This investigation utilizes test electrodes manufactured with boron at different levels (including no boron). The design of these electrodes is identical with the exception of the intentional changes highlighted. Gapped bead on plate (GBOP) testing is used to determine the relative propensity of the electrodes for weld metal cracking. Test electrodes are also evaluated for deposit composition, CVN impact toughness, strength, and hardness on pipe joints. This work also uses a non boron-containing test electrode whose deposit composition has been modified such that its carbon equivalent is the same as one of the boron-containing electrodes. This serves to separate the influence of the specific element boron from the influence of general carbon equivalent/hardenability on the tendency for cracking. The results indicate that the effect of changes in boron and carbon equivalent over the range tested and in this specific electrode design is very slight. In most cases, the effect is not significant when compared to the amount of variation observed in the testing. In essence, the signal was lost in the noise. In terms of susceptibility to hydrogen assisted cold cracking (HACC) — the area of most concern — there appear to be other factors that are much more influential than those tested. If the goal is to minimize the cracking sensitivity of cellulosic weld metal, simply eliminating the use of boron is not the answer. More work is required to identify these other factors and quantify their effect.

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