Steel catenary risers (SCR) are widely used in offshore to transport hydrocarbon from the seabed to floating or fixed platforms. The fatigue life of SCR near the touchdown zone (TDZ) is one of the main design concerns because the risers are often subjected to cyclic loading (vertical penetration/uplift, lateral and axial displacements) from various sources of environmental loadings, such as sea waves and currents. Numerical modeling of the penetration and uplift behaviour of an SCR is a challenging task. Most of the models available in the literature for uplift resistance are empirical, which have been developed mainly from the results of physical experiments.

In this study, numerical simulation of vertical resistance is presented. Analysis is performed using ANSYS CFX software. Strain-softening and strain-rate dependent undrained shear strength behavior of soft clay sediment has been reported by many researchers. Unfortunately, these models were not available in CFX. Numerical simulations presented in this paper are performed implementing this behavior in CFX. Numerical results are compared with available empirical models. The present CFX modeling explains some mechanisms involved in trench formation and suction development during uplift. Factors affecting uplift resistance such as the size and shape of the trench are also discussed from a parametric study.

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