In this paper, the propagating shear fracture in natural gas transmission pipelines is simulated by an interactive method between gas decompression and crack propagation. A rich gas which contains heavier hydrocarbons than methane is highlighted and the relation between the crack velocity and the distance is simulated for varied condition of pipelines. The results of simulation are shown in the relation between the fracture arrest distance and the toughness of the pipes used, and the effects of the difference in gas compositions, increase of the operating pressure and the change of the initial gas temperature are discussed. The results of the simulation make it clear that the rich gas increases the risk for long running fracture, the simple increase of the operating pressure by increasing the design factor causes long crack propagation, increase of the operating pressure by using higher grade pipes not always invites long crack propagation and lower temperature increases the fracture arrest distance in relatively lower pressure but decreases the distance in relatively higher pressure. All the discussion in this study indicates that the analysis of the decompression behavior of the inner gas is essential for the interpretation of the phenomenon of the propagating shear fracture in pipelines. It is concluded that the fluid characteristics of the gas transmitted and material characteristics of the pipes used should be matched appropriately for the safety of the pipelines.

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