The Progressive Structural Failure of the Alexander L. Kielland Platform

Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 283)


The “Alexander L. Kielland”, a semi-submersible rig operating in the North Sea, capsized in March 1980. The causes of the accident were shone to be an initial weld defect which accelerated a fatigue failure of a brace. In rapid succession the remaining adjacent five braces connecting a column to the rest of the platform failed by overloading, resulting in loss of the column. This event implied loss of buoyancy, which caused heeling, progressive flooding and capsizing. The structural failure is discussed in this paper on the basis of studies of the fracture surfaces and materials properties and of fatigue and ultimate strength analyses with the emphasis on fatigue analyses, considering the S/N — as well as the fracture mechanics approach.


Fracture Surface Fatigue Crack Wave Height Fatigue Failure Stress Range 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Moan
    • 1
  1. 1.The Norwegian Institute of TechnologyNorwy

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