Codified fitness for service methods such as API 579 or BS 7910 require consideration of residual stresses in fracture assessments, and guidance is given for upper bound residual stress distributions in common weld geometries. However, these distributions are not appropriate for some welding processes currently or historically used in the manufacture of linepipe, such as high frequency induction welding or flash butt welding. In addition, some linepipe manufacturing routes generate large plastic strains which result in high residual forming stresses, or mechanically relax residual stresses generated in earlier stages of production.

This paper first reviews the code recommendations for the effects of plastic strains and stresses from high level pressure testing on residuals stresses. The paper then briefly describes the major methods of producing carbon steel linepipe and provides recommended residual stress levels for the seam weld and parent material of linepipe using the code recommendations. These are based on assumed uniform residual stresses combined with mechanical stress relaxation due to manufacturing steps such as cold expansion and hydrostatic testing. The recommendations are compared with measured residual stress levels from the open literature. Proposals are given for reduced residual stress levels when assessing axial cracks in carbon steel linepipe.

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