1 Department of Structural Engineering and Materials, Technical University of Denmark2 COWI Consultants A/S3 Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark4 Svenskt Stål AB
In the present investigation, the fatigue life of tubular joints in offshore steel structures is studied. Two test series on full-scale tubular joints have been carried through. One series was on joints in conventional offshore structural steel, and the other series was on joints in high-strength steel with a yield stress of 820-830 MPa and with high weldability and toughness properties. The test specimens of both series had the same geometry. The present report concentrates on the results obtained in the investigation on the high-strength steel tubular joints.The test specimens were fabricated from Ø 324-610 mm tubes, and the joints were loaded in in-plane bending. Both fatigue tests under constant amplitude loading and tests with a stochastic loading that is realistic in relation to offshore structures, are included in the investigation.A comparison between constant amplitude and variable amplitude fatigue test results showed shorter fatigue lives in variable amplitude loading than should be expected from the linear fatigue damage accumulation formula. Furthermore, the fatigue tests on high-strength steel tubular joints showed slightly longer fatigue lives than those obtained in corresponding tests on joints in conventional offshore structural steel.