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Parallelized Element-by-Element Architecture for Structural Analysis of Flexible Pipes Using Macro Finite Elements

[+] Author Affiliations
Fernando Geremias Toni, Clóvis de Arruda Martins

University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Paper No. OMAE2017-61800, pp. V05AT04A020; 11 pages
  • ASME 2017 36th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 5A: Pipelines, Risers, and Subsea Systems
  • Trondheim, Norway, June 25–30, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5769-4
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Flexible pipes are employed to transport oil and natural gas from the seabed to the floating units, and vice versa. These pipes are made of concentric layers of different geometries, materials and structural functions in order to withstand a series of static and dynamic loads from its adverse operating environment. The local analysis is an important stage in the design of a flexible pipe and consists in determining the stresses and strains distributions along its layers. Multipurpose finite element packages, such as ANSYS and ABAQUS, are commonly used in this task, but present many limitations for their generic nature, varying from the absence of specific tools for model creation to heavy restrictions of the number of degrees-of-freedom to make computational processing feasible. Over the past years, several macro finite elements were formulated by PROVASI & MARTINS specifically for modeling a flexible pipe, allowing a reduction in the total number of degrees-of-freedom. However, until the present moment, there is no parallel processing software that efficiently implements these elements for large model applications. Aiming greater computational performance, the macro elements can be combined with the element-by-element (EBE) method, which is characterized by the global stiffness matrix elimination, is highly parallelizable, scalable and shows a memory consumption that grows linearly with the number of elements in the model. In this context, a parallelized architecture for structural analysis of flexible pipes that explores the EBE method and macro finite elements has been developed, being of great interest for design applications in the industry.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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