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OTC 4857

Ultimate Strength Reliability of Tension Leg Platform

Tendon Systems
by B. Stahl and J.F. Geyer, Amoco Production Co.

CO!iyright 1985 Offshore Technology Conference

This paper was presented at the 17th Annual OTC in Houston, Texas, May 6-9,1985. The material is subject to correction by the author. Permission to
copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words.

TLP, is such an example for which structural systems
A structural systems reliability method that is reliability techniques are feasible to develop
particularly suitable for analysis of TLP tendon better engineering insights and improve design
systems is presented. Tendon element behavior con- criteria. It is in this spirit that the present
sidered includes the tendon slack condition, duc- paper is developed.
tile, partially ductile, brittle, brittle with
impulsive load transfer and combinations thereof. Recent notable work on TLP reliabilit includes
Load and strength correlations are shown to be that of Cornell, et al.,5 Prucz and Soong, and t
important. Reliability trends are established that Wirsching and Chen.? These efforts are of a prelim-
provide guidance in design and design criteria inary nature aimed at developing better design
development. insights. Other recent research on special aspects
of the parallel member system reliability problem
INTRODUCTION have been presented by Hohenbichler and Rackwitz,8
Grigoriu,9 and Melchers. 10 Results of these efforts
The petroleum industry is moving forward to should have applicability to TLP tendon system reli-
develop deep water leases in the Gulf of Mexico and ability analysis, at least in special circumstances,
other areas of the world. Offshore platforms are but the present work does not rely on these efforts.
being engineered for deeper and deeper waters. The
conventional fixed platform is being considered for The main emphasis of this paper is on the
water depths in excess of 1500 ft. New deep water structural resistance aspect of the tendon systems
concepts which utilize the best features of the reliability problem. The method presented is based
fixed platform, uyed tower, and buoyant tower are on fundamental and elementary reliability analysis
being developed. The Tension Leg Platform (TLP) techniques, and it therefore retains a degree of
has become a reality with installation of Conoco's generality that may not be found in other methods.
Hutton TLp 2 in the North Sea. Structural design for Results are presented in non-dimensional form using
these frontier developments has been successfully nominal values of load and strength as reference
accomplished through use of existing design codes, values and points of departure for this paper. The
performance testing and the exercise of engineering loading or response aspects of the problem are
judgement. The need for application of systems treated only to the extent required to cast the
reliability techniques, however, is being increas- reliability problem in the proper context.
ingly recognized, especially in view of frontier
developments in deeper waters and hostile environ- RELIABILITY OF A SINGLE TENDON ELEMENT
ments. Reliability methods have been employed over
the last 15 years to improve structural design codes Let the load on a single tendon element be
and to enhance the decision-making process in denoted by the random variable L and let its resis-
design. Structural systems reliability methods have tance be denoted by R. (A tendon element will be
been the subject of intensive research both in referred to as a "joint" in this paper. It can be a
academia and industry.3,4 Unfortunately, practical standard length of pipe, referred to as a joint, or
easy-to-use structural systems reliability techni- it can be a connecting element.) Failure occurs
ques for general application seem elusive. On the when the load exceeds the resistance. The prob-
other hand, the methodology has reached a level of ability of this occurrence is obtained from the
maturity that permits application of the techniques probability density function of load, fL(Q), and the
to relatively simple structural systems. The TLP cumulative distribution function of reslstance,
tendon system, which is a critical subsystem of the FR(Q), as follows:
References and illustrations at end of paper.




Pf = f fL(Q) FR(Q) dQ (1)


Normally it will be necessary to evaluate Eq. (1) where Wl is the noncyclic component of Wand W2 is
numerically. When the load and resistance are log- the cyclic component of W. Let
normally distributed, the probability of failure can
be written as WI = yw (7)

= 4> (-13) (2)
where (8)

where y is a deterministic factor. Then the prob-

... .. (3) ability of developing the slack condition is
(.e.nR Pfs =P [(1 - zy) W > G]

and the symbols are defined in the Nomenclature Sec- <Xl

tion. The quantity 13 is known as the safety index, f fw(w) F [(1 - zy)w] dw (9)
which serves as a measure of reliability or indi- G
cator of structural performance. The probability of
failure, Pf' is notional because it is not neces- Combining the ultimate strength failure mode with
sarily accurate in an actuarial sense, but serves as the slack failure mode, i.e., combining Eqs. (5) and
a useful comparative measure. It encompasses those (9) in an appropriate fashion, yields the total
variables that can be controlled by the designer but failure probability
usually does not include gross errors or accidents. <Xl <Xl

Design parameters are typically specified in f fW(w) f fG(g) FR(w + g) dg dw

terms of their nominal values. Bias factors are a (l-ZY)w
used to relate nominal values to mean values. For <Xl

example, the nominal value of load may be the + f fW(w) FG[(l - zy)w] dw (10)
lOa-year value of the load and the mean load value o
may be the mean which corresponds to a specified
service life. An introduction to risk and reli- The first term represents ultimate strength failure;
ability engineering for offshore platforms can be the second term represents the slack condition.
found in Ref. 11.
In the derivation of Eq. (10), it was tacitly
The total load L on an individual element or assumed that the negative peaks of the cyclic compo-
tendon is considered to be comprised of two main nent of Ware identically distributed to the posi-
components, i.e., tive peaks and are fully correlated. It should be
L = G + W (4)
observed that when Y ~ 0.5, the slack failure mode
vanishes. This is because the difference between
where G is the "gravity" component of the load the noncyclic and cyclic components of W will not
mainly due to buoyancy and W is the component due to become negative, thus effectively eliminating the
environmental loads. The reliability problem can be slack mode.
solved using Eq. (1) in which the distribution of L
is obtained either numerically or in an approximate CORRELATION OF LOAD AND RESISTANCE VARIABLES
closed-form manner, as in most cases there will not
exist an exact closed-form solution for the sum of In the reliability evaluation of a single ele-
two variables. Alternatively, the probability of ment, the load on the element and its resistance are
failure can be developed directly from the following assumed to be statistically independent. When ana-
form: lyzing a system of elements, it is crucial to con-
sider whether the resistances and loads of the
<Xl <Xl
different elements are correlated.
f fw(w) f fG(g) FR(w + g) dg dw (5)
o 0 The fundamental reliability problem can be
expressed as
This form eliminates the need to sum the components
of the load variable L, Eq. (4), but it introduces Pf =P (L > R) (11)
another integral. This form, however, is useful in
handling the tendon slack condition. To handle correlation effects, the technique devel-
oped in Ref. lZ is followed. The load and resis-
TENDON SLACK CONDITION tance are split into their dependent and independent
In addition to the possibility of yielding or
rupturing the tendon in an overload condition, it is L = LI L
also possible for the tendon to go slack during
severe response conditions. This is an undesirable and
condition with adverse consequences and may be con-
sidered a failure mode. The probability of this
mode occurring can be written as



.............. (13)
By grouping all of the independent components
of the variables with resistance, as in Eq. (15), it
Substituting these quantities into Eq. (11) and
becomes possible to apply structural systems anal-
rearranging the terms leads to ysis techniques that are valid under the assumption
(14) of statistical independence. Let a TLP tendon be
comprised of m joints in series and let the indepen-
dent components of resistance, including independent
The dependent components are seen to be shifted to
load uncertainties, be denoted by R The cumula-
the load side of the equation and the independent I
tive distribution function of the independent compo-
components to the resistance side. Since the depen-
nent of tendon strength becomes
dent and independent components are still indepen-
dent of each other, the probability of failure can FR(r) =1 - [1 - F (r)]m (2l)
be calculated from R

J f
L /R (Q) FRI /L I (Q) dQ (15)
The probability density function, fR(r), is obtained
oDD by taking the derivative, i.e.,

which is of the same form as Eq. (1), i.e., the f (r)

usual fundamental load and resistance variable reli-
ability formulation.
These expressions are derived assuming that the
To formally define the degree of correlation, independent components of joint strength are identi-
consider any two joints, j and k, where cally distributed. This was done for convenience to
simplify the algebra. The strength components in
L. L . L ;
IJ n
= LI L ( 16 )
D series do not have to be identically distributed,
J k
but it is desirable, for the purpose of reducing the
computational effort, that the resulting distribu-
and tions for tendon strength be identically distrib-
uted. The strength components in series also do not
have to be of the same behavioral type. Ductile,
brittle or partially ductile components can be
treated simultaneously. However, care must be taken
With these definitions and the formulation of the to account for the mixed behavior by proper integra-
correlation coefficient derived in Ref. 12, three
tion of the appropriate density functions over the
correlation coefficients are defined, i.e., correla-
tion between element loads, correlation between ele- appropriate failure regions.
ment resistances, and total correlation, as follows:

Utilizing the independent component of tendon

. -. . ( 18) strenth, the method presented by Shinozuka and Ita-
gaki 1 can be applied to solve the parallel tendon
systems analysis problem. It is assumed that the
two tendons of a 2-tendon parallel system share a
load Q equally. Let the resistance capacities of
~ (19) the individual tendons be identically and indepen-
dently distributed. The system can fail in two
mutually exclusive sequences: (1) tendon 1 fails
first, followed by tendon 2; or (2) tendon 2 fails
and first, followed by tendon 1. The failure probabili-
ties of interest can be evaluated by integrating the
bivariate density function over the appropriate
(20) regions of the sample spaces shown in Fig. 1. It
2 1/2 2
+ On R ) (OQ L should be observed that the failure boundaries are
X.n j n k symmetrical under the assumption of equal load
sharing. The symmetry property and the assumption
For any single corner tendon system of the TLP it is of identically distributed and independent resis-
reasonable to assume that the joint loads are fully tance capacities greatly simplify the calculations.
correlated, i.e., P = 1, but that the joint resis-
tances may be partially. correlated. Realistic esti- The procedure is illustrated by calculating the
mates for the uncertainties are summarized in probability that both tendons fail, i.e., complete
Table 1. Using the data and calculating the uncer- system collapse. Consider failure sequence 1-2 in
tainty of L according to the method of Reference 13 which tendon 1 fails, followed by tendon 2. In this
for W /G = 0.9 leads to P = 1.0, PR = 0.29, and sequence, tendon 1 can only fail in the load range
PT t n= On.7.
6 . seen toat
It LS L ..
whereas the JOLnt of 0 to /2. If tendon 1 fails at load level Q = 0,
st~ength correlation is relatively low, the total then tendon 2 must absorb the entire load Q. If
correlation is higher because of the common effect tendon 1 fails at some load level rl, then the load
of the loading variable. in tendon 2 depends on the nature of the failure of
tendon 1, i.e., whether it is ductile or brittle.
Assuming ductile behavior for the moment, the load

in tendon 2 following the failure of tendon 1 is

equal to fl-rl. Integrating over the appropriate inspection of the form of these equations leads to
region in Fig. la yields the probability that both general expressions for an n-tendon system.
tendons fail, given the load value i?:
Using notation as before, the cumulative dis-
!L12 tribution function for zero tendons failing is
(J?)= 2 f fR(rl) .f fR(r2) dr2 drl . .(23)
o FR (2) =[l-FR(Q/n)]n . . . . . . . . . .(27)
This result is obtained by integrating over one sym-
For the general case of k * n and k # O, in which k
metrical half of the region shown and then multi-
equals the number of tendons failing and n equals
plying by the factor 2 to account for the other
the total number of tendons, the expression is
failure sequence.

Shinozuka and Itagaki reported on parallel (Q) = n(n-1) ...(n-k+l) J .... f i~l fR(ri)
member systems analysis for the caaes of ductile and k-fold
brittle behavior. The failure regions corresponding
to these cases are shown in Figs. la and lb. These [l-FR(qn,k+l)]n-k drl...drk . .(28)
cases are considered here as well as the case of
impulsive load transfer in the event of brittle
and for all tendons failing, i.e., k = n,
tendon failure. The failure region for the latter
case is shown in Fig. Lc. All three cases can be (n-1)
described with one set of equations by introducing a (Q) = n! J .... ~ 11 fR(ri)
R i=l
load transfer coefficient ~, which in the two-tendon nn (n-1) fold
system is used to define the load in tendon 2 foL-
lowing failure of tendon 1 at load rl. This is FR(qn,n) - R(rn_~)} drl...drn_l . .(29)
equal to Q + ttrl,where a = -1 for ductile behavior,
u = O for brittle behavior, and ~ = +1 for brittle in which
behavior with impulsive load transfer. The general
qn,k = (Q + ark_l)/(n-k+l) . . . . . . . .(30)
expression for the probability of both tendons
failing then becomes
The limits of integration in Eqs. (28)-(29) can be
t12 I expressed as follows:
(Q)=2f fR(rl) f fR(r2) dr2 drl (l<rl<.t/n . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(31)
<r2<qn,2. . . . . . . . . . . . . .(32)
.8/2 1
=2J- fR(rl) [FR(~+arl)-FR(rl)] drl.(24)
o and, in general, for 3 5 j ~ n
<rj<q . .(33)
In a similar fashion, the probability of one tendon j-1 n$j
failing and the other not failing_(partial failure)
is The number of multiple integrals in Eq. (28) is
equal to the number of tendons failing, k, when
k#n. For the case of all tendons failing (k = n),
(Q)=2~ fR(rl) [1 - FR(Q+~rl)] drl . .(25)
R2~ the number of multiple integrals is n-1. For a TLP
with four tendons per corner, a three-fold integral
woul.dhave to be evaluated. A three or four-foLd
and the probability of zero tendons failing (com-
integral is close to the practical Limit of direct
plete survival) ia
numerical integration. Other methods such as
Monte Carlo simulation14 can be employed for larger
(Q)= [1-FR(fl/2)12 . 0. . . . . . .(26)
R20 problems. In that sense, the method can be numeri-
cally cumbersome, but it does provide the advantage
of being able to treat mixed member behavior as well
Fractional values of the load transfer coeffi-
as conditional probabilities, and is thus particu-
cient Q also have physical significance. A value of
larly suited to TLP tendon systems.
~ between O and -1 indicates that the tendon is par-
tially ducti~e. For example, if the value of U is
equal to -0.75, then the tendon retains 3/4 of its
capacity at failure and sheds 1/4. Similarly,
The expressions for the distributions of the
values of u between O and +1 indicate that the
system resistance variables Rnk are based on the
impulsive load transfer upon brittle failure does
independent components of uncertainty which are
not reach its theoretical limit. 15 The aCtUal aLue
grouped together on the resistance side of the equa-
of a depends on the dynamic characteristics of the
tion. To complete the reliability analysis, the
structure and can be assessed from dynamic response
distribution of R must be woven together with the
dependent componenK s of uncertainty grouped together
on the load side of the equation. This is done as
shown in Eq. (15) except that R1/L1 is replaced with
Rnk? yielding for one corner tendon system
Following the procedure just outlined for a
2-tendon system, similar expressions can be deveL-
oped for 3-tendon and 4-tendon systems. Careful
I -a-)

Pfnk=sm fLD,RD(fi)FRnk(Q) d~ . . . . . .(34) The result Eor the brittle case with impulsive Load
o transfer is almost the same as for the brittle case.
The difference between the yield case and the
The safety index corresponding to pfnk is obtained brittle case, however, is very distinct. There is
from also a major difference between the joint safety
index ~ and the system safety index. This is due
ll=o-l(pfnk) . . . . . . . . . . ..(35) to the ?arge number of joints in each tendon. The
joints in each tendon are connected in series and
this reduces the effective tendon strength. The
Conditional system probabilities can be used to degree of streng~h reduction from that of a single
characterize residual system strength. For exampLe, joint in a tendon is strongly influenced by the sta-
the conditional probability of failure, given a spe- tistical uncertainty of the individual joint
cific load vaLue Q and that at least one tendon has strength and also by the statistical correlation
failed, is between joints.
FRnn The influence of the slack failure mode is
FR(Q)=l_F shown in Fig. 2 as a function of the nominal W/G
~(E) * -(36)
r ratio for different values of the nominal load-to-
resistance ratio and different ratios of the non-
where R represents the residual resistance vari- cyclic to total environmental load. The typicaL
able. integrating overall load values, as in code alLowabLe nominaL load-to-resistance ratio is
Eq. (34), yields the conditional probability of 0.8, i.e., the tendons can be stressed to 80% of the
failure given that at Least one tendon has failed, materiaL yieLd stress. The philosophy used in TLP
i.e., tendon system design is to design the tendons for
strength as if there were only three tendons avail-
fnn . . abLe and then add the fourth tendon to gain an extra
. . . . . . . . . . . .(37) margin of safety. This is equivalent to using an
Pfc = 1 - pfno
aLlowable nominal load-to-resistance ratio of 0.6.
For a ratio of 0.6 and ~-value of 0.4, the contribu-
Considering TLP system failure to occur when tion of the sLack faiLure mode to the total failure
one or more of the four corner tendon systems fail, probability is virtualLy zero as shown in Fig. 2.
the faiLure probability is expressed as As the nominal load-to-resistance ratio decreases
and the ~-value decreases, the influence of the
slack failure mode becomes larger. In general, how-
fTLP ~mfLD/RD(Q)
o {1-[1 - FRnn(~)l ]4dfl .(38)
ever, it appears that the influence of the slack
failure mode should be small for typical TLP design
when the loads at the four corners are fully corre- parameters.
Lated, and
Sensitivity of the system safety index to the
number of joints per tendon is shown in Fig. 3.
f@Q) {L-[1 - PfCOR(Q)]4] dQ .(39) Results are given for joint safety indices of 3.0
and 4.0 for the cases of ductile tendon behavior for
1 and 4 tendon systems. The number of joints per
where tendon ranges from 1 to 64, the latter number corre-
01 spending roughLy to a water depth of 2000 ft. When
PfCOR(Q) = .f fLD(x) FR (9X) dx . . . . .(40) the number of joints per tendon is very low, say 1
0 nn or 2, the system safety index exceeds that of the
joint safety index. As the number of joints per
for the case when the loads between the corners are tendon increases, the system safety index drops off
considered statistically independent and the loads sharpLy at first and then more graduaLly as the
between tendons fully correlated. The TLP system number of joints per tendon becomes Large.
safety index is obtained the same way as indicated
in Eq. (35). With respect to the number of tendons per
corner, the system safety index increases with
EWPLE TLp TENDON SYSTEM (0NE cORNER) increasing number of tendons in the case of ductile
behavior. However, the increase in safety index
The systems analysis method described was used rapidly flattens out as the number of tendons
to evaluate safety indices and perform sensitivity increases. The 2 and 3-tendon systems are not shown
studies for an example TLP tendon system. Base case in Fig. 3 since the differences are small. The
parameters for the exampLe are given in Table L. It effect of number of tendons is more readily seen in
should be noted that the example is a generic one -- Fig. 4 where the safety index is pLotted as a func-
it does not refer to a specific TLP tendon system. tion of the number of tendons for the cases of L and
Parameters chosen, however, are considered to be 32 joints per tendon. While the system safety index
representative. increases for the case of ductile behavior, the
oPPoslte Is true for the case of brittLe behavior.
Using the data in TabLe 1, the individual joint It is observed that differences between the brittle
safety index ~. is 3.42. For 32 joints per tendon and ductiLe cases decrease as the number of joints
(32 joints correspond roughly to 1000 ft of water) per tendon increases.
and 4 tendons per corner, the system safety index
corresponding to one corner is 2.73 for the ductile The effect of tendon material behavior is shown
failure mode and 2.39 for the brittle failure mode. in Fig. 5 where the system safety index is plotted
4 cc

as a function of the load transfer coefficient ~. values must be based on systems reliability
The curves-show that the system safety index falls considerations to be accurate. This is particularly
rapidly over a narrow range of Gas the material true when there are so many joints in series as in
behavior changes from ductile, a = -1.0, to par- the present example.
tially ductile, say u = -0.5. For the case of 32
joints per tendon, the system behavior is essen- The other curves in Fig. 7, A-F, represents the
tially brittle when u becomes -0.75 even though in residual strength distributions of 3- and 4-tendon
this case the tendon joints retain 75% of their systems for different combinations of brittle and
capacity at failure. The system safety index does ductile tendon behavior. Curves A and B are for 3-
not vary significantly in the range of and 4-tendon systems with brittle tendons and impul-
-0.5 ~ ~ S 1.0 in which c1= O represents brittle sive Load transfer. Curves C and E are for the 3-
behavior and ~ = +1.0 represents the theoretical and 4-tendon cases with brittle behavior while
upper limit for brittle behavior with impulsive load Curves D and F are for combinations of ductile and
transfer. brittle tendon behavior. Curve F, for example, rep-
resents the residuaL strength distribution of a
The significant influence of strength correla- 4-tendon system with one tendon brittle and the
tion is shown in Fig. 6 for a joint safety index of remaining tendons ductile. This is a likely failure
3.42. The differences in the safety index are very scenario as failure will most likely not occur
large (two orders of magnitude in probability of during an overLoad condition, but rather because of
failure) for the case of zero correlation, depending accidental Loading or a fabrication flaw. The mean
on the number of joints and whether the material residual resistance is about 1.1 (0.66 x SF) times
behavior is brittle or ductile. As the strength the design load. This means that the 4-tendon
correlation coefficient increases to 1.0, the system system can resist 1.1 times the design load even
safety index in all cases becomes identical to the with one of the tendons failed, i.e., the residual
joint safety index. The strength correlation corre- resistance factor is 1.1. A similar deterministic
spending to the base case is 29%. At this level of analysis of the residual resistance factor, as in
correlation, the differences in system reliability Ref. 16, would yield 1.38, suggesting that the
between brittle and ductile behavior are still sig- margin of safety is somewhat greater than indicated
nificant. in the reliability analysis. In the case of the
3-tendon system, the deterministic analysis indi-
COMPARISON OF 3- AND 4-TENDON SYSTEMS cates a residual resistance factor of 1.22, i.e.,
the residual capacity is greater than the design
As indicated in Fig. 4, the ultimate strength load, whereas the probabilistic analysis indicates a
reliability of a 3-tendon system is not much dif- residual resistance factor of 0.97, i.e., the resi-
ferent than a 4-tendon system when both systems are dual capacity is less than the design load.
designed to the same nominal stress. The 4-tendon
system is slightly better than the 3-tendon system A final comparison between a 3- and 4-tendon
for the case of ducti,le failure. The opposite is system is shown in Fig. 8 where the system safety
true for the case of brittle failure. The disti.n- i.ndex is pLotted as a function of the ratio of det-
guishing characteristic between the 3- and 4-tendon erministic resistance of one brittle joint (joint
systems become more evident in Fig. 7 where the con- with a flaw) in one tendon to the nominal resistance
ditional probability distributions of failure, given of the remaining ductile joints. This case simu-
that at least one tendon has failed, are plotted as Lates what happens when a flaw grows with time, such
a function of the ratio of deterministic load value as might occur when a crack is propagated through a
~ to nominal joint strength R . These conditional joint. When the ratio is 1.0, the 3- and 4-tendon
distributions provide a measu?e of the capacity of systems have virtuaLly the same safety index. As
the tendon system to withstand damage, for example, the flaw grows in size (ratio goes to O), the
removal of a tendon. The mean value of the condi- 4-tendon system has a larger safety index than the
tional distribution gives the mean residual strength 3-tendon system. The curves also indicate that when
of the system. As noted by Lloyd and Clawson,16 the the defect grows to the point where the defective
need for residual strength is primarily to account joint has roughly 60% of the nominal resistance, the
for premature member failure which may occur because tendon with the defective joint no longer contrib-
of accidental loading, corrosion, fatigue, fabrica- tes to the system safety.
tion flaws or material defects. A high residual
strength value affords opportunity for repair or TENSION LEG PLATFORM EXAMPLE
replacement of structural elements in the event of
damage. To obtain the reliability of the entire TLP
tendon system, which is comprised of one tendon
SeveraL residual strength distributions are system at each of the four corners, requires one
plotted in Fig. 7 relative to the reserve strength more step as outlined in Eqs. 38-40. Results for
distribution of the ductile intact case -- Curve G. the base case parameters in Table 1 (~ = 3.42) are
The intact ductile case is about the same for either given in Fig. 9 as a function of the n~mber of
the 3- or 4-tendon system. The mean value is about joints per tendon. Two curves are shown corre-
0.87, which when multiplied by the code safety spending to ductile tendon behavior and four tendons
factor (SF) of 1.67 (based on designing to 60% of per corner. In the upper curve the loads between
yield) gives a reserve resistance factor, REF, of corners are assumed fully correlated. In the Lower
1.45. This compares with a deterministic REF of curve, the loads between corners are assumed uncor-
1.84 (bias x SF = 1.1 x 1.67). The reason for this related. The curves show that the safety index
difference is that the deterministic analysis does decreases with increasing number of joints. It also
not treat the joint resistances as random variables. indicates that there is a substantial difference
This example clearly illustrates that even mean between the correlated and uncorrelated case. This


cially true for TLP tendons which are comprised

suggests that loading correlation between the TLP
of a large number of joints in series.
corners is an important parameter. The loads at the
corners can be expected to be highly correlated, but
The systems reliability methodology presented
complete load correlation, as in the individual
provides a start in the direction of developing a
tendon loads of a corner tendon system, is not just-
more comprehensive reliability model that would
simultaneously include ultimate strength, fatigue
and fracture, as well as considerations of inspec-
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS --- tion, repair and replacement of tendons. Further
work is needed to assimilate and implement the
A method for ultimate strength reliability
latest research results in systems reliability tech-
analysis of parallel member structural systems has
nology. Data measurement projects should be
been presented and applied to an example TLP tendon
directed not only at developing information on unc-
system. The method has the capability of including
ertainties but also the important correlation
different types of tendon element behavior incLuding
ductile, partially ductile, brittle, brittle with
impulsive Load transfer, or combinations of these
behavioral types. Load and strength correlation of
tendons or tendon elements can be incorporated. = bias of X (ratio of mean to nominal)
Application of the method to study a generic TLP
FX(~) =
cumulative distribution function (CDF)
example led to the evaluation of safety indices.
of x
While these safetyindices should not be interpreted
fx(fl) = probability density function (PDF) of L
in an absolute sense, the following trends and con-
elusions are nevertheless useful and should be con- G = gravity Load component
sidered in design: Q = deterministic value of load
L= random variable for total load
1. The tendon system safety index is considerably = dependent component of L
less than the joint safety index, primarily
= independent component of L
because of the Large number of tendon joints in I
series. m = number of joints per tendon in series
= median value of X
2. The tendon system safety index depends largely i
on the number of tendon joints in series, the n = number of tendons at one corner
degree of uncertainty of the tendon joints, and pf = notional probability of failure
the statistical correlation between joint
= conditional probability of failure
strengths. Since the number of joints depends fc
on water depth, the target joint safety index = notionaL probability of tendon slack
for a tendon system should be water depth Pfs condition
dependent. P(x) = probability of event X
k .= number of failed tendons
3. Load and resistance correlation have a major R = random resistance variable
influence on system reliability. = dependent component of resistance
= independent component of resistance
4. The probability of a tendon slack condition I
occurring was found to be small relative to the R = independent component of resistance for
tendon yield condition for the example base k tendons failing in a n-tendon parallel
case. system
Rr = residual resistance variable
5. From the standpoint of ultimate strength reli-
W = environmental Load component
ability a 3-tendon system is practically iden-
= non-cyclic component of W
tical to a 4-tendon system when both are 1
designed to the same nominal stress. = cyclic component of W
Xn = nominal value of X
6. A 4-tendon system exhibits better residual
strength characteristics than a 3-tendon system = Load transfer coefficient
for the example base case design parameters. A ; = safety index
4-tendon system with one tendon failed will P. = safety index for individual joint
resist the design Load, whereas a 3-tendon
Y = ratio of non-cyclic to total environ-
system will not. Better residual strength
mental load
characteristics afford opportunity for repair
@ = standard normal distribution function
and replacement in the event of damage. This
= standard deviation of the natural log
is a prime reason for designing multi-tendon .PmX
of x
P = correlation coefficient
7. Relative to brittle failure, impulsive load
transfer adversely affects residual system
strength but does not have a significant influ-
1. LeBlanc, Leonard, Operators Seek Deepwater
ence on reserve system strength.
Solution, Offshore, November, L984.
8. Accurate assessment of system residual and
2. Curtis, L. B., How Conoco DeveLoped the Ten-
reserve strength requires the application of
sion Leg Platform, Ocean Industry, August,
systems reliability methods. This is espe-

3. Moses, F., System Reliability Developments in 10. Melcher, R. E., Reliability of Parallel Struc-
Structural Engineering, Structural Safety, turaL Systems, Journal of Structural Engi-
Vol. 1, No. 1, September, 1982. neering, VOL. 109, No. 11, November, 1983.

4. Crohas, H., A-A. Tai, V. Hachemi-Safai, and LL. McClelland, B., Ed., Design of Fixed Offshore
B. Barnouin, Reliability Analysis of Offshore Platforms, Van Nostrand ReinhoLd Publishing
Structures Under Extreme EnvironmentaL Co., New York, L985.
Loading, Proceedings of the 16th AnnuaL Off-
shore Technology Conference, Houston, OTC 12. StahL, B. and J. F. Geyer, Fatigue Reliability
Paper 4826, VOL. 3, pp. 417-426, May, 1984. of ParaLLel Member Systems, JournaL of Struc-
tural Engineering, VOL. 110, No. LO, October>
5. CorneLL, C. A., R. Rackwitz, Y. Guenard, and L984.
R. Bea, Reliability Evaluation of Tension Leg
Platforms, Proceedings of the 4th ASCE Spe- 13. Moses, F., Guidelines for Calibrating API RP2A
ciaLty Conference on Probabilistic Mechanics for ReLiability-Based Design, American Petro-
and Structural Reliability, BerkeLey, CA, leum Institute PRAC Project 80-22, October,
pp. 159-162, January, 1984. 1981.

6. Prucz, Z. and T. T. Soong, Reliability and 14. Shinozuka, M. and H. Itagaki, on the ReLi-
Safety of Tension Leg Platforms, Engineering ability of Redundant Structures, presented at
Structures, VOL. 6, April, 1984. the Fifth AnnuaL Reliability and Maintain-
ability Conference, held at New York, NY, JuLY,
7. Wirsching, P. H. and Y. N. Chen, A Preliminary 1966.
Study of Fatigue Design Requirements of Tension
Leg Platforms, Proceedings of the 4th ASCE L5. CLough, R. W. and Penzien, J., Dynamics of
Specialty Conference on Probabilistic Mechanics Structures, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York,
and Structural Reliability, Berkeley, CA, pp. 87-99, 1975.
pp. 163-166, January, 1984.
L6. Lloyd, J. R. and W. C. CLawson, Reserve and
8. Hohenbichler, M. and R. Rackwitz, Reliability Residual Strength of Pile Founded Platforms-,
of Parallel Systems under Imposed Uniform in The Role of Design, Inspection and Redun-
Strains,tJournal of Engineering Mechanics, dancy in Marine Structural Reliability? P:-~-
Vol. 109, No. 3, June, 1983. ceedings of an International Symposium,
National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.,
9. Grigoriu, M., Reliability of Chain and pp. L57-198, 1984.
Ductile-ParalleL Systems, Journal of Engi-
neering Mechanics, Vol. 109, No. 5, October,


Parameter Value Bias Ln

--- 1.1 0.11

--- 1.0 0.07
R --- 1.1 0.13

w --- 0.7* 0.40*

G --- 1.0 0.15

Wn/G 0.9 --- --

L --- 0.86 0.18

Y 0.4 --- --

Ln/R 0.6 --- --

130n 3.42 --- -.

* Based on 20-year service life and 100-year nominal value

r2 Tendon 1 Fails
Tendon 1 Fails
Tendon 2 Survives Tendon 2 Survives
t% 1%

(a) Ductile (b) Brittle

2k I Tendon 1 Fails

M Tendon 2 Survives

don 2 Fails
don 1 Survives

!2/2 Q 3!? r,

(c) Brittle with ImpulsiveLoad Transfer

Fig. l-Failure regionsfortwo-membersystems.

1 I 1

..... ......... ... ..............

0,6- ........ ............. .......... ......... ......... ... ............. ..................... .

0,4- ........... ...}... ........ .. .... ............ .... ....... ...}......... .....}.. ............


Base~Case Y = 0.4
0 v
0.5 0.6 . : .
EnvironmentalO{o Gra;ify Lba~ Ntio, (Wn/Gn].

..... ......... .... ......... .... ........... .......... .............-------- ..........-.

! lTendon i o , 1
..... ..... ............... .. ....... ... .... .................... .............. ..... ........

1 I I I i I I

o 8 16 2.4 32 40 48 56
Number of Joints per Tendon

Fig. 3-Safety index sensitivity to number of joints per tendon.


3 .... ... ...................... ..... ......................... .......... ... ... ........ ....

--------- .---- !-- ------- ------7 ---- DIJc~ le-----

=: ------ 32 Joints/Tendon
----------------- Brittle -----

2 ...... .................... ........ ................ .. ............................

1 t I

1 2 3 4
Number of Tendons
Fig. 4Safety index sensitivity to number of tendons.

3 ........ ........... ............... ... ....... ......... .----------- .........

1 I
1 0.5 o 0.5 1
Load Transfer Coefficient, a

Fig. 5Effect of load transfer cosfflclent.

1 Joint/Tendon
3 . . . . . ..- . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . .

--.--.%- -
-------- -- y----
32 Johts/T&cl~~-d ---- ;
---------- ;

E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -------- . . . . ---- . . ... . . . . . . ------- ..... ...

Q-J 2
m 4 Tendon System
(3 ,@O = 3.42 ~

1 1 i I

o 25 50 75 100
Strength Correlation (%)

Fig. 6Effect of strength correlation.



0. .:
~A B C ;;:

:1 11; #:
:1 3 or 4 Tendons
!1 : ,I;; :; c I I I
0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..:1
;, . . .. . .. .; . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ..iJ.. . . . . . . . 32 Joints/Tendon
:1 1{ 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
.1 : ;::
: : 11: :! Strength of Brittle Joint / Nominal Joint Strength
:11: :,:
;11: !, : A: 3B w/1-Cond
: ;11:
. . . . . . . ...!... . . . . . . ..$. . . . . . . . . . .i..:...; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . ..!......
0. B: ~? -w~~zQn~

C: 3B-Cond

D: lB,2DCond
........... . . . . . ..+ . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
0. E .4B-Cond
------ .-
4 Tendons per Corner:
R lB,3DCond
------- . .
G 4D-intact
-------- .

\ 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

Ratio of Load to Nominal Resistance 3

F19.7-Re5ewe and reslduti Ww@h dlst,lbutlow.

. . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . ...}... . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . .


1 I I ( I I I
8 16 24 32 40 48 !Jb

Number of Joints per Tendon

tendmnsystemsafety index.