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Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis of Pipe Bends Subjected to Inplane Bending

[+] Author Affiliations
Venkata M. K. Akula

Dassault Systèmes Simulia Corp., Spring, TX

David W. Martin

Dassault Systèmes Simulia Corp., Irving, TX

Paper No. PVP2016-63659, pp. V003T03A080; 9 pages
  • ASME 2016 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 3: Design and Analysis
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 17–21, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5039-8
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Pipe bends are structural components that provide flexibility to accommodate length changes in pipelines while allowing fluid flow. Estimating the collapse load is critical to ensuring the structural integrity of the pipeline. This research discusses modeling and analysis of pipe bends utilizing the finite element method. Three-dimensional models utilizing elbow elements, shell elements, and brick elements are generated to predict the collapse moment of pipe bends subjected to in-plane loading. All simulation was performed using Abaqus.

To obtain a more physically-consistent response, material, geometric, and boundary nonlinearities are all included. A MPC user subroutine is utilized to capture the end behavior of the pipe bends correctly when utilizing shell and brick elements. Experimental data from two sources, available in literature, was used to evaluate the effect of the different element types on the predicted structural response.

Finally, utilizing the shell, brick, and the elbow elements, parameter sensitivity analyses are performed to identify the key parameters influencing the response of pipe bends. Multiple parameters are varied independently of each other to fully understand and capture their influence on the response. SIMULIA’s Isight software was used to automate the workflow and vary the model parameters about their respective baseline values.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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