An important design, construction and maintenance concern for pipelines is the integrity of flaws in the girth welds. Numerous fitness for purpose codes are available to assess weld flaws, many of which were calibrated with reference to wide plate test data. Often, wide plate tests are conducted on girth welded pipe in the as-received condition, i.e. without application of a pipeline coating. The area adjacent to the weld is thus subjected to a thermal cycle due to the heat generated from the welding process. In some pipe materials this thermal cycle might be sufficient to induce strain aging. It is not clear how the welding process changes the behaviour of the area next to the weld. The results of such wide plate experiments are very important in assessing the acceptable flaws in a girth weld under a strain-based design. Therefore, it was important to understand the extent of the aging, specifically the stress-strain behaviour on either side of the girth weld. This paper presents results of cross-weld tensile tests, which utilized a two-dimensional digital image correlation (DIC) technique to determine displacement, and thus infer strain. The local strains were mapped to global stress to obtain local constitutive properties every 12.5mm along the length of the specimen. The DIC test results were very consistent and were also similar to results obtained from standard circumferential tensile tests at corresponding locations. The strength of the specimens, as defined by the relative strength of their stress-strain curves, was found to be highest in the girth weld region, to drop in the HAZ, and then to reach a plateau in the base metal. It was also shown that strain localization in one of the HAZ regions was clearly visible during the loading process and the near-HAZ regions had a stress-strain response with a yield stress value higher than the base metal. This behaviour was observed at 12.5mm away from the girth-weld centerline in both the transverse and longitudinal directions. The reason for this slight change of behaviour can be attributed to the effect of heating supplied to this part during welding (strain aging). The described DIC technique is very promising in obtaining local strain fields within very small areas of the tested specimens.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.