García-Palacios, Jaime H. and Samartín, Avelino and Negro Valdecantos, Vicente
A nonlinear analysis of laying a floating pipeline on the seabed.
"Engineering Structures", v. 31
In this article, a model for the determination of displacements, strains, and stresses of a submarine pipeline during its construction is presented. Typically, polyethylene outfall pipelines are the ones treated by this model. The process is carried out from an initial floating situation to the final laying position on the seabed. The following control variables are considered in the laying process: the axial load in the pipe, the flooded inner length, and the distance of the control barge from the coast. External loads such as self-weight, dead loads, and forces due to currents and small waves are also taken into account.This paper describes both the conceptual framework for the proposed model and its practical application in a real engineering situation. The authors also consider how the model might be used as a tool to study how sensitive the behavior of the pipeline is to small changes in the values of the control variables. A detailed description of the actions is considered, especially the ones related to the marine environment such as buoyancy, current, and sea waves. The structural behavior of the pipeline is simulated in the framework of a geometrically nonlinear dynamic analysis. The pipeline is assumed to be a two-dimensional Navier_Bernoulli beam. In the nonlinear analysis an updated Lagrangian formulation is used, and special care is taken regarding the numerical aspects of sea bed contact, follower forces due to external water pressures, and dynamic actions. The paper concludes by describing the implementation of the proposed techniques, using the ANSYS computer program with a number of subroutines developed by the authors. This implementation permits simulation of the two-dimensional structural pipe behavior of the whole construction process. A sensitivity analysis of the bending moments, axial forces, and stresses for different values of the control variables is carried out. Using the techniques described, the engineer may optimize the construction steps in the pipe laying process