ROSYTH, UK -- Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions has teamed with Marintek to develop a predictive stress analysis tool to improve the performance and longevity of deepwater umbilicals.
UFlex (Umbilical Flexibility) provides data based on the umbilical’s anticipated deepwater behavior. Umbilicals carry devices ranging from hydraulic power for valves, signals for control systems and electrical power for motors, to communication cables. They can be exposed to severe stresses from their own weight, as well as tidal wave and current forces.
Oceaneering will incorporate various sensors into its manufacturing process to help its engineers assess an umbilical’s behavioral traits and probable operational performance.
UFlex will be used to benchmark and standardize each client’s requested umbilical configuration, so that the captured data can be used on future production runs.
Umbilical testing will be performed in Oceaneering’s testing qualification and research facility in Rosyth according to. Dr John White, Global FEA & Dynamic Analysis manager at Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions.
“We need to have a better understanding of how an umbilical performs lying on the seabed,” he said.
"Umbilicals are exposed to a raft of internal and external pressures, tensions, torsions, bending, and external contact loads, which may have an impact on performance. We now have the ability to predict, during the development phase, what scenarios are likely to occur and make some headway in rectifying the causes…
"We want to see UFlex as the industry standard ‘benchmark’ program that offers a novel way of allowing designers to study the use of different materials and various cross sectional geometry – all through a laptop, which then limits the necessity for expensive, full-scale tests.”