In linepipe steels, there has been a growing interest in using damage mechanics that provides physical models of the fracture process which are embedded into a two- or three-dimensional finite element (FE) model. Among the various damage models, the cohesive zone model (CZM) has recently been used to simulate the ductile crack growth behavior in linepipe steels because of its computational efficiency and it requires only two parameters which can be determined in experiments. While CZM is not yet to be used as predictive tool, but it has a great application in crack arrestor design as well as in providing insight to ductile crack propagation.
In this paper, the authors have demonstrated some practical applications of CZM in linepipe steels. The CZM was used to simulate the ductile crack propagation in full-scale pipes which was able to capture the global deformation as well as the experimental crack speed. The model was then used to determine the effect of anchor blocks at the end of the pipe in a large diameter full-scale burst test. Later, the model was used to simulate two small diameter pipe tests with steel crack arrestors to mimic two arrestor cases with one showing crack propagation and the other showing crack arrest. The CZM model was also applied to demonstrate the circumferential ring-off behavior of a small diameter pipe test with rigid crack arrestor. The arrestor model was then extended to simulate a large diameter full scale Mojave burst test with “soft crack arrestor (SCA)”. A single element FE model was developed to verify the SCA material which was later extended with stain-based failure criteria. Finally, ductile crack growth in full-scale pipe with SCA was demonstrated to show that the FE CZM model can be used to optimize the design of SCA.