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Title: Non-linear finite element analysis of flexible pipes for deep-water applications
Authors: Edmans, Ben
Advisors: Alfano, G
Bahai, H
Keywords: Homogenisation;Homogenization;Flexible risers;Multi-scale;Multiscale
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: Flexible pipes are essential components in the subsea oil and gas industry, where they are used to convey fluids under conditions of extreme external pressure and (often) axial load, while retaining low bending stiffness. This is made possible by their complex internal structure, consisting of unbonded components that are, to a certain extent, free to move internally relative to each other. Due to the product's high value and high cost of testing facilities, much e ort has been invested in the development of analytical and numerical models for simulating flexible pipe behaviour, which includes bulk response to various loading actions, calculation of component stresses and use of this data for component fatigue calculations. In this work, it is proposed that the multi-scale methods currently in widespread use for the modelling of composite materials can be applied to the modelling of flexible pipe. This allows the large-scale dynamics of an installed pipe (often several kilometers in length) to be related to the behaviour of its internal components (with characteristic lengths in millimeters). To do this, a formal framework is developed for an extension of the computational homogenisation procedure that allows multiscale models to be constructed in which models at both the large and small scales are composed of different structural elements. Within this framework, a large-scale flexible pipe model is created, using a two-dimensional corotational beam formulation with a constitutive model representative of flexible pipe bulk behaviour, which was obtained by further development of a recently proposed formulation inspired by the analogy between the flexible pipe structural behaviour and that of plastic materials with non-associative flow rules. A three-dimensional corotational formulation is also developed. The model is shown to perform adequately for practical analyses. Next, a detailed finite element (FE) model of a flexible pipe was created, using shell finite elements, generalised periodic boundary conditions and an implicit solution method. This model is tested against two analytical flexible pipe models for several basic load cases. Finally, the two models are used to carry out a sequential multi-scale analysis, in which a set of simulations using the detailed FE model is carried out in order to find the most appropriate coefficients for the large-scale model.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Theses

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