Analysis of failure initiation in corroded cast iron pipes under cyclic loading due to formation of through-wall cracks

Rui Jiang, Suranji Rathnayaka, Benjamin Shannon, Xiao Ling Zhao, Jian Ji, Jayantha Kodikara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The major factors contributing for the longitudinal failures in large-diameter cast iron water pipes are identified as corrosion and internal water pressure. Evidence of deteriorating pipeline integrity due to fluctuations of internal pressure loading was reported. This study aims to investigate the fatigue resistance of cast iron pipes and to identify the pipes in a water network that are at high risks of fatigue damage. Stress-controlled fatigue tests were conducted on coupons prepared from exhumed cast iron pipes. A correlation between tensile fatigue stress and cycles to failure was developed based on experimental results. A methodology was proposed to identify critical factors for initiating a through-wall crack in cast iron water pipe considering the impact of fatigue. A sensitivity analysis was conducted with relevant factors, and the relative impact of those factors to cause a premature failure was assessed. The operating pressures and stress ratios caused by pressure transients and long-term soil corrosion rate were identified as the key contributing factors for severe fatigue damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-248
Number of pages11
JournalEngineering Failure Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • Cast iron pipe
  • Fatigue mechanism
  • Soil corrosion
  • Transient pressure
  • Water supply

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