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Assessment of structural integrity of subsea wellhead system: analytical and numerical studySubsea wellhead systems exposed to severe fatigue loading are becoming increasingly a significant problem in offshore drilling operations due to their applications in wells with higher levels of pressure and temperature, situated at larger depths and in harsher environments. This has led to a substantial increase in the weight and size of offshore equipment, which, in combination with different loading conditions related to the environmental factors acting on the vessel and riser, has greatly increased the loads acting on subsea well systems. In particular, severe fatigue loading acting on the subsea wellhead system was detected. For this reason, a combined analytical and numerical study investigating the critical effect of crack depth on the overall structural integrity of subsea wellhead systems under cyclic loading was carried out. The study is based on a Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) approach.
Retardation effects due to overloads in aluminium-alloy aeronautical componentsFatigue data are generally derived under constant-amplitude loading conditions, but aircraft components are subjected to variable-amplitude loading. Without interaction effects, caused by overloads and underloads intermingled in a loading sequence, it could be relatively easy to establish a crack growth curve by means of a cycle-by-cycle integration. However, load-spectrum effects largely complicate a crack growth under variable-amplitude cycling. In this paper, fatigue crack growth behaviour of aeronautical aluminium alloy 2024-T3 was studied. Effects of various loading conditions such as stress ratio and amplitude loadings were investigated. In particular, the effect of different overloads on the fatigue crack growth was simulated using Zencrack code. Preliminary analyses on Compact Tension (CT) specimens proved that the numerical results generated were in agreement with the results provided by an afgrow code for the same conditions. A case study was carried out on a helicopter component, undergoing repeated overloads, to compare numerical results obtained implementing yield zone models in Zencrack.