Flexible risers provide optimum solutions for deep water offshore fields. Reliable dynamic analysis of this kind of slender structure is crucial to ensure safety against long time fatigue failure. Beyond the effects from wave loads, the influence from transient internal slug flow on the slender structure dynamics should also be taken into account.
In this study two coupled in-house codes were used in order to identify and quantify the effects of an internal slug flow and wave loads on the flexible riser dynamics. One code carries out a global dynamic analysis of the slender structure displacements using a finite element formulation. The other program simulates the behaviour of the internal slug flow using a finite volume method. The slug flow is influenced by the dynamic shape of the riser, while the time varying forces from internal slug flow plus external waves will influence the shape. Hence, a fully coupled analysis is needed in order to solve the coupled problem. By means of the distributed simulation these two programs run synchronously and exchange information during the time integration process.
A test case using hydrodynamic forces according to the linear Airy wave theory, coupled with an internal unstable slug flow was analysed and the results show: amplification of the dynamic response due to the interaction between the two load types, effects on the effective tension caused by the internal two-phase flow, and influence on the internal slug flow caused by the wave induced response.