Numerical Study of the Failure in Elbow Components of Buried Pipelines under Fault Movement

Document Type : Research Papers


1 Ph.D., School of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, School of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Faults have large impact on the mechanical behavior of soil in pipeline’s construction. These pipelines have been embedded to supply vital resources such as water, oil, and gas for consumers. To prevent damage, it is highly recommended not to construct pipelines around active faults. However, it is generally inevitable to cross the fault due to wide extension of pipelines. In this paper, a numerical analysis and parametric study on an underground water pipeline in Tehran, Iran, under the fault-induced displacement is presented. It is important to note that the main focus of this study is on elbow components which are the most critical sections in pipeline systems. The effects of crossing angle, distance to elbow and various soil properties on the elbow response are investigated. It is aimed at finding a safe regulation to embed pipelines with the lowest level of risk expected in elbow components after fault movement. The results show that the elbow component does not suffer serious damage when the crossing angle is 90°, provided they are not located in the close vicinity of the fault rupture surface. However, when the crossing angle decreases to 60 and 45 degrees, these components are much more vulnerable.


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