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Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999

BENDING MOMENT CAPACITY OF PIPES


Sren Hauch and Yong Bai
American Bureau of Shipping
Offshore Technology Department
Houston, Texas
USA
ABSTRACT
In most modern pipeline design, the required minimum wall
thickness is determined based on a maximum allowable hoop stress
under design pressure. This is an efficient way to come up with an
initial wall thickness design, based on the assumption that pressure
will be the governing load. However, a pipeline may be subjected
to additional loads due to installation, seabed contours, impacts and
high-pressure/high-temperature operating conditions for which the
bending moment capacity is often the limiting parameter. If in-
place analyses for the optimal route predict that the maximum
allowable moment to a pipeline is going to be exceeded, it will be
necessary to either increase the wall thickness or, more
conventionally, to perform seabed intervention to reduce the
bending of the pipe.
In this paper the bending moment capacity for metallic pipes has
been investigated with the intention of optimising the cost
effectiveness in the seabed intervention design without
compromising the safety of the pipe. The focus has been on the
derivation of an analytical solution for the ultimate load carrying
capacity of pipes subjected to combined pressure, longitudinal force
and bending. The derived analytical solution has been thoroughly
compared against results obtained by the finite element method.
The result of the study is a set of equations for calculating the
maximum allowable bending moment including proposed safety
factors for different target safety levels. The maximum allowable
moment is given as a function of initial out-of-roundness, true
longitudinal force and internal/external overpressure. The equations
can be used for materials with isotropic as well as an-isotropic
stress/strain characteristics in the longitudinal and hoop direction.
The analytical approach given herein may also be used for risers
and piping if safety factors are calibrated in accordance with
appropriate target safety levels.
Keywords: Local buckling, Collapse, Capacity, Bending,
Pressure, Longitudinal force, Metallic pipelines and risers.
NOMENCLATURE
A Area
D Average diameter
E Youngs modulus
F True longitudinal force
Fl Ultimate true longitudinal force
f0 Initial out-of-roundness
M Moment
MC Bending moment capacity
Mp Ultimate (plastic) moment
p Pressure
pc Characteristic collapse pressure
pe External pressure
pel Elastic collapse pressure
pi Internal pressure
pl Ultimate pressure
pp Plastic collapse pressure
py Yield pressure
r Average pipe radius
SMTS Specified Minimum Tensile Strength
SMYS Specified Minimum Yield Strength
t Nominal wall thickness
Strength anisotropy factor
y Distance to cross sectional mass centre
C Condition load factor
R Strength utilisation factor
Curvature
Poissons ratio
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Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
h Hoop stress
hl Limit hoop stress for pure pressure
l Longitudinal stress
ll Limit longitudinal stress for pure longitudinal force
Angle from bending plane to plastic neutral axis
INTRODUCTION
Nowadays design of risers and offshore pipelines is often based on
a Limit State design approach. In a Limit State design, all
foreseeable failure scenarios are considered and the system is
designed against the failure mode that is most critical to structural
safety. A pipe must sustain installation loads and operational loads.
In addition external loads such as those induced by waves, current,
uneven seabed, trawl-board impact, pullover, expansion due to
temperature changes etc need to be considered. Experience has
shown that the main load effect on offshore pipes is bending
combined with longitudinal force while subjected to external
hydrostatic pressure during installation and internal pressure while
in operation. A pipe subjected to increased bending may fail due to
local buckling/collapse or fracture, but it is the local
buckling/collapse Limit State that commonly dictates the design.
The local buckling and collapse strength of metallic pipes has been
the main subject for many studies in offshore and civil engineering
and this paper should be seen as a supplement to the ongoing
debate. See Murphey & Langner (1985), Winter et al (1985),
Ellinas (1986), Mohareb et al (1994), Bai et al (1993, 1997) etc.
BENDING MOMENT CAPACITY
The pipe cross sectional bending moment is directly proportional to
the pipe curvature, see Figure 1. The example illustrates an initial
straight pipe with low D/t (<60) subjected to a load scenario where
pressure and longitudinal force are kept constant while an
increasing curvature is applied.
S t a r t o f c a t a s t r o p h i c a l l y
c a p a c i t y r e d u c t i o n O n s e t o f b u c k l i n g
L i m i t p o i n t
S o f t e n i n g r e g i o n

M
L i n e a r l i m i t
Figure 1: Examples of bending moment versus curvature relation.
Different significant points can be identified from the moment-
curvature relationship. When applying curvature to a pipe, it will
first be subjected to global deformation inside the materials elastic
range and no permanent change in shape is seen. By global
deformation is here meant a deformation that can be looked upon as
uniform over a range larger than 3-4 times the pipe diameter. After
the LINEAR LIMIT of the pipe material has been reached the pipe
will no longer return to its initial shape after unloading, but the
deformation will still be characterised as global. If the curvature is
increased further, material or geometrical imperfections will initiate
ONSET OF LOCAL BUCKLING. Imperfections in geometry
and/or material may influence where and at which curvature the
onset of local buckling occurs, but will for all practical use, as long
as they are small, not influence the ULTIMATE MOMENT
CAPACITY significantly. After the onset of local buckling has
occurred, the global deformation will continue, but more and more
of the applied bending energy will be accumulated in the local
buckle which will continue until the ultimate moment capacity is
reached. At this point, the maximum bending resistance of the pipe
is reached and a geometrical collapse will occur if the curvature is
additionally increased. Until the point of START OF
CATASTROPHIC CAPACITY REDUCTION has been reached,
the geometric collapse will be slow and the changes in cross
sectional area negligible. After this point, material softening sets in
and the pipe cross section will collapse. For pipes that in addition to
bending is subjected to longitudinal force and/or pressure close to
the ultimate capacity, start of catastrophic capacity reduction occurs
immediately after the ultimate moment capacity has been reached.
The moment curvature relationship for these load conditions will be
closer to that presented by the dashed line in Figure 1.
The moment curvature relationship provides information necessary
for design against failure due to bending. Depending on the
function of the pipe, any of the points described above can be used
as design limit. If the pipe is part of a carrying structure, the elastic
limit may be an obvious choice as the design limit. However, for
pipelines and risers where the global shape is less important, this
criterion will be overly conservative due to the significant resources
in the elastic-plastic range. Higher design strength can therefore be
obtained by using design criteria based on the stress/strain levels
reached at the point of onset for local buckling or at the ultimate
moment capacity. For displacement-controlled configurations, it
can even be acceptable to allow the deformation of the pipe to
continue into the softening region (not in design). The rationale of
this is the knowledge of the carrying capacity with high
deformations combined with a precise prediction of the
deformation pattern and its amplitude.
The moment capacity for metallic pipes is a function of many
parameters and the most common are listed below in arbitrary
sequence:
Diameter over wall thickness ratio
Material stress-strain relationship
Material imperfections
Welding (Longitudinal as well as
circumferential)
Initial out-of-roundness
Reduction in wall thickness due to e.g.
corrosion
Cracks (in pipe and/or welding)
Local stress concentrations due to e.g. coating
Additional loads and their amplitude
Temperature
The focus of this study has been the development of an equation to
prediction the ultimate moment capacity of pipes. The equation is
to account for initial out-of-roundness, longitudinal force and
internal/external overpressure for materials with either isotropic or
OMAE99, PL-99-5033 Hauch & Bai 2
Ultimate moment capacity
Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
an-isotropic characteristics in longitudinal and hoop direction.
Solutions obtained from both analytical expressions and by the
finite element method are described in this paper and the results
covers a diameter over wall thickness ratio from 10 to 60. The
remaining parameters given in the list may also be of some
importance in the design of pipelines, but the main parameters will
generally be those that are studied in this paper.
FAILURE MODES
As pointed out in the previous section the ultimate moment
capacity is highly dependent on the amount of longitudinal force
and pressure loads and for cases with high external pressure also
initial out-of-roundness. To clarify the approach used in the
development of the analytical equations and to give a better
understanding of the obtained results, characteristics of the ultimate
strength for pipes subjected to single loads and combined loads are
discussed below.
The cross sectional deformations just before failure of pipes
subjected to single loads are shown in Figure 2.
P u r e p r e s s u r e P u r e l o n g i t u d i n a l f o r c e P u r e b e n d i n g
Figure 2: Pipe cross sectional deformation of pipes subjected to
single loads.
PURE BENDING
A pipe subjected to increasing pure bending will fail as a result of
increased ovalisation of the cross section and reduced slope in the
stress-strain curve. Up to a certain level of ovalisation, the decrease
in moment of inertia will be counterbalanced by increased pipe wall
stresses due to strain hardening. When the loss in moment of inertia
can no longer be compensated for by the strain hardening, the
moment capacity has been reached and catastrophic cross sectional
collapse will occur if additional bending is applied. For low D/t, the
failure will be initiated on the tensile side of the pipe due to stresses
at the outer fibres exceeding the limiting longitudinal stress. For D/t
higher than approximately 30-35, the hoop strength of the pipe will
be so low compared to the tensile strength that the failure mode will
be an inward buckling on the compressive side of the pipe. The
geometrical imperfections (excluding corrosion) that are normally
allowed in pipeline design will not significantly influence the
moment capacity for pure bending, and the capacity can be
calculated as, SUPERB (1996):
t D SMYS
t
D
M
p

,
_


2
0015 . 0 05 . 1
( 0 )
where D is the average pipe diameter, t the wall thickness and
SMYS the Specified Minimum Yield Strength.
( ) SMYS t D / 0015 . 0 05 . 1 represents the average longitudinal
cross sectional stress at failure as a function of the diameter over
wall thickness ratio. The average pipe diameter is conservatively
used in here while SUPERB used the outer diameter.
PURE EXTERNAL PRESSURE
Theoretically, a circular pipe without imperfections should continue
being circular when subjected to increasing uniform external
pressure. However, due to material and/or geometrical
imperfections, there will always be a flattening of the pipe, which
with increased external pressure will end with a total collapse of the
cross section. The change in out-of-roundness, caused by the
external pressure, introduces circumferential bending stresses,
where the highest stresses occur respectively at the top/bottom and
two sides of the flattened cross-section. For low D/t ratios, material
softening will occur at these points and the points will behave as a
kind of hinge at collapse. The average hoop stress at failure due to
external pressure changes with the D/t ratio. For small D/t ratios,
the failure is governed by yielding of the cross section, while for
larger D/t ratios it is governed by elastic buckling. By elastic
buckling is meant that the collapse occurs before the average hoop
stress over the cross section has reached the yield stress. At D/t
ratios in-between, the failure is a combination of yielding and
elastic collapse.
Several formulations have been proposed for estimating the
external collapse pressure, but in this paper, only Timoshenkos and
Haagsmas equations are described. Timoshenkos equation, which
gives the pressure at beginning yield in the extreme fibres, will in
general represent a lower bound, while Haagsmas equation, using
a fully plastic yielding condition, will represent an upper bound for
the collapse pressure. The collapse pressure of pipes is very
dependent on geometrical imperfections and here in special initial
out-of-roundness. Both Timoshenkos and Haagsmas collapse
equation account for initial out-of-roundness inside the range that is
normally allowed in pipeline design.
Timoshenkos equation giving the pressure causing yield at the
extreme pipe fibre:
0 5 . 1 1
0 2
+
1
]
1

,
_


+ +
el p c el p c
p p p p
t
D f
p p
( 0 )
where:
pel =
3
2
) 1 (
2

,
_

D
t E

( 0 )
pp =
D
t
SMYS 2 ( 0 )
and:
pc = Characteristic collapse pressure
f0 = Initial out-of-roundness, (Dmax-Dmin)/D
D = Average diameter
t = Wall thickness
SMYS = Specified Minimum Yield Strength, hoop direction
E = Youngs Module
= Poissons ratio
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Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
It should be noted that the pressure pc determined in accordance to
Eq. (2) is lower than the actual collapse pressure of the pipe and it
becomes equal to the latter only in the case of a perfectly round
pipe. Hence, by using pc calculated from Eq. (2) as the ultimate
value of pressure, the results will normally be on the safe side
(Timoshenko and Gere, 1961).
Haagsmas equation giving the pressure at which fully plastic
yielding over the wall thickness occurs can be expressed as:
0
2
0
2 2 3
+
,
_

+
p el c p el p c el c
p p p
t
D
f p p p p p p
( 0 )
and represent the theoretical upper bound for the collapse pressure.
For low D/t, the collapse pressure will be closer to the collapse
pressure calculated by Haagsmas equation than that calculated by
Timoshenkos equation (Haagsma and Schaap, 1981).
The use of Timoshenkos and Haagsmas equations relates
specifically to pipes with initially linear elastic material properties
where the elastic collapse pressure can be derived from classical
analysis. This would be appropriate for seamless pipes or for pipes
that have been subjected to an annealing process. However, for
pipes fabricated using the UO, TRB or UOE method there are
significant non-linearitys in the material properties in the hoop
direction, due to residual strains and the Bauschinger effect. These
effects may be accounted for by introducing a strength reduction
factor to the plastic collapse pressure term given by Eq. (4). In this
study no attempt has been given to this reduction factor, but
according to DNV 2000 the plastic collapse pressure is to be
reduced with 7% for UO and TRB pipes and with 15% for UOE
pipes.
PURE INTERNAL PRESSURE
For Pure internal pressure, the failure mode will be bursting of the
cross-section. Due to the pressure, the pipe cross section expands
and the pipe wall thickness decreases. The decrease in pipe wall
thickness is compensated for by an increase in the hoop stress. At a
certain pressure, the material strain hardening can no longer
compensate for the pipe wall thinning and the maximum internal
pressure has been reached. The bursting pressure can in accordance
with API (1998) be given as:
( )
D
t
SMTS SMYS p
burst

+
2
5 . 0 ( 0 )
where ( ) SMTS SMYS + 5 . 0 is the hoop stress at failure.
PURE TENSION
For pure tension, the failure of the pipe, as for bursting, will be a
result of pipe wall thinning. When the longitudinal tensile force is
increased, the pipe cross section will narrow down and the pipe
wall thickness decrease. At a certain tensile force, the cross
sectional area of the pipe will be reduced so much that the
maximum tensile stress for the pipe material is reached. An
additional increase in tensile force will now cause the pipe to fail.
The ultimate tensile force can be calculated as:
( ) A SMTS SMYS F
l
+ 5 . 0
( 0 )
where A is the cross sectional area and ( ) SMTS SMYS + 5 . 0 the
longitudinal tensile stress at failure.
PURE COMPRESSION
A pipe subjected to increasing compressive force will be subjected
to Euler buckling. If the compressive force is further increased, the
pipe will finally fail due to local buckling. If the pipe is restrained
except for in the longitudinal direction, the maximum compressive
force may be taken as:
( ) A SMTS SMYS F
l
+ 5 . 0
( 0 )
where A is the cross sectional area and ( ) SMTS SMYS + 5 . 0 the
longitudinal compressive stress at failure.
COMBINED LOADS
For pipes subjected to single loads, the failure is, as described
above, dominated by either longitudinal or hoop stresses. This in-
teraction can, neglecting the radial stress component and the shear
stress components, be described as:
1 2
2
2
2
2
+
hl
h
hl ll
h l
ll
l

( 0 )
where l is the applied longitudinal stress, h the applied hoop
stress and ll and hl the limit stress in their respective direction.
The limit stress may differ depending on whether the applied load
is compressive or tensile. is a strength anisotropy factor
depending on the ratio between the limit stress in the longitudinal
and hoop direction respectively. The following definition for the
strength anisotropy factor has been suggested by the authors of this
paper for external and internal overpressure respectively:
l
c
F
p D

4
2

( 0 )
l
b
F
p D

4
2

( 0 )
For pipes under combined pressure and longitudinal force, Eq. (9)
may be used to find the pipe strength capacity. Alternatives to Eq.
(9) are Von Mises, Trescas, Hills and Tsai-Hills yield condition.
Experimental tests have been performed by e.g. Corona and
Kyriakides (1988). For combined pressure and longitudinal force,
the failure mode will be similar to the ones for single loads.
In general, the ultimate strength interaction between longitudinal
force and bending may be expressed by the fully plastic interaction
curve for tubular cross-sections. However, if D/t is higher than 35,
local buckling may occur at the compressive side, leading to a
failure slightly inside the fully plastic interaction curve, Chen and
Sohal (1988). When tension is dominating, the pipe capacity will be
higher than the fully plastic condition due to tensile and strain-
hardening effects.
As indicated in Figure 2, pressure and bending both lead to a cross
sectional failure. Bending will always lead to ovalisation and
finally collapse, while pipes fails in different modes for external
and internal overpressure. When bending is combined with external
overpressure, both loads will tend to increase the ovalisation, which
leads to a rapid decrease in capacity. For bending combined with
internal overpressure, the two failure modes work against each
OMAE99, PL-99-5033 Hauch & Bai 4
Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
other and thereby strengthen the pipe. For high internal
overpressure, the collapse will always be initiated on the tensile
side of the pipe due to stresses at the outer fibres exceeding the
material limit tensile stress. On the compressive side of the pipe,
the high internal pressure will tend to initiate an outward buckle,
which will increase the pipe diameter locally and thereby increase
the moment of inertia and the bending moment capacity of the pipe.
The moment capacity will therefore be expected to be higher for
internal overpressure compared with a corresponding external
pressure.
ADDITIONAL FAILURE MODE
In addition to the failure modes described above, fracture is a
possible failure mode for all the described load conditions. In
particular for the combination of tension, high internal pressure and
bending, it is important to check against fracture because of the
high tensile stress level at the limit bending moment. The fracture
criteria are not included in this paper, but shall be addressed in
design.
EXPRESSION FOR ULTIMATE MOMENT CAPACITY
In the following section, an analytical solution to the ultimate
moment capacity for pipes subjected to combined loads is derived.
To keep the complexity of the equations on a reasonable level, the
following assumptions have been made:
The pipe is geometrically perfect except for initial out-of-
roundness
The cross sectional geometry does not change before the
ultimate moment is reached
The cross sectional stress distribution at failure can be
idealised in accordance with Figure 3.
The interaction between limit longitudinal and hoop stress
can be described in accordance with Eq. (9)
FAILURE LIMIT STRESS
The pipe wall stress condition for the bending moment Limit State
can be considered as that of a material under bi-axial loads. It is in
here assumed that the interaction between average cross sectional
longitudinal and hoop stress at pipe failure can be described by Eq.
(12). The failure limit stresses are here, neglecting the radial stress
component and the shear stress components, described as a function
of the longitudinal stress l, the hoop stress h and the failure
limit stresses under uni-axial load ll and hl in their respective
direction. The absolute value of the uni-axial limit stresses, which
should not mistakenly be taken as the yield stress, are to be used,
while the actual stresses are to be taken as positive when in tension
and negative when in compression.
1 2
2
2
2
2
+
hl
h
hl ll
h l
ll
l

( 0 )
where is a strength anisotropy factor depending on the hl/ll
ratio.
Solving the second-degree equation for the longitudinal stress l
gives:
( )
2
2
1 1

,
_

t
hl
h
ll
hl
h
ll l

( 0 )
comp is now defined as the limit longitudinal compressive stress in
the pipe wall and thereby equal to l as determined above with the
negative sign before the square root. The limit tensile stress tens is
accordingly equal to l with the positive sign in front of the square
root.
( )
2
2
1 1

,
_


hl
h
ll
hl
h
ll comp

( 0 )
( )
2
2
1 1

,
_

+
hl
h
ll
hl
h
ll tens

( 0 )
THE BENDING MOMENT
The bending moment capacity of a pipe can by idealising the cross
sectional stress distribution at failure in accordance with Figure 3.,
be calculated as:
( ) tens tens tens comp comp comp C
y A y A M
h l


+
, ( 0 )
Where Acomp and Atens are respectively the cross sectional area in
compression and tension, y their mass centres distance to the pipe
mass centre and the idealised stress level.

A t e n s
A c o m p
P l a n o f b e n d i n g
r a v
t
t e n s
y t e n s
y c o m p
c o m p
P l a s t i c
n e u t r a l
a x e s
Figure 3: Pipe cross section with stress distribution diagram
(dashed line) and idealised stress diagram for plastified cross
section (full line).
For a geometrical perfect circular pipe, the area in compression and
tension can approximately be calculated as:
t r A
comp
2
( 0 )
( ) t r A
tens
2
( 0 )
The distance from the mass centre to the pipe cross section centre
can be taken as:
( )

sin
r y
comp

( 0 )
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Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
( )

sin
r y
tens ( 0 )
where r is the average pipe wall radius and the angle from the
bending plan to the plastic neutral axis. The plastic neutral axis is
defined as the axis at which the longitudinal pipe wall stresses
change from tensile to compressive, see Figure 3.
Inserting Eq. (17) to (20) in Eq. (16) gives the bending moment
capacity as:
( )
( ) ( )
tens comp C
tr tr M
h l


sin 2 sin 2
2 2
,
+
( 0 )
LOCATION OF FULLY PLASTIC NEUTRAL AXIS
The angle to the fully plastic neutral axis from the plane of bending
can be deduced from the following simplified expression for the
true longitudinal pipe wall force:
tens tens comp comp
A A F +
( 0 )
where the area in compression Acomp is calculated as:
t r A
comp
2
( 0 )
and the area in tension Atens as;
( ) t r A
tens
2
( 0 )
Giving:
( ) ( )
tens comp
t r F + 2
( 0 )
Solving Eq. (25) for gives:
( )
tens comp
tens
t r
t r F

2
2
( 0 )
or
( )
l
tens comp
tens l
t r F


2 ,

( 0 )
FINAL EXPRESSION FOR MOMENT CAPACITY
Substituting the expression for the plastic neutral axis, Eq. (27),
into the equation for the moment capacity, Eq. (21) gives:
( )
( ) ( )
tens
tens comp
tens l
comp
tens comp
tens l
C
tr tr M
h l


,
_

,
_

sin 2 sin 2
2 2
,
( 0 )
and substituting the expression for tensile and compressive stress,
Eq. (14) and (15) into Eq. (28) gives the final expression for the
bending moment capacity:
( )
( )
( )

,
_

,
_

,
_


2
2
2
2 2
,
1 1
2
cos 1 1 4
hl
h
hl
h
ll
l
hl
h
ll C
tr M
h l



( 0 )
or alternatively and more useful in design situations:
( )
( )
( )

,
_

,
_

,
_


2
2
2
2
,
1 1
2
cos 1 1
l
l l
l
p p F C
p
p
p
p
F
F
p
p
M M

( 0 )
where
MC = Ultimate bending moment capacity
Mp = Plastic moment
p = Pressure acting on the pipe
pl = Ultimate pressure capacity
F = True longitudinal force acting on the pipe
Fl = True longitudinal ultimate force
When the uni-axial limit stress in the circumferential and longitud-
inal direction are taken as the material yield stress and set to ,
Eq. (29) and (30) specialises to that presented by among others
Winter et al (1985) and Mohareb et al (1994).
APPLICABLE RANGE FOR MOMENT CAPACITY EQUATION
To avoid complex solutions when solving Eq. (30), the expressions
under the square root must be positive, which gives the theoretical
range for the pressure to:
2 2
1
1
1
1

l
p
p
( 0 )
where the ultimate pressure pl depends on the load condition and
on the ratio between the limit force and the limit pressure.
Since the wall thickness design is based on the operating pressure
of the pipeline, this range should not give any problems in the
design.
Given the physical limitation that the angle to the plastic neutral
axis must be between 0 and 180 degrees, the equation is valid for
the following range of longitudinal force:
( ) ( )
2
2
2
2
1 1 1 1

,
_

,
_


l l l l l
p
p
p
p
F
F
p
p
p
p

( 0 )
where the ultimate loads Fl and pl depend on the load condition and
on the ratio between the ultimate true longitudinal force Fl and
the ultimate pressure pl.
For the design of pipelines, this range is normally not going to give
any problems, but again, the range may be reduced due to the
question of fracture.
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Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
FINITE ELEMENT MODEL
This section describes how a pipe section is modelled using the
finite element method. The finite element method is a method
where a physical system, such as an engineering component or
structure, is divided into small sub regions/elements. Each element
is an essential simple unit in space for which the behaviour can be
calculated by a shape function interpolated from the nodal values of
the element. This in such a way that inter-element continuity tends
to be maintained in the assemblage. Connecting the shape functions
for each element now forms an approximating function for the
entire physical system. In the finite element formulation, the
principles of virtual work together with the established shape
functions are used to transform the differential equations of
equilibrium into algebraic equations. In a few words, the finite
element method can be defined as a Rayleigh-Ritz method in which
the approximating field is interpolated in piece wise fashion from
the degree of freedom that are nodal values of the field. The
modelled pipe section is subject to pressure, longitudinal force and
bending with the purpose of provoking structural failure of the pipe.
The deformation pattern at failure will introduce both geometrical
and material non-linearity. The non-linearity of the
buckling/collapse phenomenon makes finite element analyses
superior to analytical expressions for estimating the strength
capacity.

In order to get a reliable finite element prediction of the
buckling/collapse deformation behaviour the following factors must
be taken into account:
A proper representation of the constitutive law of the pipe
material
A proper representation of the boundary conditions
A proper application of the load sequence
The ability to address large deformations, large rotations, and
finite strains
The ability to model/describe all relevant failure modes
The material definition included in the finite element model is of
high importance, since the model is subjected to deformations long
into the elasto-plastic range. In the post-buckling phase, strain
levels between 10% and 20% are usual and the material definition
should therefore at least be governing up to this level. In the present
analyses, a Ramberg-Osgood stress-strain relationship has been
used. For this, two points on the stress-strain curve are required
along with the material Youngs modules. The two points can be
anywhere along the curve, and for the present model, Specified
Minimum Yield Strength (SMYS) associated with a strain of 0.5%
and the Specified Minimum Tensile Strength (SMTS) correspond-
ing to approximately 20% strain has been used. The material yield
limit has been defined as approximately 80% of SMYS.
The advantage in using SMYS and SMTS instead of a stress-strain
curve obtained from a specific test is that the statistical uncertainty
in the material stress-strain relation is accounted for. It is thereby
ensured that the stress-strain curve used in a finite element analysis
in general will be more conservative than that from a specific
laboratory test.
To reduce computing time, symmetry of the problem has been used
to reduce the finite element model to one-quarter of a pipe section,
see Figure 4. The length of the model is two times the pipe
diameter, which in general will be sufficient to catch all
buckling/collapse failure modes.
The general-purpose shell element used in the present model ac-
counts for finite membrane strains and allows for changes in shell
thickness, which makes it suitable for large-strain analysis. The ele-
ment definition allows for transverse shear deformation and uses
thick shell theory when the shell thickness increases and discrete
Kirchoff thin shell theory as the thickness decreases.
Figure 4 shows an example of a buckled/collapsed finite element
model representing an initial perfect pipe subjected to pure bending.
Figure 4: Model example of buckled/collapsed pipe section.
For a further discussion and verification of the used finite element
model, see Bai et al (1993), Mohareb et al (1994), Bruschi et al
(1995) and Hauch & Bai (1998).
ANALYTICAL SOLUTION VERSUS FINITE ELEMENT
RESULTS
In the following, the above-presented equations are compared with
results obtained from finite element analyses. First are the capacity
equations for pipes subjected to single loads compared with finite
element results for a D/t ratio from 10 to 60. Secondly the moment
capacity equations for combined longitudinal force, pressure and
bending are compared against finite element results.
STRENGTH CAPACITY OF PIPES SUBJECTED TO SINGLE LOADS
As a verification of the finite element model, the strength capacities
for single loads obtained from finite element analyses are compared
against the verified analytical expressions described in the previous
sections of this paper. The strength capacity has been compared for
a large range of diameter over wall thickness to demonstrate the
finite element models capability to catch the right failure mode
independently of the D/t ratio.
For all analyses presented in this paper, the average pipe diameter
is 0.5088m, SMYS = 450 MPa and SMTS = 530 MPa. In Figure 5
the bending moment capacity found from finite element analysis
has been compared against the bending moment capacity equation,
Eq. (1). In Figure 6 the limit tensile longitudinal force Eq. (7), in
Figure 7 the collapse pressure Eq. (2, 5) and in Figure 8 the
bursting pressure Eq. (6) are compared against finite element
results. The good agreement presented in figure 5-8 between finite
element results and analytical solutions generally accepted by the
OMAE99, PL-99-5033 Hauch & Bai 7
Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
industry, gives good reasons to expect that the finite element model
also give reliable predictions for combined loads.
10 20 30 40 50 60
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
x 10
6
Diameter Over Wall Thickness
U
l
t
i
m
a
t
e

M
o
m
e
n
t

C
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
X = FE results
___
= Analytical
Figure 5: Moment capacity as a function of diameter over wall
thickness for a pipe subjected to pure bending.
10 20 30 40 50 60
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
x 10
7
Diameter Over Wall Thickness
U
l
t
i
m
a
t
e

T
r
u
e

L
o
n
g
i
t
u
d
i
n
a
l

F
o
r
c
e
X
= FE results
___
= Analytical
Figure 6: Limit longitudinal force as a function of diameter over
wall thickness for a pipe subjected to pure tensile force.
10 20 30 40 50 60
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
x 10
7
Diameter Over Wall Thickness
C
o
l
l
a
p
s
e

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
X = FE results
___
= Haagsma
- - - = Timoshenko
Figure 7: Collapse pressure as a function of diameter over wall
thickness for a pipe subjected to pure external overpressure. Initial
out-of-roundness f0 equal to 1.5%.
10 20 30 40 50 60
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
x 10
7
Diameter Over Wall Thickness
B
u
r
s
t

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
X = FE results
___
= Analytical
Figure 8: Bursting pressure as a function of diameter over wall
thickness for a pipe subjected to pure internal overpressure.
STRENGTH CAPACITY FOR COMBINED LOADS
For the results presented in Figures 9-14 the following pipe
dimensions have been used:
D/t = 35
fo = 1.5 %
SMYS = 450 MPa
SMTS = 530 MPa
= 1/5 for external overpressure and 2/3 for
internal overpressure
Figures 9 and 10 show the moment capacity surface given by Eq.
(31). In Figure 9, the moment capacity surface is seen from the
external pressure, compressive longitudinal force side and in Figure
10 it is seen from above. Figures 5 to 8 have demonstrated that for
single loads, the failure surface agrees well with finite element
analyses for a large D/t range. To demonstrate that Eq. (31) also
agrees with finite element analyses for combined loads, the failure
surface has been cut for different fixed values of longitudinal force
and pressure respectively as demonstrated in Figure 10 by the full
straight lines. The cuts and respective finite element results are
shown in Figures 11 to 14. In Figure 11 the moment capacity is
plotted as a function of pressure. The limit pressure for external
overpressure is given by Haagsmas collapse equation Eq. (5) and
the limit pressure for internal overpressure by the bursting pressure
Eq. (6). For the non-pressurised pipe, the moment capacity is given
by Eq. (1). In Figure 12, the moment capacity is plotted as a
function of longitudinal force. The limit force has been given by
Eq. (7) and (8). For a given water depth, the external pressure will
be approximately constant, while the axial force may vary along the
pipe. Figure 13 shows the moment capacity as a function of
longitudinal force for an external overpressure equal to 0.8 times
the collapse pressure calculated by Haagsmas collapse equation
Eq. (5). Figure 14 again shows the moment capacity as a function
of longitudinal force, but this time for an internal overpressure
equal to 0.9 times the plastic buckling pressure given by Eq. (4).
Based on the results presented in Figures 11 to 14, it is concluded
that the analytically deduced moment capacity and finite element
OMAE99, PL-99-5033 Hauch & Bai 8
Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
results are in good agreement for the entire range of longitudinal
force and pressure. However, the equations tend to be a slightly
non-conservative for external pressure very close to the collapse
pressure. This is in agreement with the previous discussion about
Timoshenkos and Haagsmas collapse equations.
Figure 9: Limit bending moment surface as a function of pressure
and longitudinal force.
Figure 10: Limit bending moment surface as a function of pressure
and longitudinal force including cross sections for which
comparison between analytical solution and results from finite
element analyses has been performed.
-0.5 0 0.5 1
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
Pressure / Plastic Collapse Pressure
M
o
m
e
n
t

/

P
l
a
s
t
i
c

M
o
m
e
n
t
X = FE results
___
= Analytical
Figure 11: Normalised bending moment capacity as a function of
pressure. No longitudinal force is applied.
-1 -0.5 0 0.5 1
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
True Longitudinal Force / Ultimate True Longitudinal Force
M
o
m
e
n
t

/

P
l
a
s
t
i
c

M
o
m
e
n
t
X = FE results
___
= Analytical
Figure 12: Normalised bending moment capacity as a function of
longitudinal force. Pressure equal to zero.
-1 -0.5 0 0.5 1
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
True Longitudinal Force / Ultimate True Longitudinal Force
M
o
m
e
n
t

/

P
l
a
s
t
i
c

M
o
m
e
n
t
X = FE results
___
= Analytical
Figure 13: Normalised bending moment capacity as a function of
longitudinal force. Pressure equal to 0.8 times Haagsmas collapse
pressure Eq. (5).
-0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
True Longitudinal Force / Ultimate True Longitudinal Force
M
o
m
e
n
t

/

P
l
a
s
t
i
c

M
o
m
e
n
t
X = FE results
___
= Analytical
OMAE99, PL-99-5033 Hauch & Bai 9
Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
Figure 14: Normalised bending moment capacity as a function of
longitudinal force. Pressure equal to 0.9 times the plastic buckling
pressure Eq. (4).
USAGE/SAFETY FACTORS
The local buckling check can be separated into a check for load
controlled situations (bending moment) and one for displacement
controlled situations (strain level). When no usage/safety factors are
applied in the buckling check calculations, the two checks ought to
result in the same bending capacity. In design though, usage/safety
factors are introduced to account for modelling and input
uncertainties. The reduction in bending capacity introduced by the
usage factors will not be the same for load and displacement
controlled situations. Due to the pipe moment versus strain
relationship, a higher allowable strength can be achieved for a
given target safety level by using a strain-based criterion than by a
moment criterion. In this paper only the allowable bending moment
criterion is given. This criterion can be used for both load and
displacement controlled situations, but may as mentioned be overly
conservative for displacement controlled situations.
The usage factor approach presented in this paper is based on
shrinking the failure surface shown in Figures 9 and 10. Instead of
representing the bending moment capacity, the surface is scaled to
represent the maximum allowable bending moment associated with
a given target safety level. The shape of the failure surface given
Eq. (30) is dictated by four parameters; the plastic moment Mp, the
limit longitudinal force Fl, the limit pressure Pl and the strength
anisotropy factor . To shrink the failure surface usage factors are
applied to the plastic moment, longitudinal limit force and the limit
pressure respectively. The usage factors are functions of modelling,
geometrical and material uncertainties and will therefore vary for
the three capacity parameters. In general, the variation will be small
and for simplification purposes, the most conservative usage factor
may be applied to all capacity loads. The strength anisotropy factor
is a function of the longitudinal limit force and the limit pressure,
but for simplicity, no usage factor has been applied to this
parameter. The modelling uncertainty is highly connected to the use
of the equation. In the SUPERB (1996) project, the use of the
moment criteria is divided into four unlike scenarios; 1) pipelines
resting on uneven seabed, 2) pressure test condition, 3) continuous
stiff supported pipe and 4) all other scenarios. To account for the
variation in modelling uncertainty, a condition load factor C is
applied to the plastic moment and the limit longitudinal force. The
pressure, which is a function of internal pressure and water depth,
will not be subjected to the same model uncertainty and the
condition load factor will be close to one and is presently ignored.
Based on the above discussion, the maximum allowable bending
moment may be expressed as:
( )
( )
( )

,
_

,
_

,
_


2
2
2
2
,
1 1
2
cos 1 1
l RP
l RP l RF
c
l RP
p
c
RM
p F Allowable
p
p
p
p
F
F
p
p
M M

( 0 )
where
MAllowable = Allowable bending moment
C = Condition load factor
R = Strength usage factors
The usage/safety factor methodology used in Eq. (33) ensures that
the safety levels are uniformly maintained for all load combina-
tions.
In the following guideline for bending strength calculations, the
suggested condition load factor is in accordance with the results
presented in the SUPERB (1996) report, later used in DNV (2000).
The strength usage factors RM, RF and RP are based on
comparison with existing codes and the engineering experience of
the authors.
GUIDELINE FOR BENDING STRENGTH CALCULATIONS
LOCAL BUCKLING:
For pipelines subjected to combined pressure, longitudinal force
and bending, local buckling may occur. The failure mode may be
yielding of the cross section or buckling on the compressive side
of the pipe. The criteria given in this guideline may be used to
calculate the maximum allowable bending moment for a given
scenario. It shall be noted that the maximum allowable bending
moment given in this guideline does not take fracture into
account and that fracture criteria therefore may reduce the
bending capacity of the pipe. This particularly applies for high-
tension / high internal pressure load conditions.
LOAD VERSUS DISPLACEMENT CONTROLLED SITUATIONS:
The local buckling check can be separated into a check for load
controlled situations (bending moment) and one for displacement
controlled situations (strain level). Due to the relation between
applied bending moment and maximum strain in pipes, a higher
allowable strength for a given target safety level can be achieved
by using a strain-based criterion rather than a bending moment
criterion. The bending moment criterion can due to this,
conservatively be used for both load and displacement controlled
situations. In this guideline only the bending moment criterion is
given.
LOCAL BUCKLING AND ACCUMULATED OUT-OF-ROUNDNESS:
Increased out-of-roundness due to installation and cyclic
operating loads may aggravate local buckling and is to be
considered. It is recommended that out-of-roundness, due to
through life loads, be simulated using e.g. finite element analysis.
MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE BENDING MOMENT:
The allowable bending moment for local buckling under load
controlled situations can be expressed as:
( )
( )
( )

,
_

,
_

,
_


2
2
2
2
,
1 1
2
cos 1 1
l RP
l RP l RF
c
l RP
p
c
RM
p F Allowable
p
p
p
p
F
F
p
p
M M

where
MAllowable = Allowable bending moment
Mp = Plastic moment
pl = Limit pressure
p = Pressure acting on the pipe
OMAE99, PL-99-5033 Hauch & Bai 10
Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
Fl = Limit longitudinal force
F = Longitudinal force acting on the pipe
= Strength anisotropy factor
C = Condition load factor
R = Strength usage factor
STRENGTH ANISOTROPY FACTOR:
l
c
F
p D

4
2

for external overpressure


l
b
F
p D

4
2

for internal overpressure


If possible, the strength anisotropy factor should be verified by
finite element analyses.
PLASTIC (LIMIT) MOMENT:
The limit moment may be given as:
( )
t D SMYS
t
D
M
P F C

,
_



2
0 , 0
0015 . 0 05 . 1
where
SMYS = Specified Minimum Yield Strength in
longitudinal direction
D = Average diameter
t = Wall thickness
LIMIT LONGITUDINAL FORCE FOR COMPRESSION AND TENSION:
The limit longitudinal force may be estimated as:
( ) A SMTS SMYS F
l
+ 5 . 0
where
A = Cross sectional area, which may be
calculated as D t.
SMYS = Specified Minimum Yield Strength in
longitudinal direction
SMTS = Specified Minimum Tensile Strength in
longitudinal direction
LIMIT PRESSURE FOR EXTERNAL OVERPRESSURE CONDITION:
The limit external pressure pl is to be calculated based on:
0
2
0
2 2 3
+
,
_

+
p el l p el p l el l
p p p
t
D
f p p p p p p
where
pel =
3
2
) 1 (
2

,
_

D
t E

pp =
D
t
SMYS
fab
2

1)
f0 = Initial out-of-roundness
2)
, (Dmax-Dmin)/D
SMYS = Specified Minimum Yield Strength in hoop
direction
E = Youngs Module
= Poissons ratio
Guidance note:
1)
fab is 0.925 for pipes fabricated by the UO precess, 0.85 for
pipes fabricated by the UOE process and 1 for seamless or
annealed pipes.
2)
Out-of-roundness caused during the construction phase and
due to cyclic loading is to be included, but not flattening due
to external water pressure or bending in as-laid position.
LIMIT PRESSURE FOR INTERNAL OVERPRESSURE CONDITION:
The limit pressure will be equal to the bursting pressure and may
be taken as:
( )
D
t
SMYS SMTS p
l
2
5 . 0 +
where
SMYS = Specified Minimum Yield Strength in hoop
direction
SMTS = Specified Minimum Tensile Strength in hoop
direction
LOAD AND USAGE FACTORS:
Load factor C and usage factor R are listed in Table 1.
Table 1: Load and usage factors.
Safety Classes
Safety factors
Low Normal High
C
Uneven seabed 1.07 1.07 1.07
Pressure test 0.93 0.93 0.93
Stiff supported 0.82 0.82 0.82
Otherwise 1.00 1.00 1.00
RP
Pressure 0.95 0.93 0.90
RF
Longitudinal force 0.90 0.85 0.80
RM
Moment 0.80 0.73 0.65
Guidance notes:
- Load Condition Factors may be combined e.g. Load
Condition Factor for pressure test of pipelines resting on
uneven seabed, 1.07 0.93 = 1.00
- Safety class is low for temporary phases. For the operating
phase, safety class is normal and high for area classified as
zone 1 and zone 2 respectively.
CONCLUSIONS
The moment capacity equations in the existing codes are for some
load conditions overly conservative and for others non-
conservative. This paper presents a new set of design equations that
are accurate and simple. The derived analytical equations have been
based on the mechanism of failure modes and have been
extensively compared with finite element results. The use of safety
factors has been simplified compared with existing codes and the
target safety levels are in accordance with DNV (2000), ISO (1998)
and API (1998). The applied safety factor methodology ensures that
the target safety levels are uniformly maintained for all load
combinations. It is the hope of the authors that this paper will help
engineers in their aim to design safer and more cost-effective pipes.
It is recommended that the strength anisotropy factor be
investigated in more detail.
OMAE99, PL-99-5033 Hauch & Bai 11
Offshore Mechanical and Arctic Engineering, July 11-16, 1999
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The authors acknowledge their earlier employer formerly J P
Kenny A/S now ABB Pipeline and Riser Section for their support
and understanding without which this paper would not have been
possible.
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OMAE99, PL-99-5033 Hauch & Bai 12