Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 223–230 | Cite as

Determination of the Failure Mode and the Rupture Pressure in a Mechanically Damaged Pipeline

  • B. A. James
  • R. A. Sire
  • R. D. Caligiuri
Case History---Peer-Reviewed


The following case study outlines metallurgical, finite element, and fracture mechanics analyses conducted to determine the cause of a pipeline rupture that resulted from prior external damage. Metallurgical and fractographic analyses indicated that the rupture initiated from a shear crack caused by mechanical damage, and that the fracture mode was overload; no indication of progressive growth was observed. Stress and fracture mechanics analysis indicated that the pipe ruptured at a pressure below the maximum allowable operating pressure.


Failure analysis Fracture mechanics Fractography Pipe burst 


  1. 1.
    Maxey, W.A.: Technol. Oil Gas J., 15, 41–50 (1987)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    API 5LX: High-Test Line Pipe. American Petroleum Institute (1963)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    ASTM E1820: Standard Test Method for Measurement of Fracture Toughness. ASTM (2001)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Exponent Failure Analysis AssociatesMenlo ParkUSA

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