Modal Analysis of Deepwater Mooring Lines Based on a Variational Formulation
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Previous work on modal analysis of mooring lines has been performed from different theoretical formulations. Most studies have focused on mooring lines of a single homogeneous material, and the effect of added mass and damping produced by the water has not been examined deeply. The variational formulation approach, employed in this research to perform a modal analysis, has been useful to study the behavior of several realistic mooring lines. The cases presented are composed from segments of materials with different mechanical characteristics, more similar to those in current offshore projects. In the newly proposed formulation, damping produced by transverse motion of the mooring line through the surrounding water has been added to the modal analysis. The modal analysis formulation applied in this work has been verified with calculations from commercial software and the results are sufficiently accurate to understand the global behavior of the dynamics of mooring lines with the damping produced by the sea water. Inclusion of linearized drag damping in the modal analysis showed that the modal periods of the mooring systems studied depend on the amplitude of the transverse motion of the mooring line. When more amplitude in the motion is expected more damping is obtained. Two realistic designs of mooring lines were compared: one made up with a main insert of steel rope, called “Steel System”, and one composed by a main insert of polyester, named “Polyester System”. Comparing the natural periods of both systems, the Steel System appears to be safer because its fundamental natural period is more distant from the wave excitation periods produced by storms. The same happens considering the wave excitation periods produced by prevailing seas. In this case the natural periods of the Polyester System are nearer to the wave excitation periods causing fatigue loads. The transverse mode shapes for lateral motions of the mooring lines are observed to be continuous and smooth across material transitions, such as transitions between chain and wire rope and transitions between chain and polyester rope. This behavior is not always observed in the tangential mode shapes for the Polyester System where significant differences in dynamic tension seem to be present in the specific cases studied.
Martinez Farfan, Jose Alberto (2013). Modal Analysis of Deepwater Mooring Lines Based on a Variational Formulation. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from