Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) is entering a new era of laying pipelines using the reel-lay method in order to be more cost effective for deep and shallow water pipeline installation projects. The new Deep water Construction Vessel (DCV) Aegir is designed to be able to reel/J-lay pipelines for a range of pipe dimension and water depth combinations. The paper describes how the full reeling cycles Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of the Aegir have been developed step by step from the development of the bend rig test, spooling-on to spooling-off FE models which is validated by the bend rig test program. The required material test program is performed to characterize the correct material behavior under plastic cyclic straining.

The know-how from the validation of the FEA of bend rig tests by performing the bend tests program is used to setup the full-reeling cycles simulation of spooling-on pipeline on the yard and spooling-off pipeline on board of the Aegir. A series of bend rig tests have been performed at Heriot-Watt University. Ovality measurements from the tests are compared with the predicted results from the bend rig FEA simulation model. Based on small scale specimen tests which are performed to describe the proper material behavior under plastic cyclic straining, a new material model has been proposed and discussed to provide a correct prediction of ovalization against the number of bend cycles. Comparison between the bend rig test measurements and the Aegir full reeling cycles simulation results is made by comparing the deformation of the pipe (ovalization) against a number of bend cycles. Discussion is given to justify the difference in the outcomes as well as the representation of the bend tests program for the qualification test program for reeling with the Aegir.

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