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Forces experienced by winch drums and reels

systems as a function of rope characteristics and

varying line pull a theoretical study
The 18th North Sea Offshore Crane and Lifting Conference,
Stavanger, Norway
Marius Popa, FRINA, CEng, Ph.D.
25th April 2013

Summary
This paper presents in Part A a theoretical study of internal line friction, line rigidity and their
influence on drum and flange pressures on single drum winches, with varying line tension.
It also develops in Part B, using the conclusion in Part A, an analysis of the effect of the rigidity
of flange and line on the loads developed on the flange. The study in Part B was developed
focusing on the structure of the reel flange however some conclusions may be of interest also
for the structure of the winch flange.
NOTE:
This study is not intended and shall not be used to replace the basic requirements in section 5
of DNV Standard for the Certification of Lifting Appliances 2.22, with respect to design forces
and stresses to be considered for winch drums and flanges; the concepts presented are
intended to explore and stimulate a deeper understanding of two dominant phenomena
involved. With further development and sufficient practical evidence, it may support the
generation of thorough documentation as a means to alternative methods of design
(reference is made to the DNV Standard for the Certification of Lifting Appliances 2.22 Ch. 2
Sec. 3 Guidance Note for the calculation of C coefficient for more than 2 layers).

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS

T=

tension in line

FIGURE 1 LOADS ACTING ON THE LINES RADIAL

LAYER I SEGMENT DSI=DI/2*D

pi =

pressure in each layer

friction coefficient

Pp =

product pitch

n=

number of radial layers

l=
number of windings along the
drum
D1 = external diameter (drum
diameter + n*Pp)
Ri=
contribution of layer i to the total
radial pressure on the drum

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS

A little bit of mathematics (slide 2) Line pull variation

In the vertical direction, the equation of equilibrium can be written as:
pi*dA = pi-1*dA + (2*Ti+dTi)*sin(d/2) = = (pi-pi-1)*dA = Ti* d [eq 1]
In the horizontal direction, , the equation of equilibrium can be written as:
Ti+Ff-i= Ti+dTi+Ff-(i-1) => Ff-i Ff-(i-1) = dTi => -*(pi-pi-1)*dA = dTi [eq 2]
Resulting:

-*Ti* d = dTi

By integration:

T= T0*e-

Where is the angular length from the free end to the present position:
= (n-1)*2**l + -l where n is the layer, l is the number of windings and -l is the
local position on the layer n.
The equation developed below is a generalization of the capstan effect equation
for a multi layers and multi windings arrangements (no surprise!...).
Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope
characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS

A little bit of mathematics (slide 3) Pressure on the drum

For one layer spooled onto the drum, the pressure at the free end can be deduced
as follows:
p1*dA = 2*T* sin(d/2) and having dA= d*D1/2*Pp

=>

p1*d*D1/2*Pp = T* d => p1 = 2*T/D1/Pp

This formula can be deduced from DNV StC 2.22 LA Ch. 2 Sec. 3 B.207.
Considering dA= d*Di/2*Pp, [eq 1] becomes:
(pi-pi-1)* d*Di/2*Pp = T0*e-* d = (pi-pi-1) = 2* T0*e-i/Di/Pp

[eq 3]

[where Di= D1-(i-1)*Pp]

The equation type 3 can be summed up for all n layers from the outside layer down
to the drum

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS

pdrum =
[eq 4.2] where

i+1= i + 2**l

This equation includes friction and the geometric effect

Assuming that the variation in diameter does not significantly contribute to Ri (the
coefficient of diameter may increase at a significantly lower rate than that due to the
effect of friction) the equation above can be simplified:
pdrum =

Interesting to note:

[eq 4.1]

Ri/Ri+1 = e*2*l*(1 (i-1)*)/(1-i*)

With Pp/D1 =
Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope
characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS

A little bit of mathematics (slide 5) Pressure on the drum

Straightening effect:
Assuming that the rope/product needs a minimum pull Ks in order to be bended at the
drum radius or at the present layer radius (no pressure is generated on the drum or
between layers) the formulae for line tension variation and drum pressure can be
updated as followings:
T= (T0-Ks)*e-* +Ks

pdrum =

[eq 4.3]

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS

EXISTING EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS (slide 1)

Reference
P. Dietz, A. Lohrengel, T. Schwarzer and M. Wchter Problems related to the design of multi layer drums for synthetic and
hybrid ropes, OIPEEC Conference / 3rd International Ropedays - Stuttgart - March 2009

Hoop stress

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS

EXISTING EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS (slide 2)

The arrangement of the test stand in P. Dietz, A. Lohrengel, T. Schwarzer and M.
Wchter Problems related to the design of multi layer drums for synthetic and
hybrid ropes, OIPEEC Conference / 3rd International Ropedays - Stuttgart - March
2009

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS

EXISTING EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS (slide 3)

The values taken from the diagram are approximated as follows:
layer

100

180

224

295

336

dR

100

80

64

51

41

1.25

1.25

1.25

1.25

dRi/dR(i+1)

e*2*l = 1.25 => *l= ln(1.25)/2/ = 0.035

The reference paper states rope diameter is 23 mm, arranged over 5 radial layers.
From the picture of the arrangement the approximate number of windings along length is
approximately 40, leading to a friction coefficient of 0.0009
The drum length therefore is approximately 40*0.023 = 0.92m (say 1.0m). Proportionally, the
outer diameter and the drum diameter is approximately 0.5m and 0.27m (i.e. 0.5 2*(5*0.023)
respectively.
Considering also the geometrical effect the friction coefficient seems to be 0.0013.
Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope
characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

10

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS
The close correlation between experimental and theoretical values would appear to
demonstrate the validity of equations above.
The equations accounting all three effects are more general and by their nature provide more
conservative results. Equations considering only the effect of friction however are simpler,
requiring no information with respect to geometrical characteristics and might therefore
represent a reasonable initial approximation.
It is also noted that:
Coefficients of friction considered above (i.e. 0.0009 - 0.0013) are extremely small in
comparison with typical values (e.g. 0.05 to 0.30 for steel on steel); well-maintained, lubricated
wire rope may of course exhibit lower coefficients of friction, the values however are unknown.
Rope anchorage design for winches, [1] Ch. 2 Sec. 3 B.513, is based on a coefficient of friction
= 0.10; this value is about 100 times larger than those deduced from the results reported in
reference.
All of these due to the nature of hybrid rope reported as used in the reference?
The inclusion of diameter effects leads to an increase in coefficient of friction (approx. 50%) for
same drum pressure.
Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope
characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

11

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS
VARIATION OF DRUM PRESSURE WITH COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION (EFFECT OF DIAMETER INCLUDED) REEL
CONFIGURATION R-OUT= 5.0 / PP=0.1 M / 2 LAYERS
2.250
2.000
1.750
1.500
1.250
1.000
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Winding
-l
Friction
layer
2
0.001
2
0.01
2
0.02
2
0.05
2
0.10
2
0.20
code

10

50

2.014
1.939
1.882
1.730
1.533
1.285
1.750

2.008
1.882
1.778
1.533
1.285
1.081
1.750

2.001
1.828
1.686
1.390
1.152
1.023
1.750

1.995
1.778
1.605
1.285
1.081
1.007
1.750

1.989
1.730
1.533
1.208
1.043
1.002
1.750

1.958
1.533
1.285
1.043
1.002
1.000
1.750

1.745
1.043
1.002
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.750

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

12

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS
VARIATION OF DRUM PRESSURE WITH COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION (EFFECT OF DIAMETER INCLUDED) REEL
CONFIGURATION R-OUT= 5.0 / PP=0.1 M / 5 LAYERS
5.500
5.000
4.500
4.000
3.500
3.000
2.500
2.000
1.500
1.000
0

10

20

30

40

50

Winding-l
layer
5
5
5
5
5
5

Frictio
n
0.001
0.01
0.02
0.05
0.10
0.20
code

1
5.147
4.427
3.951
2.938
2.051
1.395
3.000

2
5.082
3.951
3.219
2.051
1.395
1.088
3.000

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

13

3
5.018
3.553
2.700
1.624
1.179
1.024
3.000

4
4.955
3.219
2.326
1.395
1.088
1.007
3.000

5
4.894
2.938
2.051
1.262
1.045
1.002
3.000

10
4.603
2.051
1.395
1.045
1.002
1.000
3.000

50
3.025
1.045
1.002
1.000
1.000
1.000
3.000

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS
It is interesting to note that a reduction in the coefficient of friction may result from welllubricated lines; being normal practise for subsea applications, used to minimize the amount
of the heat dissipation from friction and prolong product life. As can be observed however,
reducing the coefficient of friction might lead to more load on the drum. For deep sea
applications in particular, the balance between operating procedures, maintenance routines,
cumulative damage experienced by the wire due to heating/friction and pressures applied to
the winch drum is a fine one and needs to be considered, in terms of safety, financial and
technical constraints imposed on the design of such winches.
Information contained in InterOcean source below proposes an alternative method to
minimize the pressure experienced by winch drums for deep subsea arrangements; i.e.
spooling the first layers on the drum with a reduced tension. These first layers will act in
effect like a protective cage for the drum, reducing the pressure and hoop stresses
experienced by it. Equation 4.3 shows that spooling with a tension approximating or lower
than the spring (straightening) characteristic of the line may generate less pressure on the
drum and indeed offer a degree of protection to the structure of the drum.
Stephen M. Pearlman, David R. Gordon, Michael D. Pearlman Winch Technology - Past Present and Future A Summary of
Winch Design Principles and Developments
Paper on InterOcean Systems, Inc. site
http://www.interoceansystems.com/winch_article.htm

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
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14

PART A: THE ESTIMATION OF LINE TENSION AND THE PRESSURE ON WINCH DRUMS

And some caveat not in the paper

In the paper: The relationship between increased line rigidity and a reduced coefficient of friction between layers does not
appear to be available in the literature. No sufficient data was available to validate these equations and deductions - firm
conclusions in relation to this aspect are therefore not possible at the time of writing.
However, the diagram below from an Australian mines code seems to support the idea.

Source: W. van den Bos, C. de Ruiter and S. Maljaars An axi-symmetric FEM model of drum with multi-layer rope winding,
ODN 0901, OIPEEC Conference Oxford March 2013 (correspondence with Mr. van de Bos)
Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope
characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

15

PART B: AN ESTIMATION OF THE FORCES EXPERIENCED BY THE FLANGES OF REELS,

CONSIDERING THE INFLUENCE OF LINE ELASTICITY.

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

16

PART B: AN ESTIMATION OF THE FORCES EXPERIENCED BY THE FLANGES OF REELS,

CONSIDERING THE INFLUENCE OF LINE ELASTICITY.

Section

1 (soft)

Line Iy=
Line A=
dy for
100kN=

0.667
200

kp=1e5/dy=

17416

ln(kp)=

4.241

5.742

2
1.33
3
400
0.88
9
1124
29
5.05
1

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

17

6 (rigid)

2.000
600

2.667
800

3.333
1000

52.080
2500

0.593

0.445

0.356

0.054

168645

224861

281073

1867797

5.227

5.352

5.449

6.271

Spokes properties
Section
1 (soft)
Spoke Iy=
2873
Spoke A=
4000
Square
dy for
100kN=
9.170
ks=1e5/dy=
10905
ln(ks)=
9.297
Triangular
dy for
4.770
100kN=
ks=1e5/dy=
20964
ln(ks)=
9.951

2
5796
4750

3
8776
5300

4
11443
5700

5
(rigid)
42817
8800

4.747
21064
9.955

3.247
30798
10.335

2.559
39078
10.573

0.852
117371
11.673

2.525
39612
10.587

1.756
56948
10.950

1.401
71378
11.176

0.507
197239
12.192

PART B: AN ESTIMATION OF THE FORCES EXPERIENCED BY THE FLANGES OF REELS,

CONSIDERING THE INFLUENCE OF LINE ELASTICITY.

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

18

PART B: AN ESTIMATION OF THE FORCES EXPERIENCED BY THE FLANGES OF REELS,

CONSIDERING THE INFLUENCE OF LINE ELASTICITY.

Rectangular arrangement: Typical shear force and bending moments diagrams for
the spoke elements

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

19

PART B: AN ESTIMATION OF THE FORCES EXPERIENCED BY THE FLANGES OF REELS,

CONSIDERING THE INFLUENCE OF LINE ELASTICITY.

T arrangement :Typical shear force and bending moment diagrams for the spoke
elements

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

20

PART B: AN ESTIMATION OF THE FORCES EXPERIENCED BY THE FLANGES OF REELS,

CONSIDERING THE INFLUENCE OF LINE ELASTICITY.
F-COMPUTED/F-CODE

ks-1
ks-2
ks-3
ks-4
ks-5
ks-1
ks-2
ks-3
ks-4
ks-5

F/F-code
log(kp)
R
R
R
R
R
T
T
T
T
T

Kp-1
Kp-2
Kp-3
Kp-4
Kp-5
Kp-6
4.241
5.051
5.227
5.352
5.449
6.271
2.803
1.495
1.316
1.196
1.109
0.365
3.206
1.752
1.528
1.399
1.296
0.426
3.424
1.918
1.686
1.532
1.418
0.465
3.556
2.026
1.785
1.622
1.501
0.492
4.032
2.567
2.289
2.091
1.938
0.631
0.665
0.488
0.443
0.413
0.390
0.182
0.755
0.536
0.487
0.454
0.435
0.205
0.821
0.568
0.514
0.479
0.453
0.218
0.851
0.588
0.533
0.495
0.468
0.227
0.881
0.686
0.623
0.580
0.547
0.269

4.250
4.000
3.750
3.500
3.250
3.000
2.750
2.500
2.250
2.000
1.750
1.500
1.250
1.000
0.750
0.500
0.250
0.000
4.000

4.500

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

21

5.000

5.500

6.000

6.500

PART B: AN ESTIMATION OF THE FORCES EXPERIENCED BY THE FLANGES OF REELS,

CONSIDERING THE INFLUENCE OF LINE ELASTICITY.
M-COMPUTED/M-CODE

ks-1
ks-2
ks-3
ks-4
ks-5
ks-1
ks-2
ks-3
ks-4
ks-5

M/M-code
log(kp)
R
R
R
R
R
T
T
T
T
T
5.250
5.000
4.750
4.500
4.250
4.000
3.750
3.500
3.250
3.000
2.750
2.500
2.250
2.000
1.750
1.500
1.250
1.000
0.750
0.500
0.250
0.000
4.000

kp-1
4.241
2.623
3.351
3.754
4.006
4.935
0.368
0.579
0.737
0.793
0.774

kp-2
5.051
0.925
1.269
1.512
1.670
2.580
0.190
0.245
0.288
0.317
0.467

kp-3
5.227
0.728
1.006
1.202
1.346
2.139
0.150
0.194
0.223
0.247
0.375

4.500

5.000

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

22

kp-4
5.352
0.610
0.843
1.014
1.133
1.847
0.125
0.163
0.188
0.205
0.318

5.500

kp-5
5.449
0.530
0.733
0.883
0.989
1.623
0.107
0.142
0.164
0.180
0.277

kp-6
6.271
0.098
0.135
0.161
0.180
0.303
0.031
0.040
0.046
0.051
0.080

6.000

6.500

PART B: AN ESTIMATION OF THE FORCES EXPERIENCED BY THE FLANGES OF REELS,

CONSIDERING THE INFLUENCE OF LINE ELASTICITY.
Z-COMPUTED/Z-CODE

ks-1
ks-2
ks-3
ks-4
ks-5
ks-1
ks-2
ks-3
ks-4
ks-5

Z/Z-code
log(kp)
R
R
R
R
R
T
T
T
T
T

kp-1
4.241
0.936
1.045
1.096
1.126
1.224
0.553
0.768
0.897
0.932
0.878

kp-2
5.051
0.619
0.724
0.789
0.825
1.005
0.390
0.456
0.507
0.539
0.681

kp-3
5.227
0.554
0.658
0.713
0.754
0.935
0.338
0.398
0.434
0.464
0.601

kp-4
5.352
0.510
0.603
0.661
0.698
0.883
0.302
0.360
0.393
0.413
0.549

kp-5
5.449
0.478
0.566
0.623
0.659
0.837
0.276
0.325
0.363
0.384
0.506

kp-6
6.271
0.268
0.316
0.345
0.366
0.480
0.173
0.196
0.212
0.225
0.298

1.250
1.000
0.750
0.500
0.250
0.000
4.000

4.500

5.000

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
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5.500

6.000

6.500

PART B: AN ESTIMATION OF THE FORCES EXPERIENCED BY THE FLANGES OF REELS,

CONSIDERING THE INFLUENCE OF LINE ELASTICITY.
This brief study attempts to demonstrate the influence of product elasticity on the forces imparted into the
offshore reels that are used to transport them.
Figures relating to the transverse rigidity of actual product were unfortunately unavailable for the purposes of
this study, as were representative measurements taken from actual reel assemblies (e.g. strain gauge
measurements or flange tip deflections, associated with controlled constant tension onshore spooling). Such
information would obviously be valuable for the purposes of validating these theories.
Assuming a square arrangement for a spooled-on product may or may not be realistic. It is not a naturally
stable one, but the information received from industrial users of reel structures, suggest at least that there are
situations when it is specified / requested by the end-user. It may be of course that actual spooling
procedures differ from the assumptions made herein, e.g. partitions in various combinations with flexible filling
materials may in some cases be used between windings along the drum.
The triangular arrangement is obviously the more natural and therefore stable one; this study indicates that
the loads and forces experienced by the flanges at least are in effect significantly lower than the values
typically used for the purposes of design. This study does however consider a perfect fit between the ring
arrangement and the drum length; it does not therefore account for the well-known increase in load
associated with a side-ring arranged in an imperfect triangular cell (angle between line of rings centre and
horizontal less than 60). Structural failure of offshore reels does not appear to have been reported in the
literature, perhaps partly as a result of these two phenomena cancelling one another out.

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

24

PART B: AN ESTIMATION OF THE FORCES EXPERIENCED BY THE FLANGES OF REELS,

CONSIDERING THE INFLUENCE OF LINE ELASTICITY.
CONCLUSIONS
Part A of this study does not consider various characteristics associated with the line (whatever it may be)
spooled onto a drum. For example, axial elasticity can have a significant effect on the pressure experienced
by a winch drum. Part B also has significant limitations due to the simplistic analysis methods employed for
assessing the effects of product and flange elasticity.
Part A however demonstrates the relative importance of friction and the spring/straightening effect for the
better understanding of loads acting on the system and the necessity for these effects to be considered for the
development of in some cases more optimum and safer winch arrangements.
At the same time, part B demonstrates the importance of understanding the effects that relative elasticity has
on the design of offshore reel structures and possible for winches too.
The effects studied in Part A together with those in part B should provide the designer with a more thorough
understanding of the phenomena at work and it is hoped some stimulation for further investigation and work
towards a different, perhaps more appropriate design methodology for reels structures, considered by the
designer as a kind of mega-winch. For this equipment the inertia effects might have at least the same
strength effect as the effect of the line spooling tension.
It is the opinion of the Author that both directions explored in parts A and B are worthy of further work, with
empirical measurements and data being the major exponents missing from the development of final
conclusions and incorporation of them into relevant codes and standards.

Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013

25

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Forces experienced by winch drums and reels systems as a function of rope

characteristics and varying line pull a theoretical study
25th April 2013