Within the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project—Shell’s Prelude FLNG—are 52 vertical elastomeric bearings and 156 horizontal bearings for use on the 13 modules onboard the facility, as well as 40 turret bogey bearings to enable natural movements of the turret.
Byoung-Gark Park, topside structural engineer for Samsung Heavy Industries, said: “Many of Prelude’s topside modules weigh as much as a single typical offshore platform. In fact, along with its contents, Prelude is expected to weigh a total of 600,000 tons. So, optimum quality and performance of the bearings to secure each module is vital.”
The elastomeric bearings are steel plate laminated and installed between the hull of the facility and its modules. They accommodate axial, shear and rotational movement to keep the modules safe from impact, damage and deformation. Similarly, they prevent the concentration of excessive strains and stresses around the mounting points of the modules and the hull caused by adverse sea and weather conditions.