Separations are small fissures that form along the rolling-plane of some steels when sufficient stresses are created to open planes of weakness in the material. In the pipeline industry, separations have been observed on the fracture surfaces of tensile, Charpy, and drop-weight tear tests — the key tests for determining the fracture arrest capabilities of line pipe steels. When compared, the separation appearance between lab-scale tests and full-scale fracture test are noticeably dissimilar. Therefore, the influence separations have on the fracture behaviour may not clearly scale between lab-scale and full-scale tests.
In this study, the separation severity of Charpy, DWTT, and full-fracture propagation test fracture surfaces was measured and compared. Two full-scale burst tests were carried out with pipes containing a CO2/N2 mixture. Fracture surfaces were observed along the length of the pipe and captured when the separation appearance changed. For each pipe section, the corresponding lab-scale test surfaces were compared.
With the separations measured across all fracture faces, the separation appearance of the full-scale test surfaces did not provide the same values as the lab-scale tests. However, the lab-scale tests did capture the trend in separation severity for each pipe section. Only the lab-scale test surfaces showed a correlation in separation severity.