Deepwater pipelines and high pressure casing and tubing are prone to buckling and unstable collapse under compressive loading and external pressure. The most important parameters governing the unstable collapse behaviour of perfectly round pipes and tubes are the circumferential yield stress of the material, the Young’s modulus and the ratio of diameter over thickness (D/t). Initial imperfections in the geometric shape of the pipe, like wall thickness variations or ovality, can have a pronounced influence on the collapse resistance of a pipe. Local dents can reduce the collapse pressure significantly, and trigger propagating buckles along the line. In this paper, buckling and unstable collapse of seamless pipes and tubes are studied. First, collapse pressure experiments for High Collapse Casing grades L80HC and P110HC are presented, showing that the seamless pipe production at ArcelorMittal Tubular Products in Ostrava (Czech Republic) is under tight quality control and complies with the API standards. Then, the critical collapse pressure is calculated for different scenarios. Depending on the ratio of diameter to wall thickness, four regimes are identified: yielding collapse, followed by plastic collapse, a transition range, and finally elastic collapse. For each condition, closed form expressions are derived for the critical collapse pressures. In addition, simplified design equations are reviewed to quickly estimate the collapse pressure. Then, the influence of initial imperfections on the collapse resistance is studied. Both the effects of geometric imperfections (ovality and wall thickness eccentricity) and material properties (especially yield stress and residual stresses) are addressed. In the end, an enhanced design equation is proposed to predict the critical collapse pressure of dented seamless pipes. This equation is validated by collapse experiments, can account for different initial imperfections, and is valid for a wide range of D/t ratios.

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