The most common use for subsea buoyancy modules is to support subsea structures, typically pipeline, between the surface platform or the vessel and the subsea drilling structure.
These buoyancy modules come in a variety of different shapes and sizes to accommodate different uplift and location securing requirements. The most common shapes tend to include cylinders and square shapes for lighter uplift applications and rectangular, cube and drum for the heavier lift requirements.
They can be used temporarily during installation to support the weight of the pipeline, or they can be permanently clamped in place to continually provide the support, stability, and uplift required. In most applications, there will be a variety of shapes and sizes used for the buoyancy modules to create the desired uplift capacity.
There are many different sizes and shapes of subsea buoyancy modules. The availability of different sizes and configuration options in these modules allows for easy accommodation of different uplift or stability requirements for a temporary or a permanent installation.
It is possible to mix and match different buoyancy modules to accomplish the desired outcome. This is an ideal cost-saving solution, particularly for rental of the buoyancy modules as opposed to custom manufacturing.
Ease of Maintenance
Choosing subsea buoyancy modules that are durable, easy to maintain and will last for extended years of service is always important. The best option is to consider a module that is made of syntactic foam with a protective outer layer of polyethylene or fiberglass. These modules can stand up to demanding applications and withstand up to their rated depth to a specific buoyancy amount.
For some applications, particularly for higher weights at greater depths, custom buoyancy modules may be the best option. This can provide a single module instead of using a combination of standard buoyancy modules when space or specific applications requirements are not conducive to multiple buoys.