In the design of pipelines it is of utmost importance to use validated numerical tools, usually finite element models, to reliably determine the structural limit loads. Also for steel pipes manufacturers it is very important, for establishing the set-up of their production processes, to be able to analyze using validated finite element models the effect that different manufacturing imperfections have on the pipe limit loads (e.g. “ovalization” of the external diameter, eccentricity, residual stresses, etc.). For deepwater pipelines the most relevant limit states that need to be analyzed are the collapse and collapse propagation under different combinations of external pressure and bending. In the second section of this paper we discuss the finite element models that we developed to predict the collapse and collapse propagation of seamless steel pipes under external pressure and bending. The validation of these models was performed comparing the numerical results with experimental results obtained at CFER (Edmonton, Canada) [1] and at our lab for the pre-collapse and post-collapse regimes. In deepwater pipelines, in order to prevent the propagation of collapse failures through the pipeline length, buckle arrestors are used. In the third section of this paper we review the finite element models that we developed to predict buckle arrestors cross-over external pressures. The validation of these models was performed comparing the numerical results with experimental ones obtained at our lab for different ratios [arrestor thickness/pipe thickness] corresponding to either the flattening or flipping cross-over mechanisms [2]. Finally in the fourth section of this paper the validated finite element models are used to perform parametric analyses that provide useful data for pipeline engineers on the effect of different geometrical parameters on crossover pressure.

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