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Wrinklebend Evaluation Study and Evaluation Tool Development
Many pipeline systems have segments with wrinkle bends that have performed as intended over time. This project seeks to improve the understanding of the factors that influence the long term durability of wrinkle bends, understanding both why the great majority of wrinkle bends are not a concern and why certain wrinkle bends need to be identified as potential problems. Based on this improved understanding the project will then incorporate these concepts into a tool that operators can use to identify those wrinkle bends of concern.
A key recent development in this project was the presentation by Stress Engineering Services, Inc. of emerging findings drawn from the analysis of wrinkle bend data on multiple pipeline systems. These findings outlined a much stronger basis for understanding the factors that influence wrinkle bend performance. Previously, the focus was primarily on the geometry of the wrinkle. The new approach relies on multiple perspectives to differentiate the relatively few areas of wrinkle bend concern from the larger population of wrinkle bends. In the months ahead the project will complete the data analysis, confirm emerging conclusions with testing and finite element analysis then draw from this research on wrinkle bend differentiation to the creation and development of a wrinkle bend risk assessment tool that can be used by operators. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the 2012.