UIT benefits of ultrasonic technology for high cycle fatigue of offshore infrastucture management


Structural integrity and fatigue are primary concerns in design and construction of offshore floating production facilities, both in new builds and conversions. Cyclic loading affects high cycle fatigue prone areas such as hull connections, mooring equipment, crane pedestals, and flare structures on floating units. Most offshore and marine classification societies require that the fatigue design not only meet or exceed life of the field, but also employ a fatigue life factor of safety for critical connections. Progress Rail's Ultrasonic Technology (UIT) Division offers a cutting edge method to extend fatigue life requirements.


The Helix Producer 1 is an innovative vessel and is the first ship-shaped, dynamically positioned floating production unit (FPU) used in the Gulf of Mexico. Rather than build new, Helix chose to convert a roll-on/roll-off ferry vessel. During the design process, Helix encountered difficulty achieving sufficient fatigue life in the side-mounted turret system structure. Helix needed a post-weld treatment for high cycle fatigue life improvement and chose Progress Rail's solution because it provides control and efficiency far surpassing all alternative methods such as post weld heat treatment.


Progress Rail's Ultrasonic Technology (UIT) Division, working closely with Helix and the shipyard throughout the design and fabrication process, improved the welds of the lantern frame and external moonpool structure. The speed, efficiency, and consistency of Ultrasonic Impact Technology (UIT) ensured that Helix maintained its schedule in the shipyard. Following application of UIT ultrasonic technology to key areas, Helix used the Lloyd’s Register improvement factor on life to exceed the fatigue design criteria. Upon commissioning, the Producer 1 began production in the Gulf of Mexico and is now a key vessel the Helix Fast Response System for well containment. Progress Rail's Ultrasonics Division provided the requisite structural strength, integrity, and fatigue life for both roles.




Progress Rail's Ultrasonic Technology (UIT) Division has repeatedly extended the life of infrastructure assets, from bridges to mining business equipment to ship building technology offshore oil and gas drilling rigs.  Progress Rail's Ultrasonics Division can provide service onsite to maximize cost effectiveness for the customer. To learn how Progress Rail can help your company, please contact us.

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