Journal Published Online: 28 August 2014
Volume 4, Issue 2

Fracture Toughness Characterization of High-Pressure Pipe Girth Welds Using Single-Edge Notched Tension [SE(T)] Specimens



The safety and reliability of large-diameter pipelines for the transport of fluid hydrocarbons is being improved by the development of high-strength steels, advanced weld technologies, and strain-based design (SBD) methodologies. In SBD, a limit is imposed on the applied strains rather than the applied stresses. For high-pressure pipelines, SBD requires an assured strength overmatch for the weld metal as compared to the base material, in order to avoid strain localization in the weldment during service. Achieving the required level of strength overmatch, as well as acceptable ductility and low-temperature fracture toughness, is a challenge as the pipe strength increases. Published studies show that low constraint geometries such as single-edge tension [SE(T)] or shallow-notched single-edge bend [SE(B)] specimens represent a better match to the constraint conditions of surface-breaking circumferential cracks in large-diameter pipelines during service (Shen, G., Bouchard, R., Gianetto, J. A., and Tyson, W. R., “Fracture Toughness Evaluation of High Strength Steel Pipe,” Proceedings of PVP2008, ASME Pressure Vessel and Piping Division Conference, Chicago, IL, July 27–31, ASME, New York, 2008). However, the SE(T) geometry is not included in any of the most widely used elastic-plastic fracture mechanics (EPFM) test standards. A procedure has been developed for performing and analyzing SE(T) toughness tests using a single-specimen technique that includes formulas for calculating the J-integral and crack-tip opening displacement, as well as for estimating crack size using rotation-corrected elastic unloading compliance. Here, crack-resistance curves and critical toughness values obtained from shallow-crack SE(T) specimens (a0/W ≈ 0.25) are compared to shallow-crack (a0/W ≈ 0.25) SE(B) specimens. We believe that the SE(T) methodology is mature enough to be considered for inclusion in future revisions of EPFM standards such as ASTM E1820 and ISO 12135, although additional work is needed to establish validity limits for SE(T) specimens.

Author Information

Lucon, E.
Applied Chemicals and Materials Division, NIST, Boulder, CO, US
Weeks, T.
Applied Chemicals and Materials Division, NIST, Boulder, CO, US
Gianetto, J.
CanmetMATERIALS, Natural Resources Canada, Hamilton, ON, CA
Tyson, W.
CanmetMATERIALS, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON, CA
Park, D.
CanmetMATERIALS, Natural Resources Canada, Calgary, AB, CA
Pages: 13
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Stock #: MPC20130098
ISSN: 2165-3992
DOI: 10.1520/MPC20130098