Buried pipelines can be exposed to displacement-controlled environmental loadings (such as landslides, earthquake fault movements, etc.) which impose deformation demands on the pipeline. When analyzing pipelines for these load scenarios, the deformation demands are typically characterized based on the curvature and/or the longitudinal tension and compression strain response of the pipe. The term “strain demand” is used herein to characterize the calculated longitudinal strain response of a pipeline subject to environmentally-induced deformation demands. The shape of the pipe steel stress-strain relationship can have a significant effect on the pipe strain demands computed using pipeline deformation analyses for displacement-controlled loading conditions. In general, with sufficient levels of imposed deformation demand, a pipe steel stress-strain curve with a relatively abrupt or “sharp” elastic-to-plastic transition will tend to lead to larger strain demands than a stress-strain curve with a relatively rounded elastic-to-plastic transition. Similarly, a stress-strain curve with relatively low strain hardening modulus characteristics will tend to lead to larger strain demands than a stress-strain curve with relatively high strain hardening modulus characteristics. High strength UOE pipe can exhibit significant levels of anisotropy (i.e., the shapes of the stress-strain relationships in the longitudinal tension/compression and hoop tension/compression directions can be significantly different). To the extent that the stress-strain curves in the different directions can have unfavorable shape characteristics, it follows that anisotropy can also play an important role in pipeline strain demand evaluations.

This paper summarizes a pipeline industry research project aimed at evaluation of the effects of anisotropy and the shape of pipe steel stress-strain relationships on pipeline strain demand for X80 and X100 UOE pipe. The research included: a review of pipeline industry literature on the subject matter; a discussion of pipe steel plasticity concepts for UOE pipe; characterization of the anisotropy and stress-strain curve shapes for both conventional and high strain pipe steels; development of representative analytical X80 and X100 stress-strain relationships; and evaluation of a large matrix of ground-movement induced pipeline deformation scenarios to evaluate key pipe stress-strain relationship shape and anisotropy parameters. The main conclusion from this work is that pipe steel specifications for high strength UOE pipe for strain-based design applications should be supplemented to consider shape-characterizing parameters such as the plastic complementary energy.

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