Technical Paper

Fracture mechanics of pipes subjected to reeling

International Symposium on Microalloyed Steels for the Oil and Gas Industry

The fact that welded structures may contain flaws that do not necessarily affect structural integrity or service performance is implicitly recognized by most welding fabrication codes that specify weld flaw tolerance, or acceptance, levels based on experience and workmanship practice. However, these levels are somewhat arbitrary and do not provide a quantitative measure of structural integrity, i.e. how “close” a particular structure containing a flaw is to the failure condition. This concept is of special interest in cases in which the pipe is subjected to loads that produce important deformations. In particular, the reeling process, used to install offshore lines, produce large cyclic plastic deformation on the pipes. In this work, a method to perform a structural reliability analysis (SRA) for a tube subject to reeling is considered in detail. A fracture mechanics based methodology is reviewed and the points that need to be resolved before extending the methods to include reeling are clearly identified. The effects of the strain history on the applied and material fracture mechanics parameters were studied. A theoretical model was developed to describe the crack driving force evolution through strain cycles. A criterion was proposed and corroborated to represent material fracture resistance behavior. An experimental program was carried out. The material analyzed was an API 5L - X65 grade. Monotonic and cyclic fracture mechanic tests were performed on single edge notch in tension (SENT) specimens. The material fracture resistance curve was determined based on the monotonic tests. The cyclic tests were used to determine experimentally the applied fracture mechanic parameters evolution. A very good agreement between predicted and measured crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) values was obtained for the cases analyzed. A methodology to perform a SRA for tubular subjected to reeling is proposed, and the results of the currently used and the proposed method were compared. (AU)
Technical Paper (PDF 745.43 KB)