A laboratory-scale model was designed to investigate the influence of the internal flow of two-phase oil and gas mixtures on the motion of slender risers hanging in catenary configuration used for offshore petroleum production in deep waters. The behavior of the riser arises from the interplay of various dynamic phenomena: the long length and relatively small diameter of the pipeline confers a cable-like elasticity to the system, which, under static loading, assumes a catenary shape; dynamic excitation caused by environmental conditions generates oscillations. The internal flow momentum may impose a natural whipping displacement — compounding swinging and bending — adding to the concerns of stress and fatigue. The internal flow may display different two-phase patterns (bubbles, slugs, intermittent, annular or stratified mixtures) possessing completely different characteristics; also, the flow-induced dynamic loading depends on the flow rates of both oil and gas phases. Although computer codes have been developed to simulate the motion of risers, there is much need for experimental validation. This research attempts to discern the effects of the internal flow, discriminating it from the other dynamic phenomena. Accelerometers and video acquisition were employed to verify the phenomenon and to determine the frequency spectrum of the oscillations.

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