Simulation of Upheaval Buckling of Buried Pipelines using Combined Eulerian Lagrangian Finite Element Method
Proceedings Publication Date
Dr. Anne Briffett
Anne Briffett, George Varelis
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The axial compressive forces that appear in buried pipelines due to thermal expansion and internal pressure effects, combined with initial layout imperfections, result in vertical movement of the pipeline. Where the resistance of the soil above the pipeline is insufficient to restrain this vertical movement, global upheaval buckling can occur, with the pipeline potentially breaking through the soil surface. This paper presents recent analysis of this phenomenon using the Combined Eulerian Lagrangian (CEL) method within the commercial Finite Element Analysis (FEA) code Abaqus. This analysis technique considers the coupled nature of the soil-pipe interaction and can capture large soil deformations. A series of 2-D analyses have been carried out demonstrating sensitivities to soil properties and burial depth. The analysis results are compared to theoretical calculations and available physical test data. The analysis work has been extended to 3D to predict the onset of upheaval buckling due to thermal loading for a given imperfection size and comparisons with current design procedures have been made. Further work is planned to investigate the effect of cyclic thermal loading and resulting accumulation of permanent deformations on the likelihood of upheaval buckling.

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