Full encirclement repair sleeves with fillet-welded ends are used as a permanent repair on pipelines to reinforce areas with defects such as cracks or corrosion which may penetrate the pipe wall subsequent to the installation of the repair. CSA standards require that these sleeves be tapped to relieve the stress field surrounding the defect unless an engineering assessment indicates that the defect will not extend beyond the ends of the sleeve during future operation of the pipeline. This paper describes an engineering assessment recently completed to establish the relative performance of a sleeved pipe with and without a pressurized annulus. Finite element analysis (FEA) was used to relate changes in stresses in the weld region to internal pressure fluctuations. The FEA included an estimate of the effects of circumferential fillet weld shrinkage on local stiffness due to residual stress fields. Relationships between stress and internal pressure were used to convert the line pressure history to local weld stress fluctuations. This stress history was then used to assess the potential for fatigue crack propagation of possible circumferentially-oriented weld flaws using a fatigue crack growth algorithm. The results showed that the highest stresses were developed in the weld toe and root regions. The operating conditions of the line, as well as the pipe and sleeve dimensions, were considered when making recommendations concerning sleeve tapping.

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