Flexible risers are being deployed in more and more demanding applications in terms of water depth, remote locations, temperature, pressure and corrosive fluids. Focus has been put on long term riser integrity in general, and on fatigue performance in particular, as knowledge of pipe behavior and properties has been advanced over the last decade. In this context, accurate and consistent estimation of riser global and local response to external loading is essential. A methodology has been developed to efficiently calculate irregular wave stress time histories of tensile armour wires for flexible risers. The stress time histories are calculated directly from the global loads which are usually generated by using commercially available well proven global analysis tools. The methodology elevates the dynamic analysis of flexible risers from the conventional regular-wave approach to irregular-wave time-domain approach. This in turn allows a better assessment of the fatigue performance and provides a better fit-for-service assessment or an opportunity to reduce design conservatism. This methodology also allows for consistent stochastic fatigue evaluations to be performed in time domain simulations using the well established stochastic analysis approach. All flexible riser non-linear hysteretic effects are included and phase shift between tension and curvature is also fully accounted for. The key ingredient lies in the generation of transfer functions of all stress components using a validated local analysis (LA) tool based on finite element method. This is done because direct use of the LA tool for long time domain simulations is very computationally intensive and impractical. The stress transfer functions allow direct mapping of the tension and curvature readings to individual stress components, which are combined in a phase consistent manner to obtain the total stress-time histories. This methodology should also work well for other systems having complicated cross sections such as dynamic umbilicals and integrated production bundle, etc. Accuracy of the proposed methodology should be equivalent to that of using the LA tool directly provided that the stress transfer functions are constructed appropriately. In comparison with the traditional regular-wave methodology, this irregular wave approach has been shown to provide a significant fatigue-life improvement for the flexible riser tensile-wire in a deep water West Africa application.

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