MECHANICAL RESPONSE OF SANDWICH PIPES SUBJECT TO HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE AND BENDING
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The recent substantial increase in world demand for energy and raw material resources has accelerated oil and gas exploration and production. At the same time, the depletion of onshore and shallow water oil resources presents a challenge to engineers to develop new means of harvesting and transporting oil and gas from harsh and remote areas. Sandwich Pipe (SP) is a relatively new design concept developed to address the transportation of oil in deep and ultra-deep waters as well as in cold environments. The main focus of this thesis is on the characterization of the structural performance of these novel systems. Deep and ultra-deep water offshore pipelines are subjected to excessive hydrostatic external pressure during installation and operation. In this research, an innovative analytical solution was developed to evaluate the external pressure capacity of SPs by calculating the linear eigenvalues of the characteristic equations of the system. In the proposed solution, the interface condition between the layers of the system is accounted for in the governing equations. As well, a set of comprehensive parametric studies using the Finite Element (FE) method was developed to investigate both the elastic and plastic buckling response of SPs. The influence of various structural parameters such as the material, geometrical and intra-layer interaction properties on the characteristic behavior and the buckling pressure of SPs was examined. In addition to the proposed analytical solution, two sets of semi-empirical equations based on the FE analysis results were recommended in calculating the elastic and plastic buckling pressure of SPs. As bending represents an important loading state in the installation and service life of SPs, it should be considered a governing loading scenario. In this thesis, the behavior of SPs under bending was investigated using a comprehensive set of parametric studies. SP systems with a wide practical range of physical parameters were analyzed using the FE method, and the influence of various structural parameters on the characteristic response and bending capacity of the system was explored, including pipe geometry, core layer properties, material yield anisotropy of high-grade steel pipes, and various intra-layer adhesion configurations.