Probabilistic failure analysis of underground flexible pipes

  • Tee, Kong Fah ;
  • Khan, Lutfor Rahman ;
  • Chen, Hua-Peng
  • Received : 2012.08.24
  • Accepted : 2013.07.03
  • Published : 2013.07.25


Methods for estimating structural reliability using probability ideas are well established. When the residual ultimate strength of a buried pipeline is exceeded the limit, breakage becomes imminent and the overall reliability of the pipe distribution network is reduced. This paper is concerned with estimating structural failure of underground flexible pipes due to corrosion induced excessive deflection, buckling, wall thrust and bending stress subject to externally applied loading. With changes of pipe wall thickness due to corrosion, the moment of inertia and the cross-sectional area of pipe wall are directly changed with time. Consequently, the chance of survival or the reliability of the pipe material is decreased over time. One numerical example has been presented for a buried steel pipe to predict the probability of failure using Hasofer-Lind and Rackwitz-Fiessler algorithm and Monte Carlo simulation. Then the parametric study and sensitivity analysis have been conducted on the reliability of pipeline with different influencing factors, e.g. pipe thickness, diameter, backfill height etc.


probability of failure;flexible pipes;Hasofer-Lind and Rackwitz-Fiessler algorithm;Monte Carlo simulation;deflection;buckling;wall thrust;bending stress


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