Introduction to Critical Strain and a New Method for the Assessment of Mechanical Damage in Steel Line Pipe
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The pipeline industry has conducted a vast amount of research on the subject of mechanical damage. Mechanical damage makes up a large portion of the total amount of pipeline failures that occur each year. The current methods rely on engineering judgment and experience rather than scientific theory. The method for the assessment of mechanical damage introduced in this study uses a material property called critical strain to predict the onset of cracking within the pipe wall. The critical strain is compared to the strain within a dent using a ductile failure damage indicator (DFDI). To investigate the use of the DFDI to indicate the onset of cracking within a dent, the study attempted to accomplish three tasks. The first was to investigate the use of various techniques to locate the critical strain from the stress-strain curve. Five samples taken from the pipe material was used to generate both engineering and true stress-strain curves. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to show the effects of different variables on the critical strain value. The DFDI compares the critical strain value to the calculated strain at the deepest depth location within a dent. The strain calculations use the curvature of the dent and thus require a dent profile. A high resolution laser scanner was used to extract dent profiles from a pipe. The second task of the study was to investigate the reliability of the laser scanner equipment used for this study. The results from the investigation showed that the laser scanner could be used to scan the inside of the pipe despite its design for external scanning. The results also showed that the scans should be 1 mm in length along the axis of the pipe at a resolution of 0.5 mm and 360 degrees around the pipe. The final task was to conduct the denting test. The test used a spherical indenter to dent the pipe at increments of 3% of the outside diameter. The results from the test showed that a visible crack did not form on the inside pipe surface as expected from the DFDI method. This does not mean a crack did not form. During the denting test distinct popping sounds were observed possibly indicating cracks forming within the pipe wall.
Ductile Failure Damage Indicator
3D Laser Scanner
Milligan, Ryan (2013). Introduction to Critical Strain and a New Method for the Assessment of Mechanical Damage in Steel Line Pipe. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from