Engineering measures for preventing upheaval buckling of buried submarine pipelines

Run Liu, Wu Gang Wang, Shu Wang Yan, Xin Li Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In-service hydrocarbons must be transported at high temperature and high pressure to ease the flow and to prevent the solidification of the wax fraction. The high temperature and high pressure will induce the additional stress in the pipeline, which results in the upheaval buckling of the pipeline. If such expansion is resisted, e.g., by the frictional effects of the foundation soil over a kilometer or of a pipeline, the compressive axial stress will be set up in the pipe-wall. When the stress exceeds the constraint of the foundation soil on the pipeline, suddenly-deforming will occur to release the internal stress, similar to the sudden deformation of the strut due to stability problems. The upheaval buckling may jeopardize the structural integrity of the pipeline. Therefore, effective engineering measures against this phenomenon play an important role in the submarine pipeline design. In terms of the pipeline installation and protection measures commonly used in Bohai Gulf, three engineering measures are investigated in great details. An analytical method is introduced and developed to consider the protection effect of the anti-upheaval buckling of the pipeline. The analysis results show that the amplitude of the initial imperfection has a great effect on the pipeline thermal upheaval buckling. Both trenching and burial and discrete dumping are effective techniques in preventing the pipeline from buckling. The initial imperfection and operation conditions of the pipelines determine the covered depth and the number of layers of the protection measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-796
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Mathematics and Mechanics (English Edition)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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