Title page for ETD etd-114112549711241

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Loverich, James S.
URN etd-114112549711241
Title Life Prediction of Composite Armor in an Unbonded Flexible Pipe
Degree Master of Science
Department Engineering Science and Mechanics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hendricks, Scott L.
Hyer, Michael W.
Reifsnider, Kenneth L. Committee Chair
  • flexible pipe
  • offshore
  • composites
  • elevated temperatures
  • fatigue
  • bend-compression rupture
  • life prediction
Date of Defense 1997-04-29
Availability unrestricted

Composite materials are under consideration

for the replacement of steel helical tendons in

unbonded flexible pipes utilized by the offshore

oil industry. Higher strength to weight ratios

and increased corrosion resistance are the

primary advantages of a composite material

for this application. The current study focuses

on the life prediction of a PPS/AS-4 carbon

fiber composite proposed for the above

employment. In order to accomplish this task,

the properties of the material were

experimentally characterized at varying

temperatures, aging times and loadings. An

analytic technique was developed to predict

tensile rupture behavior from

bend-compression rupture data. In

comparison to tensile rupture tests,

bend-compression rupture data collection are

uncomplicated and efficient; thus, this

technique effectively simplifies and accelerates

the material characterization process. The

service life model for the flexible pipe

composite armor was constructed with

MRLife, a well established performance

simulation code for material systems

developed by the Materials Response Group

at Virginia Tech. In order to validate MRLife

for the current material, experimental data are

compared to life prediction results produced

by the code. MRLife was then applied to

predict the life of the flexible pipe composite

armor in an ocean environment. This analysis

takes into account the flexible pipe structure

and the environmental and mechanical loading

history of an ocean service location. Several

parameter studies of a flexible pipe in a

hypothetical environment were conducted.

These analyses highlight certain loadings and

conditions which are particularly detrimental to

the life of the material.

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