Potts, A.E., Fontaine, E., Melchers, R.E., Arrendondo, A., and Ma, K.T., (2012). Proceedings of the 22nd International Offshore and Polar Engineering (ISOPE) Conference, Rhodes, Greece, 17-22 June, 2012.


Recent detailed observations of the performance of mooring chains for a floating production unit in tropical West African waters have shown severe localized corrosion (pitting) of the steel chain after only seven years of use. This paper describes the investigation of this phenomenon as part of the Joint Industry Project (JIP) research program SCORCH (Seawater Corrosion of Rope and Chain) funded by the major oil companies, most Classification Societies and various offshore operators and manufacturers. It is shown that there is a high likelihood that the chain has been subject to microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) as a result of the elevated levels of water pollution in the operational area. However, despite the large localized loss of steel in corrosion pits, the breaking load shows only a relatively small reduction compared to the Minimum Breaking Load specified in design guidelines.


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