Growing demand and rapid development of the synthetic fiber rope in mooring system have taken place since it has been used in deep water platform lately. Unlike a chain mooring, synthetic fiber rope composed of lightweight materials such as Polyester(polyethylene terephthalate), HMPE(high modulus polyethylene) and Aramid(aromatic polyamide). Non-linear stiffness and another failure mode are distinct characteristics of synthetic fiber rope when compared to mooring chain.
When these ropes are exposed to environmental load for a long time, the length of rope will be increased permanently. This is called ‘the creep phenomenon’. Due to the phenomenon, The initial characteristics of mooring systems would be changed because the length and stiffness of the rope have been changed as time goes on. The changed characteristics of fiber rope cause different mooring tension and vessel offset compared to the initial design condition. Commercial mooring analysis software that widely used in industries is unable to take into account this phenomenon automatically. Even though the American Petroleum Institute (API) or other classification rules present some standard or criteria with respect to length and stiffness of a mooring line, simulation guide considers the mechanical properties that is not mentioned in such rules.
In this paper, the effect of creep phenomenon in the fiber rope mooring system under specific environment condition is investigated. Desiged mooring system for a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit(MODU) with HMPE rope which has the highest creep is analyzed in a time domain in order to investigate the effects creep phenomenon to vessel offset and mooring tension. We have developed a new procedure to an analysis of mooring system reflecting the creep phenomenon and it is validated through a time domain simulation using non-linear mooring analysis software, OrcaFlex. The result shows that the creep phenomenon should be considered in analysis procedure because it affects the length and stiffness of synthetic fiber rope in case of high water temperature and permanent mooring system.