The presence of marine growth modifies hydrodynamic effects to subsea structures and could lead to incorrect modelling if not properly accounted for. Widely-used design practice codes do not contain any specific guidelines or recommendations to account for the effects of marine fouling on complex subsea structures and due to the desired longevity of oil and gas constructs, considerable amounts of marine biofouling can accumulate. In the experimental investigation described in the paper, the impacts of different marine growth severities, current velocities and current directions on the hydrodynamic drag were carried out in the Flume Tank at the University of Tasmania. A 1:15 scale mid-water arch (MWA) was employed during this investigation. Several marine biofouling severities were tested as well as the structure without marine growth, representing scenarios based on realistic MWA operating conditions. Physical modelling was validated with numerical simulations using computational fluid dynamics. Experimental results gathered show a rise in drag forces when the artificial marine growth is attached. The highest force magnitudes were observed when the marine growth severity was at its maximum roughness. This has been complemented by numerical results, with input parameters coming from 3D scans of the artificial marine growth.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.