Bending study of submarine power cables based on a repeated unit cell model

Pan Fang*, Xiao Li*, Xiaoli Jiang, Hans Hopman, Yong Bai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Predicting the bending behaviours of a submarine power cable (SPC) is always a tough task due to its complex geometry and inner layer contact, not to mention the stick–slip mechanism. A full-scale finite element model is cumbersome during the early design stage and a more efficient model for practical use is required. Therefore, in this paper, a repeated unit cell (RUC) technique-based FE model is developed, which simplifies the bending analysis of SPCs using a short-length representative cell with periodic conditions. The verification of this RUC model is conducted from cable and component levels, respectively. The cable overall response is validated by the curvature-moment relationships from our cable bending tests regarding four cable samples whose material properties are obtained through a set of material tests. As for the component level, the behaviours of particular components are studied and compared with the results from a full-scale numerical model. Discrepancy is observed between the RUC model and the test, which can be explained by the distinctions of boundary conditions between these two methods. The proposed Cable-RUC model has been found robust and computationally efficient for studying SPCs under bending.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116606
Number of pages14
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Bending behaviour
  • FEM
  • Multi-point constraint
  • Repeated unite cell
  • Submarine power cable


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