Pipes for gas production and transport with a corrugated inner surface, as used in flexible pipes, can be subject to Flow-Induced Pulsations when the flow velocity is larger than a certain velocity. This onset velocity is dependent on the geometry of the corrugations, the operational conditions and the geometry of the topside and subsea piping.
In this paper, small-scale tests performed on corrugated tubes are reported. The tested geometries include both “classical” profiles, similar to the inner profile of agraff flexible risers, and profiles with less typical variations, such as narrower and/or deeper cavities, or irregular pitch. These tests were performed in order to evaluate the validity of a prediction model developed earlier for the onset of pulsations, for corrugated pipes with these kinds of atypical variations, which are found on a new type of carcass designs. The mechanism of Flow-Induced Pulsations in corrugated pipes is discussed, as well as the principle of the prediction model. The experimental results show that the validity of the model remains reasonable in most cases, except when the cavities are very narrow. In this case, the model becomes overly conservative. This limitation can be attributed to the fact that, for very narrow cavities, the cavity opening becomes too small compared to the boundary-layer momentum thickness, effectively destroying any instability of the shear layer. Furthermore, the shift towards higher frequencies of the acoustic source term due to narrower cavities, and the possible coupling with higher acoustic modes, is considered.
The results of the analysis are used to evaluate the onset velocity and whistling behavior of a newly developed carcass design of flexible risers. A previous analysis has indicated that the particular geometry profile of the new design improves the whistling behavior by pushing the onset velocity outside the typical operational envelope of flexible risers. The analysis confirms that the new design will be less prone to whistling than flexible risers with classical agraff carcasses.