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Numéro de publicationUS20040013473 A1
Type de publicationDemande
Numéro de demandeUS 10/363,277
Date de publication22 janv. 2004
Date de dépôt23 août 2001
Date de priorité30 août 2000
Autre référence de publicationWO2002018709A1
Numéro de publication10363277, 363277, US 2004/0013473 A1, US 2004/013473 A1, US 20040013473 A1, US 20040013473A1, US 2004013473 A1, US 2004013473A1, US-A1-20040013473, US-A1-2004013473, US2004/0013473A1, US2004/013473A1, US20040013473 A1, US20040013473A1, US2004013473 A1, US2004013473A1
InventeursRobert Gibson
Cessionnaire d'origineRobert Gibson
Exporter la citationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Liens externes: USPTO, Cession USPTO, Espacenet
Protection of underwater elongate members
US 20040013473 A1
Résumé
An underwater cladding (10) for an elongate member such as a pipe, has a substantially cylindrical outer surface with a plurality of depressions (18) therein. The provision of depressions in an otherwise cylindrical outer surface of a cladding interrupts or reduces vortex induced vibrations and the absence of projections facilitates use with conventional pipe-laying equipment.
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Revendications(40)
1. An elongate underwater vortex shedding cladding (10) for an elongate member, comprising
an outer surface having a plurality of depressions (18) therein.
2. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 1, wherein the depressions (18) are arranged around the whole periphery or circumference of the cladding (10).
3. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, comprising a plurality of depressions (18) having a generally circular periphery.
4. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 3, wherein the diameter of the circular depressions is from 1 cm to 30 cm.
5. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 4, wherein the diameter of the circular depressions is from 10 cm to 20 cm.
6. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of the preceding claims, comprising a plurality of depressions having an elliptical periphery.
7. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 6, wherein the length of the major axis of the elliptical depressions is from 1 cm to 30 cm.
8. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 7, wherein the length of the major axis of the elliptical depressions is from 10 cm to 20 cm.
9. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of claims 6 to 8, wherein the length of the minor axis of the elliptical depressions is from 0.5 cm to 20 cm.
10. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 9, wherein the length of the minor axis of the elliptical depression is from 5 cm to 15 cm.
11. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of the preceding claims, comprising an external circular cross-section and wherein the largest diameter of a depression is from 5% to 50% of the external diameter of the cladding.
12. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 11, wherein the largest diameter of a depression is from 10% to 30% of the external diameter of the cladding.
13. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of the preceding claims, comprising a plurality of depressions having a smooth depressed or recessed surface.
14. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 13, comprising a plurality of depressions which are smoothly concave or dished in cross-section.
15. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 13, comprising a plurality of depressions having a planar base wall.
16. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 15, wherein the depressions further comprise a side wall inclined to the planar base wall and extending to the periphery of the depression.
17. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 16, wherein the side wall extends perpendicularly to the planar base wall.
18. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the depressions are substantially identical.
19. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the depressions are randomly spaced over the surface of the cladding.
20. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of claims 1 to 18, wherein the depressions are regularly spaced over the surface of the cladding.
21. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 20, wherein the depressions are arranged in a plurality of rows and/or columns.
22. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 21, wherein the depressions of the row or column are offset from those in an adjacent row or column.
23. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 20, wherein the depressions are arranged in a plurality of waves.
24. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 23, wherein adjacent waves of depressions are in phase with one another.
25. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 23, wherein adjacent waves of depressions are out of phase with one another.
26. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of the preceding claims, comprising positively buoyant material.
27. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 26, wherein the buoyant material comprises syntactic foam.
28. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 26 or claim 27, wherein the cladding comprises solely syntactic foam.
29. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 26 or claim 27, further comprising macrospheres.
30. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of the preceding claims, comprising a plurality of preformed sections assembled on, and secured to, the elongate member to be protected.
31. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 30, wherein the preformed sections comprise semi-tubular sections.
32. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 30, wherein the preformed sections comprise tubular sections.
33. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 32, wherein the tubular sections are split along their length.
34. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 33, wherein the split is longitudinal.
35. An underwater cladding as claimed in claim 33, wherein the split is helical.
36. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of claims 1 to 29, wherein the cladding is moulded directly onto the outer surface of the elongate member to be protected.
37. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the depressions are moulded into the cladding.
38. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of claims 1 to 36, wherein the depressions are cut, machined or otherwise formed into the outer surface of the cladding after moulding the cladding.
39. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the cladding is profiled to receive objects other than the elongate member being protected.
40. An underwater cladding as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the outer surface is substantially cylindrical.
Description
DESCRIPTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the protection of underwater pipes, drill risers, cables or other elongate members.

[0002] When water flows past an underwater pipe, drill riser, cable or elongate member of circular cross section, vortices may be shed alternately from each side. The effect of these vortices is to induce fluctuating, across-flow forces on the structure. If the natural frequency of the structure is close to the shedding frequency of the vortex the member can be caused to vibrate with a large oscillation amplitude.

[0003] Such oscillations not only cause the pipe, drill riser, cable or member to bend more than is desirable, but can also induce unwanted forces on a connector (either underwater or above water) to which the pipe, drill riser, cable or the like is secured. In extreme cases, the coupling between the pipe, drill riser, cable or the like and the connector is damaged.

[0004] Also, if there are intermediate connections or joints (e.g. welds), then similar problems can arise. One solution to the above problem is found in our co-pending patent application published as GB-A-2335248. The arrangement disclosed therein works extremely well but in view of the fact that the cladding disclosed therein comprises a series of helical strakes, problems can arise when a clad pipe, drill riser, cable or other elongate member is fed through conventional pipe-laying apparatus or a vessel moonpool. Whilst it is possible to overcome such problems, there is a desire to avoid such problems altogether.

[0005] In accordance with the present invention, an elongate underwater vortex shedding cladding for an elongate member comprises an outer surface having a plurality of depressions therein.

[0006] It has been found that the formation of depressions in an otherwise cylindrical outer surface of a cladding interrupts or reduces vortex induced vibrations and in view of the fact that there are no strakes or other projections extending outwardly from the otherwise cylindrical outer surface, the aforementioned problems which can be encountered with pipe-laying apparatus are avoided.

[0007] The presence of the depressions has also been found to reduce the drag of the elongate member in certain circumstances in both a steady and a fluctuating current.

[0008] Preferably, the depressions are arranged around the whole periphery or circumference of the cladding. Circumferential coverage of the depressions ensures suppression of vortex induced vibrations arising from omnidirectional flows.

[0009] In one embodiment, the depressions have a generally circular periphery. In another embodiment, the depressions have an elliptical periphery.

[0010] In some embodiments, the depressed or recessed surfaces of the depressions can be smooth and it is convenient if each of the depressions is smoothly concave or dished when viewed in cross-section. However, in other, currently more preferred embodiments the sides of the depressions are angular as this can help to “trip” the vortices, moving from regular to irregular shedding.

[0011] The size of the depressions may vary widely. For example, for circular depressions the diameter may vary from 1 cm to 30 cm and is preferably between 10 cm and 20 cm in diameter. For elliptical depressions, the length of the major axis is preferably between 1 cm and 30 cm with the width of the minor axis being between approximately 0.5 cm and 20 cm. Preferably the length of the major axis is from 10 cm to 20 cm and the length of the minor axis is preferably from 5 cm to 15 cm.

[0012] Preferably, for cladding of circular cross-section, the largest dimension of a depression (e.g. the diameter of a circular depression or the length of the major axis of an elliptical depression) is from 5% to 50% (and more preferably between 10% and 30%) of the external diameter of the cladding.

[0013] The depressions may be regularly spaced over the cylindrical surface of the cladding or may be randomly spaced. Preferably, the depressions are substantially identical.

[0014] If desired, the cladding may comprise positively buoyant material. Syntactic foam (either with or without the inclusion of macrospheres) would be particularly useful in this regard. The use of positively buoyant material is particularly useful in the context of drill risers. Thus, the cladding of the present invention can comprise a buoyancy module for a drill riser. Such a buoyancy module would offset much of the weight of the drill riser whilst additionally providing protection against vortex induced vibrations.

[0015] The cladding may comprise preformed sections which are subsequently assembled on, and secured to, the elongate member to be protected. For example, the preformed sections may comprise semi-tubular sections. Alternatively, the preformed sections may comprise tubular sections. If tubular sections are used, the sections are preferably split along their length (e.g. a longitudinal or helical split) to allow the sections to be located at any point along the length of the elongate member to be protected.

[0016] In either case, the depressions can be moulded into the outer surface of the preformed sections. Alternatively, the preformed sections may be moulded with a smooth outer surface and the depressions may be cut or machined or otherwise formed into the outer surface subsequently, either before or after the preformed sections are assembled on the elongate member.

[0017] In another embodiment, the cladding may be moulded directly onto the outer surface of the elongate member to be protected. The depressions or recesses may be moulded into the outer surface of the cladding as it is moulded. Alternatively, the cladding may be moulded without the depressions, which may be cut, machined or otherwise formed into the outer surface subsequently.

[0018] Preferably, the outer surface of the cladding is substantially cylindrical.

[0019] By way of example only, specific embodiments of the present invention will now be described, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0020]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of cladding in accordance with the present invention;

[0021]FIG. 2 is a side view of a second embodiment of pipe cladding in accordance with the present invention;

[0022]FIG. 3 is across section of the pipe cladding of FIG. 2, looking in the direction of arrows X-X in FIG. 2;

[0023]FIG. 4 is a side view of a third embodiment of cladding in accordance with the present invention;

[0024]FIGS. 5a to 5 d show examples of four possible orientations of the recesses along the cladding length; and

[0025]FIG. 6 illustrates diagrammatically a typical cross-section of a cladding moulding show the shapes and relative dispositions of depressions.

[0026] Referring firstly to FIG. 1, a protective ducting 10 for a pipe (not illustrated) comprises a tubular flexible, impervious, polyurethane casing comprising a plurality of identical, preformed, releasably engaged semi-tubular sections 12 which are arranged with respect to one another to provide a cylindrical passage 14 therethrough which is dimensioned and shaped to receive the pipe. The internal diameter of the protective ducting or cladding varies with the diameter of the pipe to be clad. Thus, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 the internal diameter is approximately 0.75 metres.

[0027] The required length of cladding is assembled by arranging the appropriate number of preformed sections along the length of a pipe. As illustrated schematically in FIG. 1, opposed semi-tubular sections of the cladding are held together by means of metal bands B passing around the outer surface of the assembled cladding.

[0028] It should also be noted that, in use, diametrically opposed sections of the cladding may be “staggered” by approximately half the length of the section to ensure that the vertical joints between two longitudinal adjacent sections are not aligned with the vertical joints between diametrically opposed longitudinally adjacent sections. Moreover, each cladding section may be provided with a reduced-diameter spigot portion at one end and an enlarged diameter socket portion at the opposite end (as shown in GB-A-2335248), whereby longitudinally adjacent sections are secured to one another by fitting a reduced diameter end spigot portion of one section into a complementarily-shaped enlarged inner diameter end socket portion of the adjacent section.

[0029] The outer surface of the assembled cladding comprises a smooth, generally cylindrical surface 16. However, it will be observed that the cladding sections are provided with a plurality of identical evenly-spaced depressions or recesses 18 in the outer surface. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the periphery of the depressions is circular and the depressions are smoothly concave or dished. In the embodiment illustrated, the diameter of the depressions is approximately 15 cm and the maximum depth of the depressions is approximately 3 cm. However, the diameter and depth of the depressions may vary widely. Preferably the diameter of the circular depressions is from 1 cm to 30 cm and more preferably from 10 cm to 20 cm, but it is not intended that the invention is limited in any way to these preferred ranges.

[0030] In use, the cladding 10 is assembled on a pipe, drill riser, cable or other elongate member and the clad elongate member is then positioned underwater. The fact that the outer surface of the cladding is devoid of projections greatly facilitates the laying of the clad elongate member by conventional pipe laying equipment which removes the requirement for modification of the pipe laying equipment and improves the reliability of the laying operation.

[0031] The depressions or recesses 18 may be moulded into the outer surface of the preformed semi-tubular sections 12. Alternatively, the preformed sections may be moulded with a smooth exterior surface (i.e. without the depressions or recesses 18) and the depressions or recesses may be cut or machined into the outer surface subsequently, either before or after the preformed sections 12 are assembled on the pipe, drill riser, cable or other elongate member.

[0032] The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 is very similar to that of the first embodiment. However, it will be observed that instead of being formed in two semi-tubular sections which are subsequently clamped together, the cladding 10′ comprises a plurality of preformed, flexible, impervious, polyurethane tubular cladding sections 20, each of which is provided with a single longitudinally-extending slit 22 which passes along the length of the cladding section, parallel to its longitudinal axis. In order to fit the cladding section onto a pipe, cable or other elongate member, the cladding section is opened at the slit 22 and manipulated onto the elongate member to be protected. The cladding member may then be held in the shut position by the use of metal bands (not illustrated) identical to those used in the embodiment of FIG. 1 or by any other suitable fixing means, such as two semi-circular half shells, coupled together at their ends by fastenings, such as bolts. As for the embodiment of FIG. 1, opposite ends of the cladding section may be provided with a spigot portion and a complementarily-shaped socket portion respectively to assist in the connecting of longitudinally adjacent sections.

[0033] As for the first embodiment, the outer surface 24 of the cladding section is generally smooth and cylindrical but is provided with a plurality of identical, evenly-spaced elliptical depressions or recesses 26. In the embodiment illustrated, the major axis of each elliptical depression is aligned parallel with the longitudinal axis of the cladding section, although this need not be the case.

[0034] The dimensions of the depressions or recesses may vary widely. However, in the illustrated embodiment the length of the major axis is approximately 15 cm and the length of the minor axis is approximately 7.5 cm. The depth of the depressions can also vary widely but in the embodiment illustrated it is approximately 3 cm. Preferably, the length of the major axis is from 1 cm to 30 cm, and more preferably from 10 cm and 20 cm. Preferably, the length of the minor axis is from 0.5 cm to 20 cm, and more preferably from 5 cm to 15 cm.

[0035] The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4 comprises a cladding section 28 which is moulded directly onto the outer surface of a pipe, drill riser, cable or other elongate member, rather than being pre-formed and subsequently fitted as in the first and second embodiments. As for the first two embodiments, the embodiment of FIG. 4 comprises a generally cylindrical smooth outer surface 30 but in contrast to the first two embodiments, comprises a plurality of randomly-spaced depressions or recesses 32, formed in the cylindrical outer surface. The dimensions of the circular recesses 32 correspond to those for the first embodiment The depressions or recesses 32 may be moulded into the outer surface as the cladding section is moulded. Alternatively, the cladding may be moulded with a smooth cylindrical exterior surface (i.e. without the depressions or recesses 32) and the depressions or recesses may be cut or machined into the outer surface subsequently.

[0036]FIGS. 5a-5 d shows examples of possible orientations of the depressions along the length of the cladding, FIG. 5a shows the depressions in regular lines and columns, FIG. 5b shows lines and columns which are offset, FIG. 5c shows the depressions arranged in “waves” which are in phase in the various rows; and FIG. 5d shows the depressions arranged in “waves” which are out of phase in the various rows.

[0037]FIG. 6 is a partial section of a typical moulding showing depressions which have sides which are substantially at right angles with flat bases of the depressions. Purely by way of example only, the dimensions a, b, c, d and r can be as follows in such a moulding:

[0038] a=40 cms

[0039] b=40 cms

[0040] c=20 cms

[0041] d=25 cms

[0042] r=175 cms

[0043] In each of the embodiments, when the cladding is in position underwater, the provision of the depressions or recesses in the generally cylindrical outer surface of the cladding interrupts or reduces vortex induced vibration. Moreover, in each case, because the outer surface of the cladding is devoid of projections, the clad pipe, or other elongate member, can be laid underwater using conventional laying mechanisms which do not require modification.

[0044] In the above embodiments, the material from which the cladding is made need not be polyurethane but could, in fact, be any material which is sufficiently flexible and impervious for the intended use. For example, in the above embodiments it would be possible to make the cladding from a syntactic foam, e.g. a mixture of glass microspheres and a thermoset resin matrix (with or without the inclusion of larger macrospheres). A cladding in accordance with the present invention which is made from syntactic foam would have increased buoyancy which can be desirable in some circumstances. Indeed, the use of such a cladding is particularly suitable as a buoyancy module for a drill riser. The use of syntactic foam offsets much of the riser weight and the provision of depressions in the outer surface of the cladding in accordance with the present invention reduces or eliminates vortex induced vibrations on the riser.

[0045] As indicated in FIG. 7, one embodiment of drill riser buoyancy module in accordance with the present invention comprises a plurality of identical, preformed, releasably engaged semi-tubular sections 12′ having an internal profile which, when the sections are arranged with respect to one another, form an aperture for receipt of the drill riser, auxiliary lines, riser clamps and the like. The sections 12′ are moulded from syntactic foam made from a mixture of glass microspheres and a thermoset resin matrix (either with or without the inclusion of macrospheres). The required length of buoyancy modules is assembled by arranging the preformed sections 12′ along the length of the drill riser. As indicated in FIG. 7, opposed semi-tubular sections of the cladding are held together by means of metal bands B′ passing around the outer surface of the assembled cladding. Alternatively, the buoyancy module halves may be bolted together.

[0046] The outer surface of the assembled buoyancy module is cylindrical, but as for the previous embodiments the cylindrical surface is provided with depressions or recesses 18′. The number, size, shape and pattern of the depressions or recesses 18′ can, for example, be as for the previous embodiments, but are not restricted to those details. As for the previous embodiments, the depressions or recesses 18′ can be formed integrally with the moulded preformed sections 12′ or can be formed subsequently, either before or after assembly on the drill riser.

[0047] The invention is not restricted to the details of the foregoing embodiments. For example, the depressions as shown in each of the four embodiments, could be used in each of the other embodiments. Moreover, the number, shape, dimensions and pattern of the depressions or recesses can vary widely from those illustrated.

[0048] Preferably, for cladding of circular cross-section, the largest dimension of a depression (e.g. the diameter of a circular depression or the length of the major axis of an elliptical depression) is from 5% to 50% (and more preferably between 10% and 30%) of the external diameter of the cladding.

[0049] The periphery of the depressions or recesses could be polygonal or could be any other shape which interrupts or reduces vortex induced vibrations. Moreover, the depressions or recesses need not be smooth or dished and, for example, may comprise side walls extending generally perpendicularly or at same angle or angles to the cylindrical surface of the cladding and a flat or curved (e.g. part-cylindrical, concentric with the cylindrical surface of the cladding) base wall.

[0050] Furthermore, the material from which the cladding is made may incorporate an anti-fouling agent which retards the build-up of material in the depressions which might otherwise impair their effectiveness at reducing vortex induced vibrations. An example of a suitable anti-fouling agent is tributyl tin (TBT) which is typically added to the material used to manufacture the cladding in a concentration of 1-5%, more preferably 2-3%.

Référencé par
Brevet citant Date de dépôt Date de publication Déposant Titre
US7104219 *30 mai 200312 sept. 2006Frantz Anthony FPiling decontamination and marine life enhancement system
US762856912 juil. 20058 déc. 2009Bonilla Gris RobieCovering element for protecting structures against scouring and drag force
US7766580 *14 févr. 20083 août 2010National Oilwell Varco, L.P.Energy managing keel joint
US8500367 *15 oct. 20076 août 2013Trelleborg Crp LimitedSuppression of vortex induced vibration
WO2005078325A1 *17 févr. 200525 août 2005Meisingset SverreDevice for protection of elongate element on a seabed and method for the installation of same
WO2007008053A1 *12 juil. 200518 janv. 2007Gris Robie BonillaCovering element for protecting structures against scouring and drag force
WO2007008054A1 *12 juil. 200518 janv. 2007Inst Politecnico NacionalMould for creating artificial roughness that protects against scouring
Classifications
Classification aux États-Unis405/211, 114/264, 405/216
Classification internationaleE21B17/01, F16L1/12
Classification coopérativeE21B17/01, E21B17/012, F16L1/123
Classification européenneE21B17/01, F16L1/12A, E21B17/01B
Événements juridiques
DateCodeÉvénementDescription
4 déc. 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: TRELLEBORG CRP LTD. [FORMERLY CRP GROUP LIMITED],
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:CRP GROUP LIMITED;REEL/FRAME:018651/0660
Effective date: 20061108
6 août 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: CRP GROUP LIMITED, GREAT BRITAIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GIBSON, ROBERT;REEL/FRAME:014436/0026
Effective date: 20030423