The microstructure and fracture behavior of the base metal of different X80 steel line pipe lots from several pipeline projects were analyzed. The resistance of the pipes to ductile fracture propagation was determined by the full-scale burst tests. The high intensity of fracture surface separation (secondary brittle cracks parallel to the rolling plane of the plate) appeared to be the main factor reducing the specific fracture energy of ductile crack propagation. A method for quantitative analysis of microstructure allowing estimation of the steel’s tendency to form separations is proposed. The procedure is based on the EBSD data processing and results in Cleavage Morphology Clustering (CMC) parameter evaluation which correlates with full-scale and laboratory mechanical test results. Two special laboratory mechanical test types utilizing SENT and Charpy test concepts for prediction of ductile fracture arrest/propagation in a pipe were developed and included into Gazprom specifications.

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