This research investigated the effects of global (in other words, furnace-based) and local post weld heat treatment (PWHT) on residual stress (RS) relaxation in API 5L X65 pipe girth welds. All pipe spools were fabricated using identical pipeline production procedures for manufacturing multipass narrow gap welds. Nondestructive neutron diffraction (ND) strain scanning was carried out on girth welded pipe spools and strain-free comb samples for the determination of the lattice spacing. All residual stress measurements were carried out at the KOWARI strain scanning instrument at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO). Residual stresses were measured on two pipe spools in as-welded condition and two pipe spools after local and furnace PWHT. Measurements were conducted through the thickness in the weld material and adjacent parent metal starting from the weld toes. Besides, three line-scans along pipe length were made 3 mm below outer surface, at pipe wall midthickness, and 3 mm above the inner surface. PWHT was carried out for stress relief; one pipe was conventionally heat treated entirely in an enclosed furnace, and the other was locally heated by a flexible ceramic heating pad. Residual stresses measured after PWHT were at exactly the same locations as those in as-welded condition. Residual stress states of the pipe spools in as-welded condition and after PWHT were compared, and the results were presented in full stress maps. Additionally, through-thickness residual stress profiles and the results of one line scan (3 mm below outer surface) were compared with the respective residual stress profiles advised in British Standard BS 7910 “Guide to methods for assessing the acceptability of flaws in metallic structures” and the UK nuclear industry's R6 procedure. The residual stress profiles in as-welded condition were similar. With the given parameters, local PWHT has effectively reduced residual stresses in the pipe spool to such a level that it prompted the thought that local PWHT can be considered a substitute for global PWHT.

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