A significant amount of research and development (R&D) has been carried out on the mechanism of the stress corrosion cracking (SCC) of underground pipelines since the phenomenon was first recognized in the 1960’s. This R&D has taken the form of both laboratory-based experimental investigations and the direct measurements and observations of SCC on operating pipeline systems. Correlation of these data sets may be useful for predicting the occurrence and severity of SCC in the field. An effort is underway, co-funded by Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI), the US DOT, and pipeline companies, to consolidate the results of these various studies in the form of a set of guidelines that will assist companies in locating SCC on their systems, establishing the frequency of inspection intervals, and predicting the need for and timing for mitigation.
The guidelines are being developed along mechanistic lines, and are broken down into four “stages” or “modules” representing: susceptibility to SCC, crack initiation, early-stage growth and dormancy, and crack growth to failure. A key component of the work is the validation of the guidelines developed from the R&D literature against field data.
This interim report on the work describes the format of the guidelines and the progress made to date in developing guidelines and validating them against field data. Ultimately, it is hoped that these guidelines will be used in future revisions of the NACE SCC DA Recommended Practice RP-0204.