A composite finite element model for cold bend simulation of energy pipelines is presented in this paper. Four-node shell elements with material and geometric nonlinearity are used to model a pipe in straight condition. An elastic pipe, having the same nodal coordinates as the main pipe along with elastic radial links are used as a tool to prevent local buckling and ovalization of the main pipe during the cold bend process. By dividing the elastic pipe into series of rings along the axis of the pipe and by conducting a four-step procedure, residual curvature is developed in a specific segment of a pipe. Based on the proposed concept, different methods of cold bending are discussed and the results are presented. University of Alberta cold bend trials were used to validate the proposed finite element model. The moment-curvature response, pattern of imperfections, and distribution of maximum residual strains are obtained by the finite element model and compared with the test results.

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