Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 193–203 | Cite as

Mechanical Analysis of Buried Polyethylene Pipelines under Ground Overload

  • Zheng Liang
  • Qin YangEmail author
  • Jie Zhang
  • Bo Zhu
Technical Article--Peer-Reviewed


Polyethylene (PE) pipelines are widely used in natural gas transmission systems in urban areas. With the acceleration of urbanization, the scale of PE natural gas pipelines has expanded rapidly. Thus, urban gas pipeline accidents caused by ground overload are inevitable. In this paper, the mechanical behavior of PE pipeline subjected to ground overload was investigated by the finite element method. PE pipe and soil were all established into a three-dimensional finite element model by using continuous solid elements. And parametric analysis was conducted to discuss the effects of pressure parameters, pipeline parameters and soil parameters on PE pipe’s mechanical response. The numerical simulation results indicated that the main failure form of buried PE pipe subjected to ground overload is ovalization deformation. With the increase in ground load, the ovalization deformation of the pipeline increases gradually and the maximum stress point of the pipe is transferred from the top (bottom) of the pipe to the midsection of the pipe. The buried depth of pipe, the wall thickness of pipe, internal pressure and backfill type play a great role. Within a reasonable range, it will be safer if the pipe has greater wall thickness, buried depth and internal pressure. Meanwhile, the high soil’s elasticity modulus and Poisson ratio backfill type are more conducive to the safety of buried PE pipelines.


Buried PE pipeline Ground overload Mechanical behavior Numerical simulation 



  1. 1.
    J. Li, H. Zhang, Y.S. Han et al., Study on failure of third-party damage for urban gas pipeline based on fuzzy comprehensive evaluation. PLoS ONE 11(11), e0166472 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. Zhang, Z. Liang, G. Zhao, Mechanical behaviour analysis of a buried steel pipeline under ground overload. Eng. Fail. Anal. 63, 131–145 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    X. Liu et al., Mechanical response of buried polyethylene pipelines under excavation load during pavement construction. Eng. Fail. Anal. 90, 355–370 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    T. Xu et al., Dynamic response of buried gas pipeline under excavator loading: Experimental/numerical study. Eng. Fail. Anal. 89, 57–73 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    X. Luo et al., Finite element analysis of buried polyethylene pipe subjected to seismic landslide. J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 136, 0318013 (2014)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Zhang, Z. Liang, C. Han, Numerical simulation of pipeline deformation caused by rockfall impact. Sci. World J. 2014, 161898 (2014)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J.Y. Zheng et al., Failure analysis and safety evaluation of buried pipeline due to deflection of landslide process. Eng. Fail. Anal. 25, 156–168 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    G. Banushi, N. Squeglia, K. Thiele, Innovative analysis of a buried operating pipeline subjected to strike-slip fault movement. Soil Dyn. Earthq. Eng. 107, 234–249 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    M.T. Suleiman, B.J. Coree, Constitutive model for high density polyethylene material: systematic approach. J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 11(12), 511–515 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    J. Zhang, Z. Liang, C.J. Han, Finite element analysis of wrinkling of buried pressure pipeline under strike-slip fault. Mechanika 21(3), 180–186 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    R. Hill, On discontinuous plastic states, with special reference to localized necking in thin sheets. J. Mech. Phys. Solids 1(1), 19–30 (1952)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechatronic EngineeringSouthwest Petroleum UniversityChengduChina

Personalised recommendations