A model has been developed to predict crack growth on pipelines from environmentally assisted cracking in near-neutral pH environments (often-termed low-pH stress corrosion cracking (SCC)). The model is based on the results of cyclic loading experiments and is used in conjunction with pressure time variations in the pipeline determined from the operating SCADA records to predict the growth of an assumed existing crack in the pipe. The crack grows through different crack growth regimes, which are determined by the size of the pressure variations and the instantaneous crack dimensions. For a growing crack that experiences relatively high pressure fluctuations, as often encountered on liquid lines, reasonable crack growth predictions were made based on corrosion fatigue. An approach based on crack tip strain rate appears more suitable for the prediction of crack growth of small cracks and for cracks on gas lines with small pressure fluctuations. The model is designed so that the effect of stress intensifiers (like the long seam weld crown) that are often associated with these failures can be included. The model can be used in its present format for prioritizing inspections on both gas and liquid pipelines. Whereas predicted crack growth rates compare favorably with rates measured in the field, further work is required to incorporate additional mechanical and environmental effects, in particular to improve the prediction of small crack growth rates. Low crack velocities may be possible in the presence of small pressure fluctuations and low frequencies, but they may be less probable.

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