In this paper, three-dimensional finite element models are developed to simulate full-scale burst tests of corroded pipes containing multiple naturally occurring corrosion anomalies. Both the von Mises and Tresca yield criteria and associated flow rules are employed in finite element analysis (FEA). For the Tresca criterion, the corresponding constitutive model subroutine is developed and incorporated in the FEA. The accuracy of FEA is investigated by comparing the burst pressures observed in the tests and corresponding burst pressures predicted using FEA. The implications of using the von Mises and Tresca criteria for the accuracy of the predicted burst pressure are investigated. Sensitivity analyses are also carried out to investigate the impact on the predicted burst pressure due to the mesh density in the corroded region, characterization of the geometry of the corrosion cluster and different types of element (e.g. solid and shell elements) used in FEA. The results suggest that the Tresca criterion always underestimates the burst pressure and the von Mises yield criterion predicts the burst pressure accurately.

This study demonstrates the feasibility of using high-fidelity FEA and the Tresca yield criterion to simulate full-scale burst tests of corroded pipes and therefore establish a large database of burst pressure capacities of corroded pipes that can be used to develop an accurate, practical burst pressure capacity model amenable to the pipeline integrity management practice.

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