Failure of a Gasoline Pipeline
On 9 March 2000, a gasoline pipeline failed near Greenville, TX releasing approximately 12,000 barrels of fuel. After the on-scene portion of the investigation was completed, an 8.5 ft. (2.6 m) section of the 28 in. (71 cm) diam pipe was sent to the materials laboratory for examination. Examination included optical and scanning electron microscopy of the fracture surfaces and metallographic examination of cross sections through the fracture surface. From the outer to inner edge of the fracture surface, three different areas were observed. Fracture features in area 1 were obliterated by corrosion. The fracture features in region 2 were relatively smooth, and striations were observed, typical of fatigue. In region 3, dimple features were observed, typical of ductile overstress. Also, corrosion pits were observed on the outer surface of the pipe section in locations where the protective black tar-like coating was cracked.
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