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Application of Load Sequence to Control Crack Growth in Steel Pipelines Under Near Neutral pH SCC

[+] Author Affiliations
Olayinka Tehinse, Weixing Chen

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Jenny Been, Karina Chevil

TransCanada Pipelines Limited, Calgary, AB, Canada

Sean Keane

Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Edmonton, AB, Canada

Greg Van Boven

Spectra Energy Transmission, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Paper No. IPC2016-64662, pp. V001T03A052; 8 pages
  • 2016 11th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 1: Pipelines and Facilities Integrity
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 26–30, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5025-1
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Pipelines are designed to operate below a maximum operating pressure in service. However, there are pressure fluctuations during operation. The presence of pressure fluctuations creates a drive for crack growth in steel pipes. In order to prevent catastrophic failure of pipelines, there is need for better understanding of the contribution of pressure fluctuations to crack growth rate in steel pipelines. Analysis of pressure fluctuation data in oil and gas pipelines shows that there are different types of fluctuations in a pipe due to friction loss with distance from the pump or compressor station. All these fluctuation types show a form of variable amplitude loading classified in this research as underload, mean load and overload. Studies of some structural systems shows that underload can cause acceleration of crack growth while retardation of crack growth is observed after an overload. This research aims to apply pressure fluctuations to manage integrity of steel pipelines through a novel approach of load sequence involving underload and overload in near neutral pH environment. Clear knowledge of the effect of load interaction involving load sequence of underload and overload is vital to control crack growth in steel pipelines under near neutral pH environment. The result of crack growth rate under different load sequence on X65 steel indicate that increase in overload ratio of 2, 3 and 4 caused an increase in crack growth rate of 1.68E−3, 1.89E−3 and 2.31E−3 mm/block respectively. These results are compared with results from other tests under variable amplitude without load sequence. Analyses were carried out on the morphology of the crack tip and the fracture surface after the test.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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