The Dynamics of Falling Marine Chain: A Continuum Model

[+] Author and Article Information
W. C. Webster

College of Engineering, The University of California, Berkeley, Room 308 McLaughlin Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1702

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 120(1), 30-36 (Feb 01, 1998) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2829517 History: Received May 10, 1996; Revised September 10, 1997; Online December 17, 2007


This paper investigates the dynamics of a length of chain that is attached to the ocean floor, initially oriented vertically and the top end allowed to fall. A series of simulations of the falling was performed using a continuum model of the chain. It was found that, although initially the chain does fall straight down, when its speed approaches terminal velocity in this direction, it develops instabilities which cause severe motions in the chain, particularly at the top end of the chain. It was found that these motions are sensitive to the longitudinal drag coefficient, Cd,L . A statistical analysis of many different simulations of the falling process indicates that the whipping of the top end of the chain may be more dangerous to neighboring platforms or equipment than the impact of the chain on the bottom.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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