Accurate determination of residual ovality is an important parameter for a successful deployment of single pipeline and pipe-in-pipe in deep waters wherein the integrity of empty pipes during installation depends upon the collapse resistance under external hydrostatic pressure. The reel-lay process of installation during which pipeline undergoes multiple strain cycles due to spooling, reeling and straightening has a significant bearing on pipe ovalisation and hence accurate determination residual ovality at the end of straightening process is one of the key inputs.

It is industry practice to use numerical finite element analysis techniques to predict residual ovality of pipelines as full scale testing is expensive and time consuming. In view of the importance of residual ovality on the pipeline integrity particularly for deepwater applications, an integrated approach of testing and finite element simulation have been used to identify the correct numerical model that predicts residual ovality accurately. This paper discusses the full scale tests performed which include material testing and bend tests performed to simulate spooling and straightening process and the pipeline deformations recorded using laser measurements at different cycles of bending process. The paper presents a brief summary of numerical finite element analyses performed to validate the test results and the effect of element types and material models used in the finite element analyses on the predictability of residual ovality.

The material evolution models and their effect on the predictability of remaining ovality are discussed in the paper. Comparisons are made on the predictive residual ovality for reel lay process on single pipe and pipe-in-pipe. The effect of residual ovality on the pipeline integrity for the lateral buckling limit state under combined bending and external pressure are discussed in the paper.

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