The J-lay method is regarded as one of the most feasible methods to lay a pipeline in deep water and ultra-deep water. A numerical model that accounts for the nonlinear soil stiffness is developed in this study to evaluate a J-lay pipeline. The pipeline considered in this model is divided into two parts: the part one is suspended in water, and the part two is laid on the seabed. In addition to the boundary conditions at the two end points of the pipeline, a special set of the boundary conditions is required at the touchdown point that connects the two parts of the pipeline. The two parts of the pipeline are solved by a numerical iterative method and the finite difference method, respectively. The proposed numerical model is validated for a special case using a catenary model and a numerical model with linear soil stiffness. A good agreement in the pipeline configuration, the tension force and the bending moment is obtained among these three models. Furthermore, the present model is used to study the importance of the nonlinear soil stiffness. Finally, the parametric study is performed to study the effect of the mudline shear strength, the gradient of the soil shear strength, and the outer diameter of the pipeline on the pipelaying solution.
Ying-fei zan, ch YANG, Duan-feng HAN, Li-hao YUAN, Zhi-gang Li
Pipeline, nonlinear soil stiffness, numerical method, pipe-soil interaction
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