Detectable dents in buried pipelines can occur due to a number of potential causes; the pipe resting on rock, third party machinery strike, rock strikes during backfilling. The integrity of a dented pipeline segment is a complex function of a variety of parameters, including pipe geometry, indenter shape, dent depth, indenter support and pressure history at and following indentation. In order to estimate the safe remaining operational life of a dented pipeline, all of these factors must be accounted for in the analysis. The following paper summarizes ongoing efforts to develop a validated pipeline dent integrity assessment model. The model under development makes use of experimental tests to validate a finite element model of the denting and re-rounding process for a variety of dent scenarios (i.e. depths, restraints, indenter sizes). The results of the finite element model are then used in conjunction with the estimated pressure-time history in an integrity assessment procedure to estimate the safe remaining operational life of the pipe segment. The paper presents a discussion of the full scale fatigue tests carried out on dented pipeline segments and the efforts under way to develop and validate a finite element model of the experimental specimens with the goal of estimating the experimental fatigue life.
Bolton, B., Semiga, V., Tiku, S., Dinovitzer, A., and Alexander, C., "Towards a Validated Pipeline Dent Integrity Assessment Model," Proceedings of IPC2008 (Paper No. IPC2008-64621), 7th International Pipeline Conference, September 29-October 3, 2008, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.