Corrosion Fatigue of Deepwater Offshore Materials

by Gordon F. Fowkes, Univ of Texas at Austin, Austin, United States,
Harris L. Marcus, Univ of Texas at Austin, Austin, United States,

Abstract: Evaluation of the fatigue life of offshore structures operating in depths of up to 10,000 feet (3,048 m) requires knowledge of the combined effect of axial and hydrostatic loading on the corrosion fatigue behavior of structural materials. Previous research indicates that the large hydrostatic pressures encountered at great depths (up to 4.35 ksi (30 MPa)) can reduce the life and load bearing capability of structural steels subjected to both static and cyclic axial loads. To evaluate corrosion fatigue crack propagation rates of structural steels and composites exposed to the deep sea environment, a pressure vessel test chamber facility has been designed. The test vessel design accommodates the application of a cyclic axial load to cylindrical and compact tension test (CT) specimens subjected to a simulated deep ocean environment and permits electrochemical testing of the material-environment system. A corrosion test loop circulates artificial seawater through the chamber and monitors the various properties of the medium such as pressure, temperature, pH and dissolved gas content. The system is currently under assembly.

Subject Headings: Corrosion | Pressure vessels | Axial loads | Fatigue tests | Offshore structures | Fatigue (material) | Material tests | Steel structures | Construction materials | North America | Connecticut | United States

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