A strain concentration factor is typically incorporated in the higher-pressure and high-temperature (HPHT) pipeline lateral buckling assessment to account for nonuniform stiffness or plastic bending moment. Increased strain concentration can compromise pipeline low cycle fatigue and lateral buckling capacity, leading to an early onset of local buckling failure. In this paper, the philosophy of local buckling mitigation using the strain concentration factor is examined. The local buckling behavior is evaluated. Global strain reduction and evolution against buckling are analyzed with respect to varying joint mismatch level. The concept of a strain reduction factor (SNRF) due to joint mismatch is developed based on the global strain capacity reduction with reference to the uniform configuration. It is demonstrated that the SNRF in terms of strain capacity reduction is a unique characteristic parameter. As opposed to strain concentration, it is an invariant insensitive to evaluation methods and design strain demand level, hence more representative as a limiting design metric to maintain the safety margin. The rationale for its introduction as an alternative to the strain concentration factor is outlined and its benefits are established. The method for obtaining the SNRF and its application is developed. The discernible difference and scenarios for application of either factor are discussed, including low and high cycle fatigue, linearity and stress concentration, engineering criticality assessment (ECA), and lateral buckling. Additional causal factors giving rise to mismatch such as pipe schedule transition and buckler arrestor are also discussed. Iterations of finite element (FE) analyses are performed for a pipe-in-pipe (PIP) configuration in a case study.

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