1 Introduction OrcaFlex is a 3D systems modelling package developed primarily for of analysis the behavior of engineering systems in a marine environment. The program takes as input the mechanical, structural and other properties of the various component parts of the system, and calculates the static equilibrium configuration of the system, and its response to dynamic loading. Outputs include system geometry and forces and moments throughout the system. The OrcaFlex model is fully 3 - dimensional, and is capable of dealing with arbitrarily large changes in system geometry. OrcaFlex is used in the offshore and ocean engineering industries for analysis of a wide range of system. Example include, but are not limited to: Tensioned marine risers Steel catenary risers Flexible risers and umbilicals Hybrid riser systems Drilling risers Aquaculture moorings Pipelay Buoy systems Bundle dynamics

wave excitation. Results include animated replay of dynamic simulations. floating lines dynamic after release. special facilities are provided for user intervention to guide the software toward the solution. either of which can easily be used a single model. The object represent the structures being analysed and the environment determines the current. severe impact and line compresion). These facilities maximise project QA and traceability where many file variants are required. using the various modeling facilities provided by OrcaFlex. and allow very efficient re-runs. The model consists of the marine environment to which the system is subjected. and for most systems a solution is obtained immediately. Static analysis is quick and robust.OrcaFlex can handle multi-line systems. For dynamic analysis. OrcaFlex comes fully equipped with automation facilities built into Excel for ease of use and efficiency. but Explicit scheme is more efficient for system with high frequency discrete event (eg. (Detailed descriptions of each type of object are given in the program document . For very complex system. plus a variable number of object chosen by the user. 1. placed in the environment and connected together as required. The implicit scheme is applicable for the majority of dynamic analysis. plus full graphical and numerical presentations.) . The following types of object are available in OrcaFlex. typically involve multiple connections between lines. the user has a choice of Explicit or implicit time integration schemes. and many other aspects of system behaviour. etc. clashing between line. we first build a mathematical model of the real-world system. to which the object are subjected.12 Elements of an OrcaFlex system Model To analysis a marine system using Orcaflex.

Prescribed with a user – specified time – varying forward speed and rate of turn . roll. Imposed from user define time history motion files. floating platforms. pitch and yaw ). special facilities are also provide for mooring analysis. sway. Calculated from Load RAOs for each of the 6 degrees of freedom. which are readily imported. barges etc.Vessels are used to model ships.1. . heave. they are rigid bodies whose motion can be: Prescribed by user specified Displacement Response Amplitude operators (RAOs) for each of the 6 degrees of freedom (surge.

Line properties may vary along the length. Each line can also have a number of clumps attach. Line ends may be fixed or free.1. clump weight. or drag chains. mooring lines and other long slender objects. and provide a convenient way of modeling items such as floats. Line are represented in OrcaFlex by a ‘lumped mass” finite element model. . Clumps are point element attached to lines at userspecified locations. cables. or attach to other object such as vessel or buoys.bending and torsional stiffness and associated damping properties. and a series of spring and dampes are define to represent the axial. and ends can be disconnected in the course of a simulation. Lines are used to represent flexible hoses. so that a single line may be used to represent a chain/wire/chain mooring cable or a marine riser incorporating a buoyant section. volume and hydrodynamic properties of the associated length of line are assigned to a node. The mass. steel pipes.

the winch drive can be operated in either constant sped mode. hydrodynamic and contact properties. 1. way and heave) The motion of the buoys are calculated by OrcaFlex. Several different data input formats are provided for convenience in modeling different sort of marine object. and integrating in the time domain. 6D Buoys are rigid bodies with all 6 degree freedom of (translation in. 3D Buoys are simple point bodies with just 3 translational degrees freedom (surge.Resulting weight and buoyancy forces are determine fron the input data. hydrodynamic and contact properties.which is fed from and controlled by a winch dive mounted on the first object. and rotation about.or else in tension mode.the connection is by a winch wire. each of these axes). OrcaFlex calculate the motion of each 6D Buoys by summing all the force acting on it.in which it applies a user-specified tension to the winch wire.in which it pays out or hauls in the winch wire at a user-specified rate. Despite the names .two types are available:Tethers are simple linear springs. They have mass volume.spring/dampers are combined(linear or non-linear) spring + dampers units. volume. but basically have mass.1. .Links are mass-less springs linking two other objects in the model. 2.3D Buoys and 6D Buoys do not need to be buoyant in the ordinary sense of the word. Are also mass-less connections linking two or more objects in the model. 3D buoys do not rotate and are intended only for modeling objects which are small enough for rotations to be unimportant.Winches. calculating the acceleration vector. 3.

Several different elementary shapes are available and a number of solidw may be placed together to build up more complex compound shapes.spectral or time history files can be used if necessary.usually a plane(not necessaily horizontal).1Shapes-areof two types Solids are linear elastic objects which apply a reaction foce to any other object which penetrates them.a number of wave spectra fo modelling random seas. Waves:can use multiple wave trains. solids may be fixed in space or attached to other objects such as vessels.each with magnitude and rotation varying with depth. The marine environment model include : Seabed:represented as an elastic surface. Wind:can be constant.Environment. .or a 2D or 3D surface profile can be modelled if required. Current:can have a library of current profiles.they are used to represent surface such as the side of a ship or a guide tube which constrain the movements of the physical system. 1.several non-linear regular waves. wave model available include a linea(sinusodal)wave.

each line is divided for modelling purposes into a series of lumped mass elements or nodes with connecting springs to represent the stiffness. meaning that their motions are calculated by OrcaFlex according to the forces which act on them. links or winches that are more attach to an object. there are no built-in limit to the number of lines. As a result very complex system can be modelled. Vessels are either free (using load RAOs ) or have prescribed motion (displacement RAOs). Depending on how you model them.To determine the equilibrium configuration of the system under weight. 1. . though of course the more complex the more model longer the analysis takes. Assembling the system model consists of creating objects and then connecting them together using lines. Lines fom an important special case. link and winches have the special property that they can be used to connect other objects.To provide a starting configuration for dynamic simulation.each node is then treated as a free body either 6degrees of freedom if tosional stiffness is included. link and winches as required. the lines. winches and solids all define forces but have no inertia of their own and therefore cannot be free bodies. Links. 3D and 6D buoys are free bodies. Similarly. or 3degrees of freedom if not. 1 free Bodies Of the object which can go together to make up an OrcaFlex model. There is no practical limit on the number of object in the model – in reality the only limit is the memory and other resource available on the computer being used. buoyancy and hydrodynamic drag loading b.16. Static Analysis There are two objective for a static analysis: a.1 connections between Elements Of these various object types.

For the vast majority of cases the WWS approach is the best method and this is the default option. including all nodes in all lines.In most cases. Force and moment considered include: Weight Buoyancy Hydrodynamic drag and added mass Tension and shear Bending and torque Contact forces Force applied by links and winches The equation of motion is then formed for each node and freebody {M}. including added mass terms. and {F} is the total force vector. the static equilibrium configuration is the best starting point for dynamic simulation and the two objectives become one. are known from the static analysis. The force and moment acting on each free body and node are then calculated. It is useful to be able to use the SBLS method.the positions and orientations of all nodes and free bodies are again known and the process is repeated. At the end of each timestep.17 Dynamic Analysis At the start of the time simulation. 1.{x’’}={F} Where {M} is the mass matrix for the node or body. There are two types of static analysis available in OrcaFlex: Whole System Static (WSS) and Separate Buoy and Line Static (SBLS). . the initial positions and orientation of all objects in the model. Occasionally. {x’’} is the acceleration vector. The equation is solved for the acceleration vecto which is then integrated.

to process all the above. the program will also include the effect of clash forces generated when lines touch .Use the OrcaFlex batch processing capability.18.use the GUI to set up a base-case OrcaFlex data file.20.Use the OrcaFlex ‘Script table’ sheet to call up the base-case data file and identity and generate the loadcase/ parametric variant OrcaFlex data files. Contract & Clashing Fully integral within orcaFlex is the ability to determine the clearances between OrcaFlex Line objects present in the model.1. and use the instruction wizard to set up the instructions necessary to interrogate the simulation files resulting from the above to extract the result of interest. Pre-and Post-Processing The OrcaFlex Graphical user Interface (GUI) is a common method of using OrcaFlex. Spend time doing QA on the entered data. when significant number of load cases and/or parametric studies need to be performed. To this end OrcaFlex offers a huge capability for pre-and post-processing. b.Return to the OrcaFlex spread sheet. d. Typically this process might be: a. simple using the GUI can time consuming and error prone. If selected by the user. c. However. using the OrcaFlex spreadsheet. 1.

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