Document Type : Research Article
Golder Associates Ltd, Montreal, Canada
Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company
Natural gas transmission pipelines transport the natural gas at elevated temperature and high internal pressure. The pipelines will expand when they are put into operation under the influence of increased internal pressure and temperature. The movement due to such expansion is significant for large diameter pipelines which operate at high pressure and elevated temperature. The pipeline needs to be restrained near compressor stations in order to prevent the transmission of such movement to equipment and facilities within the station. Concrete anchor blocks are commonly used to restrain the movement of buried pipelines on both sides of compressor stations. Anchor blocks for transmission pipelines are usually massive because of the high axial stress in the pipe which results in large thrust force. Current design procedures are usually based on providing an adequate margin of safety against block sliding, block overturning and soil bearing pressure. This paper presents the results of an analytical study on the response of soil, pipeline and anchor block at different operating pressure and temperatures. Nonlinear finite element analyses which include modeling of soil-pipe and soil-block interactions are carried out to evaluate the design procedures. The results indicate that the concept used in current design procedures is fundamentally flawed because it is based on controlling forces rather displacements. Based on the results of these analyses a more rational design procedure which is based on controlling the displacements is introduced. The proposed design procedure results in a substantial reduction of the size of anchor blocks.