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Application of the Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM) to Simulate Crack Propagation in Pressurized Steel Pipes

[+] Author Affiliations
Meng Lin, Sylvester Agbo, J. J. Roger Cheng, Samer Adeeb

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Nader Yoosef-Ghodsi

Enbridge Liquids Pipelines, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Paper No. PVP2017-65575, pp. V03BT03A024; 8 pages
  • ASME 2017 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 3B: Design and Analysis
  • Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA, July 16–20, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5795-3
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


The extended finite element method (XFEM) has recently become a very effective method to investigate the propagation of cracks in various structures under complex loading conditions. However, its use in the pipeline industry has been limited. This paper aims to apply XFEM to model our previous experimental results on NPS 12 grade of X52 steel pipes in which circumferential cracks with different sizes were pre-machined near the middle length and then eccentric tension was applied to the pressurized pipe specimens. Our previous experiments showed that the propagation of a surface crack was affected by the original crack configuration, the internal pressure level, and the external loading applied. The crack depth showed greater influence than the crack length on the burst load and the tensile strain capacity of the pipe. In this paper, the fracture criterion for modelling crack propagation using XFEM was defined by two damage parameters, the maximum principle stress and the fracture energy. The values of the damage parameters were varied until excellent agreement was obtained between one of our previous experiments and its numerical model. Then, this set of damage parameters was used to model another one of the experiments for verification. This paper describes our methodology for validation of XFEM and the adequate values of the damage parameters required to model crack propagation in X52 pipes.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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