Numerical Model of a Tensioner System and Flex Joint
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Top Tensioned Riser (TTR) and Steel Catenary Riser (SCR) are often used in a floating oil/gas production system deployed in deep water for oil transport. This study focuses on the improvements to the existing numerical code, known as CABLE3D, to allow for static and dynamic simulation of a TTR connected to a floating structure through a tensioner system or buoyancy can, and a SCR connected to a floating structure through a flex joint. A tensioner system usually consists of three to four cylindrical tensioners. Although the stiffness of individual tensioner is assumed to be linear, the resultant stiffness of a tensioner system may be nonlinear. The vertical friction at a riser guide is neglected assuming a roller is installed there. Near the water surface, a TTR is forced to move due to the motion of the upper deck of a floating structure as well as related riser guides. Using the up-dated CABLE3D, the dynamic simulation of TTRs will be made to reveal their motion, tension, and bending moment, which is important for the design. A flex joint is approximated by a rotational spring with linear stiffness, which is used as a connection between a SCR and a floating structure or a connection between a TTR and the sea floor. The improved CABLE3D will be integrated into a numerical code, known as COUPLE, for the simulation of the dynamic interaction among the hull of a floating structure, such as SPAR or TLP, its mooring system and riser system under the impact of wind, current and waves. To demonstrate the application of the improved CABLE3D and its integration with COUPLE, the related simulation is made for ‘Constitution’ SPAR under the met-ocean conditions of hurricane ‘Ike’. The mooring system of the Spar consists of nine mooring lines and the riser system consists of six TTRs and two SCRs.
Huang, Han (2013). Numerical Model of a Tensioner System and Flex Joint. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from