A carcass layer plays an important role in unbonded flexible pipes to resist the high level of external pressure without buckling collapse. The layer is made of an interlocked helically wound metal wire of profiled section that cold-deformed by a series of rollers. In typical design and analysis process of the carcass layer, the initial stress is always assumed to be zero. During the carcass layer manufacturing (a cold forming process), the metal strap is however subjected to varies of squeezing and bending and deformations to take “S” shape, and then the profiled wire to a cycling sequence of bending, squeezing and twisting deformations, which take it beyond its material elastic limit. The residual stress is therefore introduced and could has effect on the critical pressure of the carcass layer.

This paper presents a 3D finite element model to investigate the detailed residual stress distribution and variation during the forming process of the carcass layer. A study case using a 3D ring model is presented to systemically study the influence of imperfections, especially the residual stress, on the critical pressure of carcass layers.

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