Abstract

Traditionally, fatigue life calculations are very expensive in terms of time and computer resources. They are usually performed during riser design phases, when several lines with similar characteristics need to be analyzed. While operating, when problems are detected, fatigue analyses are also necessary to help to decide if any action is needed. In both situations, end fittings and bendstiffeners are usually the critical regions. Considering the high number of flexible risers installed in Brazil and the structural complexity of this kind of structure, a robust and fast methodology to evaluate the fatigue life of flexible risers becomes attractive. In this way, this paper proposes a analytical/numerical methodology to evaluate the fatigue life at the top region of flexible pipes. Using the top imposed motions and taking into account the properties of all structures in the riser, it is possible to evaluate tension analytically. Combining tension and the rotations imposed at the top of the riser, curvatures are determined, and stresses can be calculated. Finally, SN curves and the Miner’s rule for damage accumulation allow the estimation of fatigue life. The obtained results indicate that the proposed methodology is conservative when compared to traditional ones. Also, it is very fast, allowing the fatigue life estimation in minutes.

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