Accidental loads, for example, due to heavy dropped objects, impact from the trawl gear and anchors of fishing vessels can cause damage to pipelines on the sea bed. The amount of damage will depend on the impact energy. The indentation will be localized at the contact area of the pipe and the impacting object, however, an understanding of the extent of the damage due to an impact is required so that if one should occur in practice an assessment can be made to determine if remedial action needs to be taken to ensure that the pipeline is still serviceable. There are a number of parameters, including the pipe cross section and impact energy, which influence the impact behaviour of a pipe. This paper describes the response, and assesses the damage, of mild steel pipes under high mass low velocity impacts. For this purpose full scale impacts tests were carried out on mild steel pipe having diameter of 457 mm, thickness of 25.4 mm and length of 2000 mm. The pipe was restrained along the base and a 2 tonnes mass with sharp impactor having a vertical downward velocity of 3870 mm/sec was used to impact the pipe transversely with an impact energy of 16 kJ. It was found from the impact tests that a smooth indentation was produced in the pipe. The impact tests were then used for validation of the non-linear dynamic implicit analyses using the finite element analysis software ABAQUS. Deformations at the impact zone, the rebound velocity, etc, recorded in the tests and the results of the finite element analysis were found to be in good agreement. The impact tests and finite element analyses described in this paper will help to improve the understanding of the response of steel pipes under impact loading and can be used as a benchmark for further finite element modelling of impacts on pipes.

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