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Lateral Buckling of Armor Wires in Flexible Pipes: Reaching 3000m Water Depth

[+] Author Affiliations
Philippe Secher, Fabrice Bectarte, Antoine Felix-Henry

Technip Flexi-France, Le Trait, France

Paper No. OMAE2011-49447, pp. 421-428; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 4: Pipeline and Riser Technology
  • Rotterdam, The Netherlands, June 19–24, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4436-6
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


This paper presents the latest progress on the armor wires lateral buckling phenomena with the qualification of flexible pipes for water depths up to 3,000m. The design challenges specific to ultra deep water are governed by the effect of the external pressure: Armor wires lateral buckling is one of the failure modes that needs to be addressed when the flexible pipe is empty and subject to dynamic curvature cycling. As a first step, the lateral buckling mechanism is described and driving parameters are discussed. Then, the program objective is presented together with flexible pipe designs: - Subsea dynamic Jumpers applications; - Sweet and Sour Service; - Internal diameters up to 11″ . Dedicated flexible pipe components were selected to address the severe loading conditions encountered in water depths up to 3,000m. Hydrostatic collapse resistance was addressed by a thick inner carcass layer and a PSI pressure vault. Armor wires lateral buckling was addressed by the design and industrialization of new tensile armor wires. The pipe samples were manufactured using industrial production process in the factories in France and Brazil. The available testing protocols are then presented discussing their advantages and drawbacks. For this campaign, a combination of Deep Immersion Performances (DIP) tests and tests in hyperbaric chambers was selected. The DIP test campaign was performed End 2009 beginning 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico using one of Technip Installation Vessel. These tests replicated the actual design conditions to which a flexible pipe would be subjected during installation and operation. The results clearly demonstrated the suitability of flexible pipes as a valid solution for ultra deep water applications. In addition, the DIP tests results were compared to the tests in hyperbaric chambers giving consistent results. This campaign provided design limitations of the new designs for both 9″ and 11″ internal diameter flexible pipes, in sweet and sour service in water depths up to 3,000m.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Wire , Pipes , Buckling , Water , Armor



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