Steel pipes in different engineering applications may fail, leading to numerous environmental disasters. During loading, certain mechanical and chemical phenomena develop inside the pipes and cause them to burst. In this study, the influence of internal pressure on the elastic and plastic behaviour of E355 steel pipes was investigated on small specimens with different wall thicknesses. First, the failure modes of pipes subjected to monotonic loading were assessed, and then the behaviour of specimens subjected to cyclic internal pressure was analysed in terms of variation of radial strain. The strain and stress states of pipes were analysed using the finite element method. The results revealed that the hardening of materials inside the pipes increases the risk of cracking and bursting because of elasticity limits being exceeded, causing item into the plastic domain. The transition of mechanical behaviour can be observed in the microstructure of steel in cracked areas from the inside to the outside of the pipe.