Internal and external corrosion damage is a major cause of pipeline failures worldwide. When corrosion features in pipelines are detected by in-line inspection (ILI), a decision whether to replace, repair or accept and monitor must be made. Extensive experimental and numerical work has been undertaken to develop methods for assessing the remaining strength of corroded transmission pipelines. Common methods used by the pipeline industry include ASME B31G, modified ASME B31G and LPC. These methods are semi-empirical and have been developed using a modified version of a toughness independent ductile failure criterion for pressurized pipes containing axially orientated surface breaking defects. The validity range of these models is dominated by large diameter (10 to 48″), thin walled, low grade (API 5L grade A to X65) and low yield to tensile ratio line pipe. Smaller diameter (not greater than 6″), thick walled pipelines and pipework located, for example, at above ground installations, compressor and pressure reduction stations are very common. The use of ASME B31G, modified ASME B31G or LPC may not be appropriate when assessing the remaining strength of small diameter pipelines and pipework. No alternative methods are available in the public domain and hence a program of work was undertaken to derive appropriate defect acceptance limits by conducting a series of full-scale burst tests on small diameter pipe with simulated corrosion defects. It was concluded that the LPC method gave the most accurate prediction of failure pressure when compared with the results of the full-scale tests, and the most conservative predictions of failure pressure were obtained using the ASME B31G method.

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