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In-Place FE Modeling of Unbonded Flexible Pipelines Capturing Pressure Stiffening and Decoupled Axial/Nonlinear Bending Stiffness

[+] Author Affiliations
Edvin Hanken, Evelyn R. Hollingsworth, Lars S. Fagerland

J. P. Kenny Norge AS, Stavanger, Norway

Paper No. OMAE2010-20014, pp. 19-28; 10 pages
  • ASME 2010 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering: Volume 5, Parts A and B
  • Shanghai, China, June 6–11, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4913-2 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3873-0
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


For fast track pipeline projects the need for costly installation vessels and sophisticated materials for rigid pipeline water injection systems, have made flexible pipelines a competitive alternative. They can be installed with less costly construction vessels, provide a competitive lead time and a corrosion resistant compliant material. Flexible pipelines have relative high axial stiffness and low non-linear bending stiffness which is a challenge to model correctly with FE for in-place analyses of pipelines. Whilst some FE programs can model the non-linear bending behaviour of a flexible pipeline at a given pressure, current FE tools do not include the effect of increased bending resistance as the system is pressurized. Therefore, a 3D FE model in ANSYS was developed to simulate the decoupled axial and nonlinear bending behaviour of a flexible, including the bend stiffening effect for increasing pressure. A description of the model is given in this paper. It will be demonstrated how the FE model can be used to simulate the 3D nonlinear catenary behaviour of an high pressure flexible pipeline tied into a manifold during pressurization. Due to high manifold hub loads during pressurization it is essential that such a model is capable of capturing all effects during pressurization to achieve an acceptable confidence level of the system integrity. It is also described how the FE model is used for upheaval buckling design, capturing non-linearities and load history effects that can reduce the conservatism in the design.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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