Natural gas exploitation has been increasing progressively and the pipeline community are facing more challenging demands to ensure safe and reliable operations. In that direction, gas fields in very harsh environments are demanding material and welding procedure selections to comply with a combination of important requirements such as toughness at low temperature, sour environment, very low hardness, manual ultrasonic inspection (for UOE longitudinal weld soundness assurance) and others. Looking forwarding big challenges, Tenaris Confab has been successfully working to continue improving the know how regarding plate to pipe mechanical properties behavior, through steel selection using TMCP plates, welding consumables definition and process control to assure material performance. Considering this scenario, the main challenge is to comply with a combination of toughness and hardness requirements, assuring the material soundness through manual ultrasonic testing after 48h. These combination lead to a careful selection of welding consumable to add the right content of alloy element at the welding pool aiming a specific weld metal chemical composition after dilution. The alloy element selection has to be considered due to the aimed final microstructure at the weld metal, i.e. increases acicular ferrite, in order to achieve the toughness, hardness and manual ultrasonic performance for delayed hydrogen cracking (DHC); it is important to avoid grain boundary ferrite (GBF) nucleation. High wall thickness and high heat input increases residual stress after pipe welding, high residual stress combined to poor microstructure and hydrogen, is a perfect scenario for DHC. To avoid hydrogen cracks, a robust pipe forming process and welding concept is needed to give enough energy to diffuse hydrogen out from weld metal. Quality controls were applied to strict hydrogen content such as welding consumable specifications, evaluating the correlation curve between flux moisture and diffusible hydrogen, flux temperature control and others. As a result of those actions, good mechanical properties were achieved and overcoming the hydrogen cracking performance during automatic and manual ultrasonic testing confirm a robust pipe forming and welding procedure for demanding projects.
- Pipeline Division
Advanced SAWL Developments and Optimizations for High Toughness, Low Hardness and Sour Environment
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Silva, FF, Arroyo, F, Darcis, P, Fritz, M, Salani, M, & Silva, A. "Advanced SAWL Developments and Optimizations for High Toughness, Low Hardness and Sour Environment." Proceedings of the 2018 12th International Pipeline Conference. Volume 2: Pipeline Safety Management Systems; Project Management, Design, Construction, and Environmental Issues; Strain Based Design; Risk and Reliability; Northern Offshore and Production Pipelines. Calgary, Alberta, Canada. September 24–28, 2018. V002T08A005. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IPC2018-78108
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