The bending stiffeners discussed in this paper are ancillary structural components installed on flexible lines at their connections with floating units in offshore oil production systems. The configuration of these accessories must provide the installation with a gradual variation of the bending stiffness near the line’s attaching point, smoothing the curvature and avoiding that the structural bending limit of the flexible line be exceeded, and thus reducing the stress field of the compliant structure therein fixed. Generally modeled as having a simple conical shape, in practice, however, bending stiffeners geometries are not so simple. Indeed, units consisting of four different sections are common. This paper presents a parametric structural analysis of these components by means of an analytically formulated model, which results in a second order non-linear differential equation with variable coefficients. The ensuing mathematical boundary value problem is solved numerically with a code developed in Matlab®, using an internal program based on a collocation method — as opposed to a shooting method. Bending stiffener design and normative issues are also briefly discussed. Finally, solutions obtained previously both analytically and by finite element discretizations are used to validate the analytical solutions obtained herein.

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