Problems of premature breakage or failure may be encountered with composite pipelines used in the transportation of oil and gas products due to the manner in which these lines are laid or installed, especially in cases where the lines traverse long distances with rapidly varying topograghy over which considerable twisting and bending of the pipelines may occur. To overcome such problems, an analytical model is developed herein for determining the optimal spacings between successive supports of a transporting composite pipeline which would be effective in eliminating or minimizing the risk of failure or breakage of the line and at the same time substantially reducing the costs involved in excessive conservatism in existing specifications for this purpose. These dual benefits can be achieved through design specification on pipeline support spacing proposed in this paper which is simple and easy to use by pipeline operators and oil and gas exporting countries.
Key words: Pipelines, oil and gas, composite material, optimal support spacing, cylindrical shell theory, analytical solution, Excel calculations.
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