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  Title Engineering assessment for temporary wooden pipe supports
  Author(s) Dr Diego D’Alberto, Dr Agostino Napolitano, Dr Salvatore Morgante, and Angelo Rosato  
  Abstract THE PIPELINE INDUSTRY has no uniform standard for temporary supports during onshore stringing and welding. Wooden cribbing blocks are still widely used during construction, although new products have been introduced to replace them, providing cost-effective solutions.

Since provisionally sustained pipe strings may constitute a dynamic load hazard, it is mandatory to perform an engineering assessment to select the best temporary support. Destabilizing forces on the skid supports are mainly due to the transverse deformation of the pipe string generated by the environmental thermal conditions. This differential heating results in thermal expansion, which can trigger lateral movement of pipeline sections that are initially restrained by friction between the pipe and the skids and by wedging of the installed blocks. If the stored energy exceeds the restraining capability of the skid supports, the pipeline, which is apparently in a normal position on the skids, may fall to the ground causing serious injuries or even fatalities.

This paper provides the results of a case study performed on a 48-in pipeline temporarily supported by wooden cribbing blocks, showing how a thermal gradient between the two sides of the pipe can lead to critical stability conditions of the pipe itself on the supports. A sensitivity analysis was performed to investigate the influence of pipe-string configuration, presence of bends, construction sequence, and daily sun irradiation. 3D FEM analyses were performed on the pipe and wooden skid assembly to understand failure mechanisms and to identify the most stable skid type in relation to their structural features and geometry.

The material presented should be of interest to pipeline and safety engineers seeking to understand the limitations of wooden skids, margins for improvement, and safety confidence in relation to the loads to be sustained.

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