Installation of pipelines by reeling has proved to be an effective method. However, the pipe bending results in very high stress and strain and cannot be handled by conventional design rules, as stated in design codes, e.g. [2]: High strain crack growth must be assessed according to specific case-by-case selected criterions. In the present work the performance of 10” and 12 3/4” pipes with typical weld defects is studied — from initiation of cracks at notches to final fracture. Information was obtained from several sources: full scale cyclic bending of pipes, FE simulations, and small-scale tests. The plasticity during reeling operations results in substantial non-linear behavior due to varying cross section properties, cyclic creep, and different material response at tensile and compression side of the pipe. Hence, a full scale reeling simulation must be carefully planned and include sufficient tolerances. Critical cracks in pipe girth welds initiate mainly from the surface (undercuts, lack of penetration, or lack of fusion), but potentially also internally (lack of fusion or large pores). Various configurations of these parameters were investigated in full scale pipe tests. It was possible to verify both crack propagation during the reeling cycles, and the point of final fracture (for ECA verifications). In pipe design on must assure safe conditions for both reeling operations and for later in-service loading. Proper design tools must be available. Several methods for high strain crack growth analysis were considered and also compared to small-scale specimen data. Conventional strain-life methodology failed to predict the crack propagation accurately. A new approach including a tensile strain range parameter offered promising results.

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