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SRA and Hydrogen Re-Purposing

Structural Reliability Analysis (SRA) is fundamental to re-purposing existing pipelines for transporting hydrogen

One of the first successful applications of SRA in the UK gas industry provided the justification for operating several sections of onshore gas transmission pipelines at design factors of greater than 0.72. Dr Andrew Francis who brought the approach from the Nuclear Industry to the UK Gas Industry was the first recipient of the prestigious Engineer of the Year Award from the UK gas industry in 1998 for his development and application of SRA techniques which were crucial to the success of the first uprating projects in the UK.


The Future

In light of the above, AFAA are updating this approach for projects looking at re-purposing existing pipelines for the transportation of Hydrogen. Naturally, we are following the guidelines in IGEM/TD/1 Edition 6 Supplement 2 and we are giving attention to the appearance of existing failure causes affected by hydrogen embrittlement (HE) and loss of ductility and new failure causes due to the effect of hydrogen.

Our approach incorporates machine learning techniques, which we have used previously on Direct Assessment projects and these are crucial to the success of the hydrogen re-purposing owing to the need to update and take account of new information as it arises in a systematic and structured fashion. 


AFAA have successfully developed and implemented SRA techniques to the following projects:

  • Pipeline Uprating

  • Direct Assessment of Un-Piggable Pipelines

    • This incorporated a machine learning approach in 2006

  • Above Ground Installation Uprating

  • Pipeline Weld Integrity Associated With Landslip And Ground Movement

  • Life Extension

  • Optimisation of In-Line Inspection Intervals

  • Development of robust guidelines to the Canadian Pipeline Regulator to assist them in reviewing safety submissions using SRA techniques in their design submissions

AFAA have authored numerous papers on the above topics and have also created software for assessing the different failure causes, such as those due to corrosion, fracture and fatigue and third party damage.

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