In recent years, most fluid produced or exported has been transported using steel catenary risers (SCRs) attached to deepwater floating structures. The SCRs are terminated at the floating structures using Top Termination Units (TTUs) such as flexible joints or tapered stress joints. The flexible joints are usually designed to allow the riser to rotate with the floating structure motion and reduce the amount of moments transferred to the hull structure. The flexible joints depend on the flexibility and compressibility of the elastomer layers to allow for the rotation of the SCR. The stress joints, alternatively, provide fixed support at the hull and thus larger bending moment that has to be accounted for in the hull design. The stress joints can be made of steel or titanium material. The SCR TTU’s receptacle, which will be welded to the hull porch and contains the TTU basket, has to be designed to meet the force and reaction requirements associated with the selected TTU type. However, in some cases which could be due to failure of the TTU to meet the expected life or the operational requirements, the operators may have to replace the damaged TTU with another one or with a different TTU type. A few examples are available in the Gulf of Mexico. Recently the Flexible Joint TTU of the Independent Hub 20-inch export SCR had an operational problem. During the course of investigating the related issues and studying possible solutions, one option considered was the feasibility of replacing the Flexible Joint (FJ) with Titanium Tapered Stress Joint (TSJ). This paper highlights the issues that have to be considered in the design of the FJ existing receptacle to accommodate the force reactions of a Titanium TSJ. These issues are addressed and the results of the detailed finite element analysis performed are provided. The analysis conclusions, which are related to the feasibility of the existing receptacle to receive the loads imposed by TSJ and the modifications required to achieve this, are presented.

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