In this paper, we discuss how through-process multi-scale models can be designed and combined with properly constructed experiments in order to assess the mechanical integrity of forge welded connectors. Shielded Active Gas Forge Welding (SAG-FW) is a fully automatic solid state method for joining steel pipes and other metallic articles. After heating, welding occurs almost instantaneously when the mating surfaces of the metallic parts are brought into intimate contact at high temperature and co-deformed. The result is a metallic bond with properties similar to those of the base material. If mating surfaces have been properly prepared and are essentially free from oxides the forge weld line is completely indistinguishable even when studied under a microscope. However, improper surface finish, oxides and contaminants may contribute to reducing weld quality. The paper consists of analytical and experimental parts. First, approaches for modeling forge welding and weld integrity are assessed. Second, a Gurson-type model is studied in great detail as it appears to be the simplest and most promising concept in relation to quantitative modeling and testing of mechanical integrity of forge welds. Third, miniature notched specimens for determining parameters of a modified Gurson-model are proposed and evaluated in relation to small scale forge welding. The small scale forge welding method has been established in order to simulate full scale welding of for example line pipe and casing, but mechanical testing of small samples constitute a significant challenge. Fourth, a set of experiments is performed to further assess the concept, to the extent possible determine material parameters of the Gurson-model and to evaluate the effect of process parameter settings on the weld quality. Results from tests of welds with and without oxides are subsequently compared with results from tests of base material specimens. All tests have been performed for an API 5L X65 alloy. The results demonstrate that both capacity and ductility of the forge welds are similar to those of base material. Finally, Gurson-model parameters are assessed, and a comparison with physical observations is made. Further development of the small scale tests is needed. More extensive test programs should be performed and a comparison with full scale welding should be carried out. However, the experiments demonstrated that the proposed notched specimen designs complements conventional fracture mechanical tests (CT, SENT, SENB) or field tests proposed by various standards (Charpy, Izod, bend tests).

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