Abstract

As weight issues become increasingly apparent within the offshore construction industry, aluminium is gaining attention. By constructing large offshore platform/vessel parts from aluminium, the reduction in weight is significant: up to 60% less than steel. Replacing steel construction with full aluminium structures is not entirely feasible; thus the path forward lies in working with aluminium and steel together. Fabricating with aluminium requires a different approach starting with the earliest stages of the project. Only with innovative, out-of-the-box thinking can we use the attributes of aluminium to the fullest extent. Aluminium has valuable benefits; particularly in the harsh and highly corrosive seawater environment, for example, aluminium alloys used in the offshore industry corrode 100 times slower than steel, thus requiring little to no maintenance, resulting in a durable structure with a very low cost of ownership.

In general, an aluminium construction always outlives the platform. Despite all those great benefits, there are quite a number of preconceptions around using this material in construction projects; such as its behaviour in a fire, the complexity of welding, and its price. In this paper, we will address these assumptions and clear up popular misconceptions.

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