Offshore pipelines operating in a harsh environment are usually subjected to combinations of bending moment and axial loadings in addition to internal pressure. Due to the corrosive media transported in the pipelines and corrosive substances within seawater and soil outside the pipelines, local corrosion defects will generate on the pipeline’s inner and outer walls, reducing its ultimate bearing capacity.

This paper presents a series of full-scale failure tests and nonlinear finite element analysis (FEA) to study the bending capacity and failure mode of corroded pipelines with outside locally-thinned-areas (LTAs) subjected to combinations of internal pressure, axial compressive force and bending moment. The LTAs are loaded in compression to simulate corrosion. Material tests of API 5L X56 seamless pipe steel were conducted and the stress-strain relationship was obtained. FEA results of the moment versus curvature relation, bending capacity and local buckling behavior of each specimen model matched the experimental results very well, validating the accuracy of this simulation. Additional FEA is then performed to investigate the effect of corrosion geometric parameters, such as corrosion depth, corrosion width, and corrosion length, on the ultimate moment. Among them, the width is of the greatest impact, followed by is the depth, the length impact can be ignored.

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