Oil and gas pipelines traverse long distances and are often subjected to mechanical forces that result in permanent distortion of its geometric cross section in the form of dents. In order to prioritize the repair of dents in pipelines, dents need to be ranked in order of severity. Numerical modeling via finite element analysis (FEA) to rank the dents based on the accumulated localized strain is one approach that is considered to be computationally demanding. In order to reduce the computation time with minimal effect to the completeness of the strain analysis, an approach to the analytical evaluation of strains in dented pipes based on the geometry of the deformed pipe is presented in this study. This procedure employs the use of B-spline functions, which are equipped with second-order continuity to generate displacement functions, which define the surface of the dent. The strains associated with the deformation can be determined by evaluating the derivatives of the displacement functions. The proposed technique will allow pipeline operators to rapidly determine the severity of a dent with flexibility in the choice of strain measure. The strain distribution predicted using the mathematical model proposed is benchmarked against the strains predicted by nonlinear FEA. A good correlation is observed in the strain contours predicted by the analytical and numerical models in terms of magnitude and location. A direct implication of the observed agreement is the possibility of performing concise strain analysis on dented pipes with algorithms relatively easy to implement and not as computationally demanding as FEA.

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