A safety advisory (2010-01), issued by the National Energy Board (NEB) in June 2010, referenced two incidents which were a result of a fatigue crack failure that occurred within shallow dents [1]. The dents in both instances were less than 6% (of the OD). Currently, there is no consensus on how shallow dents or shallow dents with stress concentrators, as called by the ILI tool, are assessed and acted upon.

BMT Canada Ltd. (BMT) was contracted by the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) to develop a definition for shallow dents, and two levels of screening method for the integrity assessment of shallow restrained dents and unrestrained dents. These two levels are known as CEPA Level 0 and CEPA Level 0.5 dent integrity assessment techniques that may be applied without finite element modelling or detailed calculations. The BMT dent assessment finite element (FE) modeling method was used to develop an extensive database of dents for different pipe geometries (OD/t), indenter shapes, pipe grades, and indentation depths. The results of the FE modelling were used to develop trends for the stress magnification factors (KM) across the range of pipes and dents modelled. These trends are used as the basis for the Level 0 and Level 0.5 dent screening and assessment approaches that can be used for both unrestrained dents and shallow restrained dents. The results show that for low OD/t pipe geometry and/or low spectrum severity indicator (SSI) [2] dent fatigue life may not pose an integrity threat.

These dent screening approached have been adopted in the API Recommended Practice 1183 Dent Assessment and Management, that is currently under development.

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