Expanding demand on oil transportation through submarine pipeline brings an immediate need for a proper design of underwater transporting pipeline system. A substantial amount of work has been conducted in the modeling of submarine pipelines laid on the seabed with the awareness of the downsides of such design approach. The high cost and labor intensive are some of the disadvantages of such design. This paper discusses a new design of suspended pipelines which can be considered a favorable option as opposed to laying oil pipelines on the sea floor.
Although the topic has generally received a little attention from the research community, this design approach can have the advantages of an easy access and maintenance as well as avoiding excessive internal stress produced during the laying operation of the pipeline. Optimum design of suspended oil transporting pipeline is considered in this study and a simple nonlinear mathematical model is developed to predict the dynamic behavior of the pipeline. The system consists of buoys as a suspension mechanism, transporting pipeline and vibration absorbers against ocean waves and vortex shedding excitations. Nonlinearities in the model are due to vortex shedding effects and fluid damping of the pipeline.
The system design parameters considered for optimization are the absorber natural frequency, damping ratio and the buoy diameter. Other system parameters are assumed to be given to avoid design complexity. The design criterion is to minimize vibration amplitude of the pipeline and consequently the internal normal stresses with given constraints of maximum absorber displacement and buoy maximum diameter.