As oil and gas industry is developing towards deeper ocean area, the length and flexibility of ocean risers become larger, which may induce larger-amplitude displacement of flexible riser response due to lower structural stiffness against environmental and operational loads. Moreover, suffering not only the external fluid loads coming from environmental ocean wave and current, these risers also convey internal flow. In other words, the dynamic characteristics and response of the flow-conveying riser face great challenge, such as bucking, divergence and flutter, because of the fluid-solid coupling of the internal hydrodynamics and riser structural dynamics.

In this study the dynamic characteristics and stability of a flexible riser, under consideration of its internal flow and, particularly, non-uniform axial tension, are examined through our FEM numerical simulations. First, the governing equations and FEM models of a flexible riser with axially-varying tension and internal flow are developed. Then the dynamic characteristics, including the coupled frequency and modal shape, are presented, as considering the speed of internal speed changes. At last, the dynamic response and corresponding stability behaviors are discussed and compared with the cases of riser with uniform tension. Our FEM results show that the stability and response are quite different from riser with uniform tension. And, the time-spatial evolution of riser displacement exhibit a strong wave propagation phenomenon where travelling wave are observed.

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