The needs for oil and gas exploration in deep water (DW) and ultra-deep water (UDW) severe environments involve critical requirements of heavy wall materials. Offshore DW and UDW impose demanding service conditions of sour environment, mechanical properties, fatigue performance, gas service, high pressure and wide temperature ranges not only for heavy wall seamless line pipe materials but also for the girth weld performance. Thus, the development of heavy wall materials for severe applications is essential for DW and UDW, where complex material requirements are sought. Additionally the girth welding of heavy wall materials has imposed particularities typical of large wall thickness materials’ welding. The latter requires the development of particular solutions for pre-production and GMAW narrow groove offshore welding procedures.
The present work presents the development of two welding processes of a heavy wall seamless pipe material: 273.1 mm OD × 46 mm WT, X65 steel grade. Pre-production welding involves STT®+SAW using a dual slope V-bevel, filler material for root processing was an AWS ER80S-G, while welding deposition for fill and cap passes was made using twin-wire technique, with two different electrodes (ENi1K and EG AWS designations), in combination with a neutral flux. On the other hand, narrow groove welding procedure considered a J-bevel, 3° angle, applying STT®+GMAW; filler material for GMAW was as well an ER80S-G AWS designation. Both welding procedures are aimed to deliver adequate mechanical properties to meet sour-service requirements (<250HV10), weld metal overmatching (120 MPa minimum) and toughness (CVN 45JAVE/38JIND) at low temperature. Mechanical characterization included hardness Vickers measurements using a 10 kgf load, tensile tests in all-weld metal and transverse impact fracture Charpy V-notch tests and CTOD tests.