The offshore industry has presented an increasing demand over the last few decades, requiring the production in deep water fields. The end fittings (EF) are critical points within the production system. Therefore, structural and fatigue analyses are essential in the EF design, making it necessary to know the stress distribution experienced by the armor wires along the EF. Numerical and analytical models are often used in order to assess the stress state. However, characteristics like geometries, materials and interactions must be previously known in order to apply these models.
The purpose of this work was to analyze the arithmetic mean surface roughness (Ra) and to determine the friction coefficient (μ) for two types of armor wires when in contact with resin used to fill the EF. The resin used in the interaction with the armor wires was an epoxy filled with metallic particles. For the experimental analysis straight carbon steel armor wires with different cross-sections, typically used in 2.5″ and 8″ flexible pipes were used. Surface profile was obtained for each wire by repeated measurements along two lines over each surface. A total of three repetitions were performed in each measure line. Longitudinal roughness was determined through these profiles. Finally, friction coefficients were obtained experimentally by means of a device that allows to simulate the wire pullout and sliding process. In this device, two epoxy pads were put in contact with the surface of the analyzed wire sample, and rigid bodies in contact with the pads were used to ensure that the normal load applied is transmitted uniformly through the contact surface. The displacement rate, contact pressure between the surface of the wire and the epoxy resin pads, and axial force were recorded.
The roughness in the longitudinal direction of the wires was analyzed through descriptive statistic and compared by Student’s “t” test. The highest values were obtained on wires with larger sections. This behavior is exposed on the results obtained for the friction coefficient as a function of the contact pressure. Friction coefficient for both wires was analyzed and compared using a Mann-Whitney U test. Both friction coefficients have a positive slope, indicating a small increase as the contact pressure raise. The significance value obtained for the means comparisons was p = 0.0001 and confirms that the average friction coefficient of the two wires are really different. Because of that, we conclude that is necessary to treat the EF project for different flexible pipes differentially.