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IBP1122_19

HIGH GRADE SAWL LINEPIPE


MANUFACTURING AND FIELD WELD
SIMULATION FOR HARSH ENVIRONMENTS
Fernando F. Silva1, Fabio M. Arroyo2 Izabela F. Girão3

Copyright 2019, Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute - IBP


This Technical Paper was prepared for presentation at the Rio Pipeline Conference and Exhibition 2019, held
between 03 and 05 of September, in Rio de Janeiro. This Technical Paper was selected for presentation by the
Technical Committee of the event according to the information contained in the final paper submitted by the
author(s). The organizers are not supposed to translate or correct the submitted papers. The material as it is
presented, does not necessarily represent Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute’ opinion, or that of its
Members or Representatives. Authors consent to the publication of this Technical Paper in the Rio Pipeline
Conference and Exhibition 2019.

Abstract

Linepipe specifications are getting more stringent as the search for new markets shifted
to harsh environments with sever sour application, which demands a strict mechanical
properties control. The main challenge is to combine high toughness with low hardness values,
mainly to avoid corrosion failures during pipe application. In this direction, Tenaris has been
working on the development of high grade linepipes for this harsh environments and
accordingly to this scenario, produced pipes with 20in x 1.500in DNV 485 SFDU UOE
dimension and grade. As this is very challenge product, its performance was also tested in a
girth weld in order to simulate the weld process during pipe installation. The girth weld
qualification was carried out using two different welding process in order to obtain different
heat inputs (HI). The first one tested was a manual process combining GTAW for root + hot
pass and SMAW for fill + cap. The second process was semi-automatic combining STT
(Surface Tension Transfer) + p-GMAW + SAW for root, hot pass and fill + cap, respectively.
In order to assure the girth weld performance, a reduced mechanical test protocol was
performed. Charpy was tested at heat-affected zone (HAZ) only, and hardness was evaluated
through hardness mapping, additionally tensile test cross welding was also performed.
Additionally, sulfide stress cracking (SSC) test was carried out to evaluate the corrosion
behavior.
The results obtained shows that charpy test presented high toughness of HAZ at low
temperature, even with different Heat Input (HI), hardness map shows a very controlled
hardness at weld metal which justifies the high toughness values, and also, the acceptable
performance on SSC test.
The results achieved on the SAWL and the girth weld for heavy wall thickness
DNV 485 SFDU sour service shows the capability of Tenaris to produce high grades linepipe
for very stringent environment.

Keywords: Hardness Control. Heavy Wall Thickness. DNV 485 SFDU. Girth Welding.

1. Introduction
______________________________
1
Master, CIWE, Material Engineer - Tenaris
2
Product Senior Manager – Tenaris
3
Master, IWE, Material Engineer. – Tenaris
Rio Pipeline Conference and Exhibition 2019

Natural gas exploration has become more and more stringent due to harsh environments,
which means that pipeline requirements become stricter regarding mechanical properties,
corrosion and crack resistance. Due to that, a combination of mechanical properties, such as
hardness and high toughness at low temperature is already a reality in these applications.
In order to achieve high toughness and low hardness it is important to control the content of
grain boundary ferrite (GBF) as final microstructure to assure the proper ductility of the weld
metal. The desired microstructure is achieved selecting the right alloy element and controlling
the cooling rate during welding, aiming that acicular ferrite nucleates.
Alloying elements such as Ni, Mo, Mn, Ti and B act as acicular ferrite (AF) nucleating
agents, which means that these elements helps the nucleation AF instead of GBF. Additionally,
these alloy elements also provide mechanical properties such as toughness, tensile strain and
hardness to the weld metal.
Ni has the capacity to promote AF nucleation, decreasing the ductile fragile temperature and
also has a smaller hardenability effect among the others alloy elements. Seo et al. [1] carried
out a study to evaluate the influence of Ni content on the microstructure nucleation. They
applied two different wires one with 0% of Ni and another one with 1.5% concluding that
increasing Ni content improves the microstructure due to reduce GBF content and improving
toughness [1]. On the other hand, Bhole [2] found that Ni content up to 3.75 % has a detrimental
effect on toughness due to the elimination of AF nucleation. However, Ni content at weld metal
shall also be controlled as it promotes preferential corrosion at HAZ due to galvanic corrosion,
which affect the structural integrity of pipelines. Thus, according to NACE TM 0316, weld
deposit above 1.0% Ni is acceptable after successfully confirmed by SSC tests [3].
Molybdenum is used to increase the AF and toughness at weld metal, but it has moderate
hardenability effect. However, when the weld metal is reheated, the fine AF grain typically
transforms into larger grained primary ferrite with an aligned second phase, increasing hardness
and decreasing toughness. Thus, in a thin plate, molybdenum bearing electrode is usually
avoided at first pass for two run technique, due to detrimental effect caused by the thermal cycle
generated by the second pass [4].
The Mn is added to provide strength and toughness and the optimum value of its content is
1.50 % in order to promote sites for AF nucleation. Values below 1.40 % causes a radical drop
on the toughness and the AF content. On the other hand, there is no benefit found on toughness
for Mn content above 1.50 % on the weld metal [4].
Titanium and boron are often added to weld metal to increase toughness at low temperature
[10]. Boron nucleates at grain boundary reducing its energy that suppress the nucleation of
allotriomorphic ferrite and bainite, promoting AF nucleation and also increasing hardenability
[4] [5] [6]. Due to the tendency of B to form compound with O2 and N2, Ti has to be added to
the weld wire to protect B by entrapping carbon and nitrogen, thereby, leaving B available to
segregate at grain boundary [7]. In addition, Ti improves the toughness and refines the
microstructure due to forming stable Ti-rich particle, that works as inclusion to promote AF
nucleation [4] [8].
When heavy wall thickness and high grades linepipe such as X70MS (L485MS) is required,
it is necessary to select the right welding consumables to comply with mechanical properties
and corrosion resistance.

During field installation it is necessary to apply a very well designed welding process to
avoid a detrimental effect of the heat affected zone (HAZ) from the girth weld. Considering
that depending on the heat input applied, the hardness might increase up to values above the
limits defined for sour service application, mechanical properties of HAZ shall be verified due
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to the possibility of embrittlement generated by grain growth and nucleation of fragile phases
such as martensite, bainite and M-A microconstituint [9][10]. Hence, the toughness is affected
according welding procedure due to thermal cycle and its consequence microstructure
nucleation.
The HAZ of high steel strength pipeline can suffer softening phenomenon due to the
application of a lower cooling rate when compared to the one from the rolling process, which
generates a grain growth and the dissolution of second phase particles formed by microalloying
elements. Therefore, tensile fractures mostly occur at HAZ, especially for semi-automatic
welding and SMAW which apply high heat input [11].

2. Methodology

This study was carried out in two stages, first one is an UOE pipe manufacturing of a
heavy wall thickness (1.500in) pipe grade 485 SFDU for sour service application, and the
second one is the simulation of the field weld in order to assure the product applicability and
its high weldability performance.
These pipes were manufactured with TMCP plates according to DNV-OS-F101standard
and the welding process applied was two-run tandem submerged arc welding, as shown at
Figure 1.

A) B)

Figure 1: Wire configuration for SAWL a) and Macro b).

The chemical composition was analyzed by optical emission spectrometry in the weld metal,
internal and external, and base metal. The results are showed at Table 1.

Table 1: Weld metal and base material chemical composition.


C Si Mn Nb+V+Ti Cr+ Ni Cu Mo B Pcm
Base
0.04 0.29 1.65 0.056 0.20 0.015 0.12 0.000 0.15
Metal
SAWL 0.05 0.36 1.45 0.043 0.25 0.075 0.166 0.002 0.17

SAWL mechanical properties were evaluated by Charpy V-Notch and Hardness in “as
is” condition. The Charpy V-Notch was tested at weld metal and HAZ at -20ºC, and as
additional test it was performed a fragile-ductile transition curve. As DNV-OS-F101
requirements, the CVN was tested in two different notch locations, 2.0 mm from OD surface
and in the interpenetration location between OD and ID weld metal, as per Figure 2. The
samples were machined at transversal orientation (10 x 10 x 55 mm) and tested using a striker
with 2.0 mm radius. Hardness test was measured at base metal, weld metal and HAZ with load
of 10 Kg (HV10), being these tests performed according to DNV-OS-F101. Additionally, in
order to assure the weld metal and HAZ toughness a full thickness CTOD test at -10ºC and -

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20°C were performed in the “As is” condition. Samples for this test were according to BS7448-
2, SENB with through thickness notch in NP direction.

Figure 2. Notch placement for charpy specimen, 2.0 mm from OD surface and interpenetration

The corrosion resistance was analyzed by SSC and HIC tests. The SSC tests was
performed applying the Four Points Bend Test (FPBT) at specimen with machined root,
according to NACE TM 0316, using solution A of NACE TM 0177 at 1 bar of H2S partial
pressure during 720 h and 80% AYS strain. HIC was performed at full thickness according to
NACE TM 0284 with solution A of NACE TM 0177.
The consumables selection were defined aiming to control microstructural nucleation in
order to increase AF and reduce the GBF of weld metal as much as possible. This WPS
approach is been applied by TenarisConfab in order to achieve high toughness values
controlling weld metal hardness, therefore optimizing corrosion resistance and reducing the risk
of failure during service.
In order to evaluate the pipe weldability and assure its performance during installation,
a girth weld was performed applying two different WPS to analyze the base material
performance only. The WPS-A was a process combining GTAW for root and hot pass, and
SMAW for fill and cap, and WPS-B was a combining STT (Surface Tension Transfer) and p-
GMAW for root and hot pass, and SAW for fill and cap. The joint design (Figure 3), preheating
(50ºC) and interpass temperature (250°C Max) was kept the same for WPS-A and WPS-B to
compare the influence of high (WPS-B) and low (WPS-A) heat input.

Figure 3: Grove design of WPS-A and WPS-B

Table 2 shows the heat input applied in WPS-A and WPS-B, aiming to evaluate and
compare the HAZ performance in terms of mechanical properties such as cross weld tensile
test, CVN fragile-ductile transition curve evaluation and hardness map indentation. The
hardness map was performed applying a 1.0 x 1.0 mm indentation mesh across weld metal and

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HAZ. Additionally, SSC test was performed to confirm material performance in terms of
corrosion resistance.

Table 2: Welding process and heat input applied in the WPS-A and WPS-B.

WPS-A WPS-B
Welding Welding Max. Heat Welding Welding Max. Heat
Weld Pass
Process Position Input Process Position Input
(Kj/mm) (Kj/mm)
Root GTAW 3.0 STT 0.64
Hot GTAW 3.6 p-GMAW 1G 0.95
5G
Fill SMAW 1.3 SAW Rotated 2.29
Cap SMAW 1.3 SAW 2.70

3. Results and Discussion

3.1 SAWL Results

The hardness analysis in “As is” condition performed at the weld metal is shown at Figure
4, splitted by the test position, OD SAWL, interpenetration and ID SAWL. The results
presented shows a consistent and controlled, with an average value for ID SAWL of 221 HV10,
and for overlap and OD SAWL of approximately 217 HV10. All hardness values are bellow
248 HV10, which is the maximum value targeted by NACE TM 0316 to have acceptable
performance in corrosion test.

Hardness

240

230
Hardness (HV10)

220

210

200
ID SAWL OD SAWL Overlap

Figure 4. Weld metal hardness survey, in “As is” conditions, for OD SAWL, ID SAWL and overlap with HV10.

Charpy V-Notch (CVN) characterization was tested with 2.0 mm striker at weld metal
and fusion line with two different position 2.0 mm from OD surface and in the overlap position
at -20ºC.
Figure 4 shows the mechanical properties for CVN tests in “As is” conditions for weld
metal and fusion line. The weld metal shows high values of toughness, achieving an average
value of 128 J and 111J at OD surface and overlap, respectively. Additionally, the fusion line
also achieved a robust performance, reaching approximately values above 200 J in average for
both positions tested. The standard deviation observed in the result of charpy V-Notch (CVN)
test is the communally noted for SAWL linepipes.

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CVN @ -20ºC
450

400

350

300

CVN Energy (J)


250

200

150

100

50

0
OD SAWL Overlap OD SAWL Overlap
FL WM

Figure 4. Charpy V-Notch results of weld metal and fusion line in “As is” conditions at -20°C.

Figure 5 presents an additional CVN fragile-ductile transition curve in order to evaluate


the performance of weld metal and fusion line at OD surface and overlap. The transition curve
starts at -10 ºC and goes down up to -80 ºC decreasing 10ºC on each test. Throughout the results
obtained it is possible to observed that the weld metal kept a very ductile behavior up to -40ºC
even at overlap position, which is usually the most critical position for the charpy test.
The heat affect zone also presented a very ductile behavior, however, it is having a very
high scatter probably due to local brittle zone in HAZ area, which is common for UOE pipes
with TMCP plates welded with very high heat input. Nevertheless, the toughness in the HAZ
shows values above 80J and 100J at -40 ºC for OD surface and overlap respectively, which
means a high weldability behavior of this material.

Figure 4. Charpy V-Notch fragile-ductile transition curve of weld metal and fusion line in “As is.

Mechanical properties such as toughness and hardness are directly proportional, in other
words, while toughness increases the hardness also increases, based on that, and the results
achieved, it is possible to conclude that Tenaris could manage a solution to cover both
mechanical properties, thus achieving excellent linepipe performance in harsh environments.
The only way to increase toughness and decrease hardness is through microstructure
design, so Tenaris worked intensively to combine the right chemical composition in order to
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promote and maximize acicular ferrite nucleation. The weld metal microstructure resulting of
this design is presented at Figure 5, where can be seen, predominantly, acicular ferrite, which
confirmed the achievements of high toughness and low hardness as presented above.

Figure 5. Microstructure of weld metal with 95% of acicular ferrite.


In order to deepen the analysis on toughness, there were performed CTOD full thickness
at weld metal and fusion line at -10ºC and -20 ºC. All results achieved values above 0.20 mm
(Figure 6), which means that the welding procedure achieved the mechanical properties to
provide the linepipe reliability for stringent applications. It is important to highlight the values
achieved at fusion line, that represents weldability properties of the high strain linepipe.

CTOD Test

0,6

0,5
CTOD (mm)

0,4

0,3

0,2
FL WM FL WM
-20 -10

Figure 6. CTOD test at -10ºC and -20ºC in “As is” conditional for weld metal and fusion line.

The corrosion resistance of weld metal were tested through SSC test according NACE
TM 0316. All the samples tested as machined condition using solution A of NACE TM 0177
at 1 bar of H2S partial pressure during 720 h and 80% AYS strain were approved, even analyzed
at different magnifications. HIC tests according NACE TM 0284 were also carried out,
achieving good values of CLR ≤ 15%, CTR ≤ 5.0% and CSR ≤ 2.0%.

3.2 Weldability Test

The hardness analysis for WPS-A and WPS-B is showed at Figure 7, where it is possible
to observe that the weld metal from WPS-A results in higher hardness values when compared
with WPS-B, however the focus of this study is to evaluate the heat affect zone. Therefore,
WPS-A, where a lower heat input was applied, achieved hardness values below 200 HV10,
showing a very high weldability characteristic of the base material.
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WPS-A # 3 o’clock position

WPS-A # Weld intersection

WPS-B # 3 o’clock position

WPS-B # Weld intersection

Figure 7. Hardness map of WPS-A and WPS-B for 3 o’clock position and weld intersection.

Table 3 summarizes the hardness values analysis for each WPS and position, such as cap,
middle thickness (MWth) and root. As can be observed, the maximum values of hardness
achieved (248 HV10) was at root area at intersection between SAWL and for the girth weld
with WPS-A, which makes sense once the SAWL has a higher Pcm (Table 1), so it has higher
hardenability effect. On the other hand, for a high heat input, applied by WPS-B, it was
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observed a smooth drop on hardness values due to the increase in the cooling rate, as can be
seen at Figure 8. The difference of cooling time between 800°C and 500°C (T8-5) for WPS-A
and WPS-B are 1 and 5 seconds, respectively, according to Rosenthal method, mining that
WPS-B takes 5 times more time to cool between T8-5, which is a very reasonable explanation
for a lower values of hardness.
Besides that, the root pass of WPS-A achieved higher hardness values even applying
higher heat input, and this is more related to the welding position, process and also the welder
ability. In other words, the 5G welding position with GTAW is more unstable that 1G rotated
STT welding processes, what achieve a more consistence and controlled welding quality.

Table 3. Maximum values of hardness found at all hardness map performed for WPS-A and WPS-B.
WPS-A WPS-B
Position
Min. Max. Min. Max.
HAZ- CAP 163 235 163 230
HAZ- MWth 180 224 163 232
HAZ- ROOT 234 244 168 218
HAZ- Intersection
230 248 208 230
(Root)

WPS-A WPS-B
Δt 8/5, s 1 5

Figure 8. Difference of cooling rate between WPS-A and WPS-B according to Rosenthal method.

Apart from the hardness analysis it is important to evaluate tensile weld cross section area
test to evaluate if the material HAZ suffers any softening phenomenon during the welding
process. Table 4 shows that the results of cross weld tensile test for WPS-A and WPS-B
complies with 485 SFDU grade material requirement. The values achieved for WPS-A is higher
than WPS-B which was expected due to higher values of hardness at HAZ.

Table 4. Cross weld tensile test for WPS-A and WPS-B


WPS-A WPS-B
UTS (MPa) 673 656 624 615
* All Specimen broken in the base metal.

In terms of toughness, the material shows a very ductile behavior even at -45ºC, which
achieved average values of 164 J and 272 J for WPS-A and WPS-B, respectively. The relation
between toughness for both WPS can also be associated by the hardness results, as the higher
values of hardness of WPS-A results in a lower values of toughness, and for the WPS-B the
other way around. Even though the toughness achieved for both WPS is very consistence and
represents a very high weldability behavior for high grade and heavy wall thickness linepipe.
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Figure 9. Charpy V-Notch fragile-ductile transition curve of HAZ for WPS-A and WPS-B.

The corrosion resistance of girth weld were tested through SSC test according NACE TM
0316. All the samples tested as machined condition using solution A of NACE TM 0177 at 1
bar of H2S partial pressure during 720 h and 80% AYS strain were approved, even analyzed at
different magnifications. HIC tests according NACE TM 0284 were also carried out, achieving
good values of CLR ≤ 15%, CTR ≤ 5.0% and CSR ≤ 2.0%.

4. Conclusions

SAWL welding metal and HAZ mechanical properties achieved excellent values in terms
of toughness and hardness, even at very low temperature, which provides a linepipe reliability
for harsh environments.
The correlation of high toughness and low hardness in the SAWL was possible by
achieving the right microstructure design, controlling GBF nucleation and aiming the acicular
ferrite.
SAWL weld metal present excellent corrosion resistance through high toughness and
hardness control and it was demonstrated by SSC and HIC tests.
The base material presented a very good weldability behavior even when applied different
levels of heat input, welding process and position. It shows the material capability to keep its
mechanical properties and corrosion resistance even for high heat input, which means to achieve
high productivity for a pipe field installation.
The combination of mechanical properties, such as toughness and hardness control,
provides a very good corrosion resistance for girth weld, even though for different levels of
heat input.
The present study showed TenarisConfab capacity of manufacturing a heavy wall
thickness pipe grade 485 SFDU, complying with a such stringent requirements for very harsh
environments.

5. References

[1] J.S. Seo; H.J. Kim; H.S. Ryoo, Microstructural parameter controlling weld metal cold
cracking, 2008
[2] S.D. Bhole, J.B. Nemade, L. Collins, Cheng Liu, Effect of nickel and molybdenum
additions on weld metal toughness in a submerged arc welded HSLA line-pipe steel, 2004
[3] NACE TM 0316. Four-Point Bend Testing of Materials for Oil and Gas Applications, 2016.

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[4] J.R. Procario, T. Melfi, Weld Metal Alloy Systems for Seam Welding of Niobium Micro-
Alloyed Pipe Steels,
[5] Babu, S. S. 2004. The mechanism of acicular ferrite in weld deposits. Current Opinion in
Solid State and Materials Science 8:267–278.
[6] Zhang, D., Terasaki, H., and Komizo, Y. 2010. In situ observation of the formation of
intragranular acicular ferrite at nonmetallic inclusions in C–Mn steel. Acta Materailia 58: 1369–
1378.
[7] Yan, W., Shan, Y. Y., and Yang, K. 2005. Effect of TiN inclusions on the impact toughness
of low-carbon microalloyed steels. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A 37: 2147–2158.
[8] B. Beidokhti, R. Pouriamanesh, Effect of Filler Metal on Mechanical Properties of HSLA
Welds, Welding Journal / October 2015, VOL. 94.
[9] Peppler E, Hillenbrand H G, Kalwa C, Liessem A. Suitable HAZ testing to predict linepipe
safety. In: Proceedings of the Pipeline Technology Conference; 2009; Ostend, Belgium. 2009.
[10] Terada Y, Kiyose A, Doi V, Morimoto H, Kojima A, Nakashima T, et al. High strength
linepipes with excellent HAZ toughness. Japan: NSSMC; 2004. Nippon Steel Technical Report
no. 90.
[11] SUI, Y. Girth welding technique on the oil and gas pipeline project of China. National
Engineering Laboratory for Pipeline Safety, China Petroleum Pipeline Research Institute,
Langfang 065000, China

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