Research Papers: Pipeline Systems

Electrochemical Corrosion Finite Element Analysis and Burst Pressure Prediction of Externally Corroded Underground Gas Transmission Pipelines

[+] Author and Article Information
Ibrahim M. Gadala

Department of Materials Engineering,
The University of British Columbia,
309-6350 Stores Road,
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada

Magd Abdel Wahab

Division of Computational Mechanics,
Ton Duc Thang University,
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam;
Faculty of Civil Engineering,
Ton Duc Thang University,
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam;
Soete Laboratory,
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture,
Ghent University,
Technologiepark Zwijnaarde 903,
Zwijnaarde B-9052, Belgium
e-mails: magd.abdelwahab@tdt.edu.vn; magd.abdelwahab@ugent.be

Akram Alfantazi

Department of Materials Engineering,
The University of British Columbia,
309-6350 Stores Road,
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada;
Department of Chemical Engineering,
The Petroleum Institute,
P.O. Box 2533,
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received November 1, 2016; final manuscript received September 18, 2017; published online December 4, 2017. Editor: Young W. Kwon.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 140(1), 011701 (Dec 04, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: PVT-16-1207; doi: 10.1115/1.4038224 History: Received November 01, 2016; Revised September 18, 2017

An integrative numerical simulation approach for pipeline integrity analysis is presented in this work, combining a corrosion model, which is the main focus of this paper, with a complementary structural nonlinear stress analysis, using the finite element method (FEM). Potential distributions in the trapped water existing beneath pipeline coating disbondments are modeled in conjunction with reaction kinetics on the corroding exposed steel surface using a moving boundary mesh. Temperature dependencies (25 °C and 50 °C) of reaction kinetics do not greatly affect final corrosion defect geometries after 3-yr simulation periods. Conversely, cathodic protection (CP) levels and pH dependencies within the near-neutral pH range (6.7–8.5) strongly govern depth profiles caused by corrosion, reaching a maximum of ∼3 mm into the pipeline wall. A 0.25 V amplification of CP potential combined with a 0.5 mm widening in disbondment opening size reduces defect penetration by almost 30%. Resulting corrosion defect geometries are used for stress examinations and burst pressure evaluations. Furthermore, nonlinear elastic–plastic stress analysis is carried out using shell elements in order to predict the burst pressure of corroded pipes. Corrosion is modeled by reducing the stiffness of a damaged element that has the dimensions of the defect. The predicted burst pressures are in good agreement with those obtained using an experimental-based formula.

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Fig. 1

(a) 3D representation of steel pipeline buried 1 m below ground surface; (b) 2D cross section of pipeline in longitudinal plane with coating defect (zoomed section), dimensions, and mesh of trapped water region

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Fig. 2

Intact pipe finite element shell model for stress analysis

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Fig. 3

Dimensions of corrosion defect [4]

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Fig. 4

Modeling of corrosion defect in the shell model

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Fig. 5

Polarization profiles of X100 specimen immersed in different temperature and %CO2 environments, obtained through electrochemical corrosion experiments: (a) LPR fitting results at potentials < OCP; (b) cathodic regime of PDP results, with regression fits; and (c) anodic regime of PDP results

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Fig. 6

Timeline of corrosion defect shape growth on exposed steel surface and φ evolution throughout the exposure, for Eapp = −1 VSCE, 1 mm coating disbondment opening, and Twall = 25 °C

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Fig. 7

Length of corrosion defect (ldefect) (cm) along exposed steel surface and x-position of ddefect_max (maximum defect depth) (cm) reached during 0–150 weeks of exposure, for all Eapp, coating disbondment opening, and Twall values simulated: (a) illustration of plotted parameters, (b) ldefect for Twall = 25 °C, (c) ldefect for Twall = 50 °C, (d) x-position of ddefect_max for Twall = 25 °C, and (e) x-position of ddefect_max for Twall = 50 °C

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Fig. 8

Maximum depth (mm) of corrosion defect (ddefect_max) below original steel surface from 0 to 150 weeks of exposure, for all Eapp, coating disbondment opening, and Twall values simulated: (a) Twall = 25 °C and (b) Twall = 50 °C

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Fig. 9

Convergence profiles of interfacial surface-electrolyte potential parameter (Es) averaged over full length of exposed steel surface (Es_average), for coarse, normal, and fine mesh resolutions




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