Cold bends are required in pipelines at locations of changes in horizontal or vertical direction in the right of way. Due to this change of direction, pipeline deformations caused by geotechnical or operational loading conditions tend to accumulate at the site of cold bends. These deformations may become sufficient to cause local buckling at the bend. For pipeline design, it is important to understand the level of deformation that a cold bend can accumulate prior to local buckling so that the strain capacity can be compared to the expected pipeline deformations. Evaluating the buckling strain of cold bends is extremely complex due to the residual stresses, ripples, and material transformations cause by the cold bending process. Accordingly a finite element model was developed herein. This model accounted for the cold bend geometry, initial imperfections, and the material transformations caused by the cold bending process. This model was validated against 7 full scale tests of cold bend pipes that were subjected to bend loading and internal pressure. The global and local behavior of this model exhibited reasonable correlation against the tests.

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