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March 29, 2019
Category: Research Update 

Research Update March 2019

The Energy Pipelines CRC is on track to finish all its project activities by the end of next month. Project teams are working hard on to complete all remaining projects.
University of Wollongong researchers are in the process of finalising updates of the fracture control software package EPDECOM and PipeStrain, which is used to predict the outcome of a hydrostatic strength test.

At Deakin University a new gouge test rig was commissioned and used to test HDD coatings and outer wraps. Nine different coating combinations were evaluated in this test program, using two different diameter gouge tips at various normal forces. Figure 1. Photo of gouge test rig at Deakin University

The final report of project RP6.3-07 describes the experimental and analytical work undertaken to better understanding of damage to pipelines due to horizontal directional drilling (HDD) equipment. A specially designed and fabricated experimental rig made it possible to undertake a series of experiments in which the action of HDD equipment on test pipe specimens could be studied. Pipes of two sizes (diameters) with very different coatings and three types of HDD drill bits were used in the experiments. Three degrees of soil restraint applied to the drill string were simulated.

The resulting damage to the pipes was measured by laser-scanning the pipe surface and using the PipeCheck software to quantify the damage. The damage measurements were correlated against measurements of parameters of the HDD equipment, which will in turn provide guidance on the risk presented by HDD equipment to buried pipelines.

The final draft of the Industry Code of Practice for Fracture Control of Steel Pipelines was submitted for final review by the industry and researchers involved in its development. The purpose of this Code of Practice is to aid designers and pipeline owners in controlling fracture of pipelines.

The first part of the document provides a theoretical background about fracture mechanics and materials. The second part of the document explains how this information is applied in the pipeline industry, and especially Australia. The performance requirements for a pipeline are defined, with reference to both safety management objectives and the mandatory requirements of AS 2885.1. Methods for achieving those requirements are presented in detail.

Extensive guidance is also included for how fracture control performance requirements can be applied retrospectively for “legacy” pipelines. These are pipelines that were designed under a previous paradigm, which did not address fracture control with the same understanding as is applied to new pipelines and may consequently be carrying unacceptable risk due to low defect tolerance.

Finally, the appendices of this document provide some example of worked problems, statistics, and some information on fracture control for circumferential defects, which is especially relevant to station piping codes. The document does not cover the role of fracture mechanics in strain-based design.

The first program to complete all its project activities is research program 4 ‘public safety and security of supply’ with final reports for projects RP4-20B and RP4-23 being uploaded on the members’ area of the website.

The final report of RP4-20B brings together to results of three different case study projects. These projects investigated the views and priorities of stakeholders involved in planning and decision-making for residential land use and urban development in proximity to existing pipelines in two Australian states – Victoria and South Australia and the UK. Participants included planners, regulators, developers and pipeline industry representatives.

Third party damage to buried pipelines is a serious risk issue globally causing a higher rate of pipeline failure and damage than engineering causes. Land use has a direct link to both the people who might be impacted in the event of a failure and to activities that could potentially damage a pipeline. The work resulted in a number of recommendations that support an effective, formal and long-term approach to ensure public safety around high pressure gas pipelines as a result of urban development.

The final report for RP4-23 describes the results of survey- and interview-based research into formation and update process of AS2885 Pipelines – Gas and liquid petroleum. The standard is seen by the pipeline engineering profession as a key repository of legitimate professional knowledge. The industry has invested heavily in resources to update the standard. This project report reflects on the value of the contributions made and the value of the standard itself to ensure that future efforts are well directed and that pipeline integrity remains paramount

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