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JFE TECHNICAL REPORT No. 7 (Jan. 2006)

Development of High Performance ERW Pipe for Linepipe

KOIDE Tatsuo *1

KONDO Hiroaki *2

ITADANI Susumu *3

Abstract:

To respond to customers’ needs for higher grade and higher quality linepipe in recent years, in 2003, JFE Steel’s Chita Works carried out a revamp of its 26” medium-diameter ERW pipe mill, in which the maximum wall thickness of API 5LX56 grade (API: American Petro- leum Institute) was increased from the former 20.6 mm to 25.4 mm. At the same time, Chita also improved its measurement technology and developed an original quality assurance system, represented by a multiprobe weld seam ultrasonic test (UT) inspection device, with the aim of improving weld seam quality.

1. Introduction

In recent years, demand for linepipe has been strong. As petroleum and natural gas drilling and transportation environments have become increasingly severe, high quality requirements for pipe, including strength, tough- ness, and corrosion resistance, have become remarkable, particularly in environments where large-diameter pipe, as represented by UOE pipe, is applied 1) . On the other hand, against a background in which priority is assigned to high productivity, there has been a continuing changeover from UOE and seamless steel pipe to electric resistance welded (ERW) pipe, supported by rapid progress in material and pipe manufacturing technologies for ERW pipe for linepipe. The 26” medium-diameter ERW pipe mill at JFE Steel’s Chita Works is the only mill in the world which is capable of manufacturing ERW pipe with outer diameters up to 26”. Therefore, taking advantage of this feature, Chita Works revamped its manufacturing

equipment to expand the maximum wall thickness, and simultaneously improved its technology and established

a quality assurance system for enhanced welded seam

quality with the aim of entering the market for UOE pipe. These equipment improvements and new technolo-

gies developed for ERW pipe for linepipe are described

in this report.

2. Development of Manufacturing Technology for Heavy Wall Pipe

In April 2003, the 26” medium-diameter ERW pipe mill was revamped to expand the available wall thick- ness of API 5LX56 from 20.6 mm to 25.4 mm. The available size range is shown in Fig. 1. The design specification of this mill was outer diam- eter: OD12”–26” and wall thickness: WT16 mm with

Outside diameter (mm) 323.9 355.6 406.4 457.2 473.1 508.0 558.8 609.6 660.4 (inch) 12.75 14
Outside diameter
(mm)
323.9
355.6
406.4
457.2
473.1
508.0
558.8
609.6
660.4
(inch)
12.75
14
16
18
18.63
20
22
24
26
(mm)
(inch)
4.0
0.156
4.8
0.188
5.2
0.203
5.6
0.219
API 5LX56
6.4
0.250
7.1
0.281
7.9
0.312
8.7
0.344
9.5
0.375
10.3
0.406
Expansion
11.1
0.438
for
12.7
0.500
14.3
0.562
heavy wall
15.9
0.625
17.5
0.688
19.1
0.750
20.6
0.812
22.2
0.875
25.4
1.000*
Wall thickness

* ERW 1” wall thickness pipe: Only JFE Steel’s 26” ERW mill can manufacture.

Fig.1 Available size in 26” ERW mill

Originally published in JFE GIHO No. 9 (Aug 2005), p. 25–29

published in JFE GIHO No. 9 (Aug 2005), p. 25–29 * 1 Staff Deputy Manager, Pipe

*1 Staff Deputy Manager, Pipe Technology Sec., Manufacturing Dept., Chita Works, JFE Steel

*2 Staff Manager, Equipment & Engineering Sec., Planning Dept., Chita Works, JFE Steel* 2

*3 Assistant General Manager, West Japan Plant Engineering Dept., Plant Engineering Div., JFE Sekkei* 3

27

Development of High Performance ERW Pipe for Linepipe

Leveler Cage zone Jack strength for forming roll Squeeze roll Jack strength Side roll Top
Leveler
Cage zone
Jack strength for forming roll
Squeeze roll
Jack strength Side roll
Top roll
Bottom roll
Straightening power
Edge milling
Roll support strength
Sizing mill
Top cap strength
Post anealer
Welding
Break down
Bead milling
Uncoiler
UJ strength
Corset roll
Fin pass
Crop shear
Jack strength

Fig.2 Reinforcement for 1” wall thickness

X42. To date, however, the size range has been expanded by carrying out various improvements. Following the most recent revamp, the general strength index, which is expressed by (width) (thickness) 2 (strength), is approximately 3.3 times that when the mill was origi- nally constructed. Therefore, strengthening of the mill by making full use of equipment design technology was studied with importance attached to investment effi- ciency. The main improvements in the mill are shown in Fig. 2. All work from development through design and construction was performed by the JFE Steel Group.

2.1 Strengthening of Mill Jack System

In studying strengthening of the mill jack system, first, the pipe forming load when manufacturing the 25.4 mm maximum wall thickness was predicted based on previous research in the JFE Steel Group, proven pipe forming load prediction equations, and measured values of the pipe forming load. The jack displacements of various parts of the mill under pipe forming loads were estimated by FEM analy- sis, and the appropriateness of the results was verified by actually measuring displacement. In addition, the target allowable load was estimated from previously derived predictions of the pipe forming load and reflected in the strength design. Figure 3 shows an example of finite element method (FEM) analysis of the stress applied to the screw part of the fin pass top roll jack. As a close correlation between the verification results and diagnos- tic results was obtained, the accuracy of the verification method could also be confirmed.

2.2 Strengthening of Mill Drive System

For the mill drive system, the direction of increasing torque by reducing the reduction gear ratio was adopted

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Over strength
Over strength

Fig.3 FEM analysis result of finpass top roll jack

based on the fact that there was a margin in the speed design of the line. The specifications for strengthening the drive system were decided by measuring the load current of the main shaft drive motor, preparing a design which considered the motor heat capacity in addition to the predicted forming load, and verifying the results by continuous load predictions.

2.3 Strengthening of Conveying/Finishing Equipment

In strengthening the conveying and finishing equip- ment, it was necessary to cope with the increased unit weight of pipes. The main improvements were increases in the capacities of the stopper, kicker, and lifting equip- ment and strengthening of the shock-absorbing function for impact during material conveying. With the hydrostatic test machine, the hydrostatic withstand pressure (in the following, pressing load) of the existing equipment was 6.9 MN, as shown in Fig. 4, and it was not possible to test large diameter, heavy wall pipes with high strength at 95% SMYS. In this revamp, the maximum pressing load was

JFE TECHNICAL REPORT No. 7 (Jan. 2006)

Development of High Performance ERW Pipe for Linepipe

6.9 MN Pressing road 9.8 MN 24 22 Expansion for Large size and heavy wall
6.9 MN
Pressing road 9.8 MN
24
22
Expansion
for
Large size and
heavy wall
20
18
16
14
12
Pressure: 34.3 MPa
Wall thickness (mm)

350

400

500

Outside diameter (mm)

450

550

600

650

700

Fig.4 Available size for hydrostatic test (X65 95%SMYS)

increased to 9.8 MN by strengthening the main cylinder and other pressing load mechanism parts of the hydro- static test machine. As a result, the available size range for hydrostatic testing was expanded as shown in Fig. 4.

3. Technical Development for Stabilization of Weld Seam Quality in Heavy Wall Linepipe

3.1 Stabilization of Forming during Manufacture of Heavy Wall Pipe

Although the forming equipment was strengthened, as described in the previous chapter, the pipe form- ing load in the squeeze side roll when manufacturing OD26” WT25.4 mm products approached the 350 t upper limit of the equipment specification. Thus, there were remaining problems for achieving stable weld seam quality, as it was not possible to select the optimum forming setting for the weld seam due to partial equip- ment restrictions. Therefore, the load balance was improved by con- ducting a detailed review of the forming settings of each of the forming stands in order to minimize the forming load applied to designated equipment and distribute the load over the equipment as a whole. Furthermore, in order to improve the forming sta- bility of the coil edge, the shapes of the various kinds of forming guide rolls were optimized to increase the constraining force, successfully reducing deviations in forming immediately prior to welding. As a result, as shown in Fig. 5, the forming load at the squeeze stand with WT25.4 mm was reduced by approximately 10%, even when a stable forming setting was adopted. Where the squeeze stand forming load was con- cerned, systemization was carried out to enable full-time monitoring and storage of results in a database in order to control forming deviations, which are linked to weld

JFE TECHNICAL REPORT No. 7 (Jan. 2006)

400 Upper limit 350 300 250 200 After improvement, 150 Reduction 10% 100 50 0
400
Upper limit
350
300
250
200
After improvement,
150
Reduction 10%
100
50
0
SQ load (t)

0

5

20

Wall thickness (mm)

15

10

25

30

Fig.5 Efficient of ERW pipe wall thickness on SQ load (X42–X56, Outside diameter: 26”)

deviations. This has also contributed to stabilizing prod- uct quality.

3.2 Toughness of Welds in Heavy Wall Products

Seam heat treatment is a process for improving the quality of the weld seam in ERW pipes. Figure 6 shows an outline of the manufacturing process, including the heat treatment processes. The purpose of seam heat treatment is to improve the microstructure of the weld seam by heating the seam from the outer side of the pipe by induction heating, followed by tempering and other heat treatment procedures. However, when attempting to apply adequate tempering through the product to the inner side of heavy wall pipes, overheating of the outer side was a danger. Figure 7 shows an example of the results of an evalu- ation by the CTOD test, which is the strictest test method for evaluating weld toughness. When the outer side of the pipe is overheated, it was found that the microstruc- ture of the outer surface layer coarsens, resulting in a remarkable deterioration of weld toughness. To prevent this overheating of the pipe outer side, the temperature control thermometer used in the annealer was changed from the conventional outside surface aver- age temperature measurement method to a scanning- type thermometer (scanning-type peak temperature con-

Normal-

Quench-

Temper-

izing

ing

ing

Coil Forming HFW Inductor
Coil
Forming
HFW
Inductor

High frequency welding

Seam heat treatment

Fig.6 Manufacturing process of ERW pipe

29

Development of High Performance ERW Pipe for Linepipe

Fine grain Large grain course of crack 0 3 6 9 12 15 0 3
Fine grain
Large grain course of crack
0
3
6
9
12
15
0
3
6
9
12
15
0
3
6
9
12
15
N
1.400
1.200
1.000
0.800
Specification
0.2 mm
0.600
0.400
0.200
0
CTOD (mm)

0

20

40

60

80 100

Pass ratio 100%

0

20

40

60

80 100

Pass ratio 89%

0

20

40

60

80 100

Pass ratio 20%

Fig.7 Relation between CTOD value and grain size

Range: φ5.0 Pass ratio  100% 89% 20% 0 3 6 9 12 15 0
Range: φ5.0
Pass ratio
100%
89%
20%
0
3
6
9
12
15 0
3
6
9
12
15 0
3
6
9
12
15
1
200
1 160
1 120
1 080
1 040
X ave 1 119.6
X ave 1 091.6
X ave 1 088.0
S18.80
S23.78
S31.44
1 000
Average
Temperature (°C)
Average temperature (°C)

Fig.8 CTOD results in conventional thermometer

Range: φ0.1

Pass ratio

 100% 89% 20% 0 3 6 9 12 15 0 3 6 9 12
100%
89%
20%
0
3
6
9
12 15 0
3
6
9
12 15 0
3
6
9
12 15
Scan
1 260
1 240
X ave 1 068.6
X ave 1 111.9
X ave 1 178.5
S13.06
S16.53
S30.06
1 200
1 160
1 120
1 080
1 040
Peak
Target temperature range
Temperature (°C)
Peak temperature (°C)

Fig.9 CTOD results in scan-type thermometer

trol method). As shown in Fig. 8, when the conventional radiation thermometer was used, the correlation between the outside surface temperature and the CTOD values was unclear. In contrast to this, as shown in Fig. 9, the tendency of the CTOD values to deteriorate as the outside surface temperature increases could be clearly grasped by using the scanning-type thermometer. Introduction of the scanning-type thermometer enabled optimum strict temperature control, resulting in a broad improvement in the CTOD value of the weld

30

seam. As a result of these improvements, Chita Works received orders for products (API 5LX65; OD24” WT19.1 mm) with CTOD specifications for the weld seam, which is a world’s first for ERW pipe, and began standard production.

4. Quality Properties of Heavy Wall Products

The revamp of the line and trial pipemaking were completed in April 2003, and standard production of WT25.4 mm products began in May. The mechanical properties of products of the

25.4 mm wall thickness process are shown in Figs. 10– 12. In both the weld and the body, the tensile test results, Charpy impact test results, and flattening test results sat- isfy all API specifications. An optical microscope image of the ERW weld seam of API 5LX56, OD26” WT25.4 mm is shown in Photo 1. A satisfactory weld seam microstructure was successfully obtained by normalizing heat treatment of the weld seam. Approximately two years have passed since the start

600 550 PSL2 PSL2 500 450 400 350 Specification Specification 300 250 Yield strength (MPa)
600
550
PSL2
PSL2
500
450
400
350
Specification
Specification
300
250
Yield strength (MPa)
Yield strength (MPa)

400

500

600

700

800

Tensile strength (MPa) (a) X56(PSL2)OD20,24”WT25.4 mm

600

Tensile strength (MPa) (b) X42(PSL2)OD20,24”WT25.4 mm

400

500

700

800

Fig.10 Tensile test result

JFE TECHNICAL REPORT No. 7 (Jan. 2006)

Development of High Performance ERW Pipe for Linepipe

20 100 Test temperature: 0°C 80 API 5L: 27 J (Average) 60 10 40 20
20
100
Test temperature: 0°C
80
API 5L: 27 J (Average)
60
10
40
20
0
0
0
100
200
300
400
500 501 -
Charpy absorbed energy (J)
(a)
X56(PSL2)OD24”WT25.4 mm Body
20
100
Test temperature: 20°C
80
60
10
40
20
0
0
Number
Number
Frequency (%)
Frequency (%)

0

100

200

300

400

500 501 -

Charpy absorbed energy (J)

(b) X56(PSL2)OD24”WT25.4 mm Weld

Fig.11 Charpy impact test results

API 5L220 mm (Body)

API 5L330 mm (Weld)

80 Body Weld 60 40 20 0 Number
80
Body
Weld
60
40
20
0
Number

0

50

100

150

200

250

Flattening test (mm)

300 301 -

Fig.12 Flattening test results (API 5LX56 OD26” WT25.4 mm)

Flattening test results (API 5LX56 OD26”  WT25.4 mm) Photo 1 Cross section of ERW welded

Photo 1 Cross section of ERW welded seam (API 5LX56 OD26” WT25.4 mm)

of standard production, and product quality is extremely stable.

5. Development of UT Inspection/Assurance Technology for Weld Seam in Heavy Wall Pipes

Heavy wall linepipes, represented by UOE pipes, are mainly used in sea bottom linepipes, and service condi- tions are extremely severe. Therefore, reliable detection of flaws trapped in the material is necessary, not only in

JFE TECHNICAL REPORT No. 7 (Jan. 2006)

the body but also in the welds. In particular, in recent

years, there have been strong movements, beginning

with the major oil companies, to establish specifications which attach importance to the weld seam flaw detection capability in heavy wall products. Anticipating this trend, JFE Steel developed and introduced a multiprobe ultrasonic inspection device

for the weld seam 2) . As shown in Fig. 13, with the con-

ventional one-side, 3-channel, 45° flaw detection angle

probe arrangement, it is not possible to cover the full wall thickness in inspections of heavy wall pipes. Fur- thermore, the detection accuracy of reflected echoes from flaws trapped in the mid-wall area is low. For these reasons, operability was inevitably sacrificed in actual operation, for example, by using probes with different detection angles corresponding to the wall thickness and raising sensitivity to an extreme level in order to secure the necessary detection capability. With JFE Steel’s newly-developed multiprobe UT inspection device, flaw detection is performed using a one-side, 8-channel continuous arrangement of probes with a 45° detection angle in the pipe circumferential direction. Therefore, as distinctive features, this sys- tem enables coverage of 100% of the wall thickness, even with heavy wall products, and can also detect all reflected signals. As a result, as shown in Fig. 14, even flaws in the mid-wall area can be detected without increasing detection sensitivity. The fact that this sys- tem shows an extremely stable detection capability with respect to deviations in the weld line during inspections has also been confirmed 2) . This is an original technology which was devel- oped by JFE Steel and was introduced by the company before other companies. It has received a very favorable evaluation from the customers, and is making an impor- tant contribution to improving the reliability of ERW linepipe.

Conventional probe

Detecting

Multi-probe (JFE Steel original) Detecting inside wall Detecting outside wall

Detecting

inside wall

outside wall Weld seam Weld seam Defect Detecting mid-wall Highest detectability for weld defect
outside wall
Weld seam
Weld seam
Defect
Detecting mid-wall
Highest detectability for
weld defect

Detecting mid-wall

Reflected beam does not return to original position. So it is difficult to detect the defect located in mid-wall.

Reflected beam can be caught by other probe.

Fig.13 Multi-probe ultrasonic inspection

31

Development of High Performance ERW Pipe for Linepipe

Sensitivity: N1012 dB

100 Conventional (Inside/Outside) 50 Multi (Inside/Outside) Conventional (Mid-wall) Multi (Mid-wall) 0 Echo height
100
Conventional (Inside/Outside)
50
Multi (Inside/Outside)
Conventional (Mid-wall)
Multi (Mid-wall)
0
Echo height (%)

0

1

2

3

Defect area (mm 2 )

Fig.14 Detection ability for weld defect

As a result of the development of these technologies, JFE Steel’s ERW linepipe, which is produced as a substi- tute for UOE, has received an excellent evaluation from customers since the start of standard production in May 2003, and shipment tonnage has shown a strong trend, as can be seen in Fig. 15. Moreover, sales have achieved a pace far exceeding the original plan.

6. Conclusion

In order to manufacture ERW pipe as a substitute for UOE, JFE Steel’s Chita Works strengthened its 26” ERW mill to enable production of 25.4 mm wall thickness products and developed technologies to improve weld seam quality. The content is summarized as follows. (1) The mill and finishing equipment were strengthened, making it possible to manufacture X56 ERW pipe with a wall thickness of 25.4 mm. (2) Innovative improvements in the plant’s measurement technology enhanced annealer temperature control, making it possible to obtain stable weld quality prop- erties through the full wall thickness.

32

10 8 6 4 2 0 Production amount ratio for L/P (%)
10
8
6
4
2
0
Production amount ratio for L/P (%)

’03/2Q

’03/3Q

’03/4Q

’04/1Q

’04/2Q

’04/3Q

’04/4Q

Fig.15 Amount ratio of 1” wall thickness pipe in L/P products

(3) A multiprobe UT inspection system for the weld seam was developed and introduced, improving the flaw detection capacity and enhancing the quality assurance capability. As described above, technical development and equipment improvements were carried out based on an accurate grasp of customers’ needs. As a result, it is no exaggeration to say that large diameter, heavy wall ERW pipe is continuing to grow as a central product line of the current 26” medium-diameter ERW mill. In the future, JFE Steel intends to develop Only One and Number One products which respond to new, stricter and more diverse market needs.

References

1) Deshimaru, S; Takahashi, K; Endo, S; Hasunuma, J; Sakata, K; Nagahama, Y. Steels for production, transportation, and stor - age of energy. JFE Technical Report. no. 2, 2004, p. 55–67. 2) Egi, M; Kondo, H; Nakashima, K; Yorifuji, A. Development of the multi-tandem ultrasonic testing method for weld seam of ERW line pipe. CAMP-ISIJ. vol. 17, no. 3, 2004, p. 322.