In recent years, the strain based design for pipeline has been widely accepted by the industry, but the definition of a rational flaw acceptance criteria for girth welds subjected to axial strain within the context of the existing codified fracture mechanics based assessment procedures is problematic since these are essentially stress based. To extend the FAD method to the large strain conditions, several challenges i.e. weld strength mismatching, fracture toughness, and welding residual stresses have to be understood. With appropriate modifications as per DNV-RP-F108 [1], the assessments procedure detailed in BS7910 document for stress based situations have been used successfully for several projects to develop acceptance criteria for pipeline installation involving plastic straining. But only weld metal strength over-match comparing with base metal is considered in DNV-RP-F108 [1]. High strength line pipes are required to reduce the transmission cost of natural gas in long distance and internal clad with corrosion resistant alloy (CRA) is used for transportation of sour gas. Steel manufactures have developed such line pipes to develop new oil and gas field. The inconel filler metal was selected as weld consumable for the production girth weld in the lay budge. From the all weld tensile tests, it was found that the yield strength of the weld is under-match comparing the base metal, and the pipeline maybe subjected to a strain level up to 1.0% due to the lateral buckling. In this research the effect of weld strength mismatching on the structural integrity of the pipeline subjected to large strain was studied. The Engineering Critical Assessment (ECA) was performed to derive the critical flaw acceptance criteria for the AUT system. The segment tests and numerical analysis were performed to validate the assessment procedure, and the finite element analyses of the pipeline girth weld with surface crack in the weld centre were carried out to investigate the effect of bi-axial loading on the ECA results.

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