The future water depth capabilities for unbonded flexible pipes is being pushed by NKT Flexibles I/S through the development of an innovative flexible pipe structure, taking full advantage of the material characteristics of metallic, polymeric and fibre reinforced materials. The fluid tight liner and possible insulation of this pipe structure are supported by an inner armour, capable of carrying the external hydrostatic pressure, clamp and crushing loads, as well as axial compression load, and an outer armour, consisting of two cross wound layers of carbon/epoxy composites, carrying the internal pressure as well as end cap forces and applied tension. A permeable and radially flexible outer layer protects the composite armour. Combining known and well-proven flexible pipe technologies and new solutions for materials, structure and functionality of the flexible pipe, positions this future product outside the present industry standards for flexible pipes, e.g. API-17J. The analysis tools used for the conventional flexible pipes are validated by NKT according to the API-17J specification. The API-17J describes load cases and corresponding allowable utilization ratios, stated as design criteria. However, this approach is not directly applicable to the composite pipe, where the same analysis tools will be used, but the material in one of the two primary load bearing layers is made of fibre reinforced polymer, a material class not covered by the API allowable utilization factors. The DNV offshore standard DNV-OS-C501 considers any offshore structure in which the load bearing material is a composite. An accompanying Recommended Practice DNV-RP-F202 for composite risers has also been issued, but is not applicable to the composite flexible pipe. The design equations of the DNV standard are formulated in the so-called Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) format, where partial safety factors are applied to the load effects and to the resistance variables that enter the design equations. The DNV standard DNV-OS-C501 covers composite materials and composite metal interfaces of a structure, metal parts should be designed according to other relevant standards. The API standard can therefore be used for the metal parts. One of the challenges in using this combined approach is the different ways loads are defined in the two standards. In short, this will result in a conventional API design check of the inner armour, the polymer layers, and the secondary layers, whereas the composite tensile armour, special intermediate layers and the interfaces will be analyzed with composite specific tools based on the criteria derived from the DNV standard. The qualification procedure is described and exemplified in the following.

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