Kiefner & Associates Inc.

CEPA Surface Loading – Tools

Kiefner’s CEPA Surface Loading Calculator Overview

The safety and sustainability of pipelines when subjected to external stresses is a primary concern in the industry. Surface loads, especially those from vehicles, can potentially cause stresses that compromise the pipeline’s structural integrity.


Kiefner’s CEPA Surface Loading Calculator is an innovative solution designed to quantify the stresses experienced by a buried pipeline when a vehicle passes overhead. By leveraging inputs like gross vehicle weight, size of the vehicle’s ground contact area, and pipeline’s depth of cover, it determines the pressure exerted on the pipeline and, subsequently, the circumferential and longitudinal stresses in the pipe. It amalgamates these stresses with the operational stresses to determine the total equivalent stress on the pipeline.

Vehicle Types Supported:

The program has been pre-loaded to handle:

  • 2-Axle, 4-Wheel vehicle (Accessible via the “Wheel Vehicle INPUT” tab)
  • 3-Axle, 6-Wheel vehicle (Available under the “Wheel Vehicle 3-Axle INPUT” tab)
  • Track vehicles (Found in the “Track INPUT” tab)

Additionally, for unique scenarios, the software can analyze custom vehicle types where users input a specific array representing the vehicle’s footprint or surface load, available under the “Grid INPUT” tab.

Results Output:

  • Location of Maximum Load: This section on the results tab informs users where the maximum stress point is.
  • Calculated Stress Data:
    • Hoop Stress: Includes components such as stress due to Maximum Operating Pressure (MOP) and live loads at both zero pressure and MOP. It also provides percentage calculations against Specified Minimum Yield Strength (SMYS).
    • Longitudinal Stress: Details the components of longitudinal stress due to live loads at both zero pressure and MOP, and offers percentage calculations against SMYS.
    • Equivalent Stress: Provides insights into equivalent stresses and their percentages relative to SMYS at both zero pressure and MOP.
  • Pass/Fail Analysis: An essential segment that compares calculated stresses against the stipulated stress limits in the selected pipeline regulatory code, denoting whether they pass or fail the standards.

The CEPA Surface Loading Calculator by Kiefner ensures that pipeline operations have a clear, comprehensive understanding of potential stress points, aiding in preemptive measures and maintenance, thereby ensuring longevity and safety. For more information on applying CEPA Surface Loading Calculator to your next project, please contact us at [email protected].

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