Pipes with a corrugated inner surface, as used in flexible pipes for gas production and transport, can be subject to Flow-Induced Pulsations when the flow velocities are higher than a certain onset velocity. The onset velocity for classical corrugated pipes can be predicted on basis of the geometry of the corrugations, the operational conditions and the geometry of the topside and subsea piping. A newly developed inner carcass design for flexible pipes features smaller corrugation cavities. The effect of narrow cavities on the whistling of corrugated cavities is evaluated.
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 deeper and narrower cavities. These tests were performed in order to evaluate the validity of a prediction model for the onset of pulsations, for corrugated pipes with these kinds of atypical variations. The experimental results show that the validity of the model remains reasonable, except when the cavities are very narrow. In this case, the model becomes overly conservative. The deviation is attributed to the momentum thickness of the boundary layer, which is too large compared to the cavity width. In this case, any instability of the shear layer is destroyed, which prevents whistling. Furthermore, the shift towards higher frequencies of the acoustic source term due to narrower cavities, and the possible coupling with higher acoustic modes, are considered.