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1. (WO2018044156) MARINE PIPELAYING FRICTION CLAMP DEVICE
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CLAIMS

1. A marine pipelaying friction clamp device (10; 20) for frictionally retaining an offshore subsea pipeline (30) to be launched into the sea during the laying of the pipeline from a pipelaying vessel, wherein the clamp device comprises:

a frame (1 ;21) which comprises a main frame structure (2;22) that is adapted to be supported by the pipelaying vessel,

wherein the frame supports, in series in a longitudinal direction of the clamp device which corresponds to the axis (A) of the pipeline to be retained, multiple annular arrays (3;23) of clamping units (4) adapted to simultaneously engage separate portions of the pipeline, wherein each annular array of clamping units (3) comprises multiple clamping units (4), wherein each clamping unit comprises a friction pad (5) adapted to frictionally engage a portion of the pipeline and an associated friction force actuator (6), e.g. an hydraulic actuator, e.g. a radially mounted hydraulic cylinder, adapted to force the friction pad against the pipeline,

characterized in that

the frame comprises, for one or more of said annular arrays of clamping units, preferably for multiple of said annular arrays, one or more mobile subframes (1 1 ;31),

wherein each of said one or more mobile subframes (1 1) carries one or more clamping units

(4),

wherein each of said one or more mobile subframes (1 1 ) is movably supported by the main frame structure (2) so as to be mobile relative to said main frame structure in said longitudinal direction of the clamp device,

and wherein each of said one or more mobile subframes (1 1 ) is supported by a spring assembly (12;32).

2. Marine pipelaying friction clamp device according to claim 1 , wherein the spring assembly (12; 32) is interpositioned between the mobile subframe (11) and the main frame structure (2).

3. Marine pipelaying friction clamp device according to claim 1 , wherein the spring assembly (132) is interpositioned between adjacent mobile subframes.

4. Marine pipelaying friction clamp device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the spring assembly comprises adjustable characteristics, such as a bias or spring constant, wherein preferably the characteristics are controllable, preferably individually for each mobile subframe.

5. Marine pipelaying friction clamp device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the one or more mobile subframes are each provided with a door portion (15; 16) comprising a clamping unit, which door portion is connected to the remainder of the mobile

5 subframe via a hinge (15'; 16') extending in the longitudinal direction of the clamp structure allowing rotation of the door portion to allow the entry or removal of the pipeline.

6. Marine pipelaying friction clamp device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the offshore subsea pipeline is coated.

10

7. Marine pipelaying friction clamp device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein each clamping unit comprises multiple friction pads simultaneously actuated by a single associated friction force actuator.

15 8. Marine pipelaying friction clamp device according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising an elastic member interposed between the friction pad and the friction force actuator.

9. Marine pipelaying friction clamp device according to any of the preceding claims, 20 adapted to be used as a mobile clamp which is movable along a tower.

10. Marine pipelaying friction clamp device according to any of the preceding claims 1-8, adapted to be used as a static clamp.

25 1 1. Marine pipelaying friction clamp device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the spring assembly comprises a cylinder coupled with an accumulator.

12. Method for launching an offshore subsea pipeline (30) from a pipelaying vessel into the sea, wherein during launching use is made of a marine pipelaying friction clamp device 30 (20) for frictionally retaining the pipeline according to any of the preceding claims 1-1 1.