Parametric finite element model for spiral welded pipes sections loaded in tension

  • Koen Van Minnebruggen
  • Philippe Thibaux
  • Jeroen Van Wittenberghe
  • Rudi Denys
  • Wim De Waele



Spiral welded pipes gain interest for oil and gas transportation in strain based design projects. Here, the structural response of the pipe with an environmentally imposed global plastic strain is of critical importance. However, a current lack of knowledge about the structural response of a spiral welded pipeline hinders the application in a strain based design context. This response is not only influenced by material properties, but also by geometrical characteristics. To understand these complex phenomena, finite element simulations can be considered. The finite element models need to incorporate all important factors to obtain a representative analysis. This paper describes the approach and structure used to develop such model. To obtain a high degree of automation and flexibility, the authors have developed a parametric script that allows creating a three dimensional curved wide plate test geometry taken from a spiral welded pipe.

The model allows to modify pipe geometry, weld and heat affected zone geometry and material properties including Hill’s 1948 yield criterion to account for anisotropic material response. Pipe geometry includes helical forming angle, diameter, pipe profile and wall thickness with possible thickness variations. Weld and heat affected zone geometry include geometrical weld reinforcement of root and/or cap, fusion line profile and misalignment. A flaw, with variable size, is introduced in the weld metal or heat affected zone. To obtain an accurate description of the actual geometry, coordinate transformation schemes are incorporated that start from a flat plate with a simplified girth weld geometry. It is concluded that the proposed model is ready for use with a good view on mesh quality and output accuracy.

Keywords: Finite Element Modeling, Spiral Welded Pipe, Curved Wide Plate

How to Cite:

Van Minnebruggen, K., Thibaux, P., Van Wittenberghe, J., Denys, R. & De Waele, W., (2013) “Parametric finite element model for spiral welded pipes sections loaded in tension”, International Journal of Sustainable Construction and Design 4(1). doi:

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Published on
27 Mar 2013
Peer Reviewed