Jayasinge, K., Potts, A.E., Kilner, A., and Melchers, R., Paper Number OTC-28737, Proceedings of Offshore Technology Conference, 1-4 May, Houston, Texas, USA, 2018.


Whilst mooring chain design practice has traditionally considered wear and corrosion together under a single allowance for material loss, the two phenomena are influenced by different factors whereby they may act synergistically to accelerate degradation rates or act completely independently. As chain wear has been attributed to both the acceleration of corrosion­related degradation and the cause of chain failures and early mooring repairs by itself, it was investigated as part of the SCORCH JIP.

An extensive literature review and meta­analysis of wear research was carried out in order to determine a framework for assessing the wear of mooring chains. The literature review found that the phenomenon of wear in general and mooring chain wear in particularly was not well understood, with little agreement as to a general analytical model for wear prediction. The particular wear regimes under which mooring chain wear occurs was identified and a critical analysis of available data on mooring chain wear was carried out where it was determined that experimental conditions were likely to have been outside of the bounds of validity for what would be experienced in the field. A generic formulation for chain wear was presented, where the amount of wear is proportional to the work done at the interlink contact due to the relative sliding of the chain links. Supplementary to the literature review, a series of wear tests of full-scale mooring chain links were carried out under varying load conditions for different grades of chain. These tests were used to determine empirical coefficients for the prediction of chain wear. A model for wear prediction was presented based on the position of the chain in the mooring line, the tension in the line and the relative motion of the chain links. The evolution of the contact surface between chain links was modelled using 3D geometries of idealized chain links in order to determine a relationship between the volume of worn metallic area and the depth of wear, which can be more easily measured in-service.

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