Skip to Main Content


An irrigation pipe made of medium-density PE failed during service. This pipe was subjected to severe cyclic-bending strain of the order of 6% while under tensile stress of approximately 6.9 MPa (1000 psi) and a hoop stress of approximately 6.2 MPa (900 psi), far more stringent conditions than those encountered in most applications of PE pipes. Visual inspection and reflected-light optical micrographs were used to plot bandwidth as a function of crack length. The conclusion was that, contrary to the dominant belief that pipe failure initiates from surface defects, a critical size flaw within the pipe wall can also initiate failure as it did in this case. Recommendations included that similarity criteria should be established between the fracture behavior of a component in service and that observed in the laboratory.

You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Don't already have an account? Register

2019. "Failure of an Irrigation Pipe", ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Construction, Mining, and Agricultural Equipment

Download citation file:

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal