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Title: Assessing pipeline integrity using fracture mechanics and currently available inspection tools
Category: Technical papers from the Journal of Pipeline Engineering
Downloadable: Yes 
Catalog No.: 2174s
Date of Publication: Sep 1 2009 12:00AM
Price: $25.00 US
Authors: Dr Kimberly Cameron and Dr Alfred Pettinger
Abstract: OUR ANALYSIS shows that circumferential growth of cracks has the potential of causing severe consequences, typically leading to the rupture of the pipeline with the potential of a full-bore pipe failure. This observation is also reflected in the spill incident data of the 6th EGIG report [4], where the leading cause of spill incidents is external interference at 49.7%, followed by construction defects/material failure at 16.7%, corrosion at 15.1%, and ground movement at 7.1%, with ground movement having the largest proportion of ruptures and landslides, causing more than half of the ground-movement-related spill incidents. Incident-spill data have been further segregated to only include pipelines in mountain areas [3]. The authors report an incident rate of 0.32 to 0.8 spill incidents per 1000 km years for mountainous areas in Europe and the USA and, depending on the sophistication of the geotechnical engineering, a rate of 0.33 to 2.8 spills per 1000 km year in the Andean Mountains. This rate is slightly larger than the most recent spill incident rates for pipelines at large, which are typically 0.2 spill incidents per 1000 km year [4]. However, this incident data [3] does not include the spill incident data from the most recently constructed pipeline system crossing the Andean Mountains, the Camisea transportation system, which is buried in a region where landslides and other geological hazards are common.

In this paper an elastic plastic fracture mechanics analysis of a pipeline is presented that ruptured due to external soil loading, to evaluate possible loading conditions and correlate the observed crack propagation with possible external loading conditions. Next a fracture mechanics based performance criterion is derived for the most commonly used in-line inspection (ILI) methods, to detect these circumferential cracks; i.e. the magnetic flux leakage (MFL) tool.


1. EGIG, 2005. Report 1970-2004. Gas pipeline incidents. 6th Report of the European Gas Pipeline Incident Data Group, Doc. Number EGIG 05.R.0002, December.
2. PRCI, 2004. Guidelines for the seismic design and assessment of natural gas and liquid hydrocarbon pipelines. Catalog No. L51927, October.
3. Exponent Failure Analysis, 2007. Report: Integrity analysis of the Camisea transportation system, Peru. Submitted to the Inter-American Development Bank, June.
4. A.P.S. Selvadurai, J. J. Lee, R.A.A. Todeschini, and H.F. Somes, 1983. Lateral soil resistance in soil-pipe interaction. Proc. Conf. Pipelines in adverse environments 11, San Diego, California, November.
5. M. Sweeney, A. H. Gasca, M. G. Lopez, and A. C. Palmer. Pipelines and landslides in rugged terrain: a database, historic risks and pipeline vulnerability.
6. Germanischer Lloyd, 2007. Report: Auditoria integral de los sistemas de transporte de gas natural y liquidos de gas natural del proyecto Camisea. Final audit report of the Ministerio de Energia y Minas del Peru, No. GLP/GLM/MEMP/726-07, October.
7. Mauricio Carvalho Silva, Eduardo Hippert Jr., and Claudio Ruggieri, 2005. Experimental investigation of ductile tearing properties for API X70 and X80 pipeline steels. Proc. PVP2005 2005 ASME Pressure vessels and piping division conference, July 17-21, Denver, CO, USA.
8. C. Ruggieri and E. Hippert Jr., 2002. Cell model predictions of ductile fracture in damaged pipelines. Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics: 33rd Volume, ASTM STP 1417, Walter G. Reuter and Robert S. Piascik, Eds, ASTM International.

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