High frequency - electric resistance welded (HF-ERW) pipe has been successfully used for many years for a number of applications. The benefits of HF-ERW pipe are considerable, including a higher dimensional tolerance and lower prices than seamless pipe and UO pipe. The conventional weld seam produced by HF-ERW, however, often has a relatively low toughness. We have developed an automatic heat input control technique based on ERW phenomena that relies on optical and electrical monitoring methods and has been shown to result in a significant improvement in the toughness. Shielding of the weld area must also be considered as a key factor in the formation of a sound weld. It has been shown that an inert cold gas (e.g., at room temperature) shielding technique is effective for maintaining a stable low oxygen state in the weld area that inhibits the formation of penetrator, a pancake oxide inclusions. Compared to the cold gas shielding technique, high temperature gas shielding, due to its higher kinetic viscosity coefficient, should make it easier to sustain a higher laminar flow, thus leading to a rather low air entrainment in the shielding gas. In addition, plasma is a much higher temperature state (∼6000 K), and the dissociated gases can react with the entrained oxygen; plasma jets should, therefore, enhance the overall shielding effects. Moreover, oxides on the strip edges can be expected to melt and/or be reduced by the high temperature plasma jets. Nippon Steel has developed a plasma torch that can generate a long and wide laminar argon – nitrogen – (hydrogen) jet. This paper describes the results obtained from our investigation of the effects of a plasma jet shield on the weld area of high strength line pipe with a yield strength grade of X65. Preliminary attempts in applying this novel shielding technique has been found, as expected, to demonstrate extremely low numbers of weld defects and a good low temperature toughness of the HF-ERW seam.

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