Documentation of a long crack propagation phase is important for planning a sound inspection program for fatigue cracks in FPSOs. Test results of full scale FPSO weld details have shown that fatigue lives of FPSO details are governed by crack propagation and that crack propagation lives are several times that of the crack initiation life. However, some analysis packages predict a short crack propagation life until failure compared to the crack initiation life. These predictions are not consistent with full scale test results and thus cannot be relied on in developing inspection strategy. The reason for this inconsistency in analysis as compared with test results may be due to limitations in the analysis program packages. The paper presents analysis of fatigue testing data on several full scale FPSO weld details. The paper also discusses the effect of “shake-down’ that is not simulated in the full scale constant amplitude testing and would even lead to longer crack propagation lives under the actual long term loading on FPSOs.

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