Pipelines may experience damage (e.g. dent, gouge) during handling, installation and normal operations due to external interference. Pipelines in offshore environment may be prone to mechanical damage from events such as ice gouging, frost heave, and seismic fault movement. Damage mechanisms can be associated with deformation or metallurgical/metal loss that may include pipe dent, pipe ovality, ice gouging, pipe buckling, corrosion etc. The type and severity of pipe damage may influence operational, repair and intervention strategies.

For conventional pipelines, the assessment of mechanical damage plays an important role in the development of integrity management programs that may be of greater significance for pipeline systems located in remote harsh environments due to remote location and logistical constraints.

This study examines the effects of plain dents on pipe mechanical response using continuum finite element methods. ABAQUS/Standard (6.10-1) environment was used to simulate damage events and pipe response. Modelling procedures were developed and calibrated against physical and numerical data sets available in public domain. Once confidence in numerical procedures was achieved, an analysis matrix was established to account for a range of influential parameters including Diameter to wall thickness ratio (D/t), indenter diameter to pipe diameter ratio (ID/OD), hoop stress due to internal pressure to yield strength ratio (σhy), and kinematic boundary conditions.

The results from this study provide a basis to support a broader initiative for developing an engineering tool for the assessment of damage interaction with pipeline girth welds and development of an engineering performance criterion.

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