Subsea pipelines are prone to be damaged by the falling objects from ships or offshore platforms, which may result in economic losses and pollution. The dimensions of dent were commonly used to evaluate the impact resistance of pipes made from carbon steel. Thermoplastic composite pipes (TCPs), due to their superior properties including corrosion resistance, thermal insulation, fast installation, etc., are increasingly used as the subsea pipelines. The TCP is made from thermoplastic resins and reinforced by continuous fibers. Because of the brittle nature of carbon fibers and glass fibers, the dimensions of dent are not suitable for assessment of impact resistance of a TCP. In the present work, a procedure was proposed using the internal pressure capacity as an indicator to evaluate the lateral impact resistance of a TCP. First, the internal pressure capacity of an intact TCP was evaluated. Second, a quasi-static simulation was conducted by applying a lateral compression force on the intact TCP using a rigid ball, until one of the composite plies in the reinforcement layer failed. The quasi-static simulation provided an initial estimate of the minimum energy that causes the start of damage of the TCP. Third, the impact simulations were performed by using a rigid ball hitting the TCP and, then, the internal pressure capacity of the damaged TCP was evaluated. Finally, the internal pressure capacity of the damaged pipe, compared with that of the intact pipe, was used as an indicator to evaluate the lateral impact resistance of the TCP. In this study, a glass-fiber reinforced polyethylene (PE) pipe of an inner diameter of 150 mm was modeled by ABAQUS to illustrate the procedure. A theoretical method was proposed to calculate the impact energy of a dropped object in a shallow water. The example studied in the present work showed that the modeled TCP was not strong enough to survive the lateral impact caused by the dropped object and should be buried to a certain depth beneath the seabed if used as a subsea pipeline.

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