Abstract

Damage mechanism analysis of the exposed offshore pipeline impacted by lump-shaped falling objects plays a significant role in offshore pipeline design, inspection, maintenance, and protection. A series of three-dimensional (3D) coupling models are established and simulated to investigate mechanical behaviors and responses of exposed offshore pipelines impacted by lump-shaped falling objects. The effects of both offshore pipeline parameters and lump-shaped falling object parameters were discussed under the joint action of internal pressure and external seawater pressure. The results demonstrate that seabed soil could absorb partial impact energy and act as a cushion. Indentation on the pipeline top and stress concentrations on the pipeline bottom starts to appear when the impact velocity is larger than 10 m/s and 14 m/s, respectively. The critical impact energy before pipeline failure is around 9733.339 J. A variation in contact area has a noticeable influence on the dent depth, but a slight influence on the global deformation. An increase in pressure difference mitigates the impact damage. The depression rate increases with the rise of the radius-thickness ratio, and the most severe plastic deformation occurs when the radius-thickness ratio is 40. Besides, the eccentric distance is an essential factor influencing the damage mechanism of the offshore pipeline.

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