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Analysis of Safe Span Length and Fatigue Life of Submarine Pipelines


Owing to the complex environmental conditions, suspension could induce complicated forces on submarine pipelines and even cause vortex-induced vibration, resulting in fatigue damage of pipelines. Through aiming at the 28-inch submarine pipeline in the East China Sea, the pipeline was segmented according to the similarity, considering the factors of pipe assembly, typhoon, current, wave and seabed topography. The effects of span length on natural frequency in each section of submarine pipeline were analyzed by finite element model. The maximum safe span length allowed by each pipeline section was verified by fatigue cumulative damage theory, and the fatigue life of each pipeline section were predicted. The results showed that each order natural frequency of the pipeline decreased with the increase of span length. The calculated results of empirical formulas were much smaller than those of the FEM analysis. The increase of the gap between the suspended pipeline and the seabed was beneficial to enhance the fatigue life of the suspended pipeline.

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Author information

Correspondence to Yuan Wei.

Additional information

Foundation item: This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11802168 and 51575331) and project funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2019M661458).

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He, Z., Wei, Y. & Liu, S. Analysis of Safe Span Length and Fatigue Life of Submarine Pipelines. China Ocean Eng 34, 119–130 (2020).

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Key words

  • submarine pipeline
  • safe span length
  • fatigue life
  • vortex-induced vibration