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Construct Steel Research 5 (1985) 103-122

Analysis of Buckle Propagation in Marine Pipelines
J. G. A. Cr ol l
Department of Civil and Municipal Engineering, University College,
Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Thi s paper shows how the analysis o f mi ni mum, quasi-static, buckl e
propagat i on pressures f o r subsea pipelines may be exactly f or mul at ed in
terms o f the characteristics o f ring collapse. A si mpl e mechanistic
approach to ring collapse is described which enables the rational incor-
porat i on o f the effects o f material strain hardening. Theoretical predic-
tions resulting f r o m this analysis are shown to reproduce past empirically
observed propagat i on pressures; they also successfully predict the varia-
tions in the f or ms o f ring collapse modes resulting f r o m di f f eri ng strain-
hardeni ng properties.
Upon suitable non-dimensionalisation this analysis shows how
predi ct ed propagat i on pressures may be represented in terms o f j ust one
composi t e material and geometric 'propagation parameter' . This
eliminates the need f o r recourse to empirically f i t t ed design curves and
al l ows resolution o f certain anomalies experienced in past analyses. It
emphasi ses the need f o r more complete i nf ormat i on regarding material
st rai n-hardeni ng properties i f test results are to be properl y interpreted.
Mos t i mport ant l y, the present analysis offers the pot ent i al f o r f ut ur e
design o f pi pel i nes being at once more rationally and parametrically
complete, and yet compact and simple to apply.
An y o n e wi t h exper i ence in t he use of dr i nki ng st raws, and par t i cul ar l y t he
ear l y var i et i es ma de f r om paper , wi l l al most cer t ai nl y have e nc ount e r e d
t he p h e n o me n o n whi ch has r at her mor e r ecent l y been obs er ved in subsea
J. Construct. Steel Research 0143-974X/85/$03-30 Elsevier Applied Science Publishers
Ltd, England, 1985. Printed in Great Britain
104 J. G. A . (?roll
pipelines. 1 Above a certain ext ernal pressure, or internal evacuat i on in
t he case of t he dri nki ng straw, a local dent i ng of the pipe wall, perhaps
caused by accidental damage while laying the pipeline, may preci pi t at e a
buckl i ng collapse that propagat es itself along the length of the pipeline.
Unde r cert ai n ci rcumst ances this buckl e propagat i on may be very rapi d
and coul d ext end over a substantial length of the pipeline. Whi l e such a
phe nome non may result in t emporary i nconveni ence for the dri nker, its
economi c consequences in mari ne pipelines may be very severe i ndeed. It
is surprising, t her ef or e, t hat the analysis of the mi ni mum pressures
r equi r ed to propagat e such a buckle has not r eached a mor e advanced
I n rel at i on to mari ne pipelines most of t he earliest efforts wer e di rect ed
t owar ds the specification of ' buckle arrest ors' , which in the event of a
buckl e bei ng initiated woul d limit the ext ent of any propagat i ng buckl e
col l apse. 2'3 Analysis of the mi ni mum propagat i on pressure appears to
have been first descri bed by Pal mer and Mart i n, 4 who devel oped a simple
rigid plastic ring collapse model . This was later criticised 5'6 for its appar ent
negl ect of the addi t i onal bendi ng and stretching energy occurri ng in the
l ongi t udi nal fibres within the transition region bet ween t he unbuckl ed
and fully buckl ed regi on of the pipe. The simple rigid-perfectly plastic
mechani sm model of Pal mer and Mart i n has the additional dr awback of
not i ncl udi ng any al l owance for mat eri al strain hardeni ng. At the high
plastic strains associated with a fully collapsed pipeline these strain-
har deni ng effects are likely to be consi derabl e. Consequent l y, the simple
mechani sm model of Pal mer and Mart i n cannot account for t he
empi ri cal l y observed variations in buckl e propagat i on pressures
exper i enced for the di fferent al umi ni um and steel alloy pipelines used in
past tests.
Recent analysis of ring buckling 56 has at t empt ed to provide a mor e
compl et e descri pt i on of the elastic-plastic collapse associated with buckl e
pr opagat i on. When pressure versus deformat i on curves for a collapsing
ring are pl ot t ed, a well-defined mi ni mum has been observed to occur in
t he post -buckl ed region. Because of its close association with t he
mi ni mum buckl e propagat i on pressures, these mi ni mum post -buckl ed or
' col l apse' pressures, 5 have been extensively studied. 7 Unf or t unat el y,
t hese studies reveal t hat the mi ni mum post-buckled collapse pressures are
by ar ound a fact or of two less t han the propagat i on pressures. The reason
for this lack of correl at i on bet ween mi ni mum ' collapse' and ' propagat i on'
pressures will become clear in the following analysis.
In what follows a simple rigid-plastic mechani sm approach is devel oped
Analysis of buckle propagation in marine pipelines 105
for t he predi ct i on of mi ni mum propagating buckle pressures. This shows
that an ext ensi on of t he earlier analysis of Palmer and Martin 4 to include
t he effects of strain hardeni ng, not only reproduces past test results for
propagat i on pressure but also captures the variations in shape of t he
collapse modes. It shows, inter alia, that the parametric description
empl oyed for empirically based design curves fails to provide an adequat e
descri pt i on of all the separate influences arising from pipe geomet ry,
mat eri al yield and strain-hardening characteristics. An alternative,
rationally based, parametric framework is suggested which, for pipes
made from materials having linear strain hardening, allows all these
separat e effects to be encapsulated into one single ' propagat i on
paramet er' . Ext ensi ons of the met hod to cover arbitrary forms of strain
har deni ng are likely to be limited only by the generally i ncompl et e
specifications of material plasticity characteristics.
Predi ct i on of mi ni mum propagation pressures is conveniently formul at ed
as follows. Suppose that a short length, l, of pipe has been fully collapsed
into a propagat i on-t ype buckle mode, as shown in Fig. la. The section of
pi pel i ne influenced by this collapse will consist of two distinct zones: a
transition zone bet ween the unbuckled portion of the pipe, and a fully
un~ckt ed t r a n s m o n c o t t a p s e d transihon u n b u ~ L e d
z o n e _ z o n e _ ~ zone I~. zone ~zone
F-.~ ~B
. . . . i - ~ - , - Ca)
J ~ 1 ~ !6t ,. t 6 Z L 8 t L
7 ~ r - _ ~ m T -----T,--~FA ~ T d
~ I I J I I I I I I i ~ _ . ~ --~-~ ~ " t ' } _ c b ~
! - - - - t--- , , , - ~ - - - - ,
" ~ transifion . . . . . . . ~oL~apsed ~ t r ans~on~' ~
ZO1g ZOrle ZOne
~ . J
A - A B - B
I ~. 1. Conceptual basis for buckle propagation analysis showing (a) pipeline in unloaded
but previously buckled state, and (b) pipeline at load pp sufficient to propagate buckle.
106 J. G. A . Crol l
col l apsed zone. If this l engt h of pr ebuckl ed pi pe is subj ect ed t o a slowly
i ncr easi ng ext er nal pr essur e, t he buckl e will event ual l y begi n to ext end to
a new fully col l apsed l engt h (l + 8l). The pressure at whi ch this pr opaga-
t i on st art s is r ef er r ed to as t he mi ni mum pr opagat i on pressure.
I n pr opagat i ng f r om a l engt h l to a new l engt h (l + 8/), t he change in
i nt er nal plastic ener gy 8E will consist of j ust t hat associ at ed wi t h t he fully
col l apsed ri ng of l engt h 8l. Because t he plastic ener gy cont ai ned wi t hi n
t he t r ansi t i on zones of Figs l a and l b are i dent i cal , it will not affect t he
i ncr ement al plastic energy. Equal l y, t her e will be no change in t he ener gy
associ at ed v' i t h t he al ready fully col l apsed l engt h l.
Si mi l arl y, t he change in total wor k done, 8W, by t he ext ernal pr essur e,
p, will consi st of j ust t hat associated with vol ume change of a fully
col l apsed ri ng of l engt h 8l.
For mul a t e d in this way it becomes clear why t he analysis of Pal mer and
Mar t i n 4 pr ovi des a good appr oxi mat i on of pr opagat i on charact eri st i cs for
pi pe mat er i al s havi ng no strain har deni ng. Once strain har deni ng is
i ncl uded, t he si mpl e hinge mechani sm used by Pal mer and Mart i n
be c ome s i nappr opr i at e. To ensure t hat a plastic mechani s m model
cor r ect l y r epr oduces t he behavi our obser ved when st rai n har deni ng is
pr es ent , consi der at i on of a somewhat di fferent ring mechani sm is
r equi r ed.
Ring collapse mechanism
Fi gur e 2 shows t he basis of an appr opr i at e collapse mechani sm. Thi s
consi st s of a series of piece-wise cont i nuous circular arcs. Over each
qua dr a nt of t he ori gi nal pi pe t he collapse mode is t aken to consist of an
arc oa havi ng a negat i ve radi us r' and subt endi ng an angl e 0' ; a rigid arc
ab for whi ch no change in curvat ure has occur r ed; and, an arc bc in whi ch
a decr eas ed posi t i ve radi us of curvat ure r " subt ends an angle of 0".
Sl opes are t aken t o be cont i nuous bet ween each of t hese circular regi ons:
as a c ons e que nc e t he rigid region ab must subt end an angle 0, given as
0 = 0' +(or- 0")
whi l e t he r equi r ement s
d e ma n d respect i vel y t hat
r'O' +r O+r "O" = ~r
( 1 )
of inextensibility and vertical compat i bi l i t y
r ' ( 1 - - c o s 0 ' ) + 2 r s i n 0 s i n ( 0 ' - 0) - r " s i n 0 " = 0 )
( 2 )
Analysis of buckle propagation in marine pipelines 107
/ / / " 6 ~ \ \ \ \ \
/ /
l~g. 2. Geometry assumed for fully collapsed 'dogbone' ring buckle mode, consisting of
three piece-wise continuous circular arcs over each quadrant.
Treat i ng (O', 0") as the kinematic degrees of freedom it is a simple mat t er
to det er mi ne t he compatible values of radius ( r ' , r " ) from eqn (2).
Al t hough this mechani sm represents a refi nement of that used by Palmer
and Martin, 4 its kinematic constraints mean that predictions arising from
it will be upper bounds of the exact mi ni mum buckle propagation
Energy equation
A mechani sm of the type shown in Fig. 2 is specified by the two
i ndependent degrees of freedom (O', O"). For a strain-hardening material
havi ng post-yield tangent modulus Et, the stress-strain relationships may
be expressed as
Gr ----
EE ;E~Eo
E~o + E,(~ - ~o); ~ -> ~o
108 J. G. A. Croll
allowing the moment - cur vat ur e relations for a rigid plastic idealisation to
be r epr esent ed in the form
M = My(1 + f i x ) (4)
where f l =- E,t/3Cro, M p = O'ot2/4, t is the pipe thickness, and (Cro, eo) the
uniaxial yield stress and strain, or their equivalents in non-yielding
Based upon a material having plastic characteristics given by eqn (4).
the increase in internal plastic energy 8E stored when the fully collapsed
mechani sm of Fig. 2 is ext ended by a distance 8l is
8 E = 4 6 ' [ M p r ' O ' ( 7 + l ) [ l + f l ( - ~ + ~ ) ]
+ Mpr"O" - - - - r
~;7- r 1+/3 r"
while the change in fluid vol ume accompanying this buckle propagat i on
woul d be
( , c o . 0 ,
+2 r ( l - c o s 0 ' ) + sin0" sin0cos(0'-0)
+ 2(0-sin0cos0)] } 8l
Negl ect i ng the elastic energy stored in this collapse mode, the balance
bet ween the internal plastic energy and external work requires that
8E (7)
P - 8V
Analysis of buckle propagation in marine pipelines 109
That is, t her e will be a propagation pressure associated with each choice
of (0' , 0" ) ; this propagat i on spectrum may be written in non-di mensi onal
form as
p r 2 a l + ppa2 (8)
P - O' ot 2 a3
wher e t he coefficients a, , a2 . . . . are given by
[ ( r _ r ) 0 ( ; r )]/
a z = 0' 2+W+r r' + + - - - 2 r 6
a3 = ~V/ r 281
and t he propagat i on par amet er pp is
3/3 E
This provi des a compact represent at i on of the effects coming from
mat eri al plasticity characteristics (E/o-o, E J E ) , and pipe geomet r y ( t / r ) ,
when t he propagat i ng pressure is normalised as in eqn (8).
Propagation pressure
Sol ut i ons of eqn (8) will provide upper bounds on the propagat i on
pressure. It is a relatively straightforward process to find the values
(0~,, 0~') whi ch provi de the lowest estimate of the propagat i on pressure,
Pp, for a given choice of pp. When this is done the results may be
summar i sed as shown in Fig. 3. Also shown in Fig. 3 for compari son are
t he results from the non-strain hardening discrete hinge mechani sm
model of Pal mer and Martin, 4 which in terms of the present non-
di mensi onal i sat i on predicts Pp = ~r/ 4=0. 785. It must be recal l ed,
however , t hat a mor e general class of mechanism geomet r y coul d provi de
even l ower estimates of buckl e propagation pressures.
As strain har deni ng effects decrease, that is, the strain hardeni ng
const ant ot - E / E , is i ncreased and consequently pp----~ 0 (but not e t hat t he
110 J. G. A . CroU
t t r ~' / - ' FF' + t
- - _ a s a 0 0 x , o a , 0 0 , , / /
no strapn ha ~
, J , I , , , , I , , , J , , , , I , , , I , , , , I , , , I , , , d
0 001 0.01 01 1 0 100
P r o p a g a h o n P a r a m e f e r : 9 p
F i g . 3 . S u m m a r y o f b u c k l e p r o p a g a t i o n p r e s s u r e , Pp , ill t e r m s o f b u c k l e p r o p a g a t i o n
p a r a m e t e r , pp. A l s o s h o w n a r e t h e a p p r o x i m a t i o n o f e q n ( 1 0 ) a n d t h e n o n - s t r a i n
h a r d e n i n g a n a l y s i s o f P a l m e r a n d Ma r t i n . 4
s a me e f f e c t is pr o duc e d by an i ncrease in ei t her ( r / t) or ( O - o/E ) ) , t he
pr e s e nt anal ysi s is c l os e l y appr oxi mat e d by t he s i mpl er Pal mer mo de l .
The r e as on why t he t wo mo de l s are not i dent i cal as pp---* 0 b e c o me s
a ppa r e nt wh e n t he pl ast i c col l aps e mo d e s (0~, 0p' ) are c ons i de r e d. For
var i ous val ue s o f pp t he mo d e s hape s as s oci at ed wi t h t he propagat i on
pr e s s ur e s o f Fi g. 3 are i ndi cat ed in Fi g. 4. As pr----~ 0 it can be s e e n t hat t he
f - -
a b 70 0 b
F i g . 4 . C o l l a p s e d p r o p a g a t e d m o d e s p r e d i c t e d b y a n a l y s i s o f e q n ( 8 ) a s r e p r e s e n t i n g
m i n i m u m p r o p a g a t i o n p r e s s u r e s p a r a m e t e r , pp.
Analysis o f buckle propagation in marine pipelines 111
out wardl y bulging meri di an becomes effectively a discrete plastic hinge as
assumed in the Pal mer mechanism. However, on the inwardly collapsed
meri di ans the plastic distortions associated with the lowest buckle
propagat i on pressure are distributed over a relatively large arc length. It
is for this reason that the constraints offered by assuming a discrete plastic
hi nge on these inwardly deforming meridians provides an upper bound to
t he propagat i on pressure compared with the preferred modes shown in
Fig. 4. The difference is however very small. As pp---~ 0, the present
predi ct i on is Pp = 0.754, which is only some 4% lower than the prediction
from t he relatively simple Palmer and Martin analysis.
In contrast, when strain hardening effects increase, that is, pp becomes
large, t he difference bet ween the two models becomes considerably mor e
significant. But again the present analysis makes it clear that even for
pipes having materials with a fixed strain hardening law, that is, a =- E / E t
fixed, a similar effect on propagation characteristics will be produced by
increasing the pipe stockiness (i.e. decreasing r / t ) and/ or reducing the
mat eri al yield strength to elastic stiffness ratio (i.e. decreasing go~E) .
Propagation collapse modes
The uni que modes associated with the mi ni mum propagation pressure,
Pp, are shown for various pp values in Fig. 4. These profiles show that
when t he propagation parameter, pp, is large the curvature changes at the
out wardl y bulging parts of the mechanism are much more uniformly
di st ri but ed than when pp is small. The changes in curvature at the
out wardl y bulging meridians become very concent rat ed and approach the
condi t i on of a discrete hinge when strain hardening effects are small.
It is interesting to observe that the negative curvatures associated with
t he inwardly deformed meridians remain remarkably consistent for all
ranges of the propagation parameter, pp. The extent of these concave
regions is also shown to be relatively constant over the range
0.01 < pp < 1.0, which is likely to encompass most practical pipes. This
same i nformat i on is summarised in a somewhat different and mor e
compl et e form in Fig. 5. The exact location of the critical propagation
mode shape (0~, 0~') is often difficult to det ermi ne. At the mi ni mum
propagat i on pressure, Pp, moderat el y large changes in mode shape, that
is variations in (0' , 0' ' ), produce relatively small increases in propagation
pressure. This is illustrated by the spectrum of propagation pressures
shown in Fig. 6 for the case ofpp = 1.0.
112 J. G. A . Croll
- ~ 8 0
- \
- \
- - 0 "
2 0
r , ~ , . . . . . , , . ,-,,."
- - . 1 ~ . _ _ - - . - . 4 , - ' - - 4 " - - - - I ~ l I I I I
{}001 {}01 0"1 1-0 100
Propagation l~'amefer pp
1 ~ . 5 . Ful l y c ol l aps e d propagat i on mo d e s predi ct ed by anal ysi s o f e qn ( 8) . Shows inter alia
h o w radii o f out wardl y de f or me d meri di ans t end t o z e r o as pp--* 0.
g -
p p = 1 . 0
v L 0 p 4 1 { 0 / l l
.Pp --1 3 6 6 _ _ ~ I I i i - ~ . . ~ _ _ . , , ~
dl~ = 76
I I I I I | I
50 60 70 80 90 100 110
Mode Angl e e "
F' ~. 6. I nf l uence o f col l aps ed mo d e shape on predi ct ed propagat i on buc kl e pressure for
pp = 1"0.
Analysis of buckle propagation in marine pipelines 113
Approximate propagation pressure
This relative insensitivity of propagation pressures to changes in mode
shape ar ound t hat whi ch minimises Pp suggests one possible means of
simplifying t he propagat i on pressures implicit in the solution of eqn (8).
Over t he range 0-01 < pp < 1.0, an approximation of the mode shape
coul d be t aken as
r ' r ----- (1.261,0.130)
(0p, 8~') ~- (25 , 65 )
Wi t h t hese const ant values the coefficients in eqn (8) themselves become
const ant at at = 1.973, a2 = 1-392 and a3 -- 2.421 and the propagat i on
pressure coul d be approxi mat ed as
Pp -~ 0.814 + 0.575pp (10)
This approxi mat i on is included in Fig. 3, and can be seen to provi de
accept abl e estimates over a relatively wide range of propagat i on
par amet er s. Ot her approximations may be obt ai ned by a process of
simple curve fitting of the exact solution shown in Fig. 3.
Following the simple and explicit analysis of Palmer and Martin ,4 t here has
been a t endency t owards increasingly sophisticated analysis. Much of this
has been under t aken using fully non-linear finite el ement analysis
pr ocedur es. Unf or t unat el y, though, the degree of sophistication of
analysis does not appear to have brought with it a concomi t ant increase in
ei t her f undament al underst andi ng or reliability of prediction.
For exampl e, Kyriakides and Babcock ~-7 report extensive studies on the
non-l i near characteristics of progressive pipe collapse. In this t hey have
obser ved t hat it is the ring collapse behavi our which provides the maj or
cont ri but i on to det ermi ni ng propagation pressures. Lat er studies by
t hese aut hors have accordingly concent rat ed upon t he analysis of ring
collapse. Typical pressure versus displacement characteristics t ake t he
form shown in Fig. 7. These results have been t aken from Figures 12 and
1 1 4 J . G. A. Crol l
l - : i /
I I - I 1 [ I I I I [
05 10
l a)
T - z ~ 2 1C ~
1 E f ,
Pool Referenc ( 5 I
I Pool (5} for p e d ~
ptasffci ty o . ~ c o
Pp from Figure 3 wlffl
pp - !3 3/cz
" ~ 9 ~ ,
100 200 300&
( b /
Fig. 7. Reinterpretation of past ring collapse analyses 5 showing (a) influence of strain
hardening on pressure against inward displacement, and (b) comparison of minimum
post-buckled pressures ('collapse pressures') with predicted propagation pressures from
eqn (8).
15 of Re f e r e nc e 5, and show t he effect s of i ncreasi ng t he st r ai n- har deni ng
coef f i ci ent a =- E / E , . Pr essur es have been non- di mensi onal i sed as in eqn
(8) t o al l ow di r ect compar i sons wi t h t he pr es ent pr opagat i on pr essur es,
Pp. Mi ni mum post - buckl ed pr essur es r ef er r ed t o as ' col l apse pressures' , 5
Pco,, ar e s ummar i s ed in Fig. 7b. What is i mmedi at el y appar ent is t hat Pco~
pr ovi des an unreal i st i c est i mat e for Pp; as a i ncreases P~,,j ~Pp, whi ch is
t he f act or by whi ch t hese col l apse pr essur es ar e l ower t han obser vat i ons
f r om t est buckl e pr opagat i on pressures. ~
So why do t hese col l apse pr essur es fail to pr edi ct buckl e pr opagat i on
pr es s ur es ? In t he light of t he above analysis t he expl anat i on is si mpl e. It
has been shown t hat t he pr opagat i on pr essur e ma y be f or mul at ed exact l y
in t e r ms of t he ener gy abs or bed in compl et el y col l apsi ng a ring. In doi ng
so t her e is no "neglect of t he addi t i onal bendi ng and st ret chi ng ener gy in
l ongi t udi nal fibres' and no appr oxi mat i on i nvol ved in consi deri ng a ' strip
t he or y (as) r epr es ent at i on of t he full t hr ee- di mensi onal probl em"
i nvol ved in t he ' profi l e t hr ough whi ch t he pi pe t r ansf or ms itself t o a
d o g b o n e t ype of cross sect i on' . 5 Thi s one- di mensi onal model l i ng is exact .
But t o i nt er pr et t he pr es s ur e- di s pl acement pl ot s of Kyr i aki des and
Babcock, 5 it is necessar y to i nt egr at e t he areas beneat h t he pr e s s ur e -
di s pl acement cur ves (strictly it shoul d be t he pr es s ur e- vol ume change
cur ve t hat shoul d be i nt egr at ed) t o cal cul at e t he t ot al energy, abs or bed by
A n a ly sis o f b u c k le propagation in m arine p ip elin es 115
t he ring in being deformed into the ' dogbone' collapsed mode. For
exampl e, t he average pressure occurring up to a deformat i on of u / r = 1
for t he curve a = 104 in Fig. 7a is almost exactly twice t he collapse
pressure at u / r = 1. As o~ is decreased, the ratio of the average pressure to
collapse pressure reduces in accordance with the ratio Pp/Poo~ shown in
Fig. 7. It woul d appear that a reinterpretation of the ring collapse analyses
per f or med by Kyriakides and Babcock should provide a convincing
model of the buckle propagation pressures. If this were done it is
probabl e that t he present mechanistic modelling of buckle propagat i on
woul d also be confirmed.
Furt her evi dence for supposing that the present mechanistic analysis of
buckl e propagat i on is in conformity with the more elaborate ring collapse
analysis of Kyriakides and Babcock is contained in t he similarities in
predi ct ed collapsed (' dogbone' ) modes. Figure 13 of Reference 5 shows
t he collapsed modes for a ring having various strain-hardening
coefficients, or, for the same series of rings as have been report ed in Fig. 7
and for which pp = 13.3/a. Qualitatively these show exactly t he same
characteristics as those described in Fig. 4. Again, these indicate that as ot
is i ncreased t he curvature at the outward bulge approaches that of a
perfect hinge; the inwardly deformed meridians maintain a relatively
stable radius of curvature.
Compari sons of present propagation pressure estimates and collapse
loads in Fig. 7b make it clear that without a proper rei nt erpret at i on of t he
ring collapse results of Kyriakides and Babcock it is misleading to assume
t hat t he paramet ri c dependence of Po~ has any direct relationship with t he
paramet ri c dependence of Pp. As ct varies it can be seen that the ratio
Pp/Po~ itself varies. Similar conclusions would be found by looking at t he
variations in t he ratio Pp/P~o~ with the ot her parameters (O'o/E) and ( r / t )
t hat have significant but different effects on Pp and Pool. This, in turn,
raises questions as to the veracity of the extrapolations from t he
numerically empirical eqn (5) to the widely adopt ed eqn (6) of Reference
5, namel y
o'oPP - [ l O ' 7 + 0 " 5 4 ( E-~o) ] ( t~ r) Z25 (11)
Rei nt er pr et at i on of t he ring collapse characteristics would show that such
a paramet ri c represent at i on, while perhaps being appropriate for Po~,
woul d not be appropriate for Pp.
116 J, G. A. Crol l
The above analysis suggests that a quite different form of paramet ri c
r epr esent at i on is appropri at e for the i nt erpret at i on of past test dat a on
buckl e pr opagat i on pressures. Unfort unat el y publ i shed dat a on past tests
do not permi t det ai l ed assessment of the paramet ri c represent at i on
suggest ed by eqn (8), in which Pp(---pp/cro(r/t) 2) may be uni quel y
descr i bed in t erms of pp(= (1/a)(E/o-o) (t/r)). Fur t her mor e it is not
always cl ear whet her published buckle propagat i on pressures represent
mi ni mum, quasi-static, propagation pressures. However , the limited dat a
t hat are openl y available provide some confidence in the present
modeIl i ng.
Fi gure 8 summari ses test data for aluminium tubes made from AI -
6061-T6 alloy. Nomi nal properties for this alloy are given in Ref er ence 8
as Cro/E = 0-0042, while propagation pressures and pipe geomet ri es are
listed in Tabl e 1 of Reference 5. Not specified are the appropri at e levels of
st r ai n- har deni ng const ant a, although it has been suggested t hat these
woul d lie in t he range 50 < c~ < 200. Figure 8 t herefore summari ses the
results from eqn (8), or alternatively Fig. 3, for each of the 13 test results
P P " oP~o "(T
eqn( 8] or Figure 3. -~ =0' 0042 , Ct variab(e
- - - - - e q n ( l ] Reference ( 5 ) , a[uminium ahoy
2 - 0 - -
g 1-0
g ~" Tesfs on aturmnmJm a l l o y Table , eferenc ( )
L Tesfs on s h a i n B ~ s s steel SS-304
Steal al l oy
, I , I , I , I , I
10 20 30 4 0 b O
Radius fo Thickness R a f i 0 r
] Fi g. 8 . C o m p a r i s o n s o f e x p e r i m e n t a l b u c k l e p r o p a g a t i o n p r e s s u r e s f o r a l u m i n i u m a l l o y
t est s; pr e di c t i ons f r om eqn (8), and empi r i cal l y der i ved desi gn cur ve r e c o mme n d e d in
Re f e r e nc e 5.
Analysis of buckle propagation in marine pipelines 117
l i st ed in Tabl e 1 of Ref er ence 5. Wi t h t he except i on of speci men 4
( number s al ongsi de test results refer to t he desi gnat i ons used in Tabl e 1 of
Ref er ence 5), t he test pr opagat i on pressures can be seen t o follow t he
t r ends pr edi ct ed by eqn (8). Most of t he results lie wi t hi n t he band
50 < o~ < 200. One not abl e except i on whi ch shows up on this pl ot for
al umi ni um alloy AI--6061-T6, is test result 4. Int erest i ngl y, it is t est 4 t hat
is l i st ed in Tabl e 15 as bei ng of stainless steel alloy SS-304, whi ch
accor di ng to Ref er ence 8 has Oo/E = 0.0018.
Whe n t hese test results are r epl ot t ed as in Fig. 9 for a mat eri al havi ng
tro/E = 0.0015, whi ch is mor e represent at i ve of steel pi pel i nes, this
appar ent l y anomal ous test 4 result starts to make sense. Similarly many of
t he t est results for t hese al umi ni um alloys can now be seen to fall bel ow
t he curve for cz = 200. It is clear even from t hese l i mi t ed compar i sons t hat
t he pr ope r pr edi ct i on of pr opagat i on pressures shoul d t ake account of t he
i nde pe nde nt i nfl uences comi ng from st rai n-hardeni ng par amet er ct and
mat er i al yield to elastic stiffness ratio o'JE. Fi gure 10 summar i ses t he
var i at i ons of Pp for a typical st rai n-hardeni ng const ant cz = 100 and a
r ange of typical mat eri al yield characteristics, tro/E.
e q n ( 8 ) o r F i g u r e 3 , ~.g = 0 . 0 0 1 5 , o . v a r i a b l e
~ c ? ~ . ~ e q n ( 1 ) , Reference ( 5 ) , s t e e l a l l o y
A l u m i n i u m At-6061-T6
T e s t r e s u l t s
StainLess S t t ~ [ SS- 30t, J
~2tt 013
I t I i I i I i I
10 2 0 30 ~ 50
Radius t o Thickness R a t i o : r
l r ~ . 9. Co mp a r i s o n s o f exper i ment al buckl e pr opa ga t i on pr es s ur es f or st eel al l oy t est s;
pr e di c t i ons f r om e qn (8), and empi ri cal l y der i ved desi gn cur ve r e c o mme n d e d in
Ref er ence 5.
118 J. G. A . Crol l
eqn (8) or Figure 3 , ~ : variable, o.=100
i I i I i I J I
10 20 30 &O
~ad~ to Thickness Raho r / t
Fi g. 10. Predicted influence of material yield for pipes having linear strain-hardening
coefficient a = 100.
An o t h e r f eat ur e whi ch t he pl ot s of Figs 8-10 make very clear, is t he
mi sl eadi ng i mpressi ons t hat can be deri ved from t he use of l ogari t hmi c
pl ot s. I n Ref er ence 5 an empi ri cal l y deri ved equat i on t aki ng t he f or m
Po A (]2)
O" o
is used t o mat ch dat a for each of t he sets of al umi ni um and steel alloy
dat a. The appr opr i at e curves are i ncl uded in Figs 8 and 9. Wher eas in Figs
8 and 9 t he t est results show consi derabl e scatter about t he empi ri cal l y
fi t t ed cur ves ( eqn (12)), a log pl ot for t hese same dat a (see Fi gure 8,
Ref er ence 5) suggest s t hat an appr oxi mat i on on t he basis of eqn (12)
pr ovi des a much mor e exact r epr esent at i on with consi derabl y less
scat t er ed t est results.
The lack of any adequat e rational analysis of buckl e pr opagat i on
pr essur es t hat t ake i nt o account t he i mpor t ant effects of mat eri al st rai n
Analysis o f buckle propagation in marine pipelines
0 . 0 1 ~ ~
0 . 0 0 5
o 0" 001
0 . 0 0 0 5
. . . . Dn V , Re f e r e n c e (11} I
- - . - - Mesloh, Ref er et t . e ( 1 0 ) I
- - - - K y r i a k i d e s a n d B a b c o c k ( 5 , 6 )
Pr e s e n t e q n ( 8 ) , ~ --Q = 0.00/~2
( z v a r i a b l e
1 I I I I I I
2 0 3 0 t~0 5 0 6 0 70 8 0 100
Diameter t o Thickness : D
Fig. 11. Comparison of present theoretical predictions for aluminium alloy pipelines, and
previously recommended design curves 5' 10,11 reported in Reference 9.
har deni ng, has me a nt t hat desi gn s p e c i f i c a t i o n s 5'9'1'n a r e t o a large ext ent
based upon empi ri cal curve-fitting. Some of t hese are summar i sed for
al umi ni um alloy pi pel i nes in Fig. 11. To ensure adequat e safet y margi ns,
code r ecommendat i ons t end t o be r at her conservative. 11 Thi s is as much a
refl ect i on of t he i nadequat e state of analysis as it is an i ndi cat i on of t he
l i mi t ed par amet r i c range of test dat a. Mor e refi ned r ecommendat i ons 5-1
woul d appear t o be r at her t oo mat eri al specific to be consi der ed to have
gener al applicability.
It is possi bl e t hat t he simplicity and compact ness of t he analysis of eqn
(8) coul d allow i mpr ovement s in fut ure desi gn specifications. The
t heor et i cal devel opment s dr aw at t ent i on to t he i mpor t ance of det er -
mi ni ng t he st rai n-hardeni ng coefficient, a - - E / E , . This emerges f r om t he
120 J. G. A . Crol l
si ngl e pr opagat i on par amet er pp(--- ( l / a) ( E/ o' o) ( t / r ) ) as bei ng of equal
i mpor t a nc e t o ei t her t he mat eri al yield, O-o/E, or t he geomet r i c const ant ,
r / t . Wi t h t he defi ni t i on of t he st r ai n- har deni ng coeffi ci ent , a, bei ng onl y
vaguel y def i ned in past test pr ogr ammes , it is difficult t o assess t he
empi r i cal validity of t he sol ut i on to eqn (8) as s ummar i s ed in Fig. 3. All
t hat can be said is t hat t he analysis r epr oduces t he t r ends of past t est i ng on
pr opa ga t i on pressures. The scat t er di spl ayed by t hese past results is likely
t o be t he resul t of vari at i ons in plastic st r ai n- har deni ng propert i es.
Uncer t ai nt i es in i nt er pr et at i on of past test results are refl ect ed in t he
cons i der abl e di fferences in design r ecommendat i ons shown in Fig. 11.
Ea c h of t hese desi gn curves can be seen to be banded by t he pr esent
t heor et i cal pr edi ct i ons for 10 < o~ < 1000. It is possi bl e t her ef or e t hat this
scat t er can be expl ai ned in t erms of vari at i ons in t he st r ai n- har deni ng
coeffi ci ent , o~, for t he test speci mens. Fut ur e tests are pl anned whi ch will
cor r el at e t est buckl i ng pressures mor e explicitly wi t h t he pr opagat i on
pa r a me t e r , pp.
Whi l e it is likely t hat many pi pel i ne mat eri al s may be model l ed using a
l i near st r ai n- har deni ng mat eri al law, it is possi bl e t hat for some a mor e
r ef i ned defi ni t i on of plasticity will be needed. A si mpl e ext ensi on to t he
anal ysi s descr i bed above woul d allow t he effects of any such r ef i nement s
t o be i ncor por at ed i nt o suitable desi gn curves. A family of curves like t hat
s hown in Fig. 3 coul d be pr oduced for say a post -yi el d mat eri al charact er-
istic r esul t i ng in a moment - cur vat ur e r el at i onshi p of t he t ype
M = Mp(1 +/31x+/32x:)
Howe ve r . it is likely t hat t he desi gn useful ness of such r ef i nement s will be
l i mi t ed by t he i nevi t abl e i mpreci si on of defi ni t i on of t he advanced
mat er i al plasticity characteristics. A first st ep t owar ds an i mpr oved
r at i onal basis for desi gn will be a mor e t hor ough val i dat i on of t he desi gn
cur ve pr es ent ed in Fig. 3.
A si mpl e rigid plastic mechani sm analysis allows est i mat es of mi ni mum
buckl e pr opagat i on pressures in pi pel i nes to be r epr es ent ed in t erms of a
si ngl e compos i t e ' pr opagat i on par amet er ' . Thi s single par amet er
e mbodi e s t he separ at e and i mpor t ant i nfl uences arising from mat eri al
Analysis of buckle propagation in marine pipelines 121
yi el d and st rai n-hardeni ng characteristics as well as pipe geomet ry.
Theor et i cal predictions resulting from this analysis reproduce t he maj or
t r ends displayed by test propagat i on buckle pressures. They also
emphasi se the i mport ance of recordi ng precise i nformat i on on strain
har deni ng as well as yield stress if fut ure test results are to be adequat el y
i nt er pr et ed.
By showing how a ring collapse analysis can be i nt erpret ed as an exact
analysis of buckl e propagat i on, it has been possible to resolve cert ai n
anomal i es in past analysis. Specifically, it is shown how the mi ni mum
post -buckl ed pressure capacity, the so-called ' collapse pressure' , is not as
rel evant as has somet i mes been suggested. To use these ' collapse
pressures' to indicate the nat ure of the paramet ri c dependence of
pr opagat i on pressures is likely to be misleading. However , past ring
collapse analyses confirm the present predictions of how st rai n-hardeni ng
propert i es affect propagat ed buckle collapse mode shapes.
If val i dat ed by careful future tests, the present analysis offers t he
prospect t hat , while being rationally based and parametrically mor e
compl et e, fut ure design of pipelines against buckle propagat i on may also
be simple and compact .
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propagating collapse failures in pipelines due to external load, US Patent No.
3768269, assigned to Shell Oil Co., 30 October 1973.
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buckle in a pipeline, US Patent No. 3747356, assigned to Brown and Root
Inc., 24 July 1973.
4. Palmer, A. C. and Martin, J. H., Buckle propagation in submarine pipe-
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5. Kyriakides, S. and Babcock, C. D., Experimental determination of the
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theory and practice, eds Thompson, J. M. T. and Hunt, G. W., Cambridge,
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122 J. G. A. Croll
8. Kyriakides, S. and Babcock, C. D., On the 'slip-on" buckle arrestor for
offshore pipelines, Trans. ASME, 102 (1980) 188-93.
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Contributions discussing this paper should be received by the Editor before
1 July 1985.