The Articulating Joint

There is no element of the system that has not already been deployed in an operating system of one type or another. The most unique component is the articulating connection detail between the buoys and the topside (or the “joint”), which has been subjected to US Coast Guard and Class Society review and approval through the deployment of the Versabar twin-gantry marine heavy lift vessels the VB-4,000 and VB-10,000.



The VB-10,000 incorporates two 5,000-ton capacity joints, similar to the size required for a typical Versabuoy platform.  The joint design has been subjected to over 5 years of operating service on the VB-4,000 and VB-10,000 vessels. The design includes a double joint configuration which provides 100% load path redundancy, in turn allowing the removal, inspection and replacement of any component of the wear surface while in-service.



Figure 2 shows an example of a fully redundant articulating connection. The main wear surfaces and support pins within the connections currently in service on the lift vessels are removed for inspection on an annual basis. The synthetic bushing material used on the key wear surfaces has an excellent operating history, with no replacement yet required,  and is a true “plug and play” material, requiring no maintenance or lubrication during service.


Figure 3 - Modeled Articulating Joint on a Versabuoy







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