Trelleborg’s bearing solutions for Shell’s Prelude FLNG (illustration: Shell)
Trelleborg’s engineered products operation has supplied a selection of bearing solutions for the world's first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project – Shell’s Prelude FLNG.
Trelleborg has manufactured and delivered 52 vertical elastomeric bearings and 156 horizontal bearings for use on the 13 modules on-board the facility, as well as 40 turret bogey bearings to enable natural movements of the turret.
Responsible for procuring bearings for the topside modules, Byoung-Gark Park, Topside Structural Engineer for Samsung Heavy Industries, says, “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 tonnes. So, optimum quality and performance of the bearings used to secure each module is vital. We have worked closely with Trelleborg previously and are very confident in their ability to manufacture first class bearings. We were keen to involve their expertise on this prestigious project too.”
Trelleborg’s 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.
JP Chia, Engineering Manager for Trelleborg’s engineered products operation, says, “We design and manufacture all of our elastomeric bearings specifically for their application, to ensure that they always perform exactly as required. This approach was especially important for the Prelude topside, to guarantee that the record-breaking weight could easily be supported over its life. We are very proud to have been selected to supply such a landmark project.”
All of Trelleborg’s bearings are tested by its engineering team. They check the design for specified loads and deformations and the fatigue performance by means of crack growth analysis calculations. Additionally, they examine wave action and the resulting multi-directional loads between a facility’s hull and topside modules. After production they are a 100% individually tested according a specified test procedure.