Pipeline applications that are subject to global plastic strains require specific testing and qualification programs intended to verify the strain capacity of the girth welds. Such strain demands are generally beyond the limits of standard ECA applicability which normally cover demands up to 0.5% strain. Therefore, qualification of welding procedures for high strain environments require significantly more testing than weld procedures intended for stress-based designs. The plastic strain capacity of girth welds is a function of the pipe and weld metal properties, as well as the maximum flaw size allowable in the girth weld. Specific weld metal/heat affected zone properties, based on small scale testing, should be combined with full scale curved wide plate testing of girth welds that include artificial flaws.

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