Offshore pipeline systems commonly incorporate induction-heating formed bends along flowlines and in pipeline end termination assemblies and spools. In deepwater locations, the pipeline and bends are subjected to various combinations of external pressure, internal pressure, bending moment and temperature changes, during installation, and operation. Although there is a history of research into the limiting loads and failure modes of such bends and pipelines systems there is, as yet, no comprehensive guidance to enable the calculation of the maximum capacity under combined bending and external pressure loading. Conservative guidance is presented in DNV OS-F101 (2007) [1] that proposes increasing the pipe wall thickness to reduce the effect of external pressure collapse effects thus enabling bending formulations relevant to straight pipe to be used. This proposed approach leads to unfeasibly large wall thickness requirements in very deepwater applications. There is therefore a requirement for a method to design deepwater bends for installation and operation conditions with levels of safety comparable with those used in the design of straight sections of pipelines that does not depend on the requirement to increase the wall thickness to the extent proposed in the current DNV guidance. In this study, a nonlinear FE method using ABAQUS is proposed to evaluate the ultimate capacities of induction-heating formed bends. The method takes into account the combined effects of non-linear material properties, initial ovality, wall thinning/thickening, external or internal pressure, internal CRA cladding and temperature change on the ultimate moment capacity of the bend. The numerical model is validated by comparison with available published results. The method developed here is based on the limit state design formulations in the current DNV OS-F101 guidance.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.