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Development of Non-linear Numerical Models Appropriate for the Analysis of Jack-up Units

Jack-up units have considerable economic significance because they are used to carry out a large proportion of the world’s oil and gas exploration in water depths less than 90.0m. Due to the increase in use of jack-ups in harsher environments, analysis techniques assuming quasi-static and linear structural behaviour have had to be reassessed.

This thesis is concerned with non-linear dynamic analysis methods appropriate for a jack-up assessment. Jack-up modelling requires realistic representation of the structure, the foundations and the environmental loading, together with the implementation of appropriate dynamic analysis algorithms. Techniques for each of these aspects of jack-up analysis are reviewed and the implementation of several of the methods in an advanced plane frame analysis program called JAKUP is described.

Geometric non-linearity in the structure and work hardening plasticity at the foundations are accounted for in the program. Test cases are presented to verify the implementation of the methods and then some illustrative plane frame quasi-static and dynamic analyses are described. These simple models highlight the importance of accounting for dynamic motions in a jack-up analysis.

For the quasi-static analyses, the assumption of pinned footing behaviour is seen always to result in the most conservative displacement and moment predictions. However, the analyses show that this is not always the case when dynamic amplification is accounted for.
Source: University of Oxford
Author: R.S.G. Thompson

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