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A Rational Approach to Automated Pre- and Post-Processing of Offshore Structure Global Strength Finite Element Analysis

[+] Author Affiliations
Zhiyong Yang, Otto DaSilva

Exmar Offshore Company, Houston, TX

Paper No. OMAE2011-49266, pp. 185-195; 11 pages
  • ASME 2011 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 2: Structures, Safety and Reliability
  • Rotterdam, The Netherlands, June 19–24, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4434-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Offshore structure global strength analysis based on finite element plate model is a requirement for today’s classification societies and designers. Wave, wind, current loads have to be applied to the global strength model as a pre processing step to allow the analysis to take place. After the analysis, code checking must be performed to verify if the structure meets class or other requirements. Due to its complex nature, a large amount of engineering hours have to be spent for the pre and post processing. This is not only lengthy if performed manually or semi-automatically, but also mistake prone. General guidelines from classification societies exist, but general purpose commercial software is scarce and often still requires significant amount of engineering time to perform these tasks. This paper shows a rational approach to automate the pre and post processing of offshore structure global strength finite element analysis. Utilizing the FEMAP Application Program Interface (API), a complete automatic pre and post processing is implemented in one integrated program, Exmar Design Suite (EDS). The program will load the model from WAMIT generated wave pressure, apply internal pressure induced from motions to internal tanks, and also apply other environmental loads. After the finite element analysis, the program can execute strength code checking including yielding and buckling for the model. Both beam and stiffened plate panels can be identified using an automatic search algorithm, which is not a function available for general finite element software. The panels and beams are then checked against various common codes such as API/AISC/ABS/DNV. In addition, fatigue analysis can also be performed in either spectral or simplified approach. The benefits of automation are timesaving, accuracy and reliability. It also makes the check of whole model possible. Instead of relying more on “screening” or experience based structure check, engineers will have more confidence in the results by going through the whole model.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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