Along with the increasing demand of oil and natural gas by various world economies, the operating pressure of the pipeline is also increasing. Large diameter heavy wall X80 pipeline steel is widely used in the long distance high pressure oil and gas transportation in China today. In addition, development of X90/X100 has begun in earnest to support the growing energy needs of China. With the wide use of X80 steels, the production technology of this grade has become technically mature in the industry. Shougang Group Qinhuangdao Shouqin Metal Materials Co., Ltd. (SQS) since 2008 has been steadily developing heavier thicknesses and wider plate widths over the years. This development has resulted in stable mass production of X80 pipeline steel plate in heavy wall thicknesses for larger pipe OD applications.

The technical specifications of X80 heavy wall thickness and X90/X100 14.8–19.6 mm wall thicknesses, large OD (48″) requiring wide steel plates for the 3rd West-to-East Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Project and the third line of Kazakhstan-China Main Gas Pipeline (The Middle Asia C Line) and the demonstration X90/X100 line (part of the 3rd West-East Project) in China required changes to the SQS plate mill process design. Considering the technology capability of steelmaking and the plate mill in SQS, a TMCP+OCP (Optimized Cooling Process) was developed to achieve stable X80 and X90/X100 mechanical properties in the steel plates while reducing alloy content.

This paper will describe the chemistry, rolling process, microstructure and mechanical properties of X80 pipeline steel plates produced by SQS for 52,000 mT of for the 3rd West-to-East Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Project and 5,000 mT for the Middle Asia C Line Project along with 1000 tons of 16.3 mm X90/X100 for the 3rd West-East demonstration pipeline. The importance of the slab reheating process and rolling schedule will be discussed in the paper. In addition, the per pass reductions logic used during recrystallized rough rolling, and special emphasis on the reduction of the final roughing pass prior to the intermediate holding (transfer bar) resulting in a fine uniform prior austenite microstructure will be discussed. The optimized cooling (two phase cooling) application after finish rolling guarantees the steady control of the final bainitic microstructure with optimum MA phase for both grades. The plates produced by this process achieved good surface quality, had excellent flatness and mechanical properties. The pipes were produced via the JCOE pipe production process and had favorable forming properties and good weldability. Plate mechanical properties successfully transferred into the required final pipe mechanical properties. The paper will show that the TMCP+OCP produced X80 heavy wall and 16.3 mm X90 wide plates completely meet the technical requirements of the three pipeline projects.

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