The safety of gas transportation pipelines under fatigue loading remains an important issue. The purpose of the present study is to better evaluate the fatigue crack growth (FCG) behavior by carrying out analysis/predictions and experiments in full-size pipeline steels. A full characterization was made using several samples of an X42 grade pipeline steel, to characterize the monotonic and the fatigue behavior. Fatigue tests on full-scale pipeline steels under pressure loading were performed. The potential drop (PD) method applied to pressurized pipes makes it possible to monitor and quantify both crack initiation and crack propagation. These tests served as a basis for numerical comparison. Crack propagation of the full-size pipeline steel was simulated by finit element analysis (FEA) using an adaptive re-meshing approach implemented as part of the Z-set/Zebulon software. Simulation allows predicting fatigue crack growth life on pipes using results of tests on specimens as an input.

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