The winding and unwinding of a pipeline in the reeling installation process involves repeated excursions into the plastic range of the material, which induce ovality and changes to the mechanical properties. We present two modeling schemes for simulating reeling/unreeling capable of capturing these changes and can be used to assess their impact on the structural performance of the pipeline in deeper waters. In the first model, the complete 3-D reeling process is simulated through a finite element model that includes proper treatment of contact and nonlinear kinematic hardening for plasticity. The second model includes the pipe geometric cross sectional nonlinearities, contact, and nonlinear kinematic hardening, but variations along the length of the line are neglected. Instead, an axially uniform curvature/tension loading history is applied that corresponds to that experienced by a point of the line during the process. The two models are used to simulate a set of experiments in which tubes were wound and unwound on a model reel at different values of tension. Both models are shown to reproduce the induced ovality and elongation very well. Several of the reeled tubes were subsequently tested under external pressure demonstrating the effect of the reeling cycle on structural performance. The two models are shown to also reproduce the decrease in collapse pressure as a function of the applied back tension. Comparison of the results of such simulations highlight when a fully 3-D model is required and when the simpler 2-D model is adequate for evaluating the structural performance of a reeled pipe.

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