Current methods for estimating the remaining strength of aging, corroded pipelines have been restricted to the capabilities of pressure based engineering models that rely on the definition of hoop stress in the pipe wall. Because in practice, pipelines are subjected to a variety of loading conditions (e.g.; axial bending from settlement and thermal stresses) that act in concert with those derived by internal pressure, a multi-year combined testing and analysis program was initiated by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company aimed at developing computer tools for the prediction of rupture and wrinkling in corroded pipes. During the program, seventeen full-scale tests of mechanically corroded 48-inch diameter (1219-mm), X65 pipes subjected to internal pressure, axial bending, and axial compression were performed to provide data necessary for the verification of analytical models and failure prediction models. While all of the tests were designed to produce rupture, wrinkling, as defined by the occurrence of a limit moment during the application of bending loads, was produced in eleven of the tests either prior to or instead of rupture. Loading of the pipe was intended to simulate that which would be observed by a pipe in-service and included both load control and displacement control of the applied bending load, and in some tests, intended to define the amount of additional pressure required to cause burst after wrinkling was produced.

Results of the tests showed that two different failure modes are produced depending on whether the bending moment is transmitted to the pipe as a fixed load or a fixed displacement, and consequently, the burst capacity of the corroded pipe may not be compromised by the presence of axial loads. This paper discusses the tests performed, including a description of the load schedule and corrosion geometries, and key results of the tests that were used in the development of a new strain-based burst prediction procedure for corroded pipes subjected to combined loads.

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