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Proceedings of the ASME 2014 33rd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering

June 8-13, 2014, San Francisco, California, USA




Jean-Marc LEROY, Timothee PERDRIZET Laurent PAUMIER
IFP Energies nouvelles Technip - Flexi France
Solaize, France Le Trait, France

ABSTRACT • the interactions with environment (sea swell, connection

with rig or FPSO, stiffener, etc.).
The paper focuses on a Finite Element (FE) model
developed at IFPEN, denominated 3D-Periodic, which is Three types of models are available to study the complete armor
dedicated to flexible riser studies. It takes full advantage of the layers, mainly developed to represent bending of risers with
geometric and loading periodicities to reduce the model length standard internal pressure and axial tension loadings:
and the CPU cost. The model is developed in a commercial FE • full length models [1,2,3,4,5] in which a few
software with dedicated pre- and post-treatment packages. The meters long pipes with end-fittings boundary
model can represent standard cyclic bending with internal conditions are considered. These models can
pressure and axial tension as well as external pressures load account for non-uniform curvatures along the pipe
cases to investigate the risk of lateral buckling of tensile armors and contacts with outer structures (stiffener,
or of pipe collapse. bellmouth, soil), but result in large computing
INTRODUCTION • one armor pitch length models [6], with periodic
boundary conditions. Each armor wire of a given
High pressure flexible risers are commonly used in offshore layer has a specific behavior, but periodic
oil and gas production for over 35 years. They provide conditions impose that the curvature of the bent
compliant and corrosion resistant solutions, even in the world's pipe is constant at a given time;
harshest and deepest offshore environments. • reduced length models, assuming that all armors
of a given layer have the same behavior, with
The accurate and reliable modeling of offshore flexible risers periodic conditions on one pitch, and constant
behavior is still a challenge because of: curvature of the pipe at a given time. With the
• their complex structure (thermoplastic sheaths, various previous assumptions, IFPEN developed a
steel helically wrapped layers, anti-wear tapes, anti-buckling software called LIFE which is based on analytical
tapes), developments and on finite differences integration
• the large number of potential contacts (friction and schemes [7].
stick/slip conditions between components),
• the different scales of the problem (typically from few The 3D-Periodic model presented in this paper is a local FE
meters for helical layers pitches to few kilometers for the model belonging to the latter type of models described above.
flexible pipe length), historically leading to use both global and From given tensions and curvatures variations of the pipe, it
local models, computes slips, stresses and curvatures in armor layers. It was
• the variable nature of the loads along the pipe (tension, successfully compared to LIFE in [1] and is used as a R&D tool
curvature, internal and external pressures, torsion),

1 Copyright © 2014 by ASME

to verify the conservatism of the design tools available in A1 ○ ○
Technip group [7,8]. B2 S2
A2 ○ ○ ○
B3 S3
The following relevant features have been included in the 3D- A3 ○ ○ ○
Periodic model: A4 ○ ○


• axial compression associated with external B5 S5

A5 ○ ○ ○
pressure (reverse end-cap effect),
• armor annulus status: flooded or non-flooded,
A1 ○ ○ ○
depending on the sealing of the external sheath, 2πa 2πa S1

n f tan α tan α
• anti-buckling tapes resistance,
• elasto-plastic material behavior of armors, Figure 1: illustration of periodicity: initial helix wire
• contact pressures or normal gaps between layers A'1
○ ○
of the pipe and associated friction loads, ○ ○ B'2 ○ S'2

• lateral contacts between armor wires of a layer, A'3 ○ ○ B' ○ S'3

that requires the introduction of all wires in the
model. A'4
○ ○ B'4 ○ S'4

The model and its evolutions are first explained. Then, different A'5○ ○ B'5 ○ S'5
applications are presented such as steel armor stress assessment, A'1 ○ ○ ○
B'1 S'1
lateral buckling and collapse studies. 2πa
n f tan α

Figure 2: illustration of periodicity: deformed helix

For numerical reasons described in a later section, the model is
extended symmetrically to a length 2l.
Description of the model
The 3D-Periodic model has been developed to represent a The 3D-Periodic model can be summed up in:
flexible pipe length where periodicity can be assumed for both • a FE discretization on a length 2l of the various layers
the geometry and the loadings. Assuming that all the wires of an constituting the structure,
armor layer have the same behavior, it is then possible to reduce • periodicity conditions between couple of points of
the model to a length l equal to the pitch of the layer p divided each layer initially on the same generatrix,
by the number of wires nf: • a central beam used to apply uniform curvature along
p 2π a the model as well as axial and torsional loading,
l= = (1) • a contact model between the layers.
nf n f tan α
where a and α are the radius and initial laying angle of a helical Each one of the above points is detailed in the subsequent
layer, respectively. It is illustrated on Figure 1 where a sections.
simplified straight pipe is developed, with a layer composed of
5 wires. Using appropriate periodicity conditions between
couples of points ( Ai , Bi ) located on the same initial generatrix, Periodicity conditions
the dotted segments represent then the solid line (S1S1), which is Periodicity conditions are applied between the couples of
a wire on a pitch. nodes ( Ai , Bi ) of each layer, located on the same initial
A similar figure can be drawn on a deformed cylinder, see generatrix of the model. They involve a third node, denoted C ,
Figure 2 where points ( Ai' , Bi' ) are the final positions of points located on the axis of the flexible model and initially in the
( Ai , Bi ) . In this case, the couple of points located on the same same section as Bi , see Figure 3. The section that contains the
generatrix have the same displacements relatively to the node Ai is fixed as it is assumed to be the plane of symmetry of
deformed surface. the model. Ai' , Bi' and C ' are the deformed positions of Ai , Bi
and C .

2 Copyright © 2014 by ASME

 0 −δθC3 δθ C2 
 
δθˆC =  δθC3 0 −δθC1  (8)
 −δθC2 δθ 1
0 
 C

where δθC1 , δθC2 , δθC3 are the components of the linearized

rotation fields of node C .

Finite element discretization

The various layers of the structure are discretized with FE
as follow:
• an external equivalent kernel composed of a layer of
Figure 3: example of nodes involved in periodicity quadrilateral shell elements sharing nodes with
(a) initial configuration (b) deformed configuration circumferential embedded beam elements. They
represent respectively the external sheaths and the anti-
Degrees of freedom (dof) of nodes Ai , Bi and C are linked buckling tapes. The mechanical properties of the shell
and beam elements are computed so that their stiffness
through periodicity conditions which are written as follow for is equal to the one of the various sheaths and anti-
translational dof: buckling tapes located above the armor layers;
R (φ ) .Bis Bi' = Ais Ai' • armor layers discretized with 8-nodes bricks. Two or 4
t C
s s armor layers can be included in the model;
where A and B are fictitious nodes corresponding to the
i i • anti–wear tapes modeled as initial cylinders with 8-
deformed positions of points Ai and Bi if they were stuck on nodes bricks;
• an internal equivalent kernel composed of a layer of
the deformed cylinder. R
(φ )
and φ C
are respectively the quadrilateral shell elements sharing nodes with
transposed of the rotation matrix and the rotation vector at circumferential embedded beam elements. They
point C . Considering that the section of point Ai is fixed, i.e. represent respectively internal sheaths and carcass,
pressure vault and spirals whose laying angles are
Ais = Ai , and the following relationship: close to 90°. The mechanical properties of the shell

( )
Bis Bi' = Bis C ' + C ' Bi' = R φ C .Bi C + C ' Bi' (3)
and beam elements are computed so that their stiffness
is equal to the one of the various sheaths and steel
equation (2) can be written: layers situated under the armor layers. Optionally, the
C ' Bi' = R φ ( ) .(CB + A A )
i i i
internal kernel can be modeled as a multi-layer kernel
for collapse applications. In this case, all the layers are
In the case of shell and beam FE, periodicity conditions for explicitly represented, see section “Effect of traction
rotational dof are written: on the collapse of flexible pipes” for details.
R φ ( ) = R (φ ) .R (φ )
Bi C Ai
(5) Each kernel and anti–wear layer have 8 elements in the flexible
Equations (4) and (5) are then linearized in order to compute axis direction and 200 elements in the circumferential direction.
the tangent stiffness matrix of the Newton algorithm. Linearized Nine circumferential beams are embedded in each kernel. Each
equations are respectively. armor wire is meshed with 8 elements in the section and 2
δ u B − δ uC = δθˆC .R (φ C ) .(CBi + Ai Ai' ) + R (φ C ) .δ u A
elements in the tangential direction of the armor. All the
i i
(6) elements are linear and, when available, reduced integration

δθ B = δθC + R (φ C ) .δθ A
with Hourglass control is used. Figure 4 shows a typical mesh
(7) of a 3D-Periodic model for a 2 armor layers flexible pipe.
i i

where δ u A , δ u B , δ uC , δθ A , δθ B , δθC
i i i i
are the linearized

displacements and rotation fields of nodes Ai , Bi and C

respectively, and δθˆC is the skew-symmetric matrix of node C
defined as:

3 Copyright © 2014 by ASME

Contact resolution
All contacts interactions between the model components
are considered. It allows, in particular, lateral contacts between
adjacent armor wires during cyclic bending tests. Each pair of
surfaces potentially in contact are treated with a node-to-surface
approach. The slave contact nodes are the nodes Ai located in
the plane of symmetry of the model. Other nodes of the layers
have their dof eliminated by the periodicity conditions and
should not be slaves in the contact algorithm. Master surfaces
correspond to the whole surface of the different layers, which
allows each slave contact node to find a lower, upper or lateral
surface to correctly solve the contact conditions. This is the
reason why the model is extended symmetrically to a length 2l.
A penalty algorithm is chosen for numerical efficiency to
Figure 4: typical mesh of a 2 armor layers 3D-Periodic impose normal and tangential contact conditions. Penalty
model stiffness parameters are chosen optimally to obtain low CPU
cost and good contact solution accuracy.
Central beam and load application
The full set of nodes Ci , located on the axis of the flexible Implementation of the model
and used in the periodicity conditions, constitute a central beam
without mechanical properties, see Figure 5. One of these The model is implemented within the commercial FE
nodes, denoted M, is attributed the role of master while other software Abaqus, using an implicit scheme (Abaqus Standard
nodes Ci are slaves. Loadings are applied at master node M : module). Abaqus is a reference code for the resolution of highly
• the curvature of the flexible is imposed through a non-linear problems including contacts. The use of this
commercial code enables to benefit from a complete
rotation angle φ,
environment that includes capabilities for creating models,
• the axial load of the flexible is imposed through a
submitting and monitoring jobs, and evaluating results with
follower force T in the pipe axis,
post-processing functionalities. Fully automated pre- and post-
• the torsion is imposed through a follower moment
processing of the 3D-Periodic model are implemented using
around the axis of the structure.
Python scripts. Periodicity conditions are introduced in the
The motion of the slave nodes is imposed through relations
model through a Fortran User Subroutine.
between their dof and that of M, such that the curvature of the
central beam is spatially constant, while axial displacement and
torsion angle are linearly distributed along the flexible axis.

Let us first recall some basic principles from [9] on the

kinematics of helically wounded wires. In the case of internal
pressure loading, it is assumed that they stay on the surface of a
tore representing the inner layers of the flexible riser. Figure 6
represents the mobile basis (t, N, B) of a wire, composed
respectively of the vector tangent to the wire, the inner normal
to the tore, and the bi-normal. Let us define also on the same
figure, a circumferential angle θ starting at the outer-arc.

Note that during bending, the normal n to the wire may not
Figure 5: kinematic conditions of the central beam and load coincide with N, except when the wire follows the geodesic
application. curve. The wire kinematics is described by the displacement
with respect to the reference tore, whose components in the
Internal and external pressure loadings can also be applied to basis are ∆ut, ∆uN and ∆uB. The last component is called
the model through pressures exerted on the internal or external transverse displacement. Similarly the curvature components
kernels, with suitable radius correction. are denoted Ct, CN and CB.

4 Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Cycling bending of flexible pipes with internal

pressure in contact with a bend stiffener
The example of this section is devoted to the cyclic
bending of a part of flexible riser close to the surface
connection where high tension combined to bending can lead to
fatigue damage of the steel armor wires. To limit bending loads,
Figure 6 : Darboux-Ribaucour wire basis. the riser is generally endowed with a bend limitation apparatus.
We consider here the case of a bend stiffener which is a
We consider the following particular geometric cases which will polymer cone surrounding the flexible riser. Technip has
be used as references for the deformed wire : conducted an experiment test including 7 asymmetrical bending
• geodesic curve with a curvature along N and cycles between a low and a high angles. The test rig is
corresponding to the straightest path along the tore, illustrated in Figure 8.
• iso-meridian curve with displacements relative to the
reference tore along the circumference, During this test, both internal and external armor wires have
• transposed curve, with no transverse displacement. been instrumented with strain gages from which stress
variations are measured.
For sake of illustration, Figure 7 shows an example of the
transverse displacement vs. θ, for these characteristic curves. Because of the boundary conditions and the bend stiffener
The global amplitude depends on the pipe properties and on interaction, the bending curvature of the riser is highly variable
pipe curvature, but the sinusoidal shapes and sign of along its length, which violates a fundamental assumption of the
displacement are invariant properties. 3D-Periodic model. To quantify the error introduced, we have
performed 3D-Periodic simulations at the 7 meridian sections
where the strain gages are located, which are regularly
distributed along the length, between the top-end extremity of
the riser and the bottom-end of the stiffener, see Figure 8. For
each section location, the curvature of the riser central axis is
given by a numerical model, and then imposed as the constant
curvature of the 3D-Periodic model.

Figure 7 : ∆uB along circumference for different curves.

From Figure 6 and Figure 7, it follows that during bending, an

evolution towards the geodesic or towards the iso-meridian,
implies a migration towards the inner-arc, or the outer-arc,

Figure 8 : test rig imposing tension, internal pressure and

bending through a swinging table (left part); locations of
strain gage sections (right part).

5 Copyright © 2014 by ASME

by a hysteresis which is related to frictional slips. The
accordance of the model to the experiment strongly depends on
µ for the maximum amplitude and ∆ue for the steep curve
slopes. For this example, µ and ∆ue were set respectively to 0.15
and 1e-5 m as these values were calibrated from previous tests
(e.g. [7]).

The model is in relative good accordance for the external

armors, despite some significant gaps at few gages, for example
at the second and third rows from the top. It corresponds to the
transition between the rigid and the deformable parts of the

By contrast, the amplitude of the numerical stress curves for the

internal armors is overestimated compared to the experiment. It
can be explained with a full length model simulation, as
described in [1,2], that gives much better correlation with
presented test results. The full length model takes into account
pipe curvature variations, boundary conditions and stiffener
interaction which are disregarded by the 3D-Periodic model.
These effects reduce the sliding length of the internal armor
wires and hence the amplitude of the tangential stress during the
hysteretic cycle when compared to the 3D-Periodic result.

To conclude, this example illustrates the capacity of the 3D-

Periodic model to approximate even such a complex cyclic
bending with non-constant curvature. The external armor wires
keep a quite homogeneous frictional status. For the internal
armors, the overestimation of the wire length which is sliding
results in a gap with the experiment, but in the conservative
sense. Of course, such discrepancy could be reduced by
Figure 9 : tangential stress difference to the mean vs employing a more accurate, but more computing time
bending angle during the last cycle. 3D-Periodic (blue expensive, 3D full length model [1,2,3,4,5]. For this example,
dashed) and experiment (red), external armors. the 3D-Periodic model is two hundred time faster than the 3D
full length model described in [1,2], to compute all presented
Figure 9 and Figure 10 represent the difference between σt and results. The total number of variables is about 6 million for the
its mean value, vs. the bending angle of the swinging table, 3D full length model and is reduced to about 100 000 for the
during the last cycle, within the external and internal armors 3D-Periodic model.
respectively. All vertical axes are scaled according to the
maximum value over the gages of the layer. Each horizontal
axis ranges from the left to the right, according to the minimum
and maximum bending angles respectively. Each picture
corresponds to a gage located by a row for the meridian section,
in the same order as in Figure 8, and a column for the
circumferential location being, from the left to the right, the
outer-arc (θ=0), the neutral fibers (θ=π/2), and the inner-arc

Friction on all interfaces is described by the same Coulomb

model, regularized with an elastic domain. This model is thus
defined by a friction coefficient µ and a maximum elastic slip
∆ue. As classically expected for a bending test, the amplitude of
the cycle is very small at the neutral fibers, compared to that at
the outer and inner arcs. At these locations, the cycle is marked

6 Copyright © 2014 by ASME

wires brought together and cannot be captured with the 3D-
Periodic model. The second pattern is illustrated on Figure 11
and is characterized by a change in helix angle with a low angle
to the outer-arc generatrix. The wires are migrating
transversally towards the outer-arc, meaning they go away from
the geodesic. Actually, they can move beyond the iso-meridian

Figure 11 : example of LB armor failure, from [11]. The line

corresponds to the outer-arc generatrix.

The triggering of this mechanism is generally interpreted as an

unstable bifurcation of armor wires equilibrium under
compression. However, it has to be clearly distinguished from
the configuration which is responsible for the ruin of the pipe,
because they may not coincide, as demonstrated in this section.
Considering the first part of Figure 7, for θ in [0,π], we will
determine the triggering of the bifurcation by a change of sign
in ∆uB from positive to negative.

Since the experimental campaigns, several numerical models

Figure 10 : same as Figure 9 for internal armors. have been developed to simulate LB, either with FEM (e.g.
[12,13]) or semi-analytical approaches ([13,14,15,16]). A
common point between these models is that they neglect direct
interactions between the adjacent amour wires composing a
Plastic lateral buckling of wide steel armor wires with layer of the pipe, either because they consider only one armor
water-flooded annulus wire, or because the wires interact only by common boundary
Lateral Buckling (LB) is due to the reverse end-cap conditions at the extremities of the pipe. This limitation may be
compression induced by high external pressure. It has been questionable since, as observed in experiments [10,11], the
identified since PETROBRAS encountered a pipe failure at lateral contacts between the wires play a key role in LB
about 1700 m of water depth in 1997. Because of the mechanism.
complexity of this failure mechanism, several campaigns of in-
situ experiments (DIP tests) and with hyperbaric chambers have It is proposed here to investigate with 3D-Periodic
been realized, trying to reproduce LB failure of flexible pipes, simulations the role of these lateral contacts for the case of wide
see [10,11,12]. steel armor wires which are suspected, from experiments
observations, to ruin with plasticity.
Among the conclusions of these campaigns, it has been The results presented were obtained by setting friction
established that water-flooded annulus promotes LB, because of coefficient µ to a very small value, in order to accelerate the
less important inter-layer frictional resistances, and that internal stabilization of the bending cycles, marked by the convergence
wires are more exposed to this mechanism. With these of the CB and ∆uB curves. It has been verified that increasing µ
conditions and without bending, the armor wires are detached does change significantly the mechanical state of the external
from the inner layers, and are pressed against the outer layers. armors (that are less stressed when µ is increased), but not that
The principles and notations introduced in the section of internal armors, which are the major pipe components to be
“Elements of armor kinematics” can be used in this section by designed against LB. The steel armor constitutive law is elasto-
replacing the inner layers by the outer layers for the reference plasticity with a Von Mises criterion.
tore. The post-mortem examination put in evidence two main
pattern for the armors. The first is characterized by lenses of

7 Copyright © 2014 by ASME

Let us start by describing the key principles of the
mechanism on a representative example simulated at various
external pressure Pext. The armors width over thickness ratio is
about 6.6, and the initial helix angle is 30.0°. Figure 12 displays A
the evolution of the maximum ∆uB for θ in [0,π] vs. Pext. As
discussed above, the triggering of the bifurcation is located
between the third and the fourth point, starting from the left.
The instability is marked by a rapid decrease until Pext=0.5, at B
which the evolution is stabilized. Finally, plasticity begins at a
pressure between Pext =1 and the next point to the right. C

For sake of illustration we focus now on three pressure states,

A, B, C, before the bifurcation, after the stabilization and after
the beginning of plasticity, respectively. Figure 13 and Figure
14 compare the circumferential distribution of the normalized
lateral gap and of CB, respectively, at the three pressure states.
The normalizations are arbitrary but do not change the Figure 12: Maximum of internal armor ∆uB for θ in [0,ππ] vs.
discussion here after. Pext. Both axes are normalized by the values at Pext
marking the onset of plasticity.
The bifurcation is marked by the inversion of the lateral gap
profile between A and B. At stage B, a lateral contact takes
place at the outer-arc. This feature is essential because it
prevents the continuation of the transverse migration towards
the outer-arc and it is responsible for the stabilization of the
previous bifurcation. This mechanism also stops the
amplification of CΒ according to a quite unchanged
circumferential distribution shape, with extrema located at the
neutral fibers.

Comparing states B and C, the lateral contact spreads over a

larger part of the wire length, from the outer-arc to the neutral
fiber. Also, the transverse curvature keeps on developing but
with a more localized distribution whose extrema are shifted
between the neutral fiber and the inner-arc.
Figure 13 : lateral gap of internal armors vs. θ. Negative
This amplification of CB induces stresses triggering plasticity of values means interpenetration.
the wide steel armors. To investigate the idea that such scenario
leading to plasticity can explain wide armor LB failures, Figure
15 compares, for several Technip experiments with varying
structural parameters, the 3D-Periodic estimates of the pressure
threshold for plasticity and the experimental critical pressures.
This figure include error bars due to pressure sampling only.
Despite the fundamental assumptions of the 3D-Periodic model,
the numerical and the experiment are in relative good

Figure 14 : CB of internal armors vs. θ.

8 Copyright © 2014 by ASME

rectangular section, see [17,21,22] for similar approaches. The
calculation of the equivalent parameters is based on the
conservation of the following properties:
• bending stiffness per unit length (EI/p)
• axial stiffness per unit length (EA/p)
• yield load in compression per unit length (σ0A/p)
• amplitude of the hardening per unit length (H/p)
where I, A and p are respectively the bending inertia, area and
pitch of the layer. E, σ0 and H are the Young modulus, initial
yield stress and hardening amplitude of the material.

The properties of the equivalent shell are then given by:

EA A 12 I
E* = e* =
p 12 I A
σ0A A HA A
Figure 15 : comparison of numerical estimates of LB σ 0* = H* =
p 12 I p 12 I
plasticity pressure vs. experimental critical pressure. Y-axis
is normalized by the maximum value and top thin bars where E*, e*, σ 0* and H* are respectively the Young modulus,
indicate uncertainty range. thickness, initial yield stress and hardening amplitude of the
equivalent layer. Lemaitre-Chaboche [23] non-linear kinematic
hardening model is used for plasticity with Von-Mises criterion.
Effect of traction on the collapse of flexible pipes For a monotonic uniaxial loading, the yield stress can be written
Most of the FE models used for collapse studies focus as:

(1 − e )
exclusively on the modeling of the inner kernel. Carcass and C − γε p
pressure vault are modeled either with their actual sections, e.g. σ y = σ0 + (10)
[17,18], or through equivalent layers, e.g. [19,20]. The γ
advantage of the 3D-Periodic multi-layers model presented in where εp is the equivalent plastic strain, and C and γ are two
this section is to represent accurately both the internal layers, parameters giving the amplitude of the hardening:
the armors and the external layers of the flexible. It permits for C
instance to study accurately the influence of the armor layers on H= (11)
the collapse during the bending or the traction of the structure, γ
as described in this section. As a consequence, the 3D-Periodic The axial stiffness of carcasses and vaults can be neglected
multi-layers model can constitute a useful R&D complementary because their laying angle is close to 90°. It allows the previous
model to the analytical design model presented in [8]. equivalent parameters to be used within a transversely isotropic
model, in which the direction parallel to the flexible axis has
The study of the collapse of flexible pipes under external negligible properties, and the plane of isotropy has the above
pressure requires the 3D-Periodic model to be enhanced in calculated properties. Coupling Poisson coefficients between
order to take into account: the plane of isotropy and the direction orthogonal to it are set to
• the various layers of the internal kernel (carcass, zero in order to obtain fully uncoupled material behavior in
vaults, sheaths), those two directions.
• an initial defect that will initiate the collapse failure.
As presented in the finite element discretization section, the Finally, an initial defect is introduced in the model through an
various layers that constitute the inner kernel of the flexible can ovalization which is applied uniformly on all the layers of the
be modeled individually through structural shells. Contrary to structure.
the equivalent kernel which is placed right below the inner
armor layer, the layers of the detailed kernel are modeled at The flexible used to illustrate the capabilities of the model is a
their effective radius. It is fundamental to obtain accurate 10'' rough bore with a laying angle of 55° and no pressure
collapse pressures. In the case of a carcass or a vault, the armor. It is considered with water flooded annulus. Two
complex geometrical section of the layer is not explicitly specimens of this TECHNIP structure have been tested at
represented. It would lead to high CPU cost calculations (large IFPEN laboratory. They have been subjected to various
numbers of dof, contacts between spires) whereas local stress traction-pressure loading paths until collapse is observed. Some
state in the carcass is not of interest here. As a consequence, results are given on Figure 16:
they are simplified into equivalent structural shells with

9 Copyright © 2014 by ASME

• traction-pressure loading paths for which no collapse confinement. For medium range tension, T=2/7 and
has been observed are represented in green, T=3/7, a decrease of confinement occurs when the
• two collapses have been observed and are represented ovalization of the carcass is more important, which
with red dots. One collapse is obtained with no traction leads to a quick collapse of the structure, see the
applied on the structure and one collapse is obtained in decrease observed on Figure 16.
the high tractions zone.
Results presented on Figure 16 are normalized regarding the
structure ultimate pull and the experimental collapse pressure at

(a) (b)
Figure 17: deformed states x30:
(a) tension (b) compression for T=2.0

• in the high tractions zone, the compression due to the

reverse end-cap effect never compensates the traction
applied to the structure. As a consequence, armor
layers are always in contact with the inner kernel
which increases the confinement and the resistance to
Figure 16: Comparison of collapse pressures: experimental collapse. For very high tensions, it could be expected
tests and simulations that the negative effect of the additional compression
applied by the armors on the kernel exceeds the
In the 3D-Periodic model, the flexible is first submitted to the positive effect of the confinement. However, this is not
required traction, then to the external pressure and associated the case for the structure studied here as no decrease of
reverse end-cap effect. Resulting collapse pressures are the collapse resistance is observed for very high
represented on Figure 16 with the red curve. The black curve tensions.
shows the limit between the zone where the flexible is
successively in tension and compression because of the reverse Finally, results show a good agreement between experimental
end-cap effect (low tractions zone) and the zone where the tests and numerical results. Differences are about 10% of the
structure is always in tension (high tractions zone), i.e. where collapse pressure and can be explained by the various numerical
the reverse end-cap effect is never greater than the applied and experimental uncertainties (dispersion of the results, initial
traction load. defect, friction, etc.) to which the collapse is sensitive. Both
numerical and experimental results show a positive effect of the
The curve obtained by numerical simulations shows a slight traction on the resistance of the flexible to external pressure. It
increase followed by a slight decrease of the collapse pressure is explained by a better confinement of the carcass by the armor
with increasing tractions in the low tractions zone. In the high layers when subjected to tension.
tractions zone, a noticeable increase of the collapse pressure
with the traction is observed. As a consequence, one can CONCLUSION
distinguish two different behaviors:
• in the low tractions zone, the structure is first in A R&D numerical tool, denominated 3D-Periodic model, has
tension because of the applied traction load. It been presented in this paper. It is dedicated to the study of the
improves the confinement of the carcass by the armor local mechanical behavior of flexible pipes, and in particular
layers and so its resistance to external pressure. The that of the tensile armor wires. The model takes advantage of
increasing reverse end-cap effect produces then a the structure periodicity in order to reduce the cost of the
compression state in the structure which makes the simulations. It assumes that all the wires behave similarly but
armor layers and the anti-buckling tapes inflate. A can take into account lateral contacts between adjacent wires.
clearance appears between the carcass and armors at Despite these fundamental assumptions, the applications
6h and 12h, according to the initial ovalization, see presented in the paper on cyclic bending, lateral buckling and
Figure 17. In most cases, the contact persists at 3h and collapse demonstrate the versatility of the model and its ability
9h which allows the carcass to keep a level of to reproduce experimental observations of complex

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mechanisms. These applications also show that the 3D-Periodic Monitoring”, OMAE2002-28092, Proceedings of the ASME
model can greatly facilitate the understanding of engineering 2002 21st International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and
design on some failure mechanisms which are not yet clearly Arctic Engineering (OMAE2002), Oslo, Norway.
[6] Edmans, B., Alfano, G., Bahai, H., 2012, "Large-Scale
The cyclic bending example shows that the fatigue damage of Analysis And Local Stress Assessment Of Flexible Unbonded
the armors are strongly related to the portion of the wires that Pipes Using Fea", OMAE2012-84249, Proceedings of the
are in a sliding state. The armor lateral buckling example ASME 2010 31st International Conference on Ocean, Offshore
emphasizes the key role of lateral contacts between adjacent and Arctic Engineering (OMAE2012), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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can be used for a better understanding of mechanical 79117, Proceedings of the ASME 2009 28th International
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