The off-shore environment puts severe durability requirements on materials and one of its main inherent characteristics is that material is often exposed to several environmental conditions simultaneously: corrosive environment, fatigue loading, abrasive conditions…
This is for example specifically true for the support structures of off-shore wind turbines, which represent 30% of the wind turbine cost. Also equipment used in offshore construction, such as dredging ships, suffers under the same conditions.
New, lighter and more resistant materials will allow building cheaper constructions while ensuring longer operational lives, all resulting in a reduced cost of electricity. Also the use of materials that are at present not certified for use in certain conditions would represent a huge improvement.
A clear need for advanced test infrastructure was identified, a tool to validate materials for use in certain conditions. An additional need was identified for a profound understanding of how the combined damage mechanisms work as a requirement for proper designing the test setups as well as for generating tools to understand and extrapolate the test results generated.
The present SBO project was set up to meet these needs and will also strive at generating better predictive models for combined occurrence of damage mechanisms as described above.
This project resides under the SIM program Material Durability for Off-Shore (MaDurOS). It will lay the groundwork for and closely interact with subsequent ICON projects in which the material testing facilities will be developed and constructed. These ICON projects will thus allow direct validation of the basic research from this project as well as a valorization of the results. All activities are aimed at advancing materials use in the field of offshore renewables.