Evaluation of fatigue damage of offshore flexible risers is critical in flexible riser system design. For deepwater application, irregular wave time domain approach is often adopted as the state of practice to avoid excessive conservatism due to its better representation of the stochastic offshore environment. The approach can indeed fully capture the non-linear behaviors of the system at a significant cost of computational time. For example, computational time typically takes over 3∼4 weeks for a deep water free hanging riser system with thousands of fatigue load-cases and the full 3-hour simulations. On the other hand, the same scope of simulation can be completed in frequency domain within day(s), which will enable the designer to accelerate the optimization of riser system design. This paper presents an analysis method in frequency domain for assessing the fatigue damage of tensile armour wires inside the top end fitting (EF), which is induced by dynamic tension variation and often governs the riser service life in deep water applications. A validation measurement is also implemented to ensure the accuracy and practicability of this frequency domain approach in riser system design.

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