The University of Southampton
Engineering and the Environment

Research project: Vortex-induced vibration and structural integrity of deep water flexible risers

Currently Active: 
Yes

A joint project with Brunel University and Imperial College London.

Project Overview

In developing oil and gas reserves in deep water, the offshore industry needs tools for predicting the motion of very long riser pipes which convey fluids between the surface and the seabed, over distances measured in kilometres. In ocean currents these risers are known to be subject to vortex-induced vibrations. Because of the likelihood of fatigue damage, fracture, and clashing of adjacent risers, considerable efforts have been directed at understanding the coupled excitation and response, and at the development and performance of suppression devices. In a current that is not uniform with depth, the motion of a riser typically comprises multiple interacting modes of response, with vibrations locked on to various modes of oscillation in some regions over the length of the riser, and damped in others.

This project is focused on flexible risers, whose response is likely to be more complex than that of the vertical tension risers that we have studied before. Numerical modelling is proceeding in parallel with dedicated laboratory experiments taking place in a large recirculating water channel in France. Key comparisons between numerical predictions and measurements will be of vibration frequencies and amplitudes, and bending stresses in the structure of the riser.

Related research groups

Energy and Climate Change

Staff

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