Based on the poly-metallic nodule deep-ocean mining system of COMRA's 1000-m sea trial, a FEM model of pipe system is built with ANSYS, which consists of steel lifting pipe, pump, buffer station and flexible hose. The modeling methods for 1000-m pipe system introduced in this paper are convenient to simulate the various 3-D motions of integrated mining system. Some essential characteristic and transient behaviors of pipe system are investigated and evaluated by simulation, including:

  1. Pipe system's launch and retrieval behaviors;

  2. The configuration of pipe system in deep-ocean, putting emphasis on the flexible hose with concentrated buoyancy;

  3. Several towing motions of track-keeping operation.


After the lake test of 130-m water depth in 2001, COMRA (China Ocean Mineral Resources R&D Association) plans to carry out a sea trial in 1000-m ocean. The constitution of mining system for COMRA's 1000-m sea trial (Liu and Wang, 2003) is similar to other deep-ocean mining systems and integrated control of the ship-pipebuffer- flexible hose and self-propelling miner, one of which was tested in 1976 and 1978 in the North Pacific Ocean (Brink and Chung, 1981; Chung, 1994; Cheng and Chung, 1996; Chung, 1999), which consists of a self-propelled seafloor miner, a flexible hose, a buffer station, lifting pipe and pump, and a surface ship. Some research groups had developed the software for the position-control and dynamic simulation of the integrated ship-pipe-buffer-miner system (Brink and Chung, 1980; Chung, Whitney and Loden, 1980). Moreover, Chung and Felippa had presented the FEM modeling and solution techniques of nonlinear static analysis of deep ocean mining pipe and given some numerical studies for an 18,000-ft pipe modeled by 3-D beam finite elements which include coupled axial, bending and torsional deformations (Felippa and Chung, 1981; Chung and Felippa, 1981).

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.