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1.1. Mooring Line Components

Mooring line components that include metallic and nonmetallic ropes, chains, links,
and connecting hardware come in all types, materials and sizes, and, consequently, their
choice, which is a function of the application, life expectancy, and the restraints involved,
can be painful and cumbersome. Water depth is a demanding requirement for mooring, and,
often, tradeoffs must be made between cost, ease of operation, weight, etc. The types of
components that can be used are dictated by environmental conditions and operational
factors. For instance, in areas where biological attacks are probable, the use of fiber rope is
not feasible.

1.1.1. Chains
Often used for mooring in shallow water, with increase in water depth chains
become less feasible because of weight, cost, and the high loads they impose on the vessel.
As a result, mooring systems for deep-water applications often use lighter components. At
times, where necessary, chain lengths are inserted in deep-sea mooring lines to provide
higher strength and abrasion resistance.
Furthermore, because of its weight, a length of chain attached to an anchor will
reduce the vertical pull on the anchor. The biggest advantage with chains is that the larger
catenary allows more lateral vessel excursion. Other advantages are their long life span and
high strength.

1.1.2. Wire Ropes

Ropes made of metallic wire are used extensively as mooring lines. These ropes
have excellent strength-to-size ratio but poor strength-toweight ratio. They are easy to
handle and their cost is relatively low. In many instances, they may be used to resist fish
bites. However, they are susceptible to corrosion, fatigue, and kinks. Often, metallic ropes
are covered by a waterproof jacket of hard plastic, such as polyurethane or polyethylene,
thus providing protection against corrosion and abrasion. Most wire ropes are made of
carbon steel, but stainless steels and other alloys are also becoming popular in ocean
applications because of their higher breaking stress and corrosion resistance characteristics.
Because a higher strength-to-weight ratio is a desirable characteristic for a mooring line,
ropes made of higher strength steels are generally preferred. Other factors like size and
weight being equal, the better rope for mooring line use would be the stronger rope.
Metallic ropes offer a definite advantage in that they have little ductility and thus
elongation is small and occurs only at high tension. The main disadvantages associated
with metallic ropes are their weight and short life expectancy. Furthermore, too many
mooring legs may be required with metallic wire rope in deep-water applications.

1.1.3. Synthetic Fiber Ropes

Ropes constructed of nylon, dacron, kevlar, polypropylene, polyethylene, etc., are
often used as mooring line components. These ropes do not corrode or deteriorate
appreciably in sea water. Their strength to immersed weight ratio is excellent and they are
easy to handle. However, they are susceptible to fish bites and, consequently, the use of
small size fiber ropes in ocean depths where fish attacks are likely to occur has often
resulted in mooring losses. At high stresses, plastic flow of the fibers can occur resulting in
premature failure. Because of the low allowable load per leg, an excessive number of
mooring legs may be required with fiber ropes. Also, stretch is excessive, being of the order
of 20%, and this can be intolerable in a tight mooring system. However, this feature could
be used to advantage in rough weather conditions.

1.1.4. Anchors
Proper selection of anchors is vital for vessel station-keeping and mooring system
survival. The function of an anchor is to resist both horizontal and vertical components of
line tension. To this end, an anchor must be designed for a good combination of deadweight
and lateral pull resistance. In other words, the anchor must be large enough to provide the
necessary holding power but at the same time not so large and heavy that the handling of it
should become a problem. The performance of an anchor is a function of its type, mass, and
soil properties at the seabed.
The basic choice of the type of anchoring point is mostly determined by a
combination of the water depth in which it is to be applied, the condition of the soil and the
load that the anchor point needs to withstand. Anchors are broadly classified as deadweight
anchors or simply clumped weights, embedment anchors, piles anchors and gravity weight
anchor and suction anchor. In this project, the last two types of anchors mentioned above
are used and discussed in more details.

Suction anchor: it is a hollow steel pipe as shown in Figures 2-3. It generally has a
much larger diameter than that of the pile. The holding capacity is generated by a
combination of the friction of the soil along the suction anchor and lateral soil resistance. It
is capable of withstanding both horizontal and vertical loads.

Figure 2: Suction Anchor Figure 1 : Suction Anchor

Gravity installed anchor: This anchor type is a hybrid system that combines
significant vertical and horizontal load capacity. It installs itself due to its drop weight and
requires no external energy or mechanical handling as shown in Figures 3-4. It is therefore
ultimately suited for ultra-deep water moorings.

Figure 4 : Gravity Anchor Figure 3 : Gravity Anchor


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