Abstract

Pipelines subjected to displacement-controlled loading such as ground movement may experience significant longitudinal strain. This can potentially impact pipeline structural capacity and their leak-tight integrity. Reliable calibration of the tensile strain capacity (TSC) of pipelines plays a critical role in strain-based design (SBD) methods. Recent studies were focused mostly on high toughness modern pipelines, while limited research was performed on lower-grade vintage pipelines. However, a significant percentage of energy resources in North America is still being transported in vintage pipelines. Eight full-scale pressurized four-point bending tests were previously conducted on X42, NPS 22 vintage pipes with 12.7 mm wall thickness to investigate the effect of internal pressure and flaw size on TSC. The pipes were subjected to 80% and 30% specified minimum yield strength (SMYS) internal pressures with different girth weld flaw sizes machined at the girth weld center line. This paper evaluates the TSC of X42 vintage pipeline by utilizing ductile fracture mechanics models using damage plasticity models in ABAQUS extended finite element method (XFEM). The damage parameters required for simulating crack initiation and propagation in X42 vintage pipeline are calibrated numerically by comparing the numerical models with the full-scale test results. With the appropriate damage parameters, the numerical model can reasonably reproduce the full-scale experimental test results and can be used to carry out parametric analysis to characterize the effect of internal pressure and flaw size on TSC of X42 vintage pipes.

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