A quantitative understanding of hierarchical evolution of microstructure is essential in order to design the base chemistry and optimize rolling schedules to obtain the morphological microstructure coupled with high density and dispersion of crystallographic high angle boundaries to achieve the target strength and fracture properties in higher grade line pipe steels, microalloyed with niobium. Product-process integration has been the key concept underlying the development of niobium microalloyed line pipe steel technology over the years. The development of HTP technology based on 0.1 wt % Nb and low interstitial was predicated by advances in process metallurgy to control interstitial elements to low levels (C <0.03wt% and N< 0.003wt%), sulfur to ultra-low levels (S<20ppm), as well as in product metallurgy based on advances in basic science aspects of thermo-mechanical rolling and phase transformation of pancaked austenite under accelerated cooling conditions, and toughness properties of heat affected zones in welding of niobium microalloyed line pipes. A historical perspective/technological overview of evolution of HTP for line pipe applications is the focus of this paper in order to highlight the key metallurgical concepts underlying Nb microalloying technology which have paved the way for successful development of higher grade line pipe steels over the years.

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