This paper describes a multi-year PRCI research program that investigated the local buckling (or wrinkling) of onshore pipelines with metal-loss corrosion. The dependence of local buckling resistance on wall thickness suggests that metal-loss defects will considerably reduce such resistance. Due to the lack of experimental data, overly conservative assumptions such as a uniform wall thickness reduction over the entire pipe circumference based on the defect depth have been used in practice. The objective of this research work was to develop local buckling criteria for pipelines with corrosion defects. The work related to local buckling was carried out in three phases by C-FER and the University of Alberta. The first phase included a comprehensive finite element analysis to evaluate the influence of various corrosion defect features and to rank key parameters. Based on the outcome of Phase 1 work, a test matrix was developed and ten full-scale tests were carried out in Phase 2 to collect data for model verification. In Phase 3, over 150 parametric cases were analyzed using finite element models to develop assessment criteria for maximum moment and compressive strain limit. Each criterion includes a set of partial safety factors that were calibrated to meet target reliabilities selected based on recent research related to pipeline code development. The proposed criteria were applied to in-service pipeline examples with general corrosion features to estimate the remaining load-carrying capacity and to assess the conservatism of current practice.

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