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Ocean Engineering 28 (2001) 13251338

Free spanning analysis of offshore pipelines


H.S. Choi
Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Pusan National University, Pusan 609-735, South Korea Received 18 May 2000; accepted 13 September 2000

Abstract A rigorous procedure was established on the free span analysis of offshore pipelines. The closed form solutions of the beamcolumn equation, considering tension and compressive force, were derived for the various possible boundary conditions. The solutions can be used to nd the natural frequencies of the free spans using the energy balance concept. The results can be applied to improve the current design codes. The improved procedure will yield more realistic calculations of the allowable free span lengths of offshore pipelines. Some calculations are included to present the sensitivity of the axial forces on the allowable free spanning lengths. 2001 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
Keywords: Offshore pipeline; Vortex shedding; Allowable free span length

1. Introduction For a safe operation of offshore gas or oil pipeline during and after installation, the free span lengths should be maintained within the allowable lengths, which are determined during the design stage. Free spans may be caused by seabed unevenness and change of seabed topology such as scouring or sand wave (Danish Hydraulic Institute, 1997). Once a free span longer than the allowable span length occurs, the free span may suffer the vortex-induced vibration (VIV) and consequently suffer the fatigue damages on the pipe due to the wave and current. The vortex shedding phenomenon results in two kinds of periodic forces on a free span of a pipe. Symmetrical vortices are shed when the ow velocity is low. A pipe will start to oscillate in-line with the ow when the vortex shedding frequency is about one-third of the natural frequency of a pipe span. Lock-in occurs when the vortex shedding frequency is half of the natural frequency. As the ow velocity increases further, the crossow oscillation begins to occur and the vortex shedding frequency may approach
0029-8018/01/$ - see front matter 2001 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. PII: S 0 0 2 9 - 8 0 1 8 ( 0 0 ) 0 0 0 7 1 - 8

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the natural frequency of the pipe span. Amplied responses due to resonance between the vortex shedding frequency and natural frequency of the free span may cause fatigue damage. Thus, the determination of the critical allowable span lengths under the various environments becomes an important part of pipeline design. During the extensive study of vortex-induced vibration, it was found that the current design code is insufcient to include all the aspects of design, installation, and operation. The axial force (tension or compression) has a signicant effect on determining the critical allowable span lengths. Therefore, this study suggests some improvement on the current design code regarding the vortex-induced vibration and free span analysis.

2. Parameters of vortex shedding analysis The Strouhal number, St, is a non-dimensional number which relates the vortex shedding frequency, the diameter of the cylindrical pipe, and the velocity of the ow: St fsD U (1)

where fs is the vortex shedding frequency, U is the ow velocity normal to the pipe axis, and D is the diameter of the pipe. The Reynolds number, Re, is used to determine the range of the vortex shedding: Re UD v (2)

where v is the kinematic viscosity of uid. Vortex shedding is well organized at sub-critical (300 Re 3105) and trans-critical (Re 3.5106) ranges. At the critical range (3105 Re 3.5106), vortex shedding is disorganized and vortex-induced motion is insignicant (Blevins, 1990). The stability parameter, Ks, determines uniquely the maximum amplitude of vibrations (Sumer and Fredsoe, 1994) and is dened as: Ks 2med rD2 (3)

where d is the logarithmic decrement of damping, r is the mass density of the surrounding water, and me is the effective mass per unit length, including structural mass, added mass and the mass of any uid contained within the pipe. Reduced velocity, Vr, is used to determine the velocity ranges of the occurrence of VIV. Vr is dened as: Vr U fnD (4)

where fn is the natural frequency of the pipe. Symmetric vortices are shed when Vr falls between 1.0 and 2.2. When Vr exceeds 2.2, vortices are shed alternately. Accord-

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ing to the Det Norske Veritas (DNV) codes (1981, 1991 and 1998), in-line vortex shedding may occur when 1.0 Vr 3.5. As ow velocity increases further, the crossow oscillation occurs and lock-in happens when Vr is about 5.0.

3. Allowable span length by DNV 3.1. Allowable span lengths Allowable span lengths are governed by the code limitations regarding maximum allowable stresses and by the onset of vortex shedding criteria. The allowable pipe span lengths can be chosen as the lesser lengths found from the span length criteria of the ANSI code: allowable stress (static), and the DNV code: onset of VIV (dynamic). Most of the allowable span lengths are governed by the onset of a VIV. Thus, this study is dealing with only the allowable span due to vortex shedding. 3.2. Calculation of allowable span lengths 3.2.1. In-line motion According to the DNV codes (1981, 1991 and 1998), in-line vortex shedding may occur when 1.0 Vr 3.5 and Ks 1.8. Once the range of the in-line oscillations has been established, based on the upper and lower bound values of Vr, the corresponding pipe spans can be determined. Fig. A.3 in the DNV code (1981) is used to obtain the lower bound value of Vr based on Ks for the onset of in-line motion. The upper bound value of Vr is set at 3.5. The natural frequency of the pipe can then be calculated using the aforementioned relationship. The allowable pipe spans (lower bound values) are then computed by solving for the span length L, the following formula: L EI me
0.25

CVrD 2pU

0.5

(5)

where E is the modulus of elasticity, I is the moment of inertia, and C is the end boundary coefcient. 3.2.2. Cross-ow motion For cross-ow oscillations, vortex shedding may occur when Ks 16 and Vr falls within the range as determined in Fig. A.5 in the DNV code. The allowable pipe spans are then determined using the same procedure as Eq. (5) and cross-ow Vr. 3.3. Maximum amplitude of vibration 3.3.1. In-line motion Once the stability parameter is determined, the maximum amplitude of motion can be directly obtained from Fig. A.4 in the DNV code (1981).

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3.3.2. Cross-ow motion The maximum amplitude of cross-ow motion can be determined by Fig. A.6 in the DNV code (1981). The mode shape parameters are required to get the maximum amplitude of cross-ow motion. 3.3.3. Mode shapes Free transverse vibration of the BernoulliEuler beam is governed by: d 2y d2 EI 2 dx2 dx d 2y rA 2 0 dt (6)

where y is the displacement of the beam and rA is the mass per unit length of the beam. Assuming a harmonic motion given by y(x, t) Y(x) cos(wt a) and substituting Eq. (7) into Eq. (6), one gets the eigenvalue equation: d 4Y EI 4 rAw2Y 0 dx On substituting b4 rAw2 EI (9) (8) (7)

the fourth-order differential equation is obtained for a vibration of a uniform beam: d 4Y 4 bY 0 dx4 The general solution of Eq. (10) may be written in the form Y(x) C1 sinh bx C2 cosh bx C3 sin bx C4 cos bx The four constants and b can be obtained using boundary conditions: Fixed end boundary condition: Y 0, dY 0 dx d2Y 0 dx2 (12) (11) (10)

Pinned end boundary condition: Y 0, (13)

Free end boundary condition: d3Y d 2Y 0, 3 0 dx2 dx (14)

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The mode shapes for each boundary condition are as follows: Fixedfree boundary condition: Y(x) C{cosh bx cos bx Kr(sinh bx sin bx)} where Kr (cosh bL+cos bL) (sinh bL+sin bL) (15)

Pinnedpinned boundary condition: Y(x) C sin rpx L (16)

Fixedpinned boundary condition: Y(x) C{cosh bx cos bx Kr(sinh bx sin bx)} where Kr (cosh bLcos bL) (sinh bLsin bL) (17)

Fixedxed boundary condition: the equation of motion is the same as Eq. (17), but the different boundary conditions result in a different form of the mode shape.

3.3.4. Mode shape parameter, g The mode shape parameter, g, is dened as: L 1/2 g YmaxL
0

0 where Ymax is the maximum value of the mode shape. Once the mode shape parameter is obtained from Eq. (18), the maximum amplitude of cross-ow motion can be obtained from the DNV code (1981). 3.4. Results by DNV code approach A pipe diameter of 324 mm (12 in.) and wall thickness of 16 mm (0.625 in.) was used for the calculations. Table 1 shows mode shape factors for various mode shapes and boundary conditions. Table 2 shows vortex shedding frequencies for in-line and cross-ow directions as the ow velocity increases. Figs. 1 and 2 show allowable span

Y2(x) dx

Y4(x) dx

(18)

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Table 1 Mode shape factors for various boundary conditions B.C. Fixedfree Mode number 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 Mode shape factor 1.3050 1.4987 1.5371 1.5634 1.1547 1.1547 1.1547 1.1547 1.1613 1.1934 1.2057 1.2124 1.1670 1.1613 1.1824 1.1934

Pinnedpinned

Fixedpinned

Fixedxed

Table 2 Vortex shedding frequencies (Hz) Current speed (m/s) In-line Cross-ow 0.3 0.6 0.9 1.2 1.5

0.480 0.190

0.961 0.390

1.441 0.600

1.922 0.820

2.402 1.046

lengths and Table 3 presents the amplitudes of motion for various boundary conditions. As mentioned in Section 2, the maximum amplitude of vortex-induced vibration is uniquely determined by the stability parameter. This fact indicates that the maximum amplitude is not controlled by the uid speed. If uid speed increases, the allowable span length will be reduced and the maximum amplitude remains the same.

4. Effect of axial force on span analysis 4.1. Effect of axial force The load on the pipeline during the operation is not the same as the loading condition during installation. During installation, the pipeline may have residual tension

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Fig. 1.

Allowable span lengths by DNV (in-line).

Fig. 2.

Allowable span lengths by DNV (cross-ow).

due to the lay-barge method. During operation, the pipeline may have operational load due to the operational pressure and temperature. This operational loading may cause very high compressive force in part of the pipeline. Therefore, the effect of axial force is studied in this section and applied to the DNV code to calculate the modied allowable span lengths. 4.2. Governing equation and solutions The axial force may greatly alter the shape of the elastic deection and its inuence on the equilibrium conditions cannot be neglected. When a pipeline is subjected to a transverse downward load of w(x) per unit length, and an axial force, Nx, the governing equation for a beam under an axial force is: d 2y d2 EI 2 2 dx dx Nx d2y w(x) dx2 (19)

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Table 3 Amplitude of response for various boundary conditions (m) B.C. In-line Cross-ow FixFix 0.025 0.429 PinPin 0.025 0.378 FixPin 0.025 0.381 FixFree 0.025 0.384

The positive and negative Nx respectively denote compression and tension. The general solutions of Eq. (19) are: For Nx 0: y C1 sinh lx C2 cosh lx C3x C4 For Nx 0: y C1x3 C2x2 C3x C4 w(x)x4 24EI w(x)x2 2Nx w(x)x2 2Nx (20) (21) (22)

For Nx 0: y C1 sin lx C2 cos lx C3x C4

where l=|Nx|/EI The coefcients C1, C2, C3, and C4 were determined from various boundary conditions and are presented in Table 4. The boundary conditions are provided by the end conditions: Fix end condition: Y 0, dY 0 dx (23)

Pinned end condition: Y 0, d2Y 0 dx2 (24)

Free end condition: d3Y dy d 2Y 0, EI 3 Nx 0 2 dx dx dx (25)

When Nx approaches zero, the deections of Eqs. (20) and (22) converge to Eq. (21). If Nx is positive and l approaches a critical value, then deections of the beams increase indenitely and Eulers buckling load for the beams is yielded.

Table 4 Coefcients in solutions of beamcolumn equation


C2 w(lL sinh lL+1) l2Nx cosh lL lC1 wL2 4EI 0 w(lL sin lL1) l2Nx cos lL lC1 C2 C3 C4

B.C.

Nx

C1

Fixfree

wL lNx

wL 6EI

wL lNx

C2

Pinpin

w(cosh lL1) l2Nx sinh lL 0

w l2Nx

wL 2Nx wL3 24EI wL 2Nx lC1 0

C2

wL 12EI w l2Nx w(2 sinh lL+sinh lL(lL)2+2lL) 2l2Nx(cosh lLlLsinh lL) wL2 16EI w(2 sin lL+sin lL(lL)22lL) 2l2Nx(cos lLlLsin lL)

w(cos lL1) l2Nx sin lL

C2

Fixpin

w(2 cosh lL+cosh lL(lL)2+2) 2l2Nx(cosh lLlLsinh lL)

C2

5wL 48EI

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w(2 cos lL+cos lL(lL)22) 2l2Nx(cos lLlLsin lL)

lC1

C2

Fixx

wL(2 cosh lL+sinh lLlL+2) 2lNx(2+sinh lLlL2 cosh lL)

wL(2 sinh lL+cosh lLlL+lL) 2lNx(2+sinh lLlL2 cosh lL) wL2 24EI wL(2 sin lL+cos lLlL+lL) 2lNx(2+sin lLlL+2 cos lL) 0

lC1

C2

wL 12EI

wL(2 cos lL+sin lLlL2) 2lNx(2+sin lLlL+2 cos lL)

lC1

C2

1333

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4.3. Natural frequencies by energy method To obtain the natural frequency of a beam under an axial load, the Rayleigh method can be applied. This method assumes that the maximum potential energy of the system is equal to its maximum kinetic energy. The fundamental frequency can be obtained by equating the potential and kinetic energy (Choi and Haun, 1994).
n

g w2 n
i 1 n

miyi (26) miy2 i

i 1

where yi are solutions obtained from Eqs. (20)(22). 4.4. Lloyds approximate formula C L2 Nx EI 1 me PE
0.5

wn

(27)

Eqs. (26) and (27) give the same natural frequency of beams if axial load becomes zero. The natural frequency equation of beams without axial force is as follows: wn C EI meL4 (28)

Fig. 3 shows the axial load effect on the natural frequencies of the pipe for various boundary conditions. The natural frequencies signicantly change with the axial load. The natural frequencies given by Lloyd are compared with exact solutions and

Fig. 3.

Effect of the axial force on the natural frequency.

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Fig. 4.

Natural frequencies for pinnedpinned boundary conditions (B.C).

are presented in Figs. 47. The approximate formula given by Lloyd is in good agreement with the exact solution, except for the freexed condition. 4.5. Allowable span lengths The exact solutions of the beam equation under the axial load were used to calculate the natural frequency with the Rayleigh method. The natural frequencies obtained by Eq. (26) can be used with the current DNV code instead of Eq. (28). Thus, more realistic allowable span lengths can be obtained. For the improved method to calculate the allowable span lengths under the axial load, an iterative numerical method can be applied. Figs. 8 and 9 show allowable span lengths for various load factors

Fig. 5.

Natural frequencies for xedpinned B.C.

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Fig. 6.

Natural frequencies for xedxed B.C.

Fig. 7.

Natural frequencies for xedfree B.C.

Fig. 8.

Allowable span lengths with axial force (in-line).

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Fig. 9. Allowable span lengths with axial force (cross-ow).

and boundary conditions. The allowable span lengths increase with an increment in tension, and decrease with an increment in compression.

5. Conclusions 1. If during the operation and installation of offshore pipelines high axial force is included, its effect could not be neglected. The results of the study show axial load effect on the natural frequencies and allowable span lengths of the pipeline for various boundary conditions. The natural frequencies signicantly change with respect to the axial load. 2. The exact solutions of the beamcolumn equation are derived for various boundary conditions. The solutions are used to nd natural frequencies with the energy balance method. This method was compared with Lloyds approximate method. The results of the two methods are in good agreement. 3. An improvement was made to the vortex shedding analysis of offshore pipelines. It can be applied to the current design code and will result in more accurate calculation of allowable free span lengths of offshore pipelines.

References
Blevins, R.D., 1990. Flow-Induced Vibration. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co, New York. Choi, H.S., Haun, R.D., 1994. The effect of residual tension and free span-induced moments on vortex shedding of deep water pipelines. In: Fourth International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, Osaka, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 102109. Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI), 1997. Pipeline Free Span Design. Design Guideline, vol. 1 (project PR-170-9522). Det Norske Veritas (DNV), 1981. Rules for Submarine Pipeline Systems (Appendix A).

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Det Norske Veritas (DNV), 1991. Environmental Condition and Environmental Loads. Classication Notes No. 30.5. Det Norske Veritas (DNV), 1998. Free Spanning Pipelines. Guidelines No. 14. Sumer, B.M., Fredsoe, J., 1994. A review on vibrations of marine pipelines. In: Fourth International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, Osaka, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 6271.