Investigations in the development of a predictive critical buckling strain equation have shown that the grade of the material is one of five fundamental non-dimensional parameters in determining the critical local buckling strain for line pipe under combined loads. Further to this, the shape of the material curve also plays a significant role in the resulting critical buckling strain. Over 50 full-scale test specimens have been tested at the University of Alberta and effective numerical finite element analytical models have been developed. A parametric study consisting of 170 analyses was performed using the numerical models and critical buckling strain equations were derived. One of the essential variables in the new equations is a function of the specimen’s material properties. The results indicate that the higher the grade of the material the lower the value of the critical buckling strain. Furthermore, the level of agreement between the new equations and the experimental data was found to be dependent on the shape of the material curve for the specimen. Experimentally, two basic material curve shapes were observed, namely: specimens with a “rounded” material curve through the yield strength and specimens with a material property that exhibited a distinct “yield plateau” or yield point. Comparison of the experimental and numeric data showed that the specimens that were fabricated from material with a distinct yield plateau had different critical buckling strains when compared to specimens tested with rounded material curves. A subsequent parametric study was undertaken to examine the effect that the different shaped material curves had on the local and global behaviour. The results of this subsidiary parametric study showed that the global moment capacity was essentially independent of the shape of the material curve (the ratio of the peak moment from the yield plateau material to the peak moment for the rounded material was 1.018). However, the local critical buckling strain was significantly lower for the specimens analyzed with the material that had the yield plateau (the ratio of the critical strains for the two different material curves was 0.710).

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