Acta Mechanica Sinica

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 147-156

First online:

Analysis model to simulate the cracked pipe buried in soil

  • Zhuang ZhuoAffiliated withDepartment of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University
  • , P. E. O'DonoghueAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, University College Dublin

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This paper describes the use of the finite element method to simulate crack propagation in a pipeline in the presence of soil backfill. Since typical values for soil modulus are known, a spring element can be used to simulate the effects of backfilled soil on crack propagation. This consists of the relationship between the soil property and the stiffness of the spring element, and the effect of backfill depth on the crack propagation in the pipes. By equating crack driving force,G, in the presence of soil, to the dynamic fracture toughness of the pipeline material, a theoretical predictive capability is obtained for the first time for the gas transmission and distribution pipelines. Numerical calculations have also been carried out for the cracked pipe with backfill and without backfill.

Key Words

fracture mechanics finite element simulation pipeline soil