Stress corrosion cracking (SCC), a form of environment-assisted cracking, has caused 24 major pipeline failures in the Canadian oil and gas pipeline system. The role of stress in the SCC of linepipe steels in near-neutral pH environment, as in other SCC systems, is complex. In this paper, the effects of stress on the development of both axial cracking and circumferential cracking are reviewed. The long-term beneficial effect of compressive stress introduced by hydrostatic testing is also discussed.
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