number of canned routes has increased from six to 25. Table 3 shows the 25 canned routes.
Table 3. Twentyfive canned routes in SHFPSO V10
1. Dover Strait to New York
2. Los Angles to Yokohama
3. Valdez to Los Angles
4. Yokohama to Persian Gulf
5. Gulf of Mexico to Persian Gulf
6. Dover Strait to Persian Gulf
7. Dover Strait to Gulf of Mexico
8. Europe to Persian Gulf
9. Med Sea to Persian Gulf
10. Persian Gulf to Med Sea
11. Europe to Med Sea
12. Gulf of Mexico to Persian Gulf
13. Persian Gulf to Gulf of Mexico
14. Persian Gulf to Red Sea
15. Red Sea to Persian
Gulf
16. Persian Gulf service
17. Red Sea service
18. Med Sea service
19. Gulf of Mexico to Med Sea
20. Med Sea to Gulf of Mexico
21. Africa to North
America
22. Persian Gulf to
Singapore
23. Singapore to Persian
Gulf
24. Persian Gulf to Korea
25. Korea to Persian Gulf
CONCLUSIONS
This paper introduced enhancements to FPSO fatigue and strength assessment procedures that have been included in the ABS FPI Guide rule change. The enhancements include new spectral fatigue approach and bimodal wave application for fatigue assessment and new buckling and ultimate strength criteria. In addition, the new ABS FPI Guide introduced optional notations for FPSO including fatigue life notations and survey requirement for an “ordinary conversion”. These new updates represent part of our continuous effort to better serve our clients as well as the offshore industry.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors wish to thank their colleagues who provided comments. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and are not necessary those of the American Bureau of Shipping.
REFERENCES
[1] ABS, 1998, Hull Thickness Measurement (Gauging Surveys), American Bureau of Shipping [2] ABS, 2003, Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels, American Bureau of Shipping. [3] ABS, 2004, Guide for Building and Classing Floating Production Installation, American Bureau of Shipping. [4] ABS, 2004, Guide for Buckling and Ultimate Strength Assessment for Offshore Structures, American Bureau of Shipping.
[5] 
Tam, G and Wu, J.F., 2002. A Rational Approach for the Evaluation of Fatigue Strength of FPSO 
Structures, The 14 ^{t}^{h} OSEA International Oil & Gas Industry Exhibition and Conference 

[6] 
Tam, G and Huang, W, 2004. SafeHull Application of Existing Tankers to FPSO. OMAE200451017, 23 ^{r}^{d} 
Conference on Offshore and Arctic Engineering, Vancouver, Canada.
[7] Wang, Ge, 2003, A Study of Allowable Reduced Hull
Girder Section Modulus of ShipShaped FPSOs, RD
Report 200306, American Bureau of Shipping
[8] Zhao, C., Bai, Y. and Shin Y., 2001, Extreme Response and Fatigue Damages for FPSO Structural
Analysis, Proceedings of the 11 ^{t}^{h} ISOPE Conference, Vol. 1, pp.301
[9]
Zhao, C., Wu, J.F, Huang, K, and Shin Y., 2002, Environmental Severity Factors and their Application
in FPSO Hull Design, OTC 14231, Offshore Technology Conference
92
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