To reduce the cost of long distance gas transmission, high strength pipeline steels are being developed. Implementation of high strength pipeline materials requires the avoidance of hydrogen cracking during field girth welding. A study of hydrogen cracking in X120 girth welds has been conducted. Cracking resistance of both the weld metal and heat affected zone (HAZ) were investigated. The laboratory tests included the controlled thermal severity (CTS) test, the WIC test and the Y-groove test. In addition, multi-pass plate welds and full pipe welds were completed and examined for the presence of hydrogen cracks. The suitability of each test method for predicting cracking in X120 girth welds is determined. The morphology of hydrogen cracks in X120 girth welds is described, and the conditions necessary to prevent hydrogen cracking are identified. Following the laboratory studies, construction of X120 pipelines without cracking was demonstrated through a 1.6 km field trial.

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