On the large scale of deep-water construction, marine pipelines are extremely flexible. Construction procedures can exploit that flexibility to connect pipelines and risers to floaters, manifolds, wellheads, buoys, and platforms. The paper describes a three-dimensional physical model technique. It helps the engineer to think imaginatively and rapidly to explore different options, with the objective of minimizing construction risk and creating procedures that can be accomplished by the equipment available. The relevant governing equations are derived, and from them come the conditions required for the model to obey the correct mechanical similarity conditions. The model is exact, and can be used to derive forces and stresses; it is much more than just a picture. The paper describes a series of applications to two- and three-dimensional pipeline construction problems, most recently an application to the current Thunder Horse project.
Developing Innovative Deep Water Pipeline Construction Techniques with Physical Models
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Brown, R. J., and Palmer, A. (December 2, 2004). "Developing Innovative Deep Water Pipeline Construction Techniques with Physical Models." ASME. J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng. February 2007; 129(1): 56–60. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2426982
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