Fitness for Service Analysis of the Circumferential Extent of Corrosion in Pipelines

01/04/2019
    Fitness for Service Analysis of the Circumferential Extent of Corrosion in Pipelines.
    The failure of a corroded pipe is generally controlled by the depth and the longitudinal extent of the metal loss area subjected to hoop stress. However, the failure of metal loss due to its circumferential extent under longitudinal stress is possible if significant longitudinal stress exists in the pipe or the metal loss has considerable circumferential extent and depth. If such circumstances exist, it is prudent to conduct a complementary analysis of pipe integrity to assess the potential for circumferential as well longitudinal failure.
     
    Most existing approaches for assessing circumferential metal loss, such as Miller’s equations, were derived by assuming the metal loss to be centered at the extreme stress position around the pipe circumference, i.e., the center of the metal loss is centered at the location of the maximum bending stress in the pipe.
     
    The assessment may be over-conservative if the metal loss area deviates from the extreme position related to the bending plane. Described in this paper is a new approach to assess the potential for circumferential failure of metal loss centered at an arbitrary angle from the location of maximum bending stress. The approach results in the same failure stress as existing models when the metal loss is centered at the location of maximum bending stress. The failure stress increases when the metal loss deviates from the location of maximum bending stress and reaches the maximum value when the metal loss is centered at the neutral axis. The equations of the model developed in this paper can be easily implemented into a spreadsheet tool for routine integrity assessment.
     
    Other considerations related to the assessment of circumferential metal loss are also discussed, including non-uniform corrosion, negligible corrosion, and the interaction of multiple corrosion areas in the same pipe cross section. The model developed in this paper can also be used to determine the cutoff line for plastic collapse in a failure assessment diagram (FAD) based approach for assessing circumferential cracks, such as API 1104 Appendix A and API 579.
     
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