Pipes and tubular members are used in offshore applications as structural elements such as columns or in transport pipelines, risers etc. When subjected to dynamic loads, weld defects or geometrical stress raisers can initiate fatigue cracks causing the columns or pipelines to fail prematurely. In order to investigate the fatigue behaviour of pipe joints, a resonant bending fatigue setup was designed, suitable for testing pipes within a diameter range from 6 to 20. In this setup the pipe, filled with water, is subjected to a dynamic excitation force with a frequency close to the natural frequency of the filled pipe. The force is applied using a unique drive unit with excentric masses. The pipe is supported in the nodes of its natural wave-form, so that no dynamic forces are transmitted to the setup. The deformation of the pipe is measured at discrete locations using an optical 3D dynamic measuring system. Through thickness fatigue cracks can be detected by pressurizing the water in the pipe and applying a pressure gauge. In this paper some unique aspects of the design of the resonant bending fatigue setup are discussed by presenting the results of a semi-analytical model used for calculating the deformation and bending stress in the excitated pipe and by comparing these results to the deformation measurements made by the dynamic measuring system. The working principles of the setup are illustrated by showing the preliminary test results for a 12 diameter X65 steel pipe with a wall thickness of 12.7mm. It is demonstrated that the model predicts the behaviour of the pipe in the setup very accurately.

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