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Ocean Engineering 83 (2014) 52–62

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Ocean Engineering
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/oceaneng

Prediction and analysis of fatigue damage due to cross-flow and in-line

VIV for marine risers in non-uniform current
Hongxiang Xue n, Wenyong Tang, Xue Qu
State Key Laboratory of Ocean Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

art ic l e i nf o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Fatigue damage due to vortex induced vibrations (VIV) is one of the most significant failure modes for
Received 26 August 2013 marine risers. Previous studies of fatigue prediction and analysis for marine risers typically focus on
Accepted 15 March 2014 cross-flow VIV due to its larger response amplitude than in-line vibrations. In this study, a prediction
Available online 9 April 2014
model of VIV fatigue damage for riser accounting for both cross-flow and in-line vibrations is proposed
Keywords: based on the energy equilibrium theory and the forced vibration experimental data of a rigid cylinder.
Fatigue damage The coupling effect of CF- and IL-VIV is taken into account and the response amplitude is corrected by
Vortex-induced vibration a weighted factor according to the input power within the overlap excitation region for each vibration
Cross-flow mode. The experimental models of flexible riser under stepped and sheared current are simulated to
validate the proposed approach and the results show reasonable agreement. Moreover, based on the
prediction model, the top velocity of sheared current, top tension, internal fluid density and the material
of structures are invested to discuss their effects on the fatigue damage. The study may be worthwhile
for fatigue assessment and broaden the understanding of VIV fatigue damage characteristics for
deepwater risers.
& 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction a doubled oscillating frequency, which may contribute as much as

fatigue damage induced by cross-flow VIV. Common industry
Vortex induced vibration (VIV) has been known as the most practice is to adopt DNV-RP-F105 (DNV, 2006) for pipeline's in-line
important design issue for slender marine structures such as cables, VIV analysis. DNV-RP-F105 provides data on in-line response ampli-
pipelines and risers, especially for environments with high current tude versus reduced velocity that are based mainly on laboratory
profile. The high frequency vibrations generate severe cyclic stresses, tests with simply supported beams exposed to uniform flow.
which would contribute significantly to fatigue damage. This pro- In general, it may lead to conservative fatigue damage estimates for
blem becomes more crucial in riser design as oil and gas explorations risers in sheared currents.
move to deeper water area, since large current variation acting on the VIV analysis procedures can be performed by CFD methods or
riser may lead to the Strouhal frequency varying over the riser's empirical models. CFD techniques which solve the viscous Navier–
length, having the effect that high order and multi-frequency can be Stokes equations directly are extremely computationally demand-
candidate for lock-in oscillation. ing and have not been attractive tools for practical engineering
VIV response can be categorized as cross-flow (CF) or in-line (IL) design. Therefore, the empirical models which depends on VIV
VIV in which the riser oscillates in the direction transverse to or experiments have been widely used, such as Shear7 (Vandiver and
aligned with the flow, respectively. Most of the previous studies Li, 2005) and VIVANA (Larsen and Vikestad, 2005). Finn et al.
focused on the cross-flow direction because of its usually observed (1999) and Grant et al. (2000) developed ABAVIV to simulate riser
largest response, and few works have been undertaken about the VIV using the finite element package ABAQUS. In this code, the
effect of oscillating drag force, which causes the in-line VIV. However, lock-in algorithm is determined by Blevins (1990). Cheng and
recent experiments (Kang and Jia, 2013; Yin and Larsen, 2011; Dahl et Lambrakos (2007), Cheng and Xu (2009), Cheng and Lambrakos
al., 2010) have evidenced the significant effect of in-line VIV due to (2010) carried out validation works for the code. The results
showed that ABAVIV could well predict cross-flow vibration and
capture higher harmonics response, whereas lack ability to simu-
Correspondence to: No. 800, Dongchuan Road, School of Naval Architecture,
Ocean & Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.
late the mean drag response and in-line oscillation. Sidarta et al.
Tel.: þ 86 21 34204968; fax: þ 86 21 34206642. (2010) developed a prediction code, SimVIV, which used the lift
E-mail address: hongxiangxue@sjtu.edu.cn (H. Xue). force model in Shear7. Gao et al. (2011) discussed the fatigue

0029-8018/& 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
H. Xue et al. / Ocean Engineering 83 (2014) 52–62 53

damage characteristics of steel catenary riser by using a simplified Assuming that the exciting force acting on riser segment follows
pinned-pinned cable model. Srinil (2011) studied the VIV of sinusoidal in one period, the lift force in both directions could be
variable-tension vertical risers in linearly sheared currents by expressed as
distributed diffusive wake oscillator model. Ma and Qiu (2012) Cross-flow direction:
used the forced vibration test data to predict the cross-flow VIV of 1
a model test carried out by Chaplin et al. (2005a, 2005b). F y ¼ C L;CF ðAnCF ; f r;CF Þρf DV 2 sin ð2π f CF tÞ ð3Þ
Actually, the coupled response characteristics of cross-flow and
in-line is significant from experimental observations (Jauvtis and In-line direction:
Williamson, 2004; Stappenbelt et al., 2007; Blevins and Coughran, 1
F x ¼ f amp ðAnCF ÞC L;IL ðAnIL ; f r;IL Þρf DV 2 sin ð2π f IL tÞ ð4Þ
2009). Sumer and FredsØe (2006) highlighted that when cross- 2
flow response amplitude exceeds 0.2–0.3 times cylinder's where C L;CF and C L;IL are the lift coefficients. f amp is the magnifica-
diameter, the in-line excitation force would be significantly mag-
tion coefficient due to CF-VIV, ρf is the fluid density. AnCF and AnIL
nified. The experimental observations from Baarholm et al. (2006)
are the cross-flow and in-line non-dimensional displacement
show that, although the in-line amplitude is much weaker, the
amplitude A/D respectively, f r;IL ¼ f IL D=V and f r;CF ¼ f CF D=V are
fatigue damage induced by in-line VIV is almost the same to cross-
flow due to higher dominant frequency. However, VIV fatigue the non-dimensional frequency, and V is the current velocity.
damage predictions for deepwater risers in in-line direction have In this study, the VIV forced vibration experimental data of a
not been much studied. The cross-flow and in-line coupled rigid cylinder carried out by Gopalkrishnan (1993) and Aronson
analysis is mainly limited to a two-dimensional model in a and Larsen (2007) is adopted. Figs. 1 and 2 are the contours of lift
uniform flow (Srinil and Zanganeh, 2012), which may hardly to coefficients.
predict the fatigue damage distribution along the riser in a non- Fig. 1 shows that cross-flow VIV excitation bandwidth can be
uniform current. defined as a single interval around 0.125 of r;CF o0.20. Differing
Since most of the previous studies and numerical codes from CF-VIV, there exist two main excitation regions for in-line
mentioned above mainly focus on cross-flow vibration, and do vibration. Fig. 2 indicates that the first region is around
not include the prediction of in-line response and fatigue damage. 0.375 of r;IL o0.76 which is caused by the combined action of
Therefore, a prediction model for VIV induced fatigue damage normal vortex shedding giving rise to two oscillations per shed-
accounting for both cross-flow and in-line vibrations, as proposed ding and symmetric vortex shedding which occurs as a result of
in the present study, would be worthwhile from a practical and
industrial viewpoint. The paper is structured as follows. In Section 2, -5
a cross-flow and in-line VIV response and fatigue damage assess- -3
ment approach in frequency domain is proposed based on forced 1.0
-1 -1.5
Non-dimensional Amplitude A*CF

vibration experimental data of rigid cylinder and energy equilibrium -0.6

theory. In Section 3, the proposed model is validated against the VIV
experiments of vertical tensioned risers in stepped current and 0.5 0.3 -0.3
sheared current, respectively. Some important physical parameters
and variables of riser are invested to discuss their effects on VIV 0.7
fatigue damage in Section 4. The conclusions are drawn in Section 5. 0 -0.1
0.4 -0.1
2. Numerical model and analysis methodology
The deepwater riser has a large aspect ratio of length to diameter.
Considering the riser as a flexural elastic structure satisfying the
0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35
Euler-Bernoulli beam hypothesis, the governing differential equation
Non-dimensional Frequency fr,CF
for a riser could be expressed as Eqs. (1) and (2) in the Cartesian
coordinate system with x-axial and y-axial, aligned with and trans- Fig. 1. Cross-flow excitation coefficient (Gopalkrishnan, 1993).
verse with current velocity respectively, and z-axial upwards.
Cross-flow direction:
∂2 y ∂y ∂4 y ∂ ∂y
ðmr þ ΔmCF Þ 2 þ cs þ EI 4  T ¼ Fy ð1Þ
∂t ∂t ∂z ∂z ∂z
Non-dimensional Amplitude A IL

In-line direction:

∂2 x ∂x ∂4 x ∂ ∂x 0.16
ðmr þ ΔmIL Þ þ cs þEI 4  T ¼ Fx ð2Þ
∂t 2 ∂t ∂z ∂z ∂z 2nd Region -0.3
where mr is the mass per unit length, ΔmCF and ΔmIL are the 1st Region
-0.2 0
added mass for cross-flow and in-line direction respectively, cs is
the structural damping, E is the elastic modulus, I is the moment of 0.08
inertia, T is the effective tension, Fx and Fy are VIV hydrodynamic 0.13 0.05
-0.1 0.1 -0.2
forces for in-line and cross-flow direction, respectively. 0.04 0.1 0.13
0 0.1 -0.1
0.05 -0.1

2.1. Lift force models and lock-in regions 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
Non-dimensional Frequency fr,IL
When VIV lock-in takes place, the response of the riser will in
general be uni-modal and have the character of a standing wave. Fig. 2. In-line excitation coefficient (Aronson and Larsen, 2007).
54 H. Xue et al. / Ocean Engineering 83 (2014) 52–62

9 2.5
8 Cross-Flow


Added Mass Coefficient


f amp

4 0.5


0 -1.0
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8
* Non-dimensional Frequency
Cross-Flow Non-dimensional Amplitude ACF
Fig. 4. Added mass model for CF- and IL-VIV.
Fig. 3. Amplification factor of in-line excitation force.

in-line motion of the riser relative to the fluid. The lift force in this
region is assumed to be associated with a vortex shedding while negative value means fluid damping. The associated damp-
frequency corresponding to three times the Strouhal number, i.e. ing coefficient can be obtained based on the assumption of
f s ¼ 3St V=D, where fs is the shedding frequency and St is the equivalent dissipated power in one period:
Strouhal number. The second excitation region is around
0.27 of r;IL o0.375, and only normal vortex shedding dominates C L ρf V 2 D
cf ¼  ð5Þ
the riser's response, so the vortex shedding frequency is corre- 2Aω
sponding to two times the Strouhal number, i.e.f s ¼ 2St V=D. The empirical damping model proposed by Venugopal (1996)
Actually, observations show that there may exists the third is used outside the test range for cross-flow vibration.
excitation region. In this region, in-line VIV excitation occurs Damping in high non-dimensional frequency region:
together with the cross-flow VIV excitation. Due to the reason
cf ¼ C hf ρf DV þcsw ð6Þ
that the forced vibration experiments are pure in-line VIV, and the
hydrodynamic coefficients of this region cannot be obtained. where C hf is taken to be 0.18. csw is the still water damping
Hence, only the first and the second excitation region as shown contribution given by
in Fig. 2 are considered in this study. " sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi  2 #
Jauvtis and Williamson (2004) and Goncalves et al. (2012) ωπρf D2 2 A
csw ¼ 2 þ C sw ð7Þ
indicated that when CF-VIV is locked in, the non-dimensional 2 ωD2 =v D
frequency of in-line response is approximate in the second
excitation region defined. Additionally, when the cross-flow non- where ν is the kinematic viscosity of the fluid, ω is the oscillation
dimensional amplitude exceeds 0.2–0.3, the in-line excitation circular frequency, and Csw ¼ 0.2.
force would be magnified obviously. The magnification coefficient Damping in low non-dimensional frequency region:
as a function of cross-flow amplitude AnCF proposed by Sumer and
cf ¼ C lf ρf V 2 =ω ð8Þ
Fredsøe (2006), as shown in Fig. 3, is used to correct the in-line
exciting force. Hence, the cross-flow VIV response should be where C lf is taken to be 0.20.
calculated first and the amplitude will be taken as the input of In this study, IL-VIV also uses the above damping model
the in-line analysis in this proposal model. formula, but with different empirical parameter values due to
different oscillation directions and vortex shedding modes. By
2.2. Added mass coefficients matching the extension of the in-line excitation coefficient con-
tour, C hf and C lf are set to be 0.35 and 1.0, respectively. The dash
The added mass of the riser is not a fixed value in the VIV lines in Fig. 2 show the extended contour calculated by the
system from the observations of forced vibration experiment. damping model.
When the riser is exposed to a non-uniform current profile, added
mass will change along its length. The added mass coefficient may
2.4. Response amplitudes and fatigue damage analysis
be assumed to be independent of the amplitude and is therefore
given as a function of the non-dimensional frequency. The simpli-
According to the modal superposition method, the response of
fied added mass models proposed by Larsen and Vikestad (2005)
the riser can be composed as a series of mode-shapes:
and Aronson and Larsen (2007), as shown in Fig. 4, are used to
calculate the eigenfrequencies of the riser in this study. yðz; tÞ ¼ ∑ φy;k ðzÞqy;k ðtÞ; xðz; tÞ ¼ ∑ φx;k ðzÞqx;k ðtÞ ð9Þ
k k
The actual VIV response frequencies and mode-shape functions
are highly coupled with the added mass distribution along the where φk ðzÞ is the kth mode shape, and qk ðtÞ is the kth modal
riser, and iteration is necessary to carried out in modal analysis. coordinate. The subscripts ‘y' and ‘x’ stand for cross-flow and
in-line directions, respectively.
2.3. Damping models Substituting Eq. (9) into Eqs. (1) and (2), and assuming that
coupling is negligible, one obtains
Generally, positive value in the contours of lift coefficient
denotes that the excitation force synchronize to the riser's velocity, M CF;k q€ y;k ðtÞ þ RCF;k q_ y;k ðtÞ þK CF;k qy;k ðtÞ ¼ P CF;k ðtÞ ð10Þ
H. Xue et al. / Ocean Engineering 83 (2014) 52–62 55

M IL;k q€ x;k ðtÞ þ RIL;k q_ x;k ðtÞ þ K IL;k qx;k ðtÞ ¼ P IL;k ðtÞ ð11Þ

where M k is the modal mass and can be expressed as M k ¼

L ½mr þ ΔmðzÞφ ðzÞdz, Rk is the modal damping and can be
expressed as Rk ¼ L cs ðzÞφ2k ðzÞdz þ L  Lin cf ðzÞφ2k ðzÞdz, in which Lin
is the length of lock-in region, K k is the modal stiffness, and P k is
the modal force and can be expressed as
P k ðtÞ ¼ Lin 12C L ðz; tÞρf DV 2 φk ðzÞdz. The subscripts ‘CF’ and ‘IL’ in
Eqs. (10) and (11) stand for cross-flow and in-line directions,
respectively. Fig. 6. Sketch of overlap region excited by two modes.
The modal velocity for mode k can be expressed as
q_ k ðtÞ ¼ Ak ωk sin ðωk tÞ ð12Þ
where Ak is the modal displacement amplitude for the kth mode.
Therefore, the input and output power of the riser for mode k sheared current, as shown in Fig. 5. If the empirical shrinking
can be described as procedure for cross-flow mentioned above is adopted for in-line
Z analysis, one of the power-in centers would disappear in some
Π in
k ¼ C L ðz; tÞρf DV 2 Ak ωk sin 2 ðωk tÞφk ðzÞdz ð13Þ cases.
Lin 2 In this study, it is assumed that the shedding vortex modes
Z Z associated with different stability regions for IL-VIV are indepen-
Π out
k ¼ cs ðzÞφ2k ðzÞA2k ω2k sin 2 ðωk tÞdz þ cf ðzÞφ2k ðzÞA2k ω2k sin 2 ðωk tÞdz dent mutually. The response amplitude of CF-VIV or IL-VIV excited
L L  Lin
by the same excitation region is corrected by a weighted factor for
each vibration mode. Assuming that the structure is excited by
On condition that the cylinder is in a stable lock-in state, the mode i and mode j according to the lock-in bandwidth, the power-
energy feed into the structure and the dissipated energy by in region can be divided into four zones as shown in Fig. 6. Zone1
structural and fluid damping will be in balance. Let the integral and zone2 are excited by mode i, and zone3 and zone4 compose
value of Π k be equal to Π k in one period, then the response
in out the j-th mode power-in region. The input power of mode i and
amplitude can be obtained by mode j within the overlap is to be reduced by the weights.
R The input power of mode i and mode j can be expressed as
2 Lin C L ðzÞρf DV jφk ðzÞjdz
1 2
Ak ¼ R R ð15Þ Π i ¼ Π 1 þ δi Π 2 ; Π j ¼ δj Π 3 þ Π 4 ð16Þ
L cs ðzÞφk ðzÞωk dz þ L  Lin cf ðzÞφk ðzÞωk dz
2 2

where δi and δj are the weight factors for mode i and mode j,
It should be noted that the lift and damping coefficients are respectively, δi ¼ Π 2 =Π 2 þ Π 3 , δj ¼ Π 3 =Π 2 þ Π 3 , and Π 1  Π 4 are
coupled with response amplitude for cross-flow and in-line VIV. calculated by Eq. (13).
Then an iteration procedure will be performed for the calculation Hence, the VIV amplitude corrected factor for each mode is
until convergence is achieved. obtained as follows:
Bases on the theory of Shear7, the concept of mode cutoff is
introduced, i.e. a mode’s power-in region will be excluded in the Πi Π1 Π 22
wi ¼ ¼ þ
subsequent calculation if the power ratio for this mode is less than Π 1 þ Π 2 Π 1 þ Π 2 ðΠ 1 þ Π 2 ÞðΠ 2 þ Π 3 Þ
the cutoff value. The cutoff value is set as 0.7 for cross-flow and Πj Π4 Π 23
in-line VIV prediction in this paper. wj ¼ ¼ þ ð17Þ
Π 3 þ Π 4 Π 3 þ Π 4 ðΠ 2 þ Π 3 ÞðΠ 3 þ Π 4 Þ
Non-uniform current profile may induce multi-frequencies VIV
response and there may exist overlaps between adjacent power-in Vortex-induced vibration will cause significant cyclic stress on
regions. In the previous studies, the overlap problem is usually risers, which can cause fatigue damage. The stress can be given by
solved by empirical method or assumptions. Bokaian (1994) M x ðtÞD M y ðtÞD
assumed that the overlap region was excited by higher-order sðθ; tÞ ¼ sin θ þ cos θ ð18Þ
2I 2I
mode. In Shear7 software, a mode overlap elimination procedure
where M x and M y are the bending moments on the riser section
was performed to shrink the power-in region length of each mode
induced by CF-VIV and IL-VIV, respectively. θ is the angle as shown
involved in the overlap equally until the overlap disappears. It
in Fig. 7. The bending moments in mode k can be calculated by
should be noted that the shrinking procedure is useful for CF-VIV
M x;k ðz; tÞ ¼ EI φ″y;k ðzÞqy;k ðtÞ and M y;k ðz; tÞ ¼ EI φ″x;k ðzÞqx;k ðtÞ.
response prediction, but may lead to new problems when applying
Miner’s rule is widely used in fatigue analysis for marine and
in IL-VIV. As described in Section 2.1, there exist two main
offshore structures. In accordance with DNV standard (DNV, 2001),
excitation regions for in-line vibration with different vortex shed-
the fatigue damage of the riser in mode k can be expressed as
ding modes and frequencies, and both of the regions may induce
significant exciting force. Furthermore, there will be several T D f k ½SCF  Δsk ðzÞm
Df ;k ðzÞ ¼ ð19Þ
centers of the power-in regions when the riser is exposed to a A
where T D is design life of the structure, f k is the cycle counting
frequency, Δs is the stress range, m and A are the parameters of
S–N curve, and SCF is the stress concentration factor.
When multi-frequency response occurs, the fatigue stress can
be combined by the square root of the sum of squares (SRSS)
approach and the cycle counting frequency is taken as the
weighted SRSS frequency.
Δsi ðzÞ 2
ΔsSRSS ðzÞ ¼ ∑ Δsi ðzÞ ; f SRSS ðzÞ ¼ ∑ f i
Fig. 5. Sketch of overlap region in IL-VIV. i i ΔsSRSS ðzÞ
56 H. Xue et al. / Ocean Engineering 83 (2014) 52–62

Fig. 7. Illustrations of riser section.

3. Validation against laboratory experiment

3.1. Tensioned risers in a stepped current

The laboratory VIV measurements of a tensioned riser in a Fig. 8. Layout of Chaplin’s VIV tests.
stepped current were carried out by Chaplin et al. (2005a, 2005b).
The riser model was 13.12 m long and 28 mm diameter, and its
lower 45% length was in a uniform current, while the upper part Table 1
was in still water. The layout of the experiments is shown in Fig. 8, Properties of the riser model in Chaplin’s tests.
and other properties of the riser model are listed in Table 1.
Properties Values
Three cases of which current velocity varies from 0.16 m/s to
0.54 m/s are chosen for VIV predictions and comparisons in this Total length (m) 13.12
study, as shown in Table 2. Diameter (m) 0.028
The envelopes of cross-flow and in-line VIV amplitude are Mass (including internal water) (kg/m) 1.85
given in Fig. 9. For CF-VIV response, the present method predicts Apparent weight (N/m) 12.1
Flexural rigidity (N/m2) 29.9
the same main excited mode and the approximate amplitudes as
Structural damping 0.33%
well as the experimental data. The response is mainly dominated
by single mode and the higher mode is excited with the current
velocity increasing.
For IL-VIV, the values shown in Fig. 9 are the dynamic response
Table 2
amplitude, not including the static displacement due to in-line
Test conditions for VIV prediction and comparison.
current. The prediction values have general agreement with the
measure values, while the envelopes of displacement show that Cases Current speed (m/s) Top tension (N)
the in-line response is composed as multiple frequencies. From
Fig. 2 it can be found that the first excitation region A 0.16 405
B 0.31 457
(0.375of r;IL o 0.76) has a wide non-frequency bandwidth and C 0.54 598
the variation of lift coefficient is smooth, which lead to approx-
imate input-power for adjacent vibration modes. However, the
bandwidth for the second excitation region (0.27 of r;IL o0.375) is
relatively narrow, and single frequency is likely to be excited.
Fig. 10 shows the cross-flow and in-line response frequencies
and mode weight factors. The in-line vibration contains the double According to Fig. 12(a), the present model and experimental
and triple cross-flow frequency components with higher order data show that mode 11(2.1 Hz) and mode 12(2.3 Hz) are the
modes, which is quite different with CF-VIV. dominant modes in this case. The maximum non-dimensional
displacement is about 0.35, which occurs near the bottom end of
the riser. The prediction results have more regular modal shapes
3.2. Tensioned risers in a linearly sheared current which lead to a little larger than the experimental values,
especially near the top end of the riser. Fig. 12(b) is the comparison
HanØtangen’s experiment was carried out on the west coast of of the curvature along the riser in cross-flow direction. The filled
Norway. The 90 m riser model was attached to a floating vessel circles represent the experimental measurements. The results
and kept at constant tension by a buoyancy can, as shown in Fig. 11 show that in the mid-region of the riser, the present model
(Lie and Kaasen, 2006). By moving the vessel at a constant speed, predicts little lower results, and in the two end regions, the
the riser was exposed to a linearly sheared current. The main curvature values are approximate with the experimental data.
parameters of the riser are listed in Table 3. Fig. 13 shows the RMS values of the in-line VIV displacement
The case with top velocity of 0.54 m/s is calculated by the and the curvature along the riser. It can be found that the
proposal numerical model in this study. Fig. 12 shows the root- experimental measurements of in-line response are more irregular
mean-square (RMS) values of the cross-flow VIV displacement and than the cross-flow vibration with wide and high participating
the curvature along the riser. modes. The results of present model indicate that the dominant
H. Xue et al. / Ocean Engineering 83 (2014) 52–62 57

Fig. 9. Comparison of cross-flow and in-line amplitude in stepped current.

Cross Flow In Line (2nd Region) In Line (1 Region)

Mode 2, 0.88Hz
Mode 4, 1.84Hz
Case A Mode 5, 2.30Hz
Mode 6, 2.81Hz

Mode 4, 1.95Hz
Mode 7, 3.74Hz
Case B
Mode 9, 5.00Hz
Mode 10, 5.69Hz

Mode 6, 3.50Hz
Mode10, 6.54Hz
Case C Mode 12, 8.15Hz
Mode 13, 9.02Hz
Mode 14, 9.95Hz

0.0 0.5 1.0 Fig. 11. Configuration of the experiment at HanØtangen.

Mode Weight Factor

Fig. 10. Excited frequency and mode weight factor.

modes are mode 21(4.8 Hz), mode 22(5.2 Hz) and mode 23(5.5 Hz), RMS displacement is a little larger than the measurements except
while the experimental amplitude spectrum shows the peaks are for the riser’s bottom zone. Fig. 13(b) is the comparison of the
around 4.2 Hz and 5.4 Hz (Lie and Kaasen, 2006). The predicting curvature along the riser in in-line direction. The maximum
58 H. Xue et al. / Ocean Engineering 83 (2014) 52–62

predicting value is about 1.43 mm  1 and it is closed to the distribution would influence curvature’s precision largely. In gen-
measurements. eral, the prediction values have reasonable agreement with the
It should be noted that the curvature, being proportional to the experiment data in this case.
bending stress in structural fatigue damage calculations, is
obtained by the second derivative of the displacement. Therefore,
the computational accuracy of response amplitude, added mass
4. Discussions on VIV fatigue damage characteristics
Table 3
Properties of the HanØtangen’s riser model. In this section, the HanØtangen’s riser model described in
Section 3.2 is used to carry out the parametric studies on the
Properties Values
fatigue damage induced by CF- and IL-VIV. The load case with
Length (m) 90.0 parameters in Table 3 and the top velocity of 0.54 m/s is defined as
Outer diameter (m) 0.030 the base case. The D-curve from DNV standard (DNV, 2010) is
Inner diameter (m) 0.026 applied which is valid for specimens in seawater exposed to free
Elastic modulus (N/m2) 2.1  1011
corrosion. The stress concentration factor is set to 1.0, and the
Mass (kg/m) 2.27
Top tension (N) 3700 length and diameter of the riser remain constant for all cases. The
variables of the top velocity, riser tension, internal fluid density

Fig. 12. RMS of cross-flow displacement and curvature.

Fig. 13. RMS of in-line displacement and curvature.

Fig. 14. Fatigue damage distributions under different current velocity profiles.
H. Xue et al. / Ocean Engineering 83 (2014) 52–62 59

and the material of riser are invested to discuss their effects on VIV From this case study, it can be drawn that increasing top
fatigue damage. tension properly would be benefit for riser’s VIV fatigue damage,
especially in cross-flow vibration. However, this will also increase
the tension stress of the riser cross section, therefore, an optimized
4.1. Effect of the top velocity in sheared current strategy should be considered for both fatigue and yielding
strength in practical engineering.
The velocity of the top velocity is multiplied by 0.90 and 1.10, i.e.
0.486 m/s and 0.594 m/s. The resulting damages are compared with
4.3. Effect of the internal fluid density
the base case, see Fig. 14. It is shown that the maximum fatigue
damage induced by cross-flow and in-line VIV is around 0.86 and
The risers may contain different fluid in drilling and oil produc-
0.78, respectively. Although the response displacement in cross-flow
tions. In this study, the typical densities of oil, sea water and mud are
direction is quite larger than in-line values, the maximum fatigue
selected to invest the effects of internal fluid on VIV fatigue. The
damage is approximately at the same level. The results under
fatigue damage distributions along the riser with different internal
different velocity profiles show that high velocity will excite high
fluids are shown in Fig. 16. The general trend of the fatigue damage is
order modes which will cause more severe damage.
to be increased with higher internal fluid density due to its effect on
It is worthwhile to point out that a reduction of 10% from the
the riser’s natural frequencies. It seems that the variations of fatigue
base case in the current velocities leads to a decrease in fatigue
damage are less regular and mainly depend on the excited vibrating
damage of around 50% for both cross-flow and in-line vibrations.
modes. For CF-VIV, the dominant modes for oil density and the base
case, seawater, are mode 11 and mode 12, which may lead to slight
4.2. Effect of the top tension difference in fatigue damage. The dominant frequencies will be
moved to mode 12 and mode 13 when mud density is selected,
The top tension is varied around the base case value, consider- which will cause more severe damage than other fluids. For IL-VIV,
ing 2960 N and 4440 N. The fatigue damage distributions along the dominant response frequencies are both 22nd and 23rd modes
the riser with different top tensions are shown in Fig. 15. It can be for seawater and mud density, meanwhile the riser with oil will be
found that the fatigue damage will decrease when the top tension excited in 21st and 22nd modes.
increases for both CF- and IL-VIV. It is the reason that the riser’s
natural frequencies would be increased with larger tension and 4.4. Effect of the riser’s material
lower order modes might be excited, which would lead to reduce
the bending stress and cycle counting frequency. The aluminum alloys with higher specific strength among
One important observation should be noted that the fatigue metals have attracted the designers’ attention as an alternative
damage variations are limited in a certain range for in-line VIV material in the fabrication of risers in recent years. In this study,
with different top tensions. It is known that the eigenfrequencies the VIV fatigue damage for the aluminum alloy riser (AAR) is
of a tensioned riser will be tension dominated for the lower predicted to compare with the conventional steel riser (SR).
modes, while the bending stiffness becomes more important with The principal parameters of SR and AAR are listed in Table 4.
increasing mode order. Hence, the effort of tension is much more The geometrical dimensions and velocity remain the same as the
significant for cross-flow vibration than in-line VIV. base case. The S-N curve for AAR is adopted from the fatigue test

Fig. 15. Fatigue damage distributions with different top tensions.

Fig. 16. Fatigue damage distributions with different internal fluid densities.
60 H. Xue et al. / Ocean Engineering 83 (2014) 52–62

results in seawater published in Gelfgat et al. (2004), see Fig. 17. Fig. 18 shows the natural frequencies of mode 1 to mode 30 for
The top tension applied on the AAR is 1530 N, which keeps the the SR and AAR in the still water. The frequencies of the AAR are
same ratio of tension to apparent weight as the steel riser in the lower than the steel riser’s, due to the difference in elastic
base case. modulus.
The distributions of combined fatigue stress are shown in
Fig. 19. The peak stress for the SR is 18.1 MPa and 13.3 MPa for
Table 4
CF- and IL-VIV respectively, while the values are about 9.7 MPa
Principal parameters of steel riser and aluminum alloy riser.
and 8.2 MPa for the AAR in the same current profile. Even though
Parameters Steel riser (SR) Aluminum alloys riser (AAR) the dominant modes of the AAR are higher than the SR, their
response frequencies are of slight difference, as shown in Fig. 20.
Elastic modulus (N/m2) 2.1  1011 7  1010 Fig. 21 shows the fatigue damage distributions of the steel riser
Density (kg/m3) 7800 2650
Top tension (N) 3700 1530
and the aluminum alloys riser. The fatigue damage of the AAR is
about 10% of the SR due to its lower bending stress both for CF and
IL vibrations. From this viewpoint, the application of the alumi-
num alloys shows significant benefits in VIV fatigue for deepwater

5. Conclusions

A prediction model for VIV fatigue damage in cross-flow and

in-line directions for marine risers is presented from practical and
industrial viewpoints. The forced vibration experimental data of a
rigid cylinder and the empirical non-linear damping model is used
to simulate the cross-flow and in-line hydrodynamic coefficient,
respectively. The response amplitude is corrected by the input
power within the overlap excitation region. In order to validate the
approach, two flexible riser models under stepped and linearly
sheared currents are simulated to compare with the measured
data. The VIV fatigue damage characteristics affected by some key

Fig. 17. S–N curves for SR and AAR.

Fig. 18. Comparison of natural frequencies for SR and AAR. Fig. 20. Dominant response frequency.

Fig. 19. Fatigue stress distribution along the riser.

H. Xue et al. / Ocean Engineering 83 (2014) 52–62 61

Fig. 21. Fatigue damage distributions of SR and AAR.

variables are discussed based on the proposal model. The conclu- and the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher
sions obtained can be summarized as follows: Education of China (Grant No. 20100073120017).

(1) The envelopes of displacements along the riser show reason-

able agreement with the experimental observations in CF and
IL vibration except for the local regions near two ends. The
predictions of curvatures are in general acceptable by compar-
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