Rigid pipelines have been widely applied in offshore oil & gas operation and transmission industries on account of their structural simplicity, cost-effectiveness, ease of installation and maintenance. However, surface cracks frequently appear in the internal surface of rigid pipes due to dynamic loads or hydrogen embrittlement, etc. Under dynamic fatigue loads, surface cracks may continue to propagate and finally develop into penetrated cracks, which may cause leakage and serious accidents.
Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) strengthening technology is already a reliable technique for structure maintenance in onshore pipelines and penetrated cracks in load-bearing circular hollow sections (CHS). Nevertheless, there are very limited systematic investigations of surface crack in rigid pipes reinforced with FRP, which has a remarkable significance for offshore rigid pipes.
This paper aims to understand the mechanism of semi-elliptical surface crack growth in the internal surface of rigid pipes under fatigue bending moment reinforced with FRP. Stress intensity factors along the crack front are computed through finite-element (FE) models, which are validated by experimental data from references. The influence of wrapping orientation of CFRP are discussed as well. The numerical results show that under CFRP reinforcement, surface crack growth rate decreases significantly which ensures the safety use of rigid pipes in offshore industry.