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RR105 - Review of the performance of high strength steels used offshore

High strength steels are increasingly being used in offshore structural applications including production jack-ups with demanding requirements. They offer a number of advantages over conventional steels, particularly where weight is important. This review considers the types of steel used offshore, their mechanical properties, their weldability and their suitability for safe usage offshore in terms of fracture, fatigue, static strength, cathodic protection and hydrogen embrittlement performance. It also addresses the performance of high strength steels at high temperatures and at high strain rates and outlines the difficulties in working with the very limited published codes and standards discussing performance in the field. Current design restrictions such as limits on yield ratios, susceptibility to hydrogen cracking including the influence of sulphate reducing bacteria (SRBs) and the management of the behaviour of such steels in seawater under cathodic protection conditions are discussed. Makes recommendations to encourage the wider use of high strength steels in the future and identifies areas where further study is required.

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Updated 2010-03-19