Structural integrity assessments of pipe girth welds play a key role in design and safe operation of piping systems, including deep water steel catenary risers. Current methodologies for structural integrity assessments advocate the use of geometry dependent resistance curves so that crack-tip constraint in the test specimen closely matches the crack-tip constraint for the structural component. Testing standards now under development to measure fracture resistance of pipeline steels (J and CTOD) most often employ single edge notched specimens under tension (SENT) to match a postulated defect in the structural component. This paper presents an investigation of the ductile tearing properties for a girth weld of an API 5L X80 pipeline steel using experimentally measured crack growth resistance curves (J-R curves). Testing of the girth weld pipeline steels employed clamped SE(T) specimen with center-crack weld and three-point bending SE(B) (or SENB) specimens to determine the J-R curves. Tests involving SE(B) specimens are usually considered conservative, however, the comparison between this two methods may point an accurate alternative for girth weld assessments, since adequate geometry is adopted to describe accurately the structure’s behavior.

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