Rapid Crack Propagation (RCP)

RCP (Rapid Crack Propagation) refers to a rare but significant catastrophic pipe failure mode that results in a rapidly progressing crack (typically >300 ft/sec) when a pressurized pipeline is subjected to a sudden or intense impact. RCP can also be the result of a pre-existing flaw or crack in the pipe. RCP can occur in most piping materials including steel and PVC pipes. RCP is generally of greater concern in piping systems that are used to convey compressed gasses. The rapid energy dissipation from a compressed gas provides the energy required to sustain crack growth.