Subsea pipeline laid on the seabed will experience free span when the lay path is long and seabed is rugged. Hydrodynamic loads caused by the currents around the pipeline can induce oscillations in both cross-flow and in-line directions. This phenomenon is called vortex-induced vibration (VIV) which is the most common case that could induce serious fatigue problems. The pipe-soil interaction is one of the main factors that influence the vibration.

In this paper, a study focusing on the effect of pipe-soil interaction on VIV for different types of free span is presented. The Milan wake oscillator is applied to calculate the dynamic response induced by VIV in Orcaflex, and the results are compared with experimental data to identify its validity. A sensitivity study is also performed to study the parameter influence of the Milan wake oscillator model.

Four types of free span (including the multiple free spans) are modeled in Orcaflex and time domain VIV analysis is carried out to study the influence of pipe-soil interaction. Comparison among different types of free span is discussed. The influence of structural damping is studied for flexible pipe only because its influence on steel pipe is negligible. The influence of structural damping on flexible pipe is studied by means of a predefined moment-curvature curve. In addition, several cases are studied to investigate the influence of tension on VIV by Milan wake oscillator.

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