Flexible pipes are essential elements for offshore production systems. Such structures can be severely damaged during the operational phase due to adverse environmental conditions and dynamic loads in deep water applications. The laying operation is considered one of the most critical stages in the flexible pipe life-time since the structures are subject to severe crushing-traction loads. These loads are the result of dynamic effects from sea and static loading applied by shoes of the caterpillars on the launching vessel. To study the influence of static loading parameters in the flexible pipe crushing load resistance, this paper will present a numerical analysis through the Finite Element Method. In order to carry on the qualitative analysis, tridimensional models were built considering the parametrization of geometry, materials, boundary conditions and contact pairs. The layers represented in these models are resistant to radial loads (interlocked carcass and pressure armor), internal and external polymeric sheath and the caterpillar shoes. Important parameters from this aforementioned model were taken into account as: number of caterpillar shoes, opening angle of those shoes and contact between layers. Three different case studies are presented considering these parameters. The failure results are addressed and discussed based on specific regulations for installation loads of flexible pipes.

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