Proceedings of the XXVII Iberian LatinAmerican Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering – CILAMCE 2006 Brazilian Assoc. for Comp. Mechanics (ABMEC) & Latin American Assoc. of Comp. Methods in Engineering (AMC), Belém, Pará, Brazil, 3 ^{t}^{r}^{d} – 6 ^{t}^{h} September 2006
Paper CIL 01527
DYNAMIC RELAXATION PROCEDURES FOR THE DEFINITION OF INITIAL STATIC CONFIGURATIONS OF FLEXIBLE LINES
Danilo Machado Lawinscky da Silva Breno Pinheiro Jacob Rodrigo Almeida Bahiense danilo@lamcso.coppe.ufrj.br breno@lamcso.coppe.ufrj.br rodrigo@lamcso.coppe.ufrj.br LAMCSO – Laboratory of Computer Methods and Offshore Systems PEC / COPPE / UFRJ – Graduate Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Civil Engineering Department – Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Abstract. For complex systems involving flexible lines (such as LazyS risers and other multiline configurations), the calculation of an initial, stable static equilibrium configuration to comprise the finite element mesh to be used in dynamic analysis is not a trivial problem. The analytical formulations based on the classic catenary equations cannot be applied in more complex general problems. Furthermore, the conventional procedures to solve static nonlinear problems in the FEM context, based on the iterative NewtonRaphson method, may be inefficient for several reasons. For example, the tangent stiffness matrix can become highly illconditioned, due to the very low or absent bending stiffness, or to compression and instability. Therefore, the objective of this work is to present the implementation and use of a more general finite element solution procedure, associated to Dynamic Relaxation algorithms. Such algorithms can be started from arbitrary configurations, not necessarily in equilibrium. The resulting procedure is accurate, robust, and avoids numerical problems such as the ill conditioning of the tangent stiffness matrix, allowing the static equilibrium configuration to be obtained in an efficient way. This paper focus in the application of this method for the definition of initial static configurations of some complex systems involving flexible lines, amongst them: LazyS risers; Offloading floating hoses; Systems with irregular sea bottom.
Keywords: numerical methods, initial configuration, flexible lines, offshore structures.
1. INTRODUCTION
Systems of flexible lines and cables are frequently used in civil and oceanic engineering design. Such lines are typically used in mooring systems to position offshore platforms; in riser systems and offloading floating hoses to transport fluids resulting of the petroleum exploitation process. Flexible lines present strong dynamic nonlinear behavior, with environmental loads dependent on time and nonlinear boundary conditions, therefore requesting complex numeric solution procedures, based on the Finite Element Method. In the usual procedure, the first stage is the establishment of an initial static equilibrium configuration under dead weight only. Traditionally this initial static configuration of flexible lines is obtained by the classic catenary equations (Cardoso et al., 2004). This initial configuration is then employed to define the finite element mesh that is subsequently employed in the full static and dynamic analyses.
CILAMCE 2006 – ABMEC & AMC, Belém, Pará, Brazil, 3 ^{r}^{d} – 6 ^{t}^{h} September 2006
The research in analytical formulations based on the catenary equations is very extensive (Ferreira et al., 2004) and focus in topics as the treatment of lines composed by materials of different properties; including buoys and distributed floaters; considering irregular sea bottom; considering the flexural stiffness, and arbitrary loads such as current. However, there are limitations for the development and efficient use of analytical formulations, when one considers complex systems not only such as those mentioned above, but also systems with several lines connected amongst themselves and to tendons, or for instance offloading hoses, where the flexural stiffness is relatively more important and the hydrostatic behavior is nonlinear and should be treated with a more rigorous formulation. Therefore, it is seen that procedures based on the catenary equations may not be feasible for more complex systems. The determination of static stable configurations for such systems should then use procedures based on more general Finite Element approximations. These procedures require robust solution schemes that can be started from a FE mesh corresponding to an easily defined configuration, not necessarily in balance under the action of the loads. Therefore, in that procedure an initial geometry (free of loads) should be specified arbitrarily. However the conventional solution procedures for nonlinear static problems discretized by FE, which is based on the iterative NewtonRaphson method, can become inefficient for several reasons. For example, the use of an initial geometry free of loads makes the tangent stiffness matrix becomes singular. Supplying an arbitrary state of initial tensions can eliminate that problem, but this leads again to the initial problem, how to define a configuration under such state of tensions. Also, the very low or absent flexural stiffness, as well as the compression stiffness, leads to a highly illconditioned tangent stiffness matrix. In static analyses this problem can cause the lack of convergence of the iterative Newton Raphson process. The objective of this work then consists of establishing robust and efficient static solution procedures, oriented to the definition of static stable configurations for complex systems of flexible lines, under the action of all static load components. The static configurations obtained can be used in a subsequent dynamic analysis, guaranteeing a solution that is stable, efficient and free of transient. To overcome the problems previously mentioned, associated to the use of analytical catenary formulations or the NewtonRaphson method as solution algorithm for problems discretizated by FEM, dynamic relaxation algorithms will be considered. The Dynamic Relaxation Method (DRM) has been used to obtain the static solution of structural mechanics problems in general. This method is based on the fact that the static solution is the steadystate part of the transient response. In this case, the transient part of the solution is not of interest, only the steadystate response is desired. This technique is classified in the literature as a pseudotransient or pseudodynamic method (Oakley et al.,
1995).
Considering that the static response is the limit case of the dynamic response damped by a long period of time, DRM makes use of "artificial" dynamic effects of inertia and damping to build a conditioning mechanism for the tangent stiffness matrix, in the case of an implicit formulation, or simply in terms of forces in the case of an explicit formulation. To accelerate the convergence, artificial damping can be used, leading to the gradual relaxation of the inertia effects. A direct advantage is obtained in the transformation of a static problem in a dynamic problem; the dynamic terms (inertia and damping) act as a conditioning mechanism and the problem of the illconditioning of the tangent stiffness matrix disappears. The resulting procedure can be started from an arbitrary configuration, not necessarily in equilibrium under the action of the loads. In short, it can overcome the pointed limitations for the catenary equations and for the FEM associated to NewtonRaphson Methods, allowing the definition of initial stable configuration of flexible lines with low computational cost.
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2. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PROBLEM
Structural systems which respond with large deflections are said to exhibit a geometric nonlinearity. The deformations must be included in the expressions of static equilibrium for such structures. Typically, the dominant terms in the deformations are rotations; however, problems involving large stretching are also encountered. The nonlinear equations can be solved using incremental/iterative methods based on the modified NewtonRaphson method. One of the most popular incremental solution forms is the socalled incremental self correcting method. It is essentially a series of simple linearized steps with a single Newton Raphson iteration after each one. All of these methods rely on an estimate of the initial stiffness of the structure. This implies that a stable initial state should be defined. In the most common nonlinear structural problems, the initial reference state is quite easy to define. This is so because most structures have sufficient stiffness to support their own weight. When the weight loading is small compared to the design loads, the dead loaded state is not very different from the “weightless” state. Such structures have an intrinsic stiffness. Cable Structures (suspended roofs, moorings, large ocean structures) are examples of structures which are likely to present difficult in obtaining an initial state suitable for structural calculations. The common denominator in all of these is the fact that in an unloaded, weightless condition they are essentially mechanisms with negligible intrinsic stiffness. This general type of problem has strong geometric nonlinearities even if the initial singularity is overcome.
2.1 BASIC FORMULATION
The general discrete form of the static equilibrium equations can be written as
(1)
where F ^{E}^{x}^{t} (t) represents the vector of external loads for each degree of freedom of the Finite Element mesh; F ^{I}^{n}^{t} (t) represents the internal forces. In geometrically nonlinear problems the internal forces depend on the displacements. When the external loads also depend on the displacements (as in pressure loading), the loading is nonconservative. Combinations of the two effects are common. Although equation (1) represents the equilibrium equations, it does not describe a method for finding the values of the displacements which satisfy equilibrium, nor does it give explicit information on how to calculate the internal and external forces.
NewtonType Methods The most popular method for solving equation (1) in structural applications is the modified NewtonRaphson method. Its general form is
(2)
with
(3)
where K _{T} is the tangent stiffness matrix; k is the iteration index; DU ^{(}^{k}^{)} are the displacement
increments between two successive iterations; R ^{(}^{k}^{)} and F ^{(}^{k} ^{}^{1}^{)} are respectively the external and
^{}^{1}^{)} are the displacements measured from the initial reference state as
internal forces; and U
estimated in the kth iteration. It is seen that the NewtonRaphson iteration scheme involves the approximation of the
^{}^{1}^{)} and K _{T} DU ^{(}^{k}^{)} . Equation (2)
nonlinear term F _{n}_{+}_{1} by a truncated Taylor series comprised by F
is then applied recursively until both the residual and the displacement increments are smaller than a preselected level. The usual form of the NewtonRaphson procedure is obtained by recalculation of the stiffness matrix at the beginning of each iteration. Modified schemes use
F ^{E}^{x}^{t} (t)  F ^{I}^{n}^{t} (t) = 0
K
^{}^{1}^{)} DU ^{(}^{k}^{)} = R ^{(}^{k}^{)}  F
T
^{U}
(k)
n+1
= U
(k
n+1 ^{}^{1}^{)} + DU ^{(}^{k}^{)}
(k
(k1)
n+1
(k
n+1
(k)
(k
n+1
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approximations for the stiffness matrix and/or hold the matrix constant for a number of iterations. Two major problems detract from the use of these Newton methods for the class of problems under discussion. First is the conditionally stable nature of these methods. There is an interval of convergence around the correct solution, within which a particular method will converge. When the starting estimate is outside this interval, convergence cannot be obtained without introducing special procedures. These convergence enhancement schemes are usually limited in scope and highly specialized so that their effectiveness is quite restricted. The interval of convergence is highly problemdependent and sensitive to variations in the solution method. In most situations this interval is not explicitly calculated. The second problem is the need for making an initial estimate of the solution. This boils down to requiring the very thing that is being sought. A common means of starting a NewtonRaphson solution is to assume; U _{n}_{+}_{1} is zero and use the initial geometry to calculate a linear step. Quite often the stiffness matrix in the initial configuration is singular or very illconditioned. This means that the first step cannot be solved or the solution will be very far from the starting configuration. It is also quite likely to be far from the correct solution. This illconditioning can be compensated for to some extent by introducing an artificial stiffness. Even with this artificial stiffness there is no guarantee that a solution starting from a very poor quality initial configuration will lead to a first step result that is anywhere near the correct solution. Without that guarantee, there is a strong likelihood that additional iterations will diverge.
The Idea of Dynamic Relaxation
Dynamic relaxation is a technique by which the static solution is obtained by determining the steadystate response to the transient dynamic analysis for an autonomous system. In this
case, the transient part of the solution is not of interest, only the steadystate response is desired. Since the transient solution is not desired, fictitious mass and damping matrices which no longer represent the physical system are chosen to accelerate the determination of the steadystate response. These matrices are redefined (using existing equations) so as to produce the most rapid convergence. A clear advantage is gained through this staticto dynamics transformation; the dynamic term(s) (inertia and damping) acts as the conditioning mechanism and the problem of an illconditioned tangent stiffness matrix disappear. The idea of dynamic relaxation has been exploited widely in a variety of structural analysis. A history of DRM and the development of an adaptive algorithm have been presented by Underwood (1983).
(0)
A procedure for moving towards a correct solution from a nonequilibrium starting guess
involves the use of dynamic equations. The starting guess with zero velocities is taken as the
initial conditions. The static loads are then applied and held constant as the system is allowed to move dynamically until motion dies out. This effectively avoids the singularity problem if damping and mass terms are appropriately defined.
If the physical characteristics are used to model the mass and damping, one can expect
very large transients which persist for long times. This means excessive solution costs and difficulties in controlling spurious oscillations in the solution. An obvious remedy is to assume artificial properties (fictitious mass and damping) which assure strongly damped
responses.
In the context that the static response is the limiting case of the damped dynamic response
over a long period of time then an important parameter controlling convergence is the damping coefficient. This parameter is determined using basic physical principles. Preference is given to values of damping just less than critical so that the solution will oscillate about its equilibrium position rather than convergence from one side.
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3. DYNAMIC RELAXATION METHOD
The following sections will summarize the basic formulations of the explicit and implicit DR methods. It should be stressed that in both cases the basic formulations follows closely the presented by, respectively, Underwood (1983) and Wu (1995). Therefore, the contribution of
this work relative to these earlier publications relies mainly in some (crucial) aspects regarding the solution strategy, including for instance the order of the application of load components; the selection of parameters, and the choice of the initial mesh, as will be shown later and in the numerical examples.
3.1 EXPLICIT DYNAMIC RELAXATION METHOD The Table 1 below shows the algorithm for an explicit implementation of the dynamic
relaxation method using adaptive strategies (Underwood, 1983; Silva, 2005).
Table 1. Explicit Dynamic Relaxation Method Algorithm with Adaptive Strategies
(A) Select ch and calculate the initial mass matrix M;
M ii ≥ ^{h} 2
n
∑
4
j=1
~
K _{i}_{j} 
(K ^{~}
_{i}_{j} is an element of the global tangent stiffness matrix)
(B) Load increments loop.
1. Residual vector at the first iteration
~
R _{0} = R _{0}  F _{0}
2. Displacements and velocities at the first step
1
U
U _{1} = U _{0} + hU
_{2}
*
*
1/2 ^{=}
(2  ch)U
*
1/2
B.1. Iteration loop
0 + ^{h}
_{2}
M ^{}^{1} (R
0  F 0
)
1.1. Calculate the acceleration vector
**
U
n =
1 _{h} (
*
U
*
n+1/2 ^{} ^{U} n1/2
)
1.2. Mass matrix error
e _{i} =
4
h ^{2}
**
**
 (U _{n} ) _{i}  (U
n1 ) i 
 (U n ) i  (U n1 ) i 
For e _{i} > 1 the mass matrix is recalculated
1.3. Internal forces / Mass matrix (if necessary)
1.4. Residual vector
~
R _{n} = R _{n}  F _{n}
1.5. Check for convergence
~ 

 R 
_{n}  /  R _{n}  b tolerance (stop when convergence is achieve) 
1.6. Damping coefficient
*
(U _{n} ) ^{T} K _{n} U _{n} / (U _{n} ) ^{T} MU _{n}
c _{n} = 2
*
where (K ^{*} _{n} ) _{i}_{i} = {(F _{n} ) _{i}  (F _{n}_{}_{1} ) _{i} } / h(U
1.7. Velocities
n1/2 ^{)} i
*
U
n+1/2 _{=} (2  ch) (2 + ch)
*
U
n1/2 ^{+}
1.8. Displacements
*
U _{n}_{+}_{1} = U _{n} + hU
n+1/2
End – iteration loop (B.1) End – load increments loop (B)
2h
(2 + ch) ^{M} 1 ^{(}
R _{n}  F _{n}
^{)}
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3.2 IMPLICIT DYNAMIC RELAXATION METHOD The idea of dynamic relaxation is discussed here in the context of utilizing the kinetic effect for the construction of an efficient conditioning mechanism. This paper presents some new contributions relative to the earlier work of Wu (1995), related mainly to some aspects of the solution strategy, that were presented by Silva (2005). The equations of motion are solved by using the Newmark’s integration formulas in which computational (numerical) damping is also deliberately introduced. Relaxation of kinetic effect is achieved gradually by adaptively decreasing the artificial damping coefficient and increasing the time increment. The final solution is obtained when at full load level the motion, force residual, and increase in displacements are all zero within the specified tolerance level. Theoretically, the transient response of the damped motion will die down and the final static solution will be achieved if a sufficiently long time is allowed. Practically, however, this is not always possible. There are the questions of stability and efficiency. They are affected by many factors, such as the form and amount of artificial damping and its control procedure, the size of load and time increments. With stability being the priority in mind, some form of adaptive control of these factors according to the level of dynamic response is necessary to improve efficiency.
Numerical stability and Acceleration of convergence
Numerical experiments indicated that both computational damping and artificial damping were needed to achieve convergence. In addition, it was necessary to adjust the artificial damping and the time step size adaptively as time was incremented, as discussed by Silva
(2005).
For improved efficiency of the numerical algorithm, overall convergence can be accelerated by adaptively adjusting the following parameters. Load increment. For nonlinear analysis, better stability is obtained by applying the external loads and given displacement incrementally. Also, it is preferred that at each load level convergence on equilibrium iterations can be achieved very quickly. Significant advantages are obtained by applying the full dead weight (and buoyancy) before starting the external load increments, as discussed by Silva (2005). Also, the dead weight is not applied incrementally; the full dead weight is applied in one step only. After that, the first load increment is started and the load level is increased with time successively until full load level is reached. Time step. The size of time step has a bearing on the level of damping and more importantly on inertia effect. The time step is a very important parameter in spite of the analysis not being a dynamic analysis. The choice of the initial time step value and its control procedure not always guarantee the convergence. In addition, another strategy is incorporated (Silva, 2005), involving a stepback procedure consisting in storing in memory the information of the previous step (such as nodal displacement and element curvatures); if the current step fails to converge, that information is recovered and the procedure restarts with a smaller time step. Damping. The damping parameter is adjusted simultaneously with the size of time step to control the level of artificial damping introduced. The compound effect of adjusting both the time step size and damping level is reflected by the steady decrease of the force residual. Convergence to the static solution is achieved when the norms of displacement increment between steps n and n + 1, the velocity and acceleration vectors and force residual were all zero within the specified tolerance level. The damping parameter is also adjusted by the step back strategy described above (Silva, 2005).
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4. IMPLEMENTATION AND NUMERICAL EXAMPLES
The proposed techniques have been incorporated into the Prosim computer program for the coupled nonlinear static and dynamic analysis of floating platforms (Jacob and Masetti, 1997). The program is integrated to a pre and posprocessing interface (shown in Figure 1) that generates the models (including the FE meshes) and visualizes the results. The integration of the interface with the DRM allows a completely automated generation of the FE meshes that correspond to an initial stable static configuration of the system. The user needs only to define length and properties of the line segments, and the position of the connections. All other parameters (including analysis parameters such as time step h and damping coefficient c) are automatically selected and adaptively varied. Some details of this automated generation procedure will be illustrated in the following examples.
Figure 1 – Pre and posprocessing interface.
Several small preliminary problems have been run to test the validity of the theoretical predictions (Silva, 2005). A variety of examples involving complex configurations and nonlinear boundary conditions were also analyzed. In each case, several initial starting positions were used, including initial unstretched positions. These unstretched positions can be conveniently specified arbitrarily; this advantage cannot be taken in conventional numerical techniques because the initial tangent stiffness matrix is singular. For more complex mooring systems, the facility of generating the initial mesh becomes more prominent. Convergence was achieved in all cases, demonstrating satisfactory numerical robustness of the method. The efficiency varied with the quality of the initial starting position, as expected. For convenience, a straight line (free of loads) was used as initial mesh and then its connections are moved to the design positions. This approach has given a satisfactory numerical efficiency for all cases.
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4.1 OFFLOADING FLOATING HOSE
Among the studies presented by Silva (2005), a special case is a floating offloading hose, composed by materials of different properties, with flexural stiffness relatively more important and nonlinear hydrostatic behavior. Offloading hoses are pipes used to transport fluids resultant of the explotation process, from a floating offshore system to another, in general from a storage unit to a transport unit (Costa, 2002), as shown in Figure 2. The floating hose treated here has a total length of 278.5m connecting two vessels distant 250m. The hose comprises 53 segments of different diameters and materials, presenting segments with flotation. Their connections with the FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading Units) are articulated. The FE discretization employs nonlinear frame elements based in a corotational formulation that allows the consideration of the flexional stiffness of the hose. The environmental load consists of a current profile with 1 m/s at the water surface and null at the sea bottom.
Figure 2 – Offloading floating hose operation
The preprocessing interface automatically generates an arbitrated initial configuration that consists of a straight line resting in the water surface. The initial mesh that corresponds to this initial configuration is completely free of loads, without initial tensions or curvatures. Prescribed displacements are then automatically applied to move their connections to the userspecified positions. At this time, some options are available, such as, to apply or not the current load; to use adaptive strategies in the solution procedure, or to manually specify the analysis parameters. The first result to be presented is the final configuration under action of self weight, buoyancy and current, shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3 – Static stable configuration (with current)
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Next, two alternative strategies are used to obtain the stable configuration of the line without application of current. In this case, the effect of introducing initial arbitrary imperfections is studied. Firstly, Figure 4 presents the static configuration assumed by the line without the application of any imperfection to the initial mesh. It is seen that the line remains in the vertical XZ plane. Then, another analysis is performed imposing a small imperfection to the straight mesh (a sine wave, with amplitude 1x10 ^{}^{8} m in the horizontal XY plane). That imperfection makes the line leave the XZ plane. The final configuration assumed by the line is shown in Figure 5.
Figure 4 – Static stable configuration (without current and initial imperfection)
Figure 5 – Static stable configuration (without current, with initial imperfection)
In summary, three static stable configurations were obtained: the first one under the action of current, and the other two without current. When current load is not applied, the line remains in the XZ plane. That configuration, besides generating compression in the line, generates curvatures and excessive moments in the proximities of their connections. The convergence of DRM is hindered and a small loss of efficiency is seen in the solution procedure. The introduction of the imperfection in the initial straight mesh caused the line to leave the XZ plane, forming an "S" shape in the XY plane (water surface). In that configuration, compression is practically eliminated and the curvatures are reduced. However, this "S" configuration is not adequate for the subsequent dynamic analysis that will consider all environmental loadings including current. The significant flexural stiffness hinders the line to assume its actual position under current action, similar to the one shown in Figure 3, determined by the DRM with the application of current.
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When current is applied, the generation of the static configuration is simpler, the solution procedure is more efficient and the final configuration is adequate for the dynamic analysis to be done subsequently. Another situation in offloading operations needs to be considered. Before the offloading operation, the hose has a stowed configuration, as shown in Figure 6. This kind of configuration may become a problem if the current load carries the hose and positions it under an emergency boat area. In an emergency situation, this could hinder the crew from safely exiting the ship. The final stowed configuration under action of self weight, buoyancy and current, shown in Figure 6, was calculated following the same methodology previous described.
Figure 6 – Offloading Floating Hose (stowed configuration)
4.2 LAZYS RISER Figure 7 presents a typical model of a LazyS riser configuration. This configuration presents an intermediate section passing through an arch with floaters (whose buoyancy alleviates the weight supported by the floating unit, and contributes with restoring moments under lateral loads). It also includes a tendon that supports the buoyancy of the floaters. The LazyS model can be seen as three interconnected lines: a catenary line connecting the platform to the floaters (with a length of 100.0 m), a tendon (with a length of 71.1 m), and catenary line connecting the floaters to the seabottom, (120.0 m length). The discretization of the lines employs a FE mesh with 176 nodes and 177 elements. The environmental load consists of a current profile with speed 1.12m/s (to north) at the deep water surface and 0.57m/s (to northeast) at the sea bottom (85m).
Figure 7 – Typical LazyS Riser Configuration (Initial mesh)
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In this application, the strategy for the generation of the static equilibrium configuration does not consider initially straight meshes for the upper and lower catenary lines; rather, the initial meshes for the DRM method are defined as follows: a) The mesh of the tendon is defined as a vertical line; b) The mesh of the upper and lower catenary lines are defined employing the catenary equations (under self weight only), assuming all ends fixed. Therefore, the three lines in the initial mesh are equilibrated individually, but the whole system is not. The static stable configuration determined by the DRM, is shown in Figure 8. This configuration can then be employed as the initial mesh of the subsequent dynamic analysis.
Figure 8 – Static stable configuration
4.3 INSTALLATION OF A MOORING LINE
The LazyS application of the previous section could be amenable to both the DRM and the NewtonRaphson method (NRM). The accuracy is similar for both methods, and the computational efficiency is also similar. In this section, we now present an application where the NRM fails to converge due to stiffness matrix singularity – the simulation of a step of the installation procedure of a mooring line, where it remains in position connected only to a buoy (Figure 9). For illustration purposes, this Figure also shows the installed configuration.
Figure 9 – Mooring Line
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The mooring line considered here is comprised by 14 segments of different diameters and materials, including chain and polyester cable, with a total length of 1662.0m. The FE discretization of the line employs a mesh with 674 nodes and 675 truss elements. The following Table presents the environmental conditions applied on the mooring line. Table 2 – Environmental conditions
Current Profile 

Depth (m) 
Speed (m/s) 
Going to 
Azimuth (degrees) 
0 
1.53 
S 
180 
100 
1.46 
S 
180 
350 
0.89 
SW 
225 
500 
0.78 
N 
0 
1000 
0.49 
N 
0 
1260.9 
0.00 
N 
0 
While the application of the NRM to this model was not successful, due to lack of convergence, both DRM formulations (implicit and explicit) were capable to reach the static stable configuration with equivalent accuracy. The static configuration is shown in Figure 10, along with the initial mesh (derived by the classic catenary equations).
Figure 10 – Static Stable Configuration and Initial Mesh
An additional test is then performed, where the initial mesh is determined not by the analytical catenary formulation, but by the use of the DRM in a FE analysis, without application of current, from a straight mesh as shown in Figure 11. This straight mesh is generated by placing the buoy in the direction of the azimuth of the line, with the distance between the buoy and the anchor equals to the line length, thus resulting in a straight line linking the anchor and the buoy. The analysis then consists in releasing the buoy until the system finds its equilibrium position under dead weight only. In that case, as expected, the equilibrium position determined by the DRM coincides with position calculated by the catenary equations.
Figure 11 –Straight Initial Mesh
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4.4 SYSTEMS WITH IRREGULAR SEA BOTTOM
Besides the tools described above, resources were developed to represent the sea bottom from bathymetry data. Such data define the bottom as a generic surface in terms of level curves. Starting from this surface, in agreement with analysis to be done, the user can choose for: (a) to generate a plane that better adjusts the bathymetry; (b) to generate a plan that better adjusts the bathymetry at the line position, in this case one plan is adjusted for each line; or, (c) to calculate the bottom level interpolating in the bathymetry mesh. In each one of the options above, the userdefined bottom is considered in the pre/pos processing modules and in the modules of analysis of lines by finite elements. This aspect is very important when the installation of mooring lines or pipelines is made in areas that present irregular topographies. It allows a better evaluation of several relevant results; in the case of mooring lines, for instance the effective loads in the anchors; in the case of pipelines, it allows to define the occurrence of free spans (parts of the pipeline that are not lying in the sea bottom).
Mooring system with irregular sea bottom
A mooring system with irregular sea bottom is shown in Figure 12.
Figure 12 – Mooring System with Irregular Sea Bottom
Two alternative strategies are used to obtain the stable configuration of the lines: First, the static configuration is generated using a straight line resting close to the water surface as initial mesh. Prescribed displacements are then applied to move their connections to the design positions; the second initial mesh consists of a straight line from the anchor to the water surface in the line azimuth. The Figure 13 shows the two initial meshes.
Figure 13 – Straight Initial Mesh
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The Figures 14 and 15 show details for two lines in the model. The two initial meshes described above were used to generate the static configurations. Also, two approximations for the sea bottom were used: first it was generated a plan that better adjusts the bathymetry at the line position; then, the bottom quota was calculated interpolating in the bathymetry mesh. Current load was not applied.
Figure 14 –Mooring Line 1 (plane and irregular sea bottom)
Figure 15 –Mooring Line 2 (plane and irregular sea bottom)
The static stable configurations of the lines were obtained for all cases. Some differences can be observed regarding the efficiency of the method. The efficiency here is measured in terms of spent CPU time to reach the final static configuration. For the line shown in Figure 14, the use of the initial mesh close to the water surface was more efficient than the second alternative of initial mesh. For that line, to keep the anchor on its design position and to move the floating unit (as schematized in Figure 13) can cause compression in the line. That depends on the speed with the prescribed displacement is applied and the consideration or not of the friction between line and soil. Of course the displacement can be applied slowly in such a way not to cause that effect, however, that would still demand a CPU time larger than the necessary to reach that same configuration starting from the other initial mesh. The compression occurrence generates points of instability. The DRM was shown capable to outline those problems using the solution strategies described previously. The same problems were founded in the second line, shown in Figure 15. However, for the second line it was the initial mesh close to the water surface that generated those problems. Again, the DRM was shown to be robust, bypassed such problems and reached the final equilibrium configuration of the line.
Pipeline with irregular sea bottom
Figure 16 shows a pipeline in SLay installation operation. Pipelines in SLay installation operations are not easy to simulate numerically, since the contact mechanism between the pipeline and the launching structure is complex, specified only in some points of the ramp and stinger. The establishment of an initial static stable configuration needs to consider the same
CILAMCE 2006 – ABMEC & AMC, Belém, Pará, Brazil, 3 ^{r}^{d} – 6 ^{t}^{h} September 2006
contact mechanism between the pipeline and the launching structure. A detailed description of this contact model can be founded in Silva (2006).
Figure 16 – Pipeline in SLay installation operation.
The static stable configuration of the pipeline was obtained starting from an initial mesh close to the water surface (as used for the mooring lines shown previously), in the same way, prescribed displacements were applied to move the connections to the design positions. In the case of the pipeline, the choice for that initial mesh instead of a mesh starting from the "anchor", as it was done for the mooring lines, it is imperative due to presence of the supports that constitute the ramp and the stinger. The Figure 17 shows a detail of the free span formed by the pipeline.
Figure 17 –Free span formed by the pipeline
5. FINAL REMARKS
This work had as objective to demonstrate the use of dynamic relaxation algorithms for generation of initial static stable configurations for flexible lines. The use of dynamic relaxation algorithms not only overcame the limitations imposed by the classic catenary equations to the generation of initial configurations of lines, but also avoided the numeric problems that arise in the traditional FE solution methods for nonlinear problems, by supplying a conditioning mechanism for the tangent stiffness matrix. Two formulations of the Dynamic Relaxation Method were presented, one implicit and another explicit. Both formulations have presented good results in the numeric experiments. In general, the following observations can be made:
(a) It is extremely important to start the dynamic analysis from a static stable configuration under the action of all static components of the loads, including current. The performance gain in the dynamic analysis is considerable, due to the reduction of the unnecessary transient part of the solution.
CILAMCE 2006 – ABMEC & AMC, Belém, Pará, Brazil, 3 ^{r}^{d} – 6 ^{t}^{h} September 2006
(b) The main advantage of DRM is its robustness, being able to reach the static equilibrium
configuration in situations where the NewtonRaphson Method fails (as is usual in complex configuration of flexible lines). Although in some cases DRM may request a little more CPU
time than the NRM, the cost of the static solution is still low, insignificant in comparison with the total time of the dynamic analysis.
(c) The use of adaptive strategies for definition of time steps increases significantly the
efficiency of the DRM algorithm.
(d) The DRM presents an additional advantage in relation to the classic methods of solution
for nonlinear problems: it is very easy to implement. The implementation of the DRM in the graphic preprocessing interface (as a tool for generation of FE meshes of initial static configurations) leads to an automated model generation procedure that is completely independent of all subsequent static and/or dynamic analyses that can be performed with the generated model (since it incorporates the applicable initial state of tensions and curvatures). Therefore, once the initial configuration/mesh is defined, several analyses can be performed with the same model. It should be stressed that, while the current implementation of the DRM is performed in an inhouse software code, it could also be used as a preprocessor module to generate FE meshes of initial stable configurations for commercial FE codes. Also, the time spent to generate this configuration is very small: the generation procedure is automatically performed by the interface in a matter of seconds, at the click of a button. On the other hand, the performance gain in the dynamic analysis is considerable when it starts from a static stable configuration, due to the reduction of the unnecessary transient part of the solution. In summary, the presented procedures based in the DRM to generate initial static stable configurations for flexible lines were shown to be quite efficient and robust, and comprises an important contribution to the analysis and design of offshore systems with flexible lines such as mooring lines, risers and hoses.
6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Finally, the authors would like to acknowledge the active support of Petrobras, and particularly of Dr. Isaias Quaresma Masetti. Petrobras, the Brazilian state oil company, is internationally acknowledged as pioneer and leader in deep water exploitation activities, and has been boosting research activities in this area and encouraging the use of innovative numerical tools in reallife design situations.
7. REFERENCES
CARDOSO, D. C. T., LIMA, B. S. L. P., JACOB, B. P., ALBRECHT, C. H., MASETTI, I. Q., 2004. Analyticalnumerical methods for calculation of equilibrated configurations of mooring lines with relief buoys (in Portuguese), Annals of XXXI South American journey of Structural Engineering, vol.3, pp. 10811090, may 1721, Mendoza  Argentina.
COSTA, A. P. S., ROLO, L.F.A., GOULART, M.P., SILVA, S.H.S.C., 2002. Offshore Loading Trends In Brazil, World Maritime Technology Conference.
FERREIRA, F. M. G., SILVEIRA, E. S. S., MASETTI, I. Q., MENEZES, I. F. M., 2004. A strategy for the generation of 3D initial configurations for dynamic analysis of morring lines (in Portuguese), XXV CILAMCE – IberianLatin Americam Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering, Recife, Brazil.
JACOB, B. P., EBECKEN, N. F. F., 1994. An Optimized Implementation of the Newmark/Newton Raphson Algorithm for the Time Integration of Nonlinear Problems, Comm. Numer. Methods Engrg.,vol.10, pp. 983992, John Wiley & Sons, UK/USA.
CILAMCE 2006 – ABMEC & AMC, Belém, Pará, Brazil, 3 ^{r}^{d} – 6 ^{t}^{h} September 2006
JACOB, B.P., MASETTI, I.Q., “PROSIM – Coupled Numerical Simulation of the Behavior Of Moored Semisubmersible Units” – COPPETECPetrobras Internal Report, Rio de Janeiro, 1997.
OAKLEY, D. R., KNIGHT Jr., 1995. N. F., Adaptive Dynamic Relaxation Algorithm for NonLinear Hyperelastic Structures – Part I: Formulation, Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg., vol.126, pp. 6789.
PARK, K.C., 1977. Practical Aspects of Numerical Time Integration, Comput. Struct.,vol.7, pp. 343
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PARK, K.C., UNDERWOOD, P.G., 1980. A VariableStep Central Difference Method o Structural Dynamics Analysis – Part 1: Theoretical Aspects, Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg., vol.22, pp. 241258.
SHUKAI WU, 1995. Adaptive Dynamic Relaxation Technique for Static Analysis of Catenary Mooring, Marine Structures, vol.8, pp. 585599.
SILVA, D. M. L., 2005. Generation of initial stable configurations of flexible lines by Dynamic Relaxation Methods (in Portuguese). M.Sc thesis, COPPE/UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
SILVA, D. M. L., CORRÊA, F. N., JACOB, B. P., 2006. A Generalized Contact Model for Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Floating Offshore Systems. 25st International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering – OMAE, June 49, Hamburg, Germany.
UNDERWOOD, P. G., 1983. Dynamic Relaxation, Computational Methods for Transient Dynamic Analysis, eds. T. Belytshko e T.J.R. Hughes, North Holland, Amsterdam, pp. 246265.
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