The aging of pipeline infrastructures has increased concern for the integrity of pipelines exhibiting non-perforating wall loss and settlement induced bending. While pressure based guidelines exist which allow pipeline operators to define operational margins of safety against rupture (e.g.; ANSI/ASME B31-G and RSTRENG (Battelle, 1989)), reliable procedures for the prediction of wrinkling in degraded pipes subjected to combined loading are virtually non-existent. This paper describes full-scale testing and finite element investigations performed in support of the development of accurate wrinkling prediction procedures for the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. The procedures are applicable to corroded pipes subjected to combined loading such as longitudinal bending, internal pressure, and axial compression.

During the test program, full-scale 48-inch diameter sections of the trans-Alaska pipeline were subjected to internal pressure and loads designed to simulate longitudinal bending from settlement, axial compression from the transport of hot oil, and the axial restraint present in buried pipe. Load magnitudes were designed based on normal and maximum operating conditions. Corrosion in the pipe section is simulated by mechanically reducing the wall thickness of the pipe. The size and depth of the thinned region is defined prior to each test, and attempts to bound the dimensions of depth, axial length, and hoop length for the general corrosion observed in-service.

The analytical program utilizes finite element analyses that include the nonlinear anisotropic material behavior of the pipe steel through use of a multilinear kinematic hardening plasticity model. As in the tests, corrosion is simulated in the analyses by a section of reduced wall thickness, and loads and boundary constraints applied to the numerical model exactly emulate those applied in the full-scale tests.

Verification of the model accuracy is established through a critical comparison of the simulated pipe structural behavior and the full-scale tests. Results of the comparisons show good correlation with measurements of the pipe curvature, deflections, and moment capacity at wrinkling. The validated analysis procedure is subsequently used to conduct parameter studies, the results of which complete a database of wrinkling conditions for a variety of corrosion sizes and loading conditions.

This content is only available via PDF.