A new process (M2M™) to girth weld API Grade X-80 line pipe with a gas-less technology is presented. This process combines innovations in controlling arc length and energy input with microstructure control of the weld metal deposited to achieve high strength (over matching 550 MPa yield strength) and Charpy V-Notch toughness of over 60 Joules at −20°C. This paper will concentrate on the metallurgical aspects of the weld metal and the systematic steps taken to achieve high strength weld metal without sacrificing toughness. The development of an appropriate slag system to achieve the best possible microstructure for high toughness weld metal is discussed. The indirect effects of the slag system on the weld metal composition, which in turn affects the microstructure and physical properties, are detailed. In order to achieve sound weld metal without gas protection using a semi-automatic process, a basic slag system with minimal acidic components is used to improve the cleanliness of the weld metal without sacrificing weldability. In addition, a complex combination of micro-alloying elements is used to achieve the optimum precipitation sequence of nitrides that is critical for high toughness. The final part of this paper gives details about the robustness of this process to weld high strength pipe. The results show that this is a practical and unique solution for girth welding of X-80 pipe to achieve acceptable toughness and over a 15% overmatch in yield strength of X-80 pipe without sacrificing productivity.

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