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14460/1A/03

DECEMBER 2003

SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR


OIL AND GAS: STATE OF
THE ART

Revised Final Report


For: A Group of Sponsors
SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
REVISED FINAL REPORT

TWI REPORT NO: 14460/1A/03


DECEMBER 2003

Prepared for: A Group of Sponsors

Authors: J M Nicholas and R J Pargeter

Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd AR


CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY i
Background i
Objectives i
Work Carried Out i
Main Conclusions ii
Recommendations ii

1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. OBJECTIVES 1
3. APPROACH 1
4. SPIRAL WELDED PIPE MANUFACTURE 3
4.1 G ENERAL 3

4.2 SKELP 4

4.3 EDGE PREPARATION AND S KELP END WELDS 4

4.4 PIPE FORMING 5

4.5 SEAM WELDING 6


4.5.1 General 6
4.5.2 ‘One-Step Process’ 6
4.5.3 ‘Two-Step Process’ 7
4.5.4 Seam Tracking 7
4.5.5 Weld Profile 7
4.6 NON-D ESTRUCTIVE TESTING 8
4.6.1 Visual Inspection 8
4.6.2 Ultrasonic Inspection 8
4.6.3 Radiography 9
4.6.4 Hydrotest 9
4.6.5 Magnetic Particle Inspection 10
4.6.6 Dimensional Checks 10
4.7 M ECHANICAL TESTS 11

4.8 CORROSION TESTING 11

4.9 COATING 11
5. MATERIAL FACTORS AFFECTING SPIRAL WELDED
PIPE MANUFACTURE 12
5.1 STEELMAKING 12

5.2 EFFECT OF WELDING CONSUMABLES 13


6. CONTROL OF PIPE PROPERTIES 14
6.1 TENSILE PROPERTIES AND HARDNESS 14

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6.2 TOUGHNESS 15

6.3 RESISTANCE TO SOUR S ERVICE 16


7. FIELD OPERATIONS 16
7.1 BENDING 16

7.2 WELDING 16

7.3 PIGGING 17

7.4 HOT TAPPING 17


8. POTENTIAL FAULTS AND PROBLEMS WITH SPIRAL WELDED
PIPES 18
8.1 G ENERAL 18

8.2 WELD I MPERFECTIONS 18


8.2.1 Lack of Fusion 18
8.2.2 Pores 18
8.2.3 Undercut 18
8.2.4 Slag Inclusions 18
8.2.5 Lack of Weld Penetration 18
8.2.6 Misalignment (Offset of the Strip Edges) 18
8.2.7 Off-Seam Welding 19
8.3 FABRICATION CRACKING M ECHANISMS 19
8.3.1 Hydrogen Cracking 19
8.3.2 Solidification Cracking 20
8.4 WELD PROPERTIES 20
8.4.1 Tensile Properties 20
8.4.2 Weld Zone Toughness 20
8.4.3 Corrosion 22
9. PIPE PERFORMANCE 23
9.1 G ENERAL 23

9.2 TEST PERFORMANCE (L ITERATURE) 23

9.3 M ILL TEST PROPERTIES 24

9.4 SERVICE EXPERIENCE 25

9.5 TWI EXPERIENCE 26

10. REVIEW OF STANDARDS 26

11. BENEFITS AND DISADVANTAGES 27


11.1 BENEFITS OF SPIRAL WELDED PIPES OVER O THER PRODUCT FORMS 27

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11.2 DISADVANTAGES OF SPIRAL WELDED PIPES OVER O THER PRODUCT FORMS 27

11.3 CUSTOMER PERCEPTIONS OF SPIRAL WELDED PIPE 28

12. DISCUSSION 31
12.1 SUITABILITY OF SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR O IL AND GAS S ERVICE 31

12.2 EASE OF USE 32

12.3 PROCESS VARIABLES WITHIN SPIRAL WELDED PIPE PRODUCTION 33

12.4 COMPARISON OF SPIRAL WELDED PIPE WITH UOE PIPE 34

13 MILL AUDIT SCHEME 37

14. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 40

15. RECOMMENDATIONS AND FURTHER WORK 41

16. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 41

17. REFERENCES 42

TABLES 1-3

FIGURES 1-20

APPENDIX A - Questionnaire sent to Steelmakers who supply Spiral Pipe Mills and a
Summary of their Responses.
APPENDIX B – Questionnaire sent to Spiral Pipemakers and a Summary of their
Responses
APPENDIX C – Questionnaire sent to Coating Contractors and a Summary of their
Responses
APPENDIX D – Questionnaire sent to Pipe Lay Contractors and a Summary of their
Responses
APPENDIX E – Questionnaire sent to End Users and a Summary of their Responses
APPENDIX F – Questions sent to Pigging and Hot Tapping Contractors, and a
Summary of their Responses

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Background
Spiral welded pipe is used successfully for water supply and structural applications. In oil and
gas service, there is considerable variation in the acceptance of this product form. Some
operators allow spiral welded pipes in sour service, whereas others do not allow this product
form to be used even for sweet transmission pipelines. These differing views have resulted in
restrictions in the application of spiral welded pipes in certain regions of the world, and
markedly different approaches from one multinational oil and gas company to another.

Differences between longitudinally welded (UOE) and spiral welded pipe do exist, but
although it may not be possible to specify spiral welded pipe for all applications, such
decisions should be based upon technical assessment of the products available, rather than of
historical or anecdotal evidence. Additionally, if technical issues are identified and
successfully addressed, the opportunities to extend the use of spiral welded pipe in oil and gas
service no longer need to be restricted.

Recent pipeline project market projections have indicated that UOE mills may be unable to
supply enough pipe to satisfy the demand, and this, along with the increasing requirements
for pipeline projects to use materials sourced from within the host country means that use of
spiral welded pipe needs to be considered. In some cases, UOE pipe may not be available,
and additional specifications may need to be applied to the spiral pipe mill to ensure fitness-
for-purpose criteria are met.

TWI has undertaken a survey of the current situation, with the aims and objectives below, to
indicate whether greater confidence regarding project specifications, production and
performance is needed to provide the industry with a viable product choice without
compromising safety.

Objectives
• Development of an independent state-of-the-art review of the current experience
and concerns influencing utilisation of spiral welded pipe for oil and gas linepipe
applications.
• Identification of necessary data required for derivation of the safe application
envelope for spiral welded pipe including associated production criteria.

Work Carried Out


Literature related to spiral welded pipe for oil and gas service was critically reviewed.
Information from this literature was combined with the results of an industry wide, world
wide survey, in which approximately 300 companies involved in the production, installation,
use and continuing serviceability of spiral welded pipe were approached. Additional
information arose from visits to two spiral welded pipe mills, current company, national and
international standards and specifications for linepipe materials, and relevant TWI experience
and expertise was drawn upon.

This report discusses aspects of pipe production, factors which affect the pipe quality, the
pipe performance in testing and in service, the perceived benefits and disadvantages of spiral

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welded pipe and the current status of spiral welded pipe for oil and gas service, with
particular emphasis on the comparison with UOE pipe.

Main Conclusions
1. Spiral welded pipe of suitable quality for both sweet and sour oil and gas service is
currently available. It is, however, necessary to draw a distinction between pipe mills
with facilities, QA and experience needed to produce such pipe, and those which are only
capable of producing low grade pipe. For suggested items for a mill audit, see section 13.

2. Benefits of spiral pipe which were identified were as follows:


• Generally lower cost by comparison with UOE pipe.
• Potential for long pipe lengths.
• Consistency and accuracy of dimensional control.
• Low yield :tensile ratios.
• Flexibility of production, providing short lead times.

3. Concerns which were raised over the use of spiral welded pipe were not supported by the
reviews. Specifically:
• Although no mechanical stress relief from cold expansion is provided in spiral welded
pipe, there is no evidence that this has, on its own, been responsible for pipe failures.
• Stress Oriented Hydrogen Induced Cracking (SOHIC) failures in service and in
testing have all been in material which was not truly Hydrogen Pressure Induced
Cracking (HPIC) resistant, and there is no clear foundation to the perception that
spiral welded pipes are particularly susceptible to this form of cracking.
• Pigging contractors identified a need for additional data assessment, but reported that
the reliability of inspection was not compromised in spiral welded pipe.
• Pipe lay experience demonstrates that field bending of spiral welded pipe is not
problematic.
• Skelp end welds may be omitted from pipes if concerns over quality cannot be
satisfied, but good quality welds can be made, and thoroughly inspected.

4. A number of aspects of material supply, manufacturing process control and quality


assurance were identified which make an important contribution to pipe quality. These
should form the basis of any evaluation of the capability of a pipe mill for production of
pipe suitable for oil and gas service. A particularly important factor is the skill and
experience of the workforce.

Recommendations
As stated in the conclusions, spiral welded pipe suitable for both sweet and sour oil and gas
service is currently available. Some pipe mills, however, concentrate on production of pipe
for lower grade (e.g. water) service or piling, and may not have the production controls and
quality assurance in place which are required for oil and gas service. Thus, a system of
review of pipe mills is appropriate, and could be based on the considerations in sections 12.3
and 13.

ii

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Although it is not believed that high residual stresses in spiral welded pipe preclude its
application in oil and gas service, this is a difference from UOE pipe which may still cause
some concern. The principal concern is believed to be with regard to the risk of SOHIC in
sour service. A programme of work to quantify residual stresses, and to demonstrate
resistance to SOHIC in pipe made from HPIC resistant strip would help to allay remaining
concerns.

iii

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1. INTRODUCTION
Spiral welded pipe offers potential cost benefits over longitudinally welded (UOE) pipe
(estimated at 10-15% on the raw product, dependent on market forces, with possible
additional benefits from long pipelengths) and is used for water supply and structural
applications successfully. In contrast, acceptance of this product form for oil and gas
applications is markedly varied. There is a wide range of opinion with some operators
allowing utilisation of spiral pipe for oil & gas pipelines applications in sour service,
whereas, others will not allow spiral welded pipe even for sweet transmission pipelines. This
has resulted in a restriction on application in certain regions of the world and strong
differences in approach between oil and gas companies.
The opportunity to realise wider application of the potentially cheaper alternative product and
associated cost-savings is therefore restricted through lack of confidence based upon
perception and historic stance. Differences obviously exist between UOE and spiral welded
pipe and it may not be possible to specify spiral pipe in all applications, but such decisions
should be based upon technical assessment of modern products. Furthermore, if technical
concerns are identified and successfully addressed, the opportunities for wider application of
spiral pipe will be increased.
There is significant growth predicted in pipeline projects to satisfy demands for gas on a
global scale. These projects range from $500million to $7billion, planned around the world
over the next few years (1). Most large projects cover distances typically 200-800km, but
there are some proposed projects between 1500-4200km. Thus, where practical, use of a
cheaper pipe product will provide significant savings. Additionally, projects in areas of new
developments will often require inclusion of certain levels of material sourcing from within
the host country. In these cases, UOE pipe may not be available and therefore the project
must ensure that adequate specifications are imposed upon the spiral pipe mill to satisfy
fitness-for-purpose criteria.
Moreover, recent pipeline project market projections indicated that UOE mills may be unable
to easily satisfy the demand for all projects, and in many cases spiral welded pipe can be an
attractive option.
However, greater confidence regarding product specification, production and subsequent
performance is required to provide industry with a viable product choice realising cost
savings, but without compromising safety. TWI has undertaken a survey of the current
situation, with the aims and objectives stated below, and the results of this survey are
presented in this document.

2. OBJECTIVES
• Development of an independent state-of-the-art review of the current experience
and concerns influencing utilisation of spiral welded pipe for oil and gas linepipe
applications.
• Identification of necessary data required for derivation of the safe application
envelope for spiral welded pipe including associated production criteria.

3. APPROACH
Searches of on-line databases have been made using the terms spiral, helical, pipe, failure,
confidence and reliability, both individually and in combination. These searches resulted in

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approximately 420 references being located. From these items, 140 were judged to be
irrelevant to this study, and of the remaining items, approximately one third have been
referred to in this review. Additional articles were identified from the reference lists supplied
with the relevant articles. Specific TWI experience of spiral welded pipe was also considered.

In order to obtain current information on manufacture, use and concerns, it was agreed that
the most appropriate sources should be companies involved in the production, installation and
use of spiral welded pipe and that the best way to extract the information was by using a
questionnaire or an e-mailed query. Questionnaires were produced, which were tailored to
five identified relevant activities (steel maker, pipe producer, pipe coater, pipe lay contractor
and end user) and requests for information were sent to pigging companies and hot tap
contractors. The form and content of the questionnaires was agreed with the Sponsor Group.
Blank questionnaires are given, together with a summary of the companies approached and
their responses in Appendices A-F.

Over 200 questionnaires were sent out to a wide variety of companies around the world, and
an additional 70 companies were contacted with regard to pigging and hot tapping of spiral
pipelines. A total of 95 responses were received, of which 34 were completed questionnaires
and 19 were comments on hot tapping and pigging. Forty-one of the companies who
responded were unable to provide assistance. The remaining companies who were
approached for information failed to respond, despite telephone calls, faxes and e-mails to
request a response. The number of responses to each questionnaire were as follows: five
steelmakers (out of 21 approached); nine pipemakers (out of 27); five coating contractors (out
of 22); seven pipe lay contractors (out of 56) and eight end users (out of 80). The number of
respondents with experience of spiral welded pipe in pigging and hot tapping are as follows:
16 pigging companies (out of 56 approached) and three hot tap contractors (out of 14). All
responses were reviewed and relevant information was extracted. In order to appreciate
differences and similarities between different methods of spiral welded pipe manufacture,
two visits to spiral welded pipe mills were undertaken. The visits encompassed a ‘one-step’
pipe mill and a ‘two-step’ pipe mill. The information and observations made in these visits
have supplemented the information from the questionnaire responses and the literature.

This report considers the pipe production, (making reference to all pertinent points from steel
coil (skelp), through pipe forming and welding, inspection and testing), field issues and
service. An overview of the manufacturing procedure is given, followed by a consideration of
the material aspects that affect spiral welded pipe manufacture, and how the correct
mechanical properties and toughness are controlled and achieved. Field operations, including
bending and girth welding are highlighted followed by consideration of potential faults and
problems in pipeline production for spiral welded pipes. Test and service performance along
with the typical specifications and codes used are considered, followed by any perceived
benefits and disadvantages of spiral welded pipes. All these items are discussed, and
comparisons with longitudinally welded (UOE) pipe are made throughout. The
questionnaires have been handled confidentially, and as such, all references to the
contributing companies have been removed (company names in open literature have not been
hidden).

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4. SPIRAL WELDED PIPE MANUFACTURE
4.1 G ENERAL
The production of spiral welded pipe follows one of two process routes commonly referred to
as: ‘one-step’ and ‘two-step’. In both routes, the steel coil, known as ‘skelp’, is unwound and
then formed into spiral-seamed pipes; one mill only has used plate instead of coil, but that has
now ceased production.

From the responses to the questionnaire, spiral welded pipes are manufactured in steel grades
from API 5L Grade B – X80 (2), and to various other national and international standards.
The size capability of each mill will depend upon the forming and welding capability, and the
grades of steel used. Spiral welded pipe can be produced in diameters ranging from 6.625” to
120” in wall thicknesses of 4-25.4mm, depending on the diameter. An example of the size-
strength capability for oil and gas service for one mill is given in Table 1. As spiral welded
pipe can be made in non-standard diameters (e.g. 16.5” outside diameter), this is only an
example, and does not represent the only sizes available. Oil and gas pipelines are limited to
80″ outer diameter in API 5L (2) and 1,626mm (64″) outer diameter for ISO 3183-2 (3) and
ISO 3183-3 (4), although many pipe manufacturers can produce pipe for piling or water
service in sizes up to or in excess of 2,540mm (100″). The limiting dimensions arise from
forming restrictions and the strip width (see section 4.4). Typically, for oil and gas service,
the minimum dimensions used are 16” outside diameter, and 4mm wall thickness, and the
maximum dimensions are 80” outside diameter, 25.4mm wall thickness, usually in all grades
up to X70. By comparison, UOE pipe is limited to an outside diameter range of
approximately 16-60” but can be made in wall thicknesses up to ~40mm.

In the one-step process, the skelp is levelled as it is uncoiled by a straightening device. The
leading end of the incoming coil is welded to the trailing end of the foregoing coil (or skelp)
internally by submerged arc welding (SAW). The sides of the skelp are prepared, as
appropriate for the pipe size (trimming and, for thicker pipe, bevelling) and then, after pre-
bending the edges, the skelp passes through roller bending machinery to form a cylindrical
pipe. The formed pipe is joined by SAW internally, at the point where the skelp edges first
come together, and then after half a revolution, externally, also by SAW. An overview of the
layout of a one-step mill is shown in Fig.1.

In the two-step process, the primary difference is that the skelp is continuously tack welded
(internally, where the skelp edges first come together) using an automatic gas metal arc
welding (GMAW) process. The internal and external SAW are made off-line after the pipe
has been cut to length. The pipe mill can then have multiple off-line SAW stands. An
overview of the layout of a two-step mill is shown in Fig.2.

A programme of destructive and non-destructive testing ensues in both processes, including


visual inspection, destructive tests on selected pipes, ultrasonic testing, X-ray and hydrostatic
testing, followed by further inspection, measuring and marking prior to delivery. Although an
expansion step was reported for one spiral pipe mill (which has now ceased production) (5-
7), it is not currently used, as adequate dimensional tolerances of the pipe can be achieved
without this step.

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4.2 SKELP
The pipe making process begins with ‘skelp’ as coils of strip. (The only mill which used
skelp in plate form has recently ceased production.) Most of the pipemakers who responded
to the questionnaire reported that they can make pipe in the strength range ~API grade B to
X70, and one respondent stated that 90% of all production for oil and gas use was X60-X70.
Two pipemakers stated their maximum strength as X52, while three said that they could go
up to X80. In one case, this limit was said to be due to maximum available skelp strength.
Both the geometry and the composition of the skelp are critical in the production of high
quality spiral welded pipe. The significance of consistent and accurate thickness is discussed
in section 4.6.6 and the effects of camber (bending along the length of the strip, in the rolling
plane) are discussed in section 8.1.7. Hot rolled coil for spiral welded pipes is limited to
maximum thicknesses of approximately 25.4mm (1″). This is due to the limitations of the
pipe mill forming machines. UOE pipe production does not have such a low restriction, and
pipes of thicknesses up to at least 40mm (1.57″) can be produced. As for UOE pipe, the
chemical composition affects not only parent material properties (strength, toughness, and
resistance to cracking in sour service, see sections 5.1 and 6) but also HAZ and weld metal
properties, and risk of cracking, through dilution into the weld metal (see sections 4.5.1 and
6.2). Skelp properties are discussed further in section 5.1.

4.3 EDGE PREPARATION AND S KELP END WELDS


The coils of skelp are unwound and levelled (flattened) as they are fed into the pipe making
process. Levelling comprises slight bending of the skelp during uncoiling, through levelling
rollers (reported as three rolls for some respondents in the questionnaire, and seven rolls for
others). The coil end is removed to ensure that the coil leading and trailing edges are square,
and may be used for quality testing. Immediately prior to forming into pipe, the skelp may be
checked for laminations (see section 4.6.2).

The edge preparation required depends on the thickness to be welded and the preference of
the pipe mill. For thin-walled pipe, a square cut may be sufficient, but thicker plate may
require different edge preparations, and a number of examples are given in Fig.3. The edges
of the skelp are prepared for welding by removing the oxidised and rounded edges from the
skelp by milling or shearing. Up to 15mm may be removed from each side of the skelp. If
shearing is used, a further 1-2mm is usually milled to achieve a good, parallel surface for
welding. The weld preparation is introduced at this stage also. If a square edge is used, and
there is automatic laser seam tracking, a small chamfer may be applied to make the seam
more visible prior to welding.

After being cut square, the leading edge of the skelp is joined to the trailing edge of the
preceding skelp by welding on the uppermost side, which becomes the inside of the pipe.
This can be either during a pause in pipe production, or using a travelling torch, which
accounts for the travel into the pipe-forming equipment. The internal skelp end weld is
typically made using the same consumables as the seam weld. Skelp end welds are completed
on the outside of the pipe after other welding and cutting operations with either submerged
arc welding or manual welding (GMAW or shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)). They may
or may not be accepted by the purchasers, and some pipe mills reserve the skelp end weld
sections for testing.

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4.4 PIPE FORMING
The dimensions of the skelp (width and thickness) influence the pipe sizes manufactured in
the following manner:

W
D= [1]
ðsiná

Where D is the pipe diameter


W is the strip width
á is the helix entry angle

á ranges from 14.75° to 73° (W then ranges from 0.8D to 3.0D to comply with American
Petroleum Institute (API) and ISO 3183-3:1999 requirements (2, 4, 8)).

This range of á is the maximum permissible in the standard, but for most pipe manufacturers,
the working range is less than this. For one pipemaker the range of á used is 22-41°, although
for another it was 17-43°. The optimal helix angle (when production rates are maximised)
occurs when the pipe diameter is half the strip width (á = 39.5°).

Thus, a single strip width can produce a number of pipe sizes by varying the helix angle,
which is typically achieved by rotating the uncoiling and levelling stands relative to the
forming stands. Smaller strip widths can be generated by slitting the coil, and allow smaller
diameter pipe to be manufactured.

The pipes are universally formed using a three roller bending machine, sometimes with a
fourth support roller, and a cage of rollers around the outside of the pipe (shown in Fig.4) or
an internal calibration star (Fig.5).

It is possible during forming to over bend (circumference too tight) or under bend
(circumference loose) the skelp, with the pipe diameter being maintained by the external cage
or internal star wheels. This results in residual stresses in the pipe, which are manifested by
spring back in a pipe ring when it is cut longitudinally, with the cut either opening or closing,
and also the edges becoming offset longitudinally. It is possible to minimise such residual
forming stresses if sufficient time is taken over initial set-up. One respondent indicated that
for idealised residual forming stress, set-up may take up to two days, compared with a typical
normal set-up time of 5-6 hours.

Prior to the forming operation, the edges of the skelp are pre-bent to assist with the forming
process and to avoid peaking. During production of a particular pipe size, the uncoiling and
levelling stands are fixed, but the helix entry angle may be adjusted to minimise the root gap
by small adjustments of the forming stands. This may be necessary to account for slight
variations in skelp width (9-10).

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4.5 SEAM WELDING
4.5.1 General
In all but small diameter thin wall pipe, multiple wire systems are used for the submerged arc
welds (single wire is typically used below 602mm diameter and 6.35mm wall according to
Ref.9). It is not uncommon for more wires to be used for the internal weld than for the
external weld. Several respondents reported using two or three wires internally, with two
wires externally. One pipe manufacturer reported using up to four wires internally, with up to
three externally. The reason for a restriction in the number of wires is the curvature of the
weld, which is more of a problem externally. The weld pool must solidify while the molten
weld metal is approximately top or bottom dead centre and if the weld pool is too long, there
will be a tendency for the molten weld metal to pour off the pipe. In UOE pipe manufacture,
the seam is straight and horizontal and larger numbers of wires are commonly used.

The method used for electrical contact/support of the pipe during welding can influence the
weld quality. TWI has knowledge of one case where HAZ cracking was attributed to copper
liquid metal penetration from either the wire coating or the frictional wear of powder compact
80% W, 20% Cu shoes, used to support the outer surface of the pipe and provide electrical
contact. This cracking may not be significant with respect to structural integrity, but the use
of copper containing shoes should be reviewed in any mill audit scheme, along with the
probability of crack detection, should it occur.

For all welding operations throughout the production of spiral welded pipe, the welding
parameters need to be monitored and adjusted to ensure adequate penetration and acceptable
bead shape and height. The specific issues which deem this more difficult in spiral welded
pipe than in UOE pipe are discussed further in sections 4.5.5 and 5.2. The monitoring should
ideally be computerised, with additional, frequently manual, checks to ensure that any
automatic adjustments are not excessive.

It is a feature of both one-step and two-step processes that the internal and external weld
travel speeds will be the same, and that the first run (generally inside) will provide preheat for
the second run. This effect will be considerably greater than for UOE pipe as the second run
will always be within one half revolution of the pipe. Dilution is high (typically 70%), so that
skelp composition is an important factor in determining weld metal properties (see section 6),
as for UOE pipe.

4.5.2 ‘One-Step Process’


In the ‘one-step process’, welding of the internal bead begins as the strip is fed into the
forming rolls. The pipe revolves by one half revolution and the outside bead is laid down at
the top of the pipe. The welding speed is typically between 1.5-2.0m/min (11). IPSCO have
reported a variant of the one-step process, in which a continuous GMAW tack weld is made
where the edges first meet (“the tangent point”), followed by external then internal
submerged arc welds, further down the pipe (11). More recent published information from
IPSCO indicates that they use a conventional one-step process, with the internal submerged
arc weld preceding the external one (12). Another variant of the one-step process is that of
three or four welding heads on a single station using the first (internal) weld to secure the
pipe dimensions, the second (external) weld to produce the outer reinforcement, and a third
(internal) weld to melt out the first weld (see Fig.6). This is because the first weld is

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considered to be at greatest risk of cracking and other flaws, due to the potential movement of
the skelp edges during initial weld deposition (13, 14). In the one-step process, the
submerged arc weld is continuous along a complete skelp length, but is interrupted,
necessitating weld repairs, if the mill is stopped, for joining of skelp ends, for example.

4.5.3 ‘Two-Step Process’


The ‘two-step process’ has been used since the mid-1970s, and was known originally as the
Stelform or Hoesch-Stelco process (15). The welding of the pipes occurs in two stages after
forming. The first stage is termed ‘tack welding’, and is a continuous GMAW of the spiral
seam, internally, within the forming rolls, just above the 6 o’clock position. This continuous
tack welding is carried out at welding speeds of 9 to 12m/min (16, 17). The pipe is then cut to
length, and pipe sections are transferred to the submerged arc welding stations. There are
multiple off-line submerged arc stations to enable the slower submerged arc welding to keep
up with the fast tack welding (15, 16). Any weld repairs due to interruptions in pipe forming,
due to joining of skelp ends, for example, are generally melted out by the submerged arc
welds in the two-step process. The most common defects requiring removal or repair are
associated with weld head misalignment or instabilities at the start of submerged arc welding,
although most start/stop weld regions at the ends of the pipes are avoided by the use of run-
on and run-off tabs, as in UOE pipe production.

4.5.4 Seam Tracking


All the respondents to the questionnaire use laser seam tracking devices. This applies to both
the one step and two step processes. Automated image processing and feedback control were
reported to be used in several cases to maintain the root gap and/or the welding head position.
The root gap is essentially zero for both one-step and two-step processes (0.1-0.2mm is
quoted by Ref.9) and fine control during production may be achieved by adjusting the pipe
run-out angle. A laser tracking device, operating on the square edge on the outside of a pipe,
can also provide monitoring and control of the offset of the edges. If the edges are perfectly
aligned, and there is no gap, it can be difficult for the laser device to identify the seam, and
for that reason a slight bevel may be applied to the external strip edge. Remote and/or
automated seam tracking is essential for the internal submerged arc weld in the two-step
process.

Seam tracking may not always be automated, and providing appropriate controls are used, the
absence of automation is not necessarily a barrier to using spiral welded pipe from a
particular mill. Equally, the use of automated systems which are not controlled can preclude
the use of spiral welded pipe from a specific mill.

4.5.5 Weld Profile


As stated above, the majority of spiral welded pipe mills use multiple wire submerged arc
systems, certainly for larger diameter pipes. With such systems, the primary control of weld
cap profile is through the voltage of the trailing arc; increasing the voltage increases the bead
width, improving the surface profile of the weld. It is also necessary to control welding
current, as if the current is too high, the electrode wire can overheat causing arc instability,
giving a deterioration in bead profile and sometimes, undercut. Travel speed will be
maintained as high as possible, but it must be recognised that high travel speeds encourage
narrow bead widths and peaking at the centre of the weld bead. For accurate control of

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voltage and current, a physically stable system is necessary, as variations in contact tip to
work piece distance (stick-out) will result in variations in current and voltage.

The submerged arc welding of spiral pipe differs from that of long seam, UOE pipe, as the
weld is curved, and will in part be uphill or downhill. This can have a significant effect on the
weld cap profile, as shown in Fig 7. Thus, the position of the welding heads in relation to top
or bottom dead centre of the rotating pipe affects the profile. There is more option for
adjusting this position for the internal weld in the two-step process than with the one-step
process, giving a potentially larger ‘tolerance box’ for setting parameters. In most pipe mills,
the welding flux is not a variable, but different fluxes are available, and these do play a part
in controlling the weld bead profile, as discussed in more detail in section 5.2 below.

Since the weld bead profile is not visible until the weld has cooled sufficiently for the slag to
detach, immediate feedback is not possible. Control has to be through visual inspection, and
communication between welders and inspectors. Successful control will be strongly
dependent on the knowledge, skill and understanding of the welders, in view of the number
of variables involved. It is clearly desirable to identify any tendencies towards less desirable
profiles as early as possible, to enable unacceptable welds to be avoided.

4.6 NON-D ESTRUCTIVE TESTING


4.6.1 Visual Inspection
Visual inspection is universally reported to be carried out throughout the manufacture of
spiral welded pipe. Regions requiring additional inspection may be indicated by a knowledge
of any problems during the forming and welding process. The entire length of the external
weld bead can be inspected easily. For larger diameter pipes (>610mm outside diameter
according to Ref.4), the internal weld bead must also be inspected along its entire length.
Internal visual inspection involves an inspector lying inside the pipe (usually with the aid of a
trolley). The pipe should be rotated to ensure that the entire weld is inspected, and if
necessary, marked for repair. For internal flaws, grinding and welding operators lie inside the
pipe, to undertake any repairs. For smaller diameter pipes, internal visual inspection is limited
to viewing from the ends against a light from the far end. Significant benefits in process
control and quality can be derived if inspectors feed comments on the quality of the weld,
positioning and peaking back to the forming and welding machine operators.

4.6.2 Ultrasonic Inspection


All the pipe manufacturers that responded to the questionnaire use automated ultrasonic
inspection for the weld seam. An automatic system (including laser tracking or proximity
sensors (18)) is used for seam tracking to ensure that the distance between the weld line and
the probe is maintained, and a coupling monitor is used to assure that no portion of the weld
is untested due to lack of coupling.

Ultrasonic inspection of the weld region can be carried out at different stages of production.
An array of probes is used, examining different areas of the weld and flaw orientations (e.g.
transverse and longitudinal). For one mill, inspection was on-line, that is, ultrasonic
inspection of the seam weld, while the pipe is still on the forming and welding stand,
approximately 3m after the second weld pass is completed (19). Three pairs of probes were
used, coupled to the pipe using a water based couplant, and configured to detect longitudinal

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and transverse indications in the weld and laminations in the HAZ. This is illustrated in Fig.8.
Other configurations of probes, including a K or X formation, are also used. On-line
ultrasonic inspection was listed by four of the respondents to the questionnaire. Similar
ultrasonic inspection of the weld region may also be applied or re-applied after hydrotest (20)
and indeed some delay after welding is necessary if the inspection is to be certain of detecting
hydrogen cracking (21). Six of the respondents to the questionnaire carry out ultrasonic
testing of the weld region after hydrotesting. In view of the generally low probability of
hydrogen cracking (see section 8.3.1) spot checks after some delay are often considered
adequate to confirm freedom from this type of cracking.

The response to the ultrasonic indication is dealt with differently by different mills. For some,
a klaxon sounds when an indication is found, and the pipe is marked manually. For other
systems, an automatic paint gun indicates the locations. In all cases, the indications found by
ultrasonic inspection are followed up with additional inspection (re-inspection by the
automatic device, manual ultrasonic inspection, radiography etc) and the region may be
repaired or rejected. Alarms indicate any loss of coupling also, to allow re-inspection.

Automated ultrasonic testing cannot cover the entire seam length in each pipe, so manual
ultrasonic testing has to be used to cover the regions not subjected to any automated testing.
In addition to pipe ends, skelp end welds and repairs also require manual inspection.

The calibration of the automated ultrasonic equipment will depend upon the standard being
applied. A reference pipe containing N5 notches and a 1.6mm drilled hole was cited by two
respondents to the questionnaire. The reference pipes used are selected according to the
customer requirements and dimensions of the pipe.

In addition to inspection for welding flaws, automated ultrasonic testing is used to check for
the presence of laminations (or rafts of inclusions) in the skelp before pipe formation, or in
the completed pipe body. ISO 3183-3 (4) requires at least 20% coverage for such inspections,
but 100% coverage is required by DNV OS-F-101 (22) section 6, paragraph E503.
Examination of the edges of the skelp before production, or the HAZ regions in the pipe body
(15mm both sides of the weld) for laminations is also carried out.

4.6.3 Radiography
Only two of the pipe manufacturers who responded to the questionnaire did not list
radiography as part of their NDT requirements. Depending on the system used, radiography
may be real time systems with automated imaging (including fluoroscopy, Ref.16) and/or
with film, after hydrotest, for the pipe ends, skelp end welds and repairs. Two respondents
indicated that radiography is also used to confirm indications already identified by the
automated and manual ultrasonic testing. A similar approach (where radiography is used to
confirm ultrasonic test indications) for the Dunaferr pipe mill in Hungary is given in Ref.23.

4.6.4 Hydrotest
Hydrotesting is carried out on all spiral welded pipe to similar standards as for UOE pipe.
The duration and percentage of specified minimum yield stress (SMYS) applied at hydrotest
varies according to customer specifications, but for oil and gas service, most pipe mills
surveyed apply 90% SMYS for 10s as a minimum, but up to 100% SMYS and 30s may be

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required by the customer. One mill always uses 95% SMYS, unless a customer requests a
higher valve. API 5L (2) requires 90% SMYS for 10s for grades above X42, and ISO 3183-3
(4) requires 95% SMYS for 10s for all grades and all product forms.

4.6.5 Magnetic Particle Inspection


Magnetic particle inspection was listed by four of the respondents to the questionnaire. It is
used primarily for inspecting the bevelled ends of the pipes for laminations, in addition to any
other testing of that region. Additionally, magnetic particle inspection may be used when
repairs are carried out. The excavated region is subjected to inspection prior to repair welding
to ensure that the flaw identified for repair has been completely removed.

4.6.6 Dimensional Checks


The first dimensional check which needs to be carried out is applied to the skelp. Skelp
thickness is a critical variable in pipe production, particularly if there are specific
requirements on the internal diameter of the pipe. Since initial monitoring of pipe
circumference is on the outside of the pipe, any variation in skelp thickness will reduce
variations which may be tolerated in circumference to maintain internal diameter. For
example, if the tolerances given by a project specification are ±1.4mm on internal diameter,
and the tolerances on the wall thickness are ±0.4mm, the tolerances for the internal diameter
are reduced to ±0.6mm. Thus, for every 0.1mm increase in wall thickness tolerance, the
tolerances on the internal diameter are reduced by 0.2mm. This is carried out on the skelp
end, after squaring of the coil end.

The next dimensional check is of the outer diameter, after forming and welding, but before
any ultrasonic testing or cutting of the pipe lengths. This check is, in fact, a measurement of
circumference, and is carried out using a tape measure, at least once every pipe length. This is
done early in production, typically one turn of the seam after welding (tack welding in the
two step process), to allow any minor changes in the forming parameters to be made if the
diameter is found to be nearing the upper or lower control limits.

Visual inspection of the pipe after it has been cut to length may also include a measurement
of the diameter/circumference, and if necessary, this information should be fed back to the
operators of the forming machine.

The final, reported, dimensions of the pipes are measured at the final inspection stage, after
hydrotest, which may alter the diameter slightly. Wall thickness, diameter and ovality are
measured on pipe ends and pipe length is also recorded. The primary purpose of this
inspection is to fulfil customer quality assurance requirements. Nevertheless any
measurements found to be close to, (or in excess of) the control tolerances for the pipe can be
reported back to the forming and welding station(s), even though this may be rather late for
control purposes. With regard to measurements of ovality, it should be recognised that these
may be affected by self weight of the pipe in the case of large diameter, relatively thin wall
pipes. For this reason, measurements are made at 45º to the vertical; no attempt is generally
made to identify maximum and minimum diameter on each pipe end. Ovality in the pipe
body is not generally measured as the variation in pipe end ovality should reflect that of the
pipe body (the continuous process of spiral welded pipe manufacture can produce pipe of
varying length).

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Examples of the dimensional data for two pipe manufacturers responding to the
questionnaire, and from the literature, are shown in Fig.9.

4.7 M ECHANICAL TESTS


All the pipe mills carry out tensile tests on the pipe. Typically the tensile tests would be on
samples taken from the pipe body, transverse to the pipe axis, cross-weld samples and all-
weld metal samples.

Other tests which may be carried out on the pipe material include: bend tests; Charpy impact
tests; drop weight tear tests; hardness tests and metallographic examination. The tests are
generally taken transverse to the pipe axis, unless the weld itself is being considered.

The pipe axis, unlike UOE pipe, is not the same as the rolling direction, so samples taken
transverse to the pipe axis may not be the weakest test direction. This has led some
investigators (8, 24, 25) to conclude that spiral welded pipe is better than UOE pipe with
respect to the pressure distribution per unit length of weld, and that spiral welded pipes
should have a lower incidence of failure due to the weld angle. From considering resolved
stresses, this may be true. However, the component of welding residual stress which remains
in spiral welded pipe may mean that the two product forms are more evenly matched.

4.8 CORROSION TESTING


Corrosion tests are commonly only carried out by the pipe mill at the request of customers,
and usually consist of SCC or HIC testing to NACE requirements. Responses to the
questionnaire and information from the literature (26-28) indicate that it is possible to exceed
the NACE requirements for both these tests.

4.9 COATING
Coating of UOE pipes usually involves adding a thicker coating layer on the longitudinal
weld seam. For spiral welded pipes, it is difficult to ‘track’ the weld seam during coating, so
all the coating applicators who responded to the questionnaire apply the coating thickness
required for the seam to the whole pipe. This results in a high consumption of the coating
materials. This in itself is not problematic, in terms of practically coating the pipe, and in fact,
results in a thicker coating on the pipe body (better protection) compared with other product
forms.

The coatings usually used for oil and gas service, as for other product forms, include fusion
bonded epoxy resin (FBE), three-layer polyethylene, polypropylene or polyurethane, and
liquid epoxy (epoxy flow coat) for internal surfaces. Other coatings, such as coal tar or
concrete, may also be used. The pipes are usually prepared for coating by grit / shot blasting
the surface. Depending on the coating used, the pipe may be heated before coating begins, or
after coating to cure the polymer used.

Four of the respondents to the questionnaire indicated that the weld seam height needs to be
minimised, and the weld profile adjusted to maintain a smooth transition between the weld
and the pipe body to obtain optimum coating integrity and also to minimise coating

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consumption. Other factors identified to improve coating quality were minimised out of
roundness (ovality), cleanliness (no grease, oil or scale) and general surface quality.

It is usual to grind the weld cap away at the pipe ends, to facilitate field welding and to
provide better access for site automatic ultrasonic testing of the girth weld (this practice is
also used for UOE pipe). This is extended into the region where the coating is dressed off at
the pipe end, to ensure a smooth transition.

After coating, careful handling of the pipes is essential to avoid introducing defects into the
coating, just as for UOE pipe.

5. MATERIAL FACTORS AFFECTING SPIRAL WELDED PIPE MANUFACTURE


5.1 STEELMAKING
Steel quality and composition make a major contribution to the quality of spiral welded pipe
as they do for UOE pipe. However, steelmaking, from the liquid product, through casting and
rolling to final coiling, is a complex operation with many variables, which is within the
control of the steelmaker rather than the pipemaker. Nevertheless, the pipe manufacturer and
his clients need to be confident that the material supplied will give an appropriate pipe
quality. This confidence generally arises from a close long-term relationship between the
steelmaker and pipe manufacturer. One pipe mill, with a 30-year relationship with its steel
supplier, is so confident that routine checking of the skelp properties is not considered
necessary, and only the finished pipe properties are checked.

Differing opinions were received from the steelmakers regarding the composition of skelp for
spiral pipes compared to plate for UOE pipe. One respondent did not consider there to be any
difference in the steel composition for the two product forms. Another considered that plate
for UOE would have a “higher composition than spiral (e.g. for a carbon range 0.17 to 0.19,
spiral would be towards the bottom of the range and UOE towards the top of the range). This
is because the spiral pipe does not suffer yield loss after forming as the pipe wall thickness is
small compared to the pipe diameter”. These carbon levels are considerably higher than
would be appropriate for oil and gas pipes, however, and this comment is probably not
relevant to this quality of production. A third respondent considered that ‘higher alloying’
would be needed for coils for spiral welded pipes in order to achieve the tensile properties of
the pipes as the permanent strain involved in the expansion stage of UOE pipemaking
increases the yield strength of the pipe. Details of this ‘higher alloying’ were not given.

Despite these conflicting views, differences would be expected in skelp composition due to
differences between strip and plate production. Compositional differences are likely to be a
function of many factors, but in general are expected to be relatively minor. For the steel
producers using conventional BOF and continuous casting routes, traditionally linked to
predominantly Nb-microalloying as the main compositional route, some differences in Nb
levels have been indicated by Hulka (29). He suggests that in plate rolling, there is the
opportunity to obtain total thickness reductions in several passes in a way that is not possible
when rolling strip. Thus, strip rolling is typically carried out at a higher temperature than for
plate, to avoid excessive rolling forces, and a higher Nb content (0.04-0.06% for strip,
compared with <0.04% for plate) is used to help hinder recrystalisation of austenite, and a
consequent coarser grain size. Niobium also provides a strengthening effect, along with

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vanadium, through precipitation hardening, and not only will coiled strip typically have
higher Nb contents than comparable plate, but also the final cooling of a coil is slower than
that of flat plate. This results in a greater potential for precipitation hardening, and thus
greater strengthening effects from Nb and V additions. The slower cooling also means that
greater care needs to be taken over phosphorus levels, as segregation of this element to grain
boundaries may otherwise result in some loss of toughness (29).

For those steel producers using electric furnace and thin slab casting techniques, not
traditionally linked into a predominant Nb-microalloying route, some use of vanadium,
particularly for the production of strip would be expected. Electric furnace steels tend to have
higher nitrogen contents than BOF steels, and this can be turned to advantage by V
microalloying (30), which provides nitrogen rich V (CN) precipitation strengthening. Instead
of stopping recrystallisation at lower temperatures using Nb, the approach with these steels is
to allow recrystallisation during each rolling pass, resulting in progressively finer austenite
grain size, which therefore transforms to a fine ferrite grain size (recrystallisation controlled
rolling (31)). Precipitation provides significant strengthening after finish rolling, so that
during rolling, a lesser force is required. It is important that the interval time between passes
is short in order to suppress premature precipitation of V (C, N) due to strain, and also to
suppress recrystallised grain growth, to ensure fine microstructures. Some further ferrite grain
refinement can be provided by intragranular nucleation on V (CN) particles, and indeed this
effect can also be seen in HAZs and weld metals. One steelmaker (11) experimented with
differing levels of Mo, Nb and V, but found that the benefits of V-microalloying were limited
due to the long delays between passes in their rolling mill. This is not the case for other
manufacturers, who have successfully utilised V-microalloying in coils for spiral welded pipe
production (32, 33). Another feature of steels produced by thin slab casting is that the carbon
content has to be kept below the peritectic value, to avoid longitudinal surface cracks, and
carbon contents of such steels are thus typically 0.06% (30).

For higher strength grades of steel (for example X80 and equivalent) it is usual to use both
Nb and V-microalloying additions to give adequate strength and toughness, along with
acceptable weldability. Appropriate rolling to attain fine grain sizes in order to meet
toughness requirements is also necessary.

As with plate production, good casting practice, low sulphur and oxygen, Mn and P limits,
and accelerated cooling to control carbon movement are required for good sour service
performance. Accelerated cooling can also provide increased strength through reduced
ferrite/pearlite grain size, for leaner compositions, or possibly formation of lower
transformation temperature products.

5.2 EFFECT OF WELDING CONSUMABLES


Submerged arc welding consumables have to fulfil a number of requirements. Just as for
UOE pipe, good low temperature toughness is required for most oil and gas service, which
requires the use of a basic or semi-basic flux. For both spiral and UOE pipe production, fast
travel speeds are desirable, which results in long weld pools. In spiral welded pipe, however,
this will be inevitably spread over the curvature of the pipe, and there is a particular need for
a fast freezing slag to help support the weld bead. The potential effects of welding position, in
relation to top and bottom dead centre of the rotating pipe are shown in Fig.7.

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The primary control over the width and profile of the weld cap is through control of arc
parameters – principally by the use of high voltage to spread the final arc. The slag does also
have an effect, however. More fluid slags allow the weld bead to spread (Fig.10), and certain
constituents, notably rutile (TiO 2 ) help wetting at the edges (Fig.11). Both CaF2 and MnO
increase slag fluidity.

A further factor with spiral welded pipe is the effect of flux/slag burden weight, which can
produce concavity in the top of the weld bead when solidification is not at the top or bottom
dead centre of the pipe. Fluxes with a high bulk density, and which have a high melting point,
and thus produce a thin slag layer, help to prevent this (Fig.12 and 13).

At high travel speeds, the risk of undercut increases, and this is also affected by the slope of
the weld, that is the welding position in relation to top or bottom dead centre of the pipe
(Fig.14). Flux additions which increase arc stability can help to control this.

From the above discussion, it is clear that there are many factors to be taken into account in
the design of a submerged arc flux for spiral pipe welding. Furthermore, any adjustment in
composition which are made must not be allowed to compromise fundamental requirements
such as slag detachability. It is evident from Ref.34 that certain flux compositions encourage
the formation of pock marks, and work reported in by Yaorong et al (35) indicates that such
surface imperfections (referred to here as “arc pits”) can encourage SSCC initiation in sour
service.

6. CONTROL OF PIPE PROPERTIES


6.1 TENSILE PROPERTIES AND HARDNESS
The tensile strength of the pipe body arises from the skelp used, as indicated in section 5.1,
although the pipe strength differs from the measured skelp strength due to the cold working
involved in uncoiling the skelp and then forming the pipe. However, spiral welded pipe is not
generally cold expanded. The net effect is that the skelp is work hardened to a certain degree,
but the forming of the pipe, and the associated flattening of tensile test pieces taken
transverse to the pipe axis mask the work hardening by the Bauschinger effect.

It is worth noting that many investigators and some steelmakers consider the Bauschinger
effect as a problem for spiral welded pipe since these are generally not mechanically
expanded. The Bauschinger effect is the loss of strength on re-straining in a direction
opposite to that of a previous strain. In both UOE and spiral pipe manufacture, the skelp is
bent so that the inner portion of the pipe experiences compressive plastic strain and the outer
fibres experience tensile strain. In spiral welded pipe the levels of strain at the inner and outer
surface are approximately equal (5), while the compression at the inner surface of UOE pipe
is greater than the tension at the outer surface.

In pipelines the flattened strap tensile test will demonstrate a lower strength than a ring
expansion test for this reason. In UOE pipe the Bauschinger effect is reduced by the cold
expansion of the pipe (only one manufacturer has used mechanical expansion for its spiral
pipes (6), and is no longer in production). Ferrite-pearlite steels are susceptible to this effect,
with the difference in yield strength being most prominent in fine-grained steels (36). The use
of acicular ferrite steels (which have a higher rate of strain hardening than ferrite-pearlite

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steels) reduces this effect in both UOE and spiral pipes (37). Currently, most hot rolled strip
used for spiral welded pipe has a fine grained ferrite pearlite microstructure.

As expansion is not generally used for spiral welded pipes, the yield strength is not increased
with respect to the ultimate tensile strength as occurs in the expansion step in UOE pipe
manufacture, so lower yield to tensile strengths (Y:T) ratios can be maintained for spiral
welded pipes compared with UOE pipes. Current restrictions on Y:T ratio imposed by
customers on pipe manufacturers, are 0.85 and below, and typical Y:T ratios of 0.82 or less
can be achieved in spiral welded pipe manufacture.

Weld metal strength and hardness arise from the chemical composition, derived from
consumables and parent material dilution (section 5.2) and are also influenced by the weld
cooling rate. The cooling rate is dependent upon the heat input, wall thickness and any
preheat (interpass temperature) experienced. As discussed in 6.2 the second (generally outer)
weld pass will be preheated by the first pass. If alloying fluxes are used, the level of element
transfer can be affected by welding conditions, and in particular high arc voltage can increase
alloying. Local hard spots can also arise from partial mixing of ferroalloys from some active
fluxes (see section 9.4).

6.2 TOUGHNESS
As indicated above (see section 5.2), good low temperature weld metal toughness values can
be achieved with the use of basic and semi basic fluxes. However, the grain size of the weld
microstructure, which has a major effect on the toughness achieved, is affected by the
preheat/interpass temperature. The first (usually internal) pass of the submerged arc weld
provides a preheat (or interpass) temperature for the second (external) weld bead, which may
be high enough to have an adverse effect on toughness in critical cases. It must be recognised
that this effect will be most severe for smaller diameter pipe, due to the reduced distance (and
hence reduced cooling time) between the deposition of the internal and external weld beads.

Weld metal toughness, along with other properties, is affected by chemical composition
which is comprised of both welding consumables and typically ~70% parent material. Any
variations in parent material chemical composition may therefore affect weld metal
toughness, and consistent skelp supply is important. This feature is common to both spiral
welded and UOE pipe. One aspect of chemical composition which spiral welded pipes need
to be able to accommodate is relatively high Nb content, which may be used in strip to
maintain a fine grain size (see section 5.1). Any deviation from a fine acicular ferrite
microstructure in the weld metal will have a significantly adverse effect on toughness. Steel
plate, used for UOE pipe, generally has lower Nb contents. Thus, the presence of more Nb in
strip compared to plate demands greater attention to weld procedures and consumable
selection in order to achieve the required toughness. High Nb contents also make the
achievement of good HAZ toughness in high heat input welds more difficult. For spiral
welded pipe produced using a V-microalloyed skelp these issues would not arise (see section
5.1). Low carbon equivalent, however, (achievable with either microalloying route) is
beneficial and particularly with accelerated cooling (CEIIW values of ≤0.30 are achievable in
12-16mm thick strip of X65-X70 strength). There are no reports that achieving adequate
HAZ toughness has been a more significant problem for spiral welded pipes over UOE pipes
in practice.

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6.3 RESISTANCE TO SOUR S ERVICE
If pipe is to be made for sour service, it is essential that skelp which has been designed to be
resistant to hydrogen pressure induced cracking is employed. This requires stringent sulphur
and oxygen controls, low Mn and phosphorus contents and control of segregation during
casting. Accelerated cooling is also beneficial. A detailed exposition of the chemical and
process routes needed to produce hydrogen pressure induced cracking (HPIC) resistant strip
is outside the scope of the present work, but it should be recognised that specific steps need to
be taken at all stages of production, and that it will be necessary to rely on a good relationship
with a competent steelmaker.

Sour cracking in seam welds may take one of two forms – conventional sulphide stress
corrosion cracking or stress oriented hydrogen induced cracking (SOHIC). Conventional
cracking is controlled through hardness, and hardness levels of below critical values are not
difficult to achieve in HAZ and weld metal, at least up to ~X70 strength. There are no
generally accepted controls for SOHIC at present, but it is believed that the risk can be
minimised by using good quality HPIC resistant strip, and to some extent by minimising
residual stresses from forming (see section 4.4).

7. FIELD OPERATIONS
7.1 BENDING
Field bending of linepipe was identified as a potential problem for spiral pipelines by two of
the pipe lay contractors who responded to the questionnaire. The concerns raised were that it
was not possible to position the weld seam on the neutral axis of the bend and a concern that
the pipe strength may be compromised. It is not clear why the pipe strength would be
compromised more than in UOE pipes. However, one fabricator (with more experience in
laying spiral welded pipes for oil and gas service than those who raised the concern)
indicated that this was not a problem.

A number of projects where cold bending of spiral welded pipes was carried out successfully
are reported in the literature (38-40). Sommer (40) indicates projects in Germany and Peru,
where cold bending of up to one in three pipe lengths was required, and also indicates that
prior to hydrotest of the line, bending introduces less out of roundness to the pipe length than
for UOE pipe. However, after hydrotest this out of roundness was similar for both product
forms (~2.5%).

Ziliani (39) indicates that for a gas system in Sweden (84km, 24” x 7.1 to 10.2mm x 70) the
bending radius was 40”, to avoid wall shrinkage and damage to the polyethelyne coating.
Quarles (38) shows bent spiral welded pipes in the Basin pipeline in Alabama. An example of
a cold bent pipeline is shown in Fig.15.

7.2 WELDING
Girth welding of spiral welded pipes is carried out in the same manner as for UOE pipe. A
comparison of girth welding techniques carried out for the Welding Research Council (41)
using spiral welded pipe used this product form as it was “representative of a typically

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commercially available product”. The findings of this study have been applied to girth
welding of all linepipe forms, not restricted to spiral welded pipes.

A number of examples of both stovepipe welding and automatic GMAW used for onshore
pipeline girth welding of spiral welded pipes are given in the literature (38, 39, 42, 43). No
problems were reported for any field situation.

The welding of spiral welded pipes for offshore lines was also reported in the literature, using
SMAW or automatic GMAW. The repair rates for both processes were reported as 2-3%,
which was attributed to the good dimensional and geometrical tolerances of spiral welded
pipe (42).

One respondent to the questionnaire indicated that some problems with diameter variation
had been experienced with spiral welded pipe, from one particular pipe manufacturer.
However, as shown in Fig.9, diameter variation for both the one and two step processes can
be very small.

7.3 PIGGING
A perception given by Jones (44) that pigging of spiral welded pipes may be more difficult
than that for UOE pipes, as the weld direction causes the pig to spin and that there is no clear
circumferential reference point, was not upheld by the pigging contractors. Of the 16
responses, only three reported problems with spiral welded pipe. The problems cited were
with rapid wear of the pig, and variation in internal diameter. This has not inhibited
inspection of pipelines, and one contractor, who had problems of rapid wear and variation in
internal diameter has developed a modified pig for spiral pipeline inspection. One respondent
indicated that spiral welded pipe was better than UOE, as the wear of the pig was even over
the entire surface, and another preferred the hot rolled coil surface finish to that of plate.

A number of pigging contractors indicated that the possible dimensional tolerance problems
historically associated with spiral welded pipe are not problematic, as the pig can generally
negotiate ~10% variation in diameter, although one respondent referred to problems in the
Far East with variations in internal diameter of up to 2 inches. In view of the data reported in
Fig.9, these observations are not relevant to current good quality pipe production, but are an
interesting indication of the perceptions of spiral welded pipe which persist in industry.

One issue identified by pigging contractors was the need for more interpretation of data, due
to the presence of the spiral weld, but this may be overcome through appropriate
programming and data analysis, and is not a problem with modern computing power.

7.4 HOT TAPPING


No major concerns with regard to hot tap operations on spiral welded pipe were raised by any
of the hot tap contractors. There are nevertheless some issues if the spiral seam intersects
with the hot tap. One hot tap company (for bolt-on repair saddles) indicated that to obtain a
good seal, the spiral seam weld would need to be ground flush to the pipe body in order to get
a good seal of the saddle to the pipe. Another hot tap contractor indicated that the only
problem was ‘springback’ of the coupon (which may result in the coupon jamming in the
connection, or being lost in the pipeline), which was controlled by the use of strongbacks.

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8. POTENTIAL FAULTS AND PROBLEMS WITH SPIRAL WELDED PIPES
8.1 G ENERAL
The seam welds in spiral welded pipe are, in principle, susceptible to the same types of
imperfections and cracking as any other submerged arc weld e.g. as in UOE pipe. These are
detailed below, with an emphasis on particular aspects of spiral pipe manufacture which
could affect each.

8.2 WELD I MPERFECTIONS


8.2.1 Lack of Fusion
Although this imperfection was not identified by any of the respondents of the questionnaire,
one documented failure occurred as a result of lack of fusion (25mm long by 4mm deep)
extending by fatigue to a critical crack length (Ref.45 see section 9.4 below). Good
inspection applied to spiral welded pipes should identify such flaws for repair. Lack of fusion
either requires a serious upset in welding parameters, which is unlikely to go unnoticed with
modern computerised monitoring, or is due to off seam welding (see below).

8.2.2 Pores
Porosity was identified as a possible flaw by a number of respondents to the questionnaire.
When identified, remedial actions include adjustment of the welding parameters, re-drying of
the flux and control of flux particle size.

8.2.3 Undercut
Undercut, especially in the outer weld, can occur at high welding speeds, as indicated in
sections 4.5.5 and 5.2. This can be controlled by adjusting the welding parameters to an
appropriate range for the consumables being used (see section 5.2 above).

8.2.4 Slag Inclusions


A few respondents indicated that slag inclusions may occur. When identified, the welding
parameters and cleanliness of the joint preparation need to be checked and adjusted as
necessary to reduce the incidences of slag inclusion.

8.2.5 Lack of Weld Penetration


This defect is unusual in two pass SAW, owing to the selection of parameters to achieve a
penetrating arc in multiple wire welding. If it does occur it will be accompanied by upsets in
welding parameters, which should be recorded by modern computerised monitoring systems,
and furthermore is readily identified by ultrasonic inspection.

8.2.6 Misalignment (Offset of the Strip Edges)


Misalignment, or high-low control, was identified as a potential problem in both one-step and
two-step mills. One principal cause of this can be camber, that is bending in the plane of the
skelp, along its length (9). This results in a difference in the lengths of the edges of the coil,
which has to be accommodated by the shorter edge being bent round a slightly smaller
diameter. If skelp ends are not square where they are joined, a similar effect can occur

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locally. This can be adjusted during forming by electro-hydraulic units to adjust the angle of
the welding and forming stands (see section 4) to ensure that the edges of the skelp butt
together with minimal misalignment. In pipe mills with an internal star arm calibration wheel,
displacement of the formed pipe side of the weld preparation due to any (within tolerance)
variations in pipe diameter (Fig.5) result in an automatic correction process (9).

8.2.7 Off-Seam Welding


The offset between beads is sometimes known as ‘weld misalignment’, but will be referred to
as off-seam welding in this report, to avoid confusion with offset of strip edges. All
respondents to the questionnaire monitor and control off-seam welding by laser tracking and
also check this visually and by metallography along with other destructive tests.

8.3 FABRICATION CRACKING M ECHANISMS


8.3.1 Hydrogen Cracking
In principle, as the steel is microalloyed C-Mn steel and the submerged arc process uses an
agglomerated flux (with potential for moisture contamination), it is possible to get fabrication
hydrogen cracking in the seam weld. Fabrication hydrogen cracking in the HAZ is, however,
unlikely due to the low thickness (up to 25mm thick) of the butt welds (50mm combined
thickness) and the high heat input of the submerged arc welds, resulting together in soft HAZ
microstructures, and has not been reported. Weld metal hydrogen cracking is possible at the
upper range of the thickness (20-25mm) used for spiral welded pipes, but is not expected at
lower thicknesses due to reduced restraint and short diffusion distances for hydrogen escape
after welding.

Weld metal hydrogen cracking is most likely to occur transverse to the weld, at 45°, but
would be expected to be less likely in spiral welded pipes than UOE pipes, partly due to the
thinner material involved and the beneficial effects of the higher interpass temperature, but
also because there is no risk of joint contamination by forming lubricants (a source of
hydrogen) which may occur in a UOE press. Indeed, no record of weld metal hydrogen
cracking in spiral welded pipes has been found, by contrast with the situation for UOE pipes
(46). Nevertheless, as wall thickness and strength levels increase, the risk of cracking will
increase, and the possibility of transverse weld metal hydrogen cracking should be kept in
mind. In this regard, it is important to ensure that ultrasonic inspection of the weld, to search
for transverse cracks, is undertaken after hydrotest, in addition to or instead of immediately
after welding, so that some delay is inherent in the process, allowing any potential hydrogen
cracks to develop. As indicated above, this is most important in thicker wall, higher strength
pipe. In such cases, if ultrasonic inspection of the weld is only carried out immediately after
welding, there is a risk that weld metal hydrogen cracking may occur later, and remain
undetected. Manual inspection of the pipe ends after some delay provides some indication of
the incidence of hydrogen cracking, but, as the pipe ends will have lower residual stresses
than the pipe body, and hence a lower risk of hydrogen cracking, this does not guarantee that
the seam is crack free. However, such inspections after hydrotest can provide some assurance
that upset conditions which may have caused weld metal hydrogen cracking have not
occurred.

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8.3.2 Solidification Cracking
The large weld pools and high welding speeds associated with submerged arc welding can
lead to solidification cracking. The risk can be reduced by the selection of appropriate
welding consumables to minimise the Unit of Crack Susceptibility (UCS), as described in EN
1011-2 Annex E (47):

UCS = 230C* + 190S + 75P + 45Nb + 12.3Si – 5.4Mn [2]

Where C* is the carbon content of the weld metal in wt%, or 0.08, whichever is the greater.
All other elements in wt% (weld metal).

If UCS ≤10, there is considered to be a low susceptibility to solidification cracking, while a


UCS≥ 30 indicates a high risk of cracking. However, adjusting the width to depth ratio
changes the susceptibility too. An ideal width to depth ratio is approximately 1.5 (Fig.16).
With appropriate control of consumables, skelp composition and weld parameters, the
likelihood of solidification cracking is low. It should be recognised that the seam welds have
high (~70%) dilution, and thus the skelp composition has a significant effect on the weld
metal composition. In the one step process, the risk of solidification cracking is increased in
the first (inside) weld, if there is relative movement of the skelp edges before the weld pool
has completely solidified. Solidification cracks are generally quite wide and can be readily
detected by visual inspection (for surface breaking cracks) and ultrasonic testing (UT) for
buried cracks, and repaired readily in most cases by grinding out and rewelding. Thus, with
good visual and ultrasonic inspection, solidification cracks should be very unlikely to exist in
the finished pipe seam.

8.4 WELD PROPERTIES


8.4.1 Tensile Properties
The tensile strength of the weld is controlled through consumable selection, and is generally
designed to be greater than that of the parent material. Some investigations indicate that a
softened zone in the HAZ, adjacent to the fusion boundary, results in a lower weld zone
strength compared to equivalent UOE pipes (48-50). However, this claim of lower strength is
no longer recognised for the pipeline standards (ANSI/ASME B31.4 (51), CSA Z184 (52),
BS CP 2010: Part 2 (53)). One area of confusion is in ANSI/ASME B31.8 (54), which
considers double submerged arc welded pipe to have a strength factor of 1.0, and electric
fusion welded pipe (into which category spiral welded pipe is classified) to have a strength
factor of 0.8). Nevertheless, in other studies (23, 55-58), the strength of the weld metal was in
excess of all requirements.

8.4.2 Weld Zone Toughness


Charpy toughness tests are carried out by all respondents to the pipemakers questionnaire.
The selection of consumables which give acicular ferrite weld metal microstructures is a well
established practice (5, 59-64). There is some concern over the orientation of test samples for
spiral pipes, as propagation of fracture is usually parallel to the spiral weld (along the rolling
direction). However, no evidence of a difference between spiral welded pipe toughness and
UOE pipe toughness has been identified.

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The European Pipeline Research Group (EPRG) studies on fracture propagation in pipelines
have generally considered UOE pipe, in which crack propagation is parallel to the rolling
direction of the plate and the seam weld. In spiral welded pipe, a crack propagating
longitudinally will intersect the seam, and if the fracture resistance of the seam is less than
the pipe body, the crack may then propagate along the seam. A comparison of the test data
for spiral welded pipes with similar UOE pipes was given in Ref.65. Although there is a large
amount of scatter in the data, and the AISI model for prediction of Charpy energy was also
variable, this variation was found to be no worse than for UOE pipe (Fig.17). The review
concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that the fracture arrest performance of spiral
welded pipe was worse than that of UOE pipe. An earlier study of the EPRG considering the
propagation of unstable shear fracture (66) considered UOE and spiral welded pipe as in the
same population. No differences between the product forms were identified in this work.

Maxey (63) considered flaw orientation in both UOE and spiral pipes. In all cases, the initial
crack extension was in the rolling direction of the parent material. This led to a concern that
the standard mill practice of taking drop weight tear and Charpy test specimens transverse to
the pipe axis does not represent the minimum toughness in spiral welded pipe, and that tests
should be carried out with samples oriented with respect to the rolling direction of the parent
material. However, Maxey (67) also concluded that for UOE and spiral welded pipe with
similar yield strengths, dimensions and toughness transverse to the rolling direction of the
parent material, and the same flaw length in the rolling direction, the UOE pipe will have the
lower failure pressure. This is due to the greatest stress being in the hoop direction, transverse
to the pipe axis.

Bernasovsky and Lambardini (68) detailed an investigation into a failure (as described in
section 9.4), which considered the heat affected zone (HAZ) toughness in the presence of a
Charpy V machined notch and various ‘natural’ notches, including the angle of the toe
profile. This work identified that the optimum angle of the toe profile (~55°) gave values of
HAZ toughness double that measured with a 90° toe profile, ISO-V notch, cold lap and the
‘folded’ material identified as a contributory factor in the failure (see section 9.4). It must be
recognised that this HAZ region had also suffered cold straining (from bad positioning of
rollers causing local deformation of the pipe) during pipe coating, which additionally
contributed to the failure. This is confirmed by the work reported by Kalna and Piussi (69).

A review of welding linepipe steels for Arctic service considered the effect of alloying
elements in the parent plate, and their effect on weld toughness (70). The principal concern
for this work was the effect of Nb dilution into the weld metal. An experimental programme
considering X65 spiral welded pipe, and X70 UOE pipe, and the effects of differing wire and
flux combinations to counteract the reduction in toughness which arise from Nb dilution into
the weld was carried out. This study identified the importance of using basic fluxes and
additions of Ni and Mo to favour acicular ferrite formation (and thus optimise toughness).
Additionally, the minimisation of arc voltage to avoid toughness deterioration was
recommended.

The influence of flux oxygen content on weld metal toughness in spiral welded pipes was
considered by North et al (71), and linked the ‘oxygen potential’ of the flux, rather than a
basicity index, to the properties achieved. A hardenability factor, based on composition (C,

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Mn, Cr, Mo, Ni, Cu) is also linked to toughness in conjunction with the sulphur content of the
parent material.

Overall, the principal concerns with regard to toughness are HAZ toughness, and Nb dilution
into the weld metal from the parent material. While these concerns are not unique to spiral
welded pipe, higher Nb contents can be expected in strip than plate. Nevertheless, careful
selection of materials and welding parameters can mitigate the effects of Nb (68-71).

8.4.3 Corrosion
It has been suggested that preferential corrosion of the weld seam in spiral welded pipe is a
greater problem than in UOE pipe, as it is not possible to avoid positioning some of the pipe
seam at the 6 o’clock location (44). One pigging contractor reported cases where preferential
corrosion at the spiral seam had occurred, but also implied that the girth welds would have
suffered in such cases. However, only one fabricator and one end user indicated that
preferential corrosion of the spiral seam was a concern. Furthermore, the end user also
indicated that it is not always possible to guarantee that longitudinal seams are not in the 6
o’clock position. This would suggest that there is unlikely to be a greater problem for spiral
welded pipe from preferential corrosion in practice. This view point is supported by the fact
that no references were identified which reported any issues concerning preferential weld
area corrosion, or any difference between UOE and spiral welded pipes in this respect.

By contrast with preferential corrosion issues, several references were found concerning
cracking problems in corrosive environments, and particularly sour conditions. Cracking has
been induced in spiral welded pipe by several workers in the laboratory (26, 35, 72-76) and
SSCC failures have been reported in service (77-79, see section 9.4). In all these cases,
however, there were features of parent material and/or weld metal chemical composition
and/or microstructures which provided an inherent susceptibility to SSCC, independent of the
spiral pipe production process. Furthermore, a number of comparisons with UOE pipe
indicate that spiral welded pipe performance in sour conditions can be as good as or better
then that of UOE pipe, Fig.18-20 (26,76).

Thus, as indicated above, examination of reported instances of cracking in sour environments


does not, on close examination, demonstrate inferior behaviour of spiral welded pipe per se.
There is however, some evidence that high residual stresses increase the risk of cracking, and
since spiral welded pipe is not cold expanded, residual stresses are generally higher than in
UOE pipe. This concern was voiced strongly in Ref.35, but the evidence was not convincing,
and it was in the context of Chinese spiral welded pipe production, for which it was stated
that there was a higher incidence of “volumetric defect, crack like defect, and geometrical
defect” by comparison with UOE pipe. The significance of residual stress was demonstrated
by Ref.74 and 75 in full ring tests, which were designed specifically to retain residual stresses
in the test pieces. The cracking mechanism was SOHIC and was found in all conventional
spiral welded samples tested, but also in one UOE sample, which had been selected for
comparison, because of its high measured residual stresses. In that work it was also shown
that seam heat treatment could reduce residual stress, and improve ring test performance.

The significance of residual stress is also recognised in Ref.26, and in that work freedom
from cracking in full ring tests is demonstrated at applied stresses of 80% SMYS. This was

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achieved partly by careful attention to steel making and processing, but it was also stated that
residual stresses were minimised by controlling forming and by hydrotest conditions.

9. PIPE PERFORMANCE
9.1 G ENERAL
In order to obtain a complete picture of spiral welded pipe performance, it is important to
consider both mill test situations and service. Additionally, to put the occurrence of any
problems in context, the performance of other product forms needs to be noted, so that a
comparison can be made.

9.2 TEST PERFORMANCE (L ITERATURE)


Tests carried out for the purpose of research in controlled conditions utilise pipe that has been
released to the client as fit for service. The tests carried out include mechanical property tests,
fracture toughness tests, corrosion tests and metallography.

Tensile testing has been carried out to confirm the pipe properties. In most cases, the
requirements were exceeded providing appropriate parent material was selected. The
importance of using an appropriate parent steel is indicated in section 5.1.

A few studies have concluded (from reviewing a number of standards, some of which are no
longer used for new design) that spiral welded pipe is inferior to UOE pipe with respect to
strength (48-50). This conclusion is based upon an assumption that the weld zone is not as
strong as the parent material, due to HAZ softening at the fusion boundary. However, these
studies refer also to standards from the 1970’s which indicated that a spiral seam pipe should
be assumed to have a strength factor of 0.8 compared with a longitudinal seam pipe strength
factor of 1.0. One cited standard (BS CP 2010: 1970 Part 2 (53) does not distinguish between
the longitudinal and spiral seam, but rather gives all submerged arc welded seams a joint
strength factor of 1.0. This is also the case for more recent versions of the other cited
standards (ASME/ANSIB31.4, B31.8 (51, 54).

A number of studies have considered the fracture toughness of the pipe (16, 55, 56, 64-67,
71, 80). However, most of the studies have not identified problems with spiral welded pipes,
but rather found fracture initiation and propagation initially in the rolling direction of the
steel, rather than axially or transverse to the pipe, which indicates a higher toughness than
required by specifications for flaws in the circumferential or longitudinal directions (58, 63,
71). These investigations recommend testing in the rolling direction and transverse to it in
order to assess the fracture behaviour. One investigation comparing the fracture toughness of
spiral and UOE pipe concluded that for two pipes similar in yield strength, dimensions and
toughness transverse to the rolling direction, a flaw in the rolling direction would cause
failure at a lower pressure in the straight seam pipe (67).

Corrosion studies feature strongly in the literature survey (26-28, 35, 73-76, 81). Two of the
references (27, 28) do not consider the spiral weld, but only the girth weld hardness and
methods of hardness measurement, which has been considered for all corrosion tests, as the
Rockwell C criteria may be unconservative due to the size of the indenter and possible
‘masking’ of hard regions.

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One recent study (35) explored the performance of Chinese spiral welded pipe in a sour
environment. This investigation highlighted workmanship as a primary factor in control of
defects and residual stress. It was stated that the defects considered by the authors to be
inherent in spiral welded pipe can be tolerated in sweet service due to the increased toughness
of the pipe realised by Chinese pipemakers in recent years. However, the presence of these
defects results in a requirement for higher toughness in spiral welded pipes compared with
UOE pipes. The same workmanship problems (flaws and high residual stress) when in a sour
environment can encourage the occurrence of stress corrosion and hydrogen induced
cracking. It was suggested that if these problems with the workmanship of Chinese spiral
welded pipes can be reduced or eliminated, use of these pipes in mildly sour environments
could be considered. This study does not reflect the situation for spiral welded pipes
manufactured in other countries. In fact, several other studies have indicated that provided an
appropriate parent steel, weld metal and procedure are selected, spiral welded pipes can be
used successfully in sour environments (81). NPC (National Pipe Company Ltd, Saudi
Arabia) report that they have successfully produced spiral welded pipes for sour service since
the mid-1980s (26). They report the test results from HIC, SSC and full ring tests, for their
602mm diameter, 12.7mm wall thickness X60 pipe. HIC tests using both NACE TM0284 and
TM0177 solutions (current TM0284 solutions B and A) did not show cracking; SSC tests
(tensile and bend) did not show cracking at applied loads up to 100% SMYS in both the cross
weld and base material samples, and a CAPCIS full ring test using NACE TM0177 solution
and 80% SMYS applied stress did not crack. This reference also identifies the measures taken
to ensure good sour performance. With regard to the parent steel, inclusion shape control,
uniform parent material microstructure and low phosphorous and sulphur levels are
necessary. During pipe manufacture the selection of consumables to achieve weld metal
hardness <248HV10, and adjusting the forming parameters to achieve low levels of residual
stress were highlighted as essential.

9.3 M ILL TEST PROPERTIES


Only three respondents to the questionnaire have provided test data. The data supplied
indicate that for these manufacturers, it is possible to produce pipe with good mechanical
properties and excellent statistical control. Table 2 gives an example of the range of tensile
properties achieved for one of each type of spiral welded pipe manufacture. No problems in
exceeding the strength requirements for any grade were reported. Although two steelmakers
indicated problems in attaining the Y:T ratio in some cases, due to the Bauschinger effect and
the helix angle of the pipe, this concern was not supported by responses from pipemakers,
who reported achievement of around 0.82 Y:T ratio (section 6.1 above).

With regard to toughness, the data supplied indicates good values for Charpy-V-notch and
drop weight tear tests at 0ºC. For one manufacturer the data Charpy tests showed HAZ
toughness in excess of 50J at -40ºC for X70 pipe. No problems in achieving toughness
requirements were reported.

Corrosion test data were supplied by two pipe manufacturers, and indicate good HIC test
results for material designed to be HIC resistant, of CLR<3% and CTR ≤1% for both
manufacturers.

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9.4 SERVICE EXPERIENCE
Spiral welded pipes have been used in oil and gas service for over thirty years. A number of
projects, sizes and lengths are given in Table 3. In the majority of cases, the pipe has given
satisfactory service, and only four published instances of failure have been found, although it
must be recognised that the majority of industrial failures remain unpublished. As will be
seen below, in none of these cases were the principal factors which contributed to the failure
directly associated with the spiral pipe form.

In 1974, a series of failures occurred in a spirally welded API 5LX42 sour gas transmission
pipeline between four and seven weeks after commissioning (77). The pipe split adjacent to
the spiral seam by what would now be recognised as a ‘stress oriented hydrogen induced
cracking’ (SOHIC) mechanism. The failure extended for more than 10km, included pipe from
two suppliers and in 0.25″ thick pipe of various outer diameters (16″ to 24″). The parent
materials used in the pipeline included steels with sulphur contents between 0.007 and
0.013%. Upon additional testing, these steels suffered extensive blistering, and the lower
sulphur steel also suffered step-wise cracking. The sulphur levels, and the sulphide
morphology contributed to the failure. As the parent coil composition is not influenced by the
spiral forming and welding operations, it is not considered that this failure is unique to spiral
welded pipe.

The second failure, of a Czechoslovakian gas pipeline (which had been installed in ~1966)
after 12 years in service, occurred as a result of a fabrication flaw (12mm long, 4mm deep
lack of fusion), which had extended by fatigue to a critical length for brittle fracture. Fatigue
loading had occurred as the earth around the pipeline eroded, allowing the pipeline to flex
adjacent to a bend under the influence of pressure variations. In addition, testing established
that the base material had low notch toughness at the temperature of failure (+4°C), which
also contributed to the catastrophic failure of the pipeline (45). Overall, this failure is in no
way representative of current spiral welded pipe. Not only should a flaw of the size of the
initiating defect be easily detected by modern systems, but also the fracture toughness at
+4°C would be much better.

The next reported failure is the Grizzly Valley Pipeline (78, 79). This failure occurred at a
number of locations in the pipeline, arising from hard regions in the seam weld which had
suffered sulphide stress corrosion cracking (SSCC). These hard regions were caused by
incomplete mixing of active metallic (Mn alloying) constituents in the flux. This situation
was exacerbated by the use of a high Mn wire. The portions of pipe which had been made
with more suitable consumables did not fail and was still reported to be in operation six years
later. Thus, although this is an example of a failure in a spiral welded pipe, it also provides an
example of successful operation of a spiral welded pipe in a severe corrosive environment.
The susceptibility of the weld metal to SSCC was not a function of the pipe form, but of
consumable selection, and indicates the importance of manufacturing procedures needing
appropriate controls.

The fourth failure reported in the literature was in another Czechoslovakian pipeline. The
cracking occurred during bending operations. The cracks were found to have originated at a
surface lap of weld metal from the outer weld bead toe. The weld reinforcement had
apparently been pushed into the HAZ region by a badly positioned support roller in the

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coating plant. This had resulted not only in the formation of a sharp notch, but also
measurable cold working to a depth of 0.75-2.5mm, which was believed to have reduced the
toughness. This had not been detected, largely because the damage had occurred after all
inspection and testing stages. It is likely that this type of failure has influenced the perception
that spiral welded pipes should not be bent (68, 69).

9.5 TWI EXPERIENCE


TWI has been involved in a number of studies concerning spiral welded pipes. The detail of
these studies is confidential, and so cannot be discussed freely in this review. A number of
failures have occurred as a result of issues not inherently associated with the spiral weld, or
welding operations. Several of the failures have shown the importance of good practice
during transportation and others have indicated the necessity of removing all water from the
pipelines after hydrotest. These are issues which may arise with UOE pipe as well as spiral
welded pipe.

TWI is aware of (but did not directly investigate) a number of SOHIC failures in spiral
welded pipe, in addition to that referred to in section 9.4 above. In all cases the steel was
shown to have some susceptibility to hydrogen pressure induced cracking (HPIC), and will
have contributed to the failure. In one case, however, very high tensile residual stresses
(>130% SMYS) were measured at the internal surface, and will have assisted in the
development of SOHIC.

10. REVIEW OF STANDARDS


The principal national and international standards used in the manufacture of linepipe for oil
and gas service are API 5L (2), ISO 3183-2 (3) and ISO 3183-3 (4). These standards contain
differing requirements for spiral welded pipe. API 5L (2), paragraph 5.5 allows skelp end
welds, provided automatic welding processes are used and that the skelp end weld is not too
near the end of the pipe. ISO 3183-2 (3) allows skelp end welds in helical seam welded pipe,
by agreement. Where accepted, the skelp end weld must be at least 200mm from the pipe
end. Skelp end welds are not permitted in longitudinal seam pipes. ISO 3183-3 (4) does not
allow skelp end welds in strip, but for plates used in spiral welded pipe manufacture, skelp
end welds may be allowed (paragraph 6.6). All these standards contain restrictions on the
skelp width that can be used (see section 4.4), with respect to the pipe diameter. No other
restrictions or additional requirements for spiral welded pipe over UOE pipe are given in
these specifications.

Pipe lay contractors tend to use API 1104 (82), DNV OS-F101 (22) and BS 4515 (83). DNV
OS-F101 section 5 paragraph A204 (22) gives some supplementary requirements regarding
fracture arrest properties and load controlled condition, as it considers that there is limited
experience with spiral welded pipes subjected to running fracture or large strains. There is a
requirement in BS 4515 (83) paragraph 11.4 regarding seam positioning within the top half of
the pipe, but this only applies to longitudinally welded pipe, and not to spiral welded pipes.

Two company specifications were supplied by end users for review. One had the specific
exclusion of skelp end welds and a requirement for lamination testing of a wider region of the
skelp edges for spiral welded pipe. The other does not prohibit skelp end welds, but specifies
that skelp end welds are only accepted when made solely by the submerged arc process. No

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other restrictions over and above those applied for UOE pipe were identified from these
company specifications.

11. BENEFITS AND DISADVANTAGES


11.1 BENEFITS OF SPIRAL WELDED PIPES OVER O THER PRODUCT FORMS
Spiral welded pipe is generally highlighted as being cheaper than comparable grades and
sizes of UOE pipe. This cost benefit arises from the relative cost of parent materials (coil is
generally less expensive per tonne than plate) and the versatility of pipe forming. The capital
equipment outlay is also less for spiral welded pipe mills (84). The responses to the
questionnaire indicated that most pipe manufacturers considered their product to be 5-15%
cheaper than UOE pipe of corresponding wall thickness and diameter. For one manufacturer
pipes >30” outside diameter, the cost benefit was considered to be at this level, and below
30” diameter, the cost benefit was considered to be negligible. This view was supported by
one end user, who requests tenders for pipes from both UOE and spiral welded pipe suppliers
up to 48” outside diameter, but for larger diameter products requests tenders of only spiral
welded pipe. However, as indicated by one pipe manufacturer, the cost benefit will depend on
the pipe dimensions, quantity and project specifications, along with the price of skelp at the
time of the order.

The continuous submerged arc welding in the one-step process reduces the start-stop regions
of the welds in the pipes, such that problems with setting the submerged arc welding
parameters are restricted. In the two-step process, the speed of production is greater than the
one-step process, and can assist rapid delivery of orders. The start/stop tabs are cut off, in the
same manner as for UOE pipe.

Spiral welded pipe production is versatile for small orders, and for non-standard pipe
diameters, as the forming stands can be adjusted fairly easily for an infinite adjustment of
helix angles within the bounds of the skelp width to diameter ratios. This versatility can be
utilised to have the same skelp grade/batch for a number of pipe diameters in the same or
different orders. It is particularly useful for pipes for bends, which are commonly required to
have a slightly larger diameter than the rest of the pipeline.

As shown earlier (Fig.9), the tolerances on pipe diameter, ovality and straightness can be very
good. This assists in girth-weld fit-up, and to some extent with pigging of the line in service.
With appropriate manufacturing controls, there is no barrier to this dimensional tolerance
being achieved by any spiral pipe manufacturer. The versatility of spiral welded pipe
manufacture is also shown in the lengths of pipe that can be supplied. Most of the pipe
manufacturers can produce pipe lengths in excess of 12m, which may have benefits in a
reduction in the number of girth welds in the final pipeline. However, if required by a
customer, pipe lengths can be limited to 12m (or less).

11.2 DISADVANTAGES OF SPIRAL WELDED PIPES OVER O THER PRODUCT FORMS


The principal disadvantage of spiral welded pipes is the longer weld length compared to UOE
pipe, which if it contains the same number of flaws per unit length of weld as other product
forms, will result in a larger number of weld flaws per unit pipe length. This disadvantage can
be overcome by the use of appropriate inspection techniques to ensure weld quality. With
good inspection, the flaws can be identified and repaired if necessary.

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Another disadvantage is that during pipe laying it is not possible to avoid placing the seam
weld away from the 6 o’clock position of the pipe. This may result in preferential corrosion
of the seam weld at that location. However, if the seam weld is corroding, it is likely that the
girth weld is also corroding and that any corrosion mitigation measures taken have not been
effective. The use of appropriate inhibitors can reduce or eliminate this problem.

The spiral weld profile is not generally as smooth as would be expected from UOE pipe,
largely due to depositing the weld upon a curved surface, and the angle of the weld toe can be
pronounced. The weld profile arises primarily from the solidification of the weld metal
during rotation (see section 4.7), in the uphill or downhill position rather than on the top or
bottom dead centre. This may present problems with regard to fatigue initiation or the
introduction of flaws during bending (see section 9.4). (Fatigue is not a major issue for line
pipe, but cyclic loading can occur in transport, if free spans develop, or in gas storage
systems).

A further disadvantage is that the one-step process, although versatile, is not able to meet
very rapid order demands, as the production speed is limited to the welding speed. However,
the two-step process claims to produce pipe at a rate approximately four times faster (15, 16).

High residual stresses in the pipe may provide a higher susceptibility to SOHIC than for other
product forms. However, this problem can be overcome by material selection, and pipe which
is not susceptible to SOHIC has been produced, and more than one pipeline which has had
SOHIC failures in the past, then continued in satisfactory service with spiral welded pipe (77,
79). However, it is not known what mitigation and inspection schemes were applied, along
with engineering critical assessments to ensure the reliability of the pipelines.

11.3 CUSTOMER PERCEPTIONS OF SPIRAL WELDED PIPE


Many customer perceptions expressed in the questionnaires are negative. However, under
closer scrutiny, many of these perceptions are based upon false or incomplete information.
These perceptions and comments on them are given below:

1. Spiral welded pipes are used for low pressure (water) applications, so are of low
quality.

This perception arises from the oldest (c. 1960) spiral welded pipelines, which
contained a number of defects, had dimensional irregularities, and were not accepted
for oil and gas service by the standardisation authorities (API, DIN, BSI) at that
time. From the inclusion of spiral welded pipes in standards since the late 1960’s,
the product is accepted (BS CP 2010 (53), ISO 3183-3 (4), API 5L (2) for oil and
gas duty. It should also be recognised, however, that pipe mills still exist which do
not have the necessary facilities and QA in place for other than low grade (e.g.
water) applications, and only good quality mills should be considered for oil and gas
service. See also section 13.

2. The spiral seam leads to difficulties in pigging, as there is no single reference point,
and causes pigs to wear more quickly.

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No insurmountable difficulties with pigging spiral welded pipes were identified in
the responses from pigging contractors. An improved data logging and interpretation
facility is needed for intelligent pigging of spiral welded pipe, compared with UOE
pipe, but current computational expertise and power can easily deal with that. Pig
wear is also not considered a major problem, and indeed as the wear pattern
encompasses the entire surface of the pig, rather than a single location one operator
indicates a preference for spiral welded pipe.

3. Spiral welded pipe should not be used for gas lines as the seam results in a greater
loss in pressure (resistance to flow, manifested by a pressure drop down the
pipeline) than for UOE pipes.

Sommer (40) addresses this problem and shows that the pressure drop for both
product forms is approximately equal. This is also stated by Grohs (85), in that the
internal finish of the pipe is more influential of the flow characteristics than the
geometry and position of the seam. In this respect, spiral welded pipe made from
strip is better than UOE pipe made from plate, as the surface finish of the pipe can
be better without any coating or post processing.

4. Spiral welded pipes should not be bent, and the pipe strength after bending is not
guaranteed.

Again, Sommer (40) presents data on the bending and resultant ovality of pipes, and
shows that the dimensional tolerances after cold bending are comparable to UOE
pipe. Grohs (85) presented data concerning the bending of pipe lengths containing
skelp end welds, using a standard field bending machine with an internal mandrel.
Less than 2% ovality was recorded along the length of the pipe. Cold bent pipes
have been used in a number of projects (see section 7), and no problems with
strength or premature failure have been reported.

5. Skelp end welds are low quality and should not be included for oil and gas service.

This perception may arise from the term ‘skelp end weld’, which, in electric
resistance welded pipe is a low quality weld, and is not included in the pipes. In
spiral welded pipe, the skelp end weld can be of equivalent quality to the seam weld.
On the inside, the skelp end weld is typically a submerged arc weld with the same
weld procedure as the seam weld. Irrespective of the outside welding method, the
skelp end weld can be inspected using radiography, ultrasonic testing and visual
inspection in as much, or greater, detail than the seam weld. Flaws in a skelp end
weld can be repaired in the same way as seam weld repairs. However, skelp end
weld pipes may be reserved for less critical applications and detailed examination of
the welding procedures and practices should be undertaken before accepting these
welds.

6. Spiral welded pipes contain high residual stress because they are not expanded.

The residual stresses in both UOE and spiral welded pipes arise from forming
stresses and welding residual stress. As mentioned in section 4.4, the residual

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forming stress in spiral welded pipe can be minimised by the initial set-up of the
forming machine. Welding residual stress, however, will be present, at levels up to
the yield strength of the pipe. Although this is seen as a distinction from UOE pipe,
work by Koch, Peeck and Elfinger (74) showed that even with mechanical
expansion, UOE pipe may contain levels of residual stress as high as those in spiral
welded pipes. However, even with high residual stress in spiral welded pipe, these
are not in the principal stress direction of the pipe when it is in service, so this may
not be as great a problem as the perception suggests. No failures solely due to high
residual stresses have been cited in the literature, and although they have been
implicated in SOHIC failures, the steel has had a susceptibility to HPIC in all those
cases. No failures in which residual stress was the only factor were highlighted from
the questionnaire, and TWI has not had any experience of failures of this manner
either.

7. Spiral welded pipes are particularly susceptible to SOHIC.

There have been failures by SOHIC in spiral welded pipe, and it is possible that high
residual stresses have contributed to these. It is also possible, that the perception has
been affected by test results, including both small scale and full ring test data.
Examination of published data on SOHIC indicates that it has only been generated
under very severe combinations of stress and environment, at least in HPIC resistant
steels and that it is not restricted to spiral welded pipes. The reported failures have
been in steel of quality which would no currently be considered to be acceptable for
sour service, and pipe which has passed sour ring tests has been produced from good
sour quality skelp.

8. Spiral welded pipes should not be used for offshore applications

This was indicated by the pipe manufacturers as a perception which they have to
contend with. However, spiral welded pipes have been used for offshore
applications for some time. Tolkemit et al (42) give details of spiral welded
pipelines installed in the North Sea between 1978 and 1982, in water depths of up to
40m, which are still carrying gas, without any reported problems. Other offshore
lines in the Baltic Sea (depths up to 41m), Gulf of Mexico (depths up to 93m) and
the Mediterranean sea (depths of 34m) using spiral welded pipes are also mentioned.
One end user indicated that a forthcoming installation would include submarine 56”
spiral welded pipes for an export facility. However, one pipe manufacturer
perceived that the reluctance among end users to apply spiral welded pipes in
shallow water offshore installations was due to a lack of experience with spiral
welded pipes from the pipe lay contractors.

Overall, the negative customer perceptions have not been found to be based on fact, and
eliminating the rumours concerning this product form will assist in it gaining wider
acceptance with the end users. It is nevertheless apparent that a clear distinction needs to be
drawn between mills with the necessary facilities, QA procedures, and experience to be able
to make good quality pipe, and those without. This is discussed further in sections 12.3, and
13 below.

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12. DISCUSSION
12.1 SUITABILITY OF SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR O IL AND GAS S ERVICE
One of the primary objectives of the current project was to determine whether spiral welded
pipe can be made to sufficient quality levels to be suitable for oil and gas service. To some
extent, this question is answered by the fact that such pipe is currently in oil and gas service,
including some severe sour service. Nevertheless, there have been failures, and concerns
remain in some users minds, partly because of adverse comparisons which are made with the
primary competitor, UOE pipe.

Close examination of the reported failures (section 9.4) has not indicated a problem with the
spiral welded pipe form per se. In all cases the failure could be attributed to material or
welding factors, which are not unique to spiral forming and welding. A 12mm x 4mm lack of
fusion defect, which gave rise to a fatigue failure in a pipe made in 1966, could have occurred
in a UOE seam, but more significantly should be as easily discovered by good NDT in both
UOE and spiral welded pipe. There are no fundamental process reasons why modern, state of
the art ultrasonic and radiographic inspection cannot be implemented in a spiral pipe mill,
and in many cases, they already are.

A further contributory factor to that failure was low toughness at +4°C, in the parent material.
Spiral welded pipe is made from coiled strip, and the mechanical properties which can be
achieved in this are now excellent, and can match plate properties. Thus again, the failures of
a low toughness pipe, dating from 1966, should not be taken as an indication of the current
situation. Clearly quality assurance checks are necessary to ensure that required properties are
achieved, but excellent properties can be anticipated. Nevertheless, strip properties, and
consistency of supply quality, are essential contributory factors to the final pipe quality. This
covers mechanical properties, chemical composition and dimensions. Pipe makers who
develop a long term relationship with a high quality steel maker are more likely to produce
consistent and reliable pipe.

Steel quality is even more important if sour service is to be considered. Strip is currently
available with composition and microstructure suitable for sour service, but in all the
examples of sour failures which were examined, it was evident that such material had not
been used. This is particularly important when service conditions are sufficiently severe to
provide a risk of SOHIC, in which case truly HPIC resistant strip should prevent failure. One
pipemaker who had used strip designed for sour service was able to demonstrate good
resistance to SSCC in both small scale tests and full ring tests (26).

One significant sour service failure of spiral welded pipe, was due to high weld metal
hardness. The consumable selection and procedural factors which contributed to this were not
specific to spiral welded pipe. Identical welding consumables, and in particular fluxes and
procedures, will not be used for spiral welded pipe as for UOE, owing to the curvature of the
weld preparation along its length in the former, but these differences do not result in
differences in hardness. The factors which contributed to the above failure (the use of active
fluxes, a high Mn wire and high voltage) were not pertinent to the welding of spiral formed
pipe. Thus, it is apparent that spiral welded pipe can currently be produced which is of
suitable quality for oil and gas service. Nevertheless, some care needs to be taken in
procuring it, as there are mills which concentrate on the production of pipe for lower grade

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(e.g. water) service and piling. It is important to ensure that any mill producing spiral welded
pipe for oil and gas service has necessary production controls and quality assurance in place.
This is discussed further in sections 12.3, and 13 below.

Overall, it is evident that the performance, reliability and quality of spiral welded pipe are a
function of the skelp supply, attention to manufacturing detail and quality assurance of the
produced product.

12.2 EASE OF USE


Once satisfied that a pipe has adequate properties for oil and gas service, the ease with which
it can be handled and fabricated, and any other effects on operation need to be evaluated.
Factors which need to be considered include coating, bending, welding, hot tapping, pigging
and flow characteristics.

Applying a good coating to a spiral welded pipe is not a problem. The only issue of concern
is that it is not easy to apply extra coating to the weld seam. This means that to achieve
minimum coating thickness on the weld seam (typically greater than required for the pipe
body), more than is required has to be applied to the pipe body. Although this will have some
cost implications, the resulting coating quality will be enhanced.

Pipe bending is perceived as a problem by some who have little experience of handling spiral
welded pipe, apparently because of a concern that the seam cannot be entirely on the neutral
axis, but no examples of problems have been reported in responses to the questionnaires or
found in published literature. Furthermore, one pipemaker gave the example of a successful
project in particularly difficult terrain, where every third pipe had to be cold bent, as evidence
that bending was not a problem.

The primary welding concern is with regard to dimensional control. Slight ovality will be
overcome by modern internal clamping systems, but any variations in wall thickness or
diameter will result in poor girth weld fit-up. One respondent to the questionnaire expressed
this as a concern, and another reported a bad experience with inconsistency of diameter for
pipe from one source. However, data on pipe diameters from two mills (one-step and two-
step) shown in Fig.9, indicate that very good tolerances can be achieved.

The other principal issue with regard to welding is the girth weldability of the pipe material.
In this respect, spiral welded pipe can match the performance of any other pipe form,
providing good quality skelp is employed. In fact, the carbon equivalent values for spiral
welded pipe are comparable to those for UOE pipe, indicating a similar girth weldability.

Some concern was expressed at the inaugural meeting for this project that it might be difficult
to avoid the seam during hot tapping operations, and that this might make them more
difficult. From the responses to the questions posed to the hot tap contractors, the principal
problems identified were those of welding over the seam weld, the possible intersection of
the seam weld with the location of the coupon and ‘springback’ of the coupon. When welding
or fitting-up the hot tap connection, it is sometimes necessary to remove the weld cap in order
to get an appropriate fit-up for both UOE and spiral welded pipe. The hot tap connection may
have to involve welding over the seam weld for either product form. The possible intersection
of the coupon with the seam weld may be avoided by arranging the hot tap coupon to be sited

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away from a seam weld, but although it is recognised that this may be difficult, it is not, in
itself an insurmountable problem. ‘Springback’ of the coupon in larger diameter pipes is
controlled by applying ‘strongbacks’ to the coupon, and does not inhibit hot tapping on spiral
pipelines.

It was suggested in Ref.42 that the spiral seam could cause pigs to spin, and that this would
be a particular problem in the absence of a clear circumferential reference point. However,
from the 16 pigging contractors that responded to the questions posed, only two respondents
indicated that the lack of a clear circumferential reference point was problematic, and none
indicated that the pig was liable to spin. Some comments regarding older spiral pipe and
dimensional tolerance were received, but no specific restrictions were noted that had not or
could not be overcome.

12.3 PROCESS VARIABLES WITHIN SPIRAL WELDED PIPE PRODUCTION


There are several process variables within spiral welded pipe production, which can affect
quality, production rate, and production cost. In the past different numbers and positions of
welding stations, have been used (see section 4.5) but currently there are two main variants in
this respect, namely the ‘one step’ and ‘two step’ processes (see section 4.5). The
fundamental consequences of differences between these processes are:

• Faster production rate for two-step process (assuming one forming stand for one step
process; up to four times faster is claimed for two step process).
• One stop/start per weld per pipe for two step process, compared with theoretically one per
coil for one step process. In either case, interruptions in welding need to be repaired.
• Opportunity to optimise submerged arc welding parameters without having to take
forming into consideration for two step process.
• Opportunity to adjust internal welding position relative to bottom dead centre in the two
step process.
• Possible weld cracking due to relative motion of the strip edges during welding in the one
step process (see section 4.5.2).

None of these issues are sufficiently important to allow a general statement to be made with
regard to quality, and other features of the pipe mill operation (seam tracking, ultrasonic
inspection capabilities, edge preparation, skelp quality, and skill of the workforce) are more
important in this respect. Data which have been obtained on dimensional parameters and
properties demonstrate that similar control is achievable by both processes (Fig. 9). The two
step process does provide the potential for faster production, but there are one-step mills with
more than one forming and welding stand, which mitigates this to some extent. Important
variables in either process, which may affect quality are as follows:

• Accuracy and consistency of strip camber and thickness.


• Seam tracking.
• Root gap control.
• Control of welding parameters.
• Fine, automatic control of forming during production.
• Strength and stability of forming stands.
• Physical stability of welding heads.

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• Quality of edge preparation (sheared or milled).
• Quality and consistency of welding consumables.
• Control of welding position relative to top/bottom dead centre of the pipe.
• Procedures for feedback from inspections to forming and welding stations.
• Forming set up procedures.
• Quality of ultrasonic inspection (number of probes, calibration, seam tracking).
• Timing of ultrasonic inspection (time after welding; time in relation to pressure test).

All these factors need to be taken into consideration when reviewing a pipe mill (see section
13) with a view to purchasing pipe for oil and gas service. It is also important to assess the
limits of capabilities of the mill, and to ensure that it will not be operating at the limits of
strength and thickness. One problem which can arise from this cause is peaking due to
inadequate edge crimping.

12.4 COMPARISON OF SPIRAL WELDED PIPE WITH UOE PIPE


The principal competitor for spiral welded pipe is UOE longitudinally seam welded pipe.
Both product forms contain a submerged arc welded seam, but there are several differences.
The principal technical differences are as follows:

• The seam weld in spiral welded pipe follows a helical path, whereas the seam weld in
UOE pipe is axial.
• Owing to the helical path of the seam weld in spiral welded pipe, the weld preparation is
curved along its length, which can result in steeper edged weld profiles than in UOE pipe.
• Spiral welded pipe is made from coiled strip, where UOE pipe is made from flat plate.
• The time between inner and outer welding is shorter in spiral welded pipe than in UOE
pipe, resulting in higher interpass temperatures for the former.
• UOE pipe is cold expanded and spiral welded pipe generally is not.

In making comparisons it should be recognised that although there is an overlap in pipe sizes
available from the two process routes, the UOE process extends to thicker wall, and higher
thickness:diameter ratios, but covers an overall narrower range of diameters than spiral
welded pipe. Also, whereas UOE pipemakers are currently exploring X100 and even X120
strength levels, the limit for spiral welded pipe is X70 or X80 currently due to strip
availability and the limitations of the mill forming stations. Spiral welded pipe that is made
from skelp which is too thick or too strong for the mill will clearly have difficulty in
matching the quality of pipe of the same strength and size from a UOE mill, which may be
operating well within its optimum range. In all the following discussion it is assumed that the
QA procedures, facilities, and experience of the two types of mill are comparable.

The helical path of the weld seam in spiral welded pipe has been cited as a problem because
of its greater length; given a finite probability of flaws per unit length of seam weld, the
probability of a flaw in a given pipe length is greater with a helical seam than a short axial
seam. Although there is indisputable logic in this argument, the probability of significant
flaws forming and remaining undetected is so low, that the longer weld seam in spiral welded
pipe is not of practical concern. Furthermore, with regard to one of the more difficult flaws to
detect, namely hydrogen cracks, these are apparently less prevalent in spiral welded pipe than

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UOE, and indeed there are good reasons why this should be the case, as discussed in more
detail in section 8.3.1 above.

Of more potential concern is the fact that it is not possible to avoid the weld seam along an
axial line down the pipe. This has led to concerns that corrosive attack could occur where the
seam weld lies at the bottom of the pipe, where water may collect. This review, however, has
not shown that this is a real problem in practice. Similarly, the concern that a seam weld of
the neutral axis in a bend could cause problems is not confirmed by experience. Nevertheless,
this is a reason why some care should be taken to ensure that the profile of the weld cap is not
too steep, as this will cause some strain concentration during deformation.

Any thermomechanically rolled steel has some degree of texture that is preferred
crystallographic orientation. This results in some anisotropy in properties, and strength is
typically greatest normal to the rolling direction, and at a minimum for an angle of around
30° to the rolling direction. This means that the strength of the skelp needs to be selected on
the basis of testing in an appropriate orientation for spiral welded pipe in order to achieve the
required hoop strength. By contrast, in UOE pipe, the direction normal to the rolling direction
of the plate is the direction of maximum stress (hoop stress) in a completed pipe.

The different cold deformation involved in the forming of UOE and spiral welded pipe also
results in some differences. For a UOE pipe, the principal deformation is bending transverse
to the rolling orientation and the pipe axis, followed by tensile straining in a circumferential
direction on cold expansion, and to a lesser degree on pressure test. For spiral welded pipe,
the first deformation is uncoiling and flattening (levelling), which is bending parallel to the
rolling direction, and at the helix angle to the pipe axis, followed by pipe forming, which is
bending approximately in the reverse direction, transverse to the pipe axis, and at the helix
angle to the rolling direction. There is no mechanical expansion step, but some
circumferential expansion on pressure test. The various cold deformations affect pipe
properties in two ways – through strain hardening and the Bauschinger effect. The bending
provides some strain which is reversed in subsequent circumferential tensile straining,
resulting in some reduction in measured yield strength. In spiral welded pipe production,
which uses roll bending, internal compressive deformation is approximately equal to external
tensile deformation, whereas in UOE production, the compressive loading in the O press can
result in more internal (compressive) deformation than external (tensile) deformation, and
thus potentially a greater Bauschinger effect on tensile testing. Tensile testing is carried out
after cold expansion, however, which will at least reduce any Bauschinger effects from
forming. The balance of strain hardening and Bauschinger effect will be dependent on pipe
size and pipe material, with the finer grained TMCP steels typically showing greater strain
hardening. A consistent benefit of one pipe form or the other is difficult to determine in this
respect. Possibly the most consistent and significant difference is due to the effect of cold
expansion on yield:tensile ratio. It is reported that achievement of yield:tensile requirements
is easier for spiral welded pipe for this reason, and one spiral welded pipe producer quoted
0.8 average, 0.85 maximum for a recent order of 762mm diameter, 11.7mm wall thickness,
grade X70 pipe.

The difference in material source – coiled strip vs. flat plate, has a number of potential
implications, but it should first be recognised that coiled strip need not be inferior to plate.
Steel with excellent mechanical properties, a lean, weldable chemical composition, and good

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sour service properties can be produced by either route. Accelerated cooling can be applied to
both product forms, providing benefits in terms of strength and sour service performance (by
hindering the movement of carbon during transformation). For strip made by a conventional
continuous casting route, the most significant difference is likely to be in Nb content, which
is typically slightly higher in coiled strip than in plate.

The mechanical properties of seam weld metal and HAZ are as important as parent material
properties. Both UOE and spiral welded pipe use submerged arc welding, and good weld
metal and HAZ toughness is achievable in both. There are some differences, however, which
could affect properties. The first difference is that, for spiral welded pipe, the two welds are
carried out simultaneously one turn of the helix apart. This means that the first pass provides
a significant preheat for the second pass, and it is important that the welding consumables are
capable of producing a fine weld metal microstructure under these conditions. On the other
hand, the higher interpass temperature can be beneficial in reducing the risk of weld metal
hydrogen cracking. The second difference is associated with the different chemical
compositions of plate and strip, and in particular the Nb content. High Nb levels are
detrimental to both HAZ and weld metal toughness at high heat inputs. Nevertheless, data
provided by selected pipemakers indicates that HAZ Charpy V-notch data can be in excess of
50J at -40°C in material containing approximately 0.04% Nb, and in excess of 200J at 0°C
for material containing approximately 0.055% Nb. In general increasing Nb content may lead
to a greater difficulty in attaining a given level of HAZ and weld metal toughness, but in
practice, this difference is unlikely to be a major factor against spiral welded pipe since, the
increase in Nb level is small, absolute levels are still not excessively high, and other aspects
of modern day parent materials and welding consumables assist in tolerating the slightly
higher Nb levels.

The primary purpose of cold expansion in UOE pipe production is to maintain dimensional
control, but it also provides some mechanical stress relief. Thus, there are two concerns about
pipe which is not cold expanded, namely that the residual stresses are not relieved and that
the dimensional control may not be as good as for UOE pipe. Spiral welded pipe does contain
full welding residual stress, and must have toughness and stress corrosion resistance
sufficient to tolerate these. The available evidence, however, indicates that this is generally
the case. Furthermore, there is evidence that cold expansion cannot be guaranteed to give low
residual stress levels in all UOE pipes. Additionally, the angle of the spiral weld results in a
resolved residual stress in the hoop stress direction, lower than the total welding residual
stress. Thus, the concerns over residual stress in spiral welded pipe are perhaps overstated.
Dimensional control is less of a concern, and it has been shown (Fig.9) that a well operated
spiral welded pipe mill can achieve very tight dimensional tolerances.

A common concern where spiral welded pipe is considered for sour service is that of stress
orientated hydrogen inducing cracking (SOHIC). This certainly is a mechanism that has
resulted in some service failures of spiral welded pipe, but is not restricted to that product
form. Investigation of the failures, moreover, has shown that inadequate parent material was a
major contributory factor in all cases examined. In testing, SOHIC, has been induced in both
UOE and spiral welded pipe (and other product forms). There is an issue in testing of spiral
welded pipe, which may encourage SOHIC, and that is sample orientation. If a bend sample
is taken transverse to the weld, some twist will be induced when it is loaded. This additional

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loading is thought to encourage SOHIC, and such test data may be partly responsible for the
perception that spiral welded pipe is particularly susceptible to SOHIC.

In summary, provided comparisons are made in a size range for which both spiral welded and
UOE pipe are appropriate, although there are differences, there are no technical issues which
would strongly favour or rule out either pipe form. Provided the pipemaker is aware of, and
takes account of, the composition and properties of the parent material and weld metal that he
is using, and the client specifies a suitable qualification and quality assurance regime, backed
up by a mill audit (see section 13) then either product can meet technical requirements.

That being the case, non-technical issues need to be taken into account also. The spiral
welding process is significantly cheaper than UOE (although this comparison can be distorted
by market forces) but may be slower, even with the two-step process. In the right
circumstances, the ability of spiral pipe mills to make longer pipes can also provide some
financial benefits. Spiral welded pipe mills are also more flexible, and easy to set up for short
runs. Thus, for a project in which a large quantity of pipe is required in a short timescale,
UOE might be favoured, but where price is particularly important, more time is available, or
for smaller projects, spiral welded pipe may be more attractive.

13 MILL AUDIT SCHEME


From the above review, four main areas for careful scrutiny can be identified namely, steel,
mill design, mill operation and validation. Questions which may be asked for each area
include the following. In a formal comparative audit scheme, weighted numerical scores
would be given to each response.

1. Steel.
i) What is the source of the skelp?
a) Single supplier.
b) Selected approved sources.
c) Cheapest source.

If a) is there a good relationship with this supplier to encourage feedback on quality issues for
improvement?
If b) can these sources be approached for improvements in quality?
If c) what additional quality controls are imposed to ensure pipe quality?

ii) Does the skelp purchase specification require


a) Dimensional tolerances (thickness, width)?
b) Mechanical property tolerances (strength, toughness, Bauschinger effect
considerations Y:T ratios)?
c) Chemical composition tolerances?
d) Steel processing requirements?
e) Packaging requirements (esp. for exported skelp)?

iii) What sour service controls are requested (if necessary), and what quality assurance is
used to ensure the sour service properties of the pipe?
a) Sulphur content limits.

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b) Inclusion shape control.
c) HPIC test performance.

2. Mill design
i) How many levelling rollers are used?

ii) Is gap control and forming diameter adjustment actively employed by minor
adjustments of the runout table?

iii) How are the welding parameters monitored and adjusted throughout the pipe
manufacture?
a) Is the monitoring continuous?
b) Can adjustments be made without halting the forming/welding machine?
c) Is feedback concerning visual quality/profile/NDT taken into account?

iv) For a two step mill, how physically stable is the internal welding head?

v) How is electrical contact attained during welding?


a) Copper containing shoes.
b) Steel brushes.
c) Other.

vi) What seam tracking is employed for the submerged arc welds and how is it
controlled/adjusted?
a) Automatic with lasers and feedback to the welder.
b) Automatic with camera systems and feedback to the welder.
c) Visually and manual feedback to the welder.
d) Fully automated monitoring and adjustment of the welding heads.

vii) What diameter/circumference control method is used to ensure consistent pipe


dimensions?
a) Internal star (ID control).
b) External case of rollers (OD control).
c) None.

viii) What are the limits of the forming machine(s) with regard to pipe strength and sizes?
Is the stability of the forming stand assured?

3. Mill operation
i) What procedures exist for dynamic feedback and adjustment of parameters to avoid
out of control production? Do these include:
a) Feedback from circumference measurement on forming?
b) Feedback on bead profile (internal and external)?
c) Feedback on seam tracking?
d) Feedback on visual inspection?
e) Feedback from non-destructive testing?
Are changes made appropriately when feedback is received?

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ii) What is the maintenance schedule in the mill and what replacement schedules exits?

iii) How are the position of the welding heads on the pipe adjusted with respect to top and
bottom dead centre of the pipe? Is the position maintained?

iv) What edge preparation techniques are applied to the skelp?


a) Milling.
b) Shearing followed by milling.
c) Other.

v) What weld preparations are applied to the skelp edges, and if none, is an external
chamfer applied to assist in laser tracking, where used?

vi) What percentage of the parent steel (or pipe body) is ultrasonically checked for
laminations? Is additional checking of the skelp edges before or after welding also
carried out?

vii) What is the source for consumables purchase?


a) Single supplier.
b) Selected approved sources.
c) Cheapest source.

viii) What storage facilities exist for welding consumables?

ix) What drying procedures are used for the welding consumables? If no ne, what is the
justification for this?

x) What percentage of flux is recycled? What procedures are used to control the
moisture content of the flux?

xi) How much experience does this mill have of high quality pipe production – is there a
track record for quality?

xii) What is the level of expertise within the company? Are the workforce motivated; do
they take pride in the product; how much evidence of interaction between the staff
and management, or their peers is there?

4. Validation
i) What visual inspection techniques are applied, and at what stages? What is
recorded?
a) Dimensions.
b) Weld profile.
c) Surface imperfections.
d) Peaking.

ii) When is ultrasonic inspection of the weld carried out?


a) Automatically immediately after welding.
b) Automatically after hydrotest.

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c) Both a) and b).
d) Manually after welding.
e) Manually after hydrotest.

iii) How many probes, in which orientations, are used?

iv) What couplant is used and how is lack of coupling indicated?

v) How are indications recorded and verified?

vi) Which areas of the pipe are radiographed?


a) Pipe ends.
b) Skelp end welds.
c) UT indications.
d) Repairs.

vii) When is radiography carried out during the manufacturing process?

viii) What radiographic techniques are employed?

ix) Which regions are subject to magnetic particle inspection?

x) What is the pressure and duration of hydrotest?

xi) Is final non-destructive testing carried out before final NDT?

xii) When are dimensional checks (thickness, diameter, ovality) carried out during
production? Are mid-length dimensional checks carried out? Is final inspection and
recording of dimensions carried out after hydrotesting?

14. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


A review of the current state of the art of spiral welded pipe manufacture has been carried
out. Information sources have consisted of open literature, TWI in-house information, and the
responses to questionnaires and enquiries sent out to nearly 300 companies worldwide. The
response rate was over 30%, with over 19% providing useful information. Two visits to spiral
welded pipe mills were also undertaken to supplement the information obtained. The
following conclusions have been drawn:

1. Spiral welded pipe of suitable quality for both sweet and sour oil and gas service is
currently available. It is, however, necessary to draw a distinction between pipe mills
with facilities, QA and experience needed to produce such pipe, and those which are
only capable of producing low grade pipe. For suggested items for a mill audit, see
section 13.

2. Benefits of spiral pipe which were identified were as follows:


• Generally lower cost by comparison with UOE pipe.
• Potential for long pipe lengths.

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• Consistency and accuracy of dimensional control
• Low yield:tensile ratios
• Flexibility of production, providing short lead times

4. Concerns which were raised over the use of spiral welded pipe were not supported by
the reviews. Specifically:
• Although no mechanical stress relief from cold expansion is provided in spiral
welded pipe, there is no evidence that this has, on its own, been responsible
for pipe failures.
• SOHIC failures in service and in testing have all been in material which was
not truly HPIC resistant, and there is no clear foundation to the perception that
spiral welded pipes are particularly susceptible to this form of cracking.
• Pigging contractors identified a need for additional data assessment, but
reported that the reliability of inspection was not compromised in spiral
welded pipe.
• Pipe lay experience demonstrates that field bending of spiral welded pipe is
not problematic.
• Skelp end welds may be omitted from pipes if concerns over quality cannot be
satisfied, but good quality welds can be made, and thoroughly inspected.

5. A number of aspects of material supply, manufacturing process control and quality


assurance were identified which make an important contribution to pipe quality.
These should form the basis of any evaluation of the capability of a pipe mill for
production of pipe suitable for oil and gas service. A particularly important factor is
the skill and experience of the workforce.

15. RECOMMENDATIONS AND FURTHER WORK


As stated in the conclusions, spiral welded pipe suitable for both sweet and sour oil and gas
service is currently available. Some pipe mills, however, concentrate on production of pipe
for lower grade (e.g. water) service or piling, and may not have the production controls and
quality assurance in place which are required for oil and gas service. Thus, a system of
review of pipe mills is appropriate, and could be based on the considerations in sections 12.3
and 13.

Although it is not believed that high residual stresses in spiral welded pipe preclude its
application in oil and gas service, this is a difference from UOE pipe which may still cause
some concern. The principal concern is believed to be with regard to the risk of SOHIC in
sour service. A programme of work to quantify residual stresses, and to demonstrate
resistance to SOHIC in pipe made from HPIC resistant strip would help to allay remaining
concerns.

16. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The Sponsor Group comprised of the following companies:

Amerada Hess Ltd


BP Exploration Operating Co Ltd
Chevron Texaco Energy Research

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Confab Industrial SA
Corinth Pipeworks SA
Europipe (France) GmbH
Highveld Steel and Vanadium
Kuwait Pipe Industries and Oil Services
Management Engineering GmbH
Niobium Products Company
JFE Steel Corporation
POSCO Technical Research
Rautaruukki Metform Oyj
Saipem Spa
Salzgitter Groârohre GmbH
Shell UK Exploration and Production

Their support for the programme is gratefully acknowledged. The hospitality of Rautaruukki
Metform Oyj and Salzgitter Groârohre GmbH in hosting the visits to the pipe mills is also
greatly appreciated.

The assistance of Lorna Laken, Peter Adams, Alan Day, Richard Jones, Stuart Bond, Diena
Bolton and Katy White during the course of this work is greatly appreciated.

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96. Jones R L: ‘How can I minimise the risk of solidification cracking in Submerged
Arc (SAW) welds?’. www.twi.co.uk, 2000. (00-13)

97. Sage A M, Dewsnap R F and McCutcheon D B: ‘The properties of a 0.45pct V steel


pipe and the effects of some variation in composition’. Journal of Materials for
Energy Systems Vol.4, No.1. June 1982, pp.38-47. (82-2)

98. ‘Spiral welded pipe’. Materials performance, Vol.39 no.10, October 2000, pp12-13.
(00-1)

49

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
99. Jones B L and Jones D G: ‘Ultra high strength linepipe – the implications for
pipeline operations’. Proceedings of the 12th International Offshore & Polar
Engineering Conference, Kitakyushu, Japan, 26-31 May 2002, pp280-286. (02-2)

100. Collins L E, Kostic M, Lawrence T, Mackenzie R and Townley N: ‘High strength


linepipe: Current and future production’. Proceedings International Pipline
Conference (IPC) 2000. Volume 1 pp185-191. (00-5)

101. Hillenbrand H G, Heckmann C J and Niederhoff K A: ‘X80 linepipe for large-


diameter high strength pipelines’ 3R International Volume 41, Special Steel
Pipelines, 2002 pp.19-25. (02-5)

50

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Table 1 Pipe sizes available for API5L grades from one respondent to the questionnaire
Wall, in (mm)
OD, in 0.188 0.203 0.219 0.25 0.281 0.312 0.344 0.375 0.406 0.438 0.469 0.5 0.562 0.625 0.688 0.75 0.812 0.875 0.938 1.00
(4.8) (5.2) (5.6) (6.4) (7.1) (7.9) (8.7) (9.5) (10.3) (11.1) (11.9) (12.7) (14.3) (15.9) (17.5) (19.1) (20.6) (22.2) (23.8) (25.4)
6.625 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60
8.625 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60
10.75 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60
12.75 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60
14.00 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60
16.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70
18.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X52
20.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42
22.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42
24.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42
26.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42
28.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42
30.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42
32.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42 X42
34.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42 X42
36.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42 X42
38.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42 X42 X42 X42
40.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42 X42 X42 X42
42.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42 X42 X42
44.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42 X42 X42
46.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42 X42 X42
48.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42
52.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X42 X42
56.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70
60.00 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70 X70

The maximum strength available in each size is indicated. A blank box indicates that this size is not manufactured in this pipe mill.

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Table 2 Examples of mechanical property data recorded for a delivery of X70 pipe for two manufacturers.

Manufacturer A (one step) 813mm outer diameter, 9.5mm wall thickness.

Property 0.5% proof strength, N/mm² Ultimate tensile strength, N/mm² Elongation, % Charpy V-notch energy, at -11°C, J
Mean 521 641 25.1 153
Standard Deviation 14.0 12.9 1.9 16.0
Minimum 483 614 18.7 114
Maximum 593 679 37.0 209
API Requirements 483 min 565 min 17 min 54 min (subsize)

Manufacturer B (two step) 762mm outer diameter, 11.7 wall thickness.

Property Yield strength, N/mm2 Ultimate tensile strength, N/mm² Elongation, % Charpy V-notch energy, at –0°C, J
Mean 506 631 33.4 232
Standard Deviation 16.0 18.4 2.0 21.3
Minimum 483 600 25.0 154
Maximum 557 755 40.3 287
API Requirements 483 min 565 min 17 min 65 min (full size)

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Table 3 Examples where spiral welded pipe has been used for oil and gas service.

Pipe Size, Length, grade Location, End User Reference


Not given Indonesia, Offshore, Mobil 98
1219mm x 12mm, 33km, X80 Eastern Alberta, NOVA 43, 55
42” X70, 830 miles, North America installed in 1981/2 99
800km Petronas 25
508mm x 12.5mm, 11km North Sea, BP 42
Two 30km lines, X65 Baltic Sea, 1982 42
North Sea 42
Gulf of Mexico, Transco,1985 42
14.2mm, 1150km, grade 483 (X70) Alliance pipeline 100
48”x12.1mm, 54 km Matzhiwn project, Alberta, Canada, NOVA 101
48”x12.0mm and 16mm, 118km Transcanada pipeline 101
24”x7.1-10.2mm, 84km, X70 Malmo-Ingelsforp, Sweden, Sydgas 39
508mmx9.5mm, 82.7km, grade 52 Grizzly Valley 78
610mmx11.4mm,35.9km, grade 52
610mm x 7.14mm, 86000t Salaya-Mathura, India 84
Not given Wales Gas, Persian Gulf, North Sea 10
24”x7.7mm, 1.875 miles, X52 From questionnaire From questionnaire
28”x12.7mm, 32.787miles, DIN17172 St 60.7 From questionnaire From questionnaire
36”x15.9mm, 11.88 miles, DIN17172 St60.7 From questionnaire From questionnaire
36”x15.9mm, 11.841 miles, DIN17172 St60.7 From questionnaire From questionnaire
36”x15.9mm, 5.847 miles, DIN17172 St60.7 From questionnaire From questionnaire
30”x up to 14mm, 2km, grade 483 (X70) From questionnaire From questionnaire
36” x up to 13.4mm, 37km, grade 483 (X70) From questionnaire From questionnaire
48” x up to 19.1mm, 65km, grade 550 (X80) From questionnaire From questionnaire
48” x 12.7mm, X70 From questionnaire From questionnaire

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Fig.1 Diagram indicating the main features of one-step spiral pipe production. (From
Ref. 24, permission to reproduce requested of Gulf Publishing Company).

Fig.2 Diagram indicating the main features of two-step spiral pipe production. (From
Ref. 17, courtesy of Salzgitter Großrohre GmbH).

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Fig.3 Typical edge preparations used for varying thickness. (Ref. 9, permission to
reproduce requested of Scottish Association for Metals, Metals Society).

3-roll bending rollers

Fig.4 3-roll bending configuration, with accompanying cage of rollers, side view.
(Ref. 9, permission to reproduce requested of Scottish Association for Metals, Metals
Society).

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Fig.5 Schematic of the inner calibration star, used to maintain dimensional tolerances.
(Ref. 9, permission to reproduce requested of Scottish Association for Metals, Metals
Society).

Fig.6 Diagram of the three-head welding, where WH1-3 are welding heads (WH1 and
WH3 are internal, WH2 is external). 1 is the skelp, 2 is the formed pipe, 3 is the
driven carriage which adjusts to maintain the root gap. (Ref. 14).
14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
a)

b)

Fig.7 Effects of welding position on weld bead shape. (Ref. 34, permission to
reproduce requested of South East Asian Iron and Steel Institute).
a) Schematic.
b) Weld sections.

Fig.8 An example of probe layout for the ultrasonic inspection of the weld seam. A-H
indicate the probe locations. 1 (C-D) is the longitudinal defect detection system, 2 (A-
B) is the transverse defect detection system and 3 (G-H) is the laminar defect
detection system. (Ref. 20, reproduced by permission of JFE Steel Corporation).
14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
300 1

0.9

250
0.8

0.7

Cumulative frequency
200
Number of pipes

0.6

150 0.5

0.4

100
0.3

0.2
50

0.1

0 0
81 0
81 2
81 4
81 6
81 8
81 0
81 2
81 4
81 6
81 8
81 0
81 2
81 4
81 6
81 8
81 0
81 2
81 4
81 6
81 8
81 0
81 2
81 4
81 6
81 8
0
2.
2.
2.
2.
2.
3.
3.
3.
3.
3.
4.
4.
4.
4.
4.
5.
5.
5.
5.
5.
6.
6.
6.
6.
6.
7.
81

Outside diameter, mm

a) b)
90 1.2

80

70

60 0.8

Cumulative frequency
Number of pipes

50

0.6

40

30 0.4

20

0.2

10

0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Out of roundness, mm

c) d)

Fig.9 Data concerning diameter and ovality (out of roundness) in spiral welded pipes.
a) Outside diameter variation (total spread 3mm) for a one-step spiral pipe manufacturer, responding to the questionnaire.
b) Inside diameter variation (total spread 2.4mm) for a two-step spiral pipe manufacturer, responding to the questionnaire.
c) Ovality for a one-step pipe manufacturer, responding to the questionnaire.
d) Ovality for a two-step pipe manufacturer, responding to the questionnaire.

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
e) f)

Fig.9 (Cont’d) Data concerning diameter and ovality (out of


roundness) in spiral welded pipes.
e) Variation in pipe circumference, ovality and skelp edge offset for a
one step pipe mill. (Ref.9 permission to reproduce requested of
Scottish Association for Metals, Metals Society).
f) Variation in pipe end diameter and wall thickness for a two-step
pipe mill. (Ref.42, reproduced by permission of ASME).
g) Variation in pipe ovality and straightness for a two step mill.
(Ref.42, reproduced by permission of ASME).
g)

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Fig.10 Effect of flux CaF2 content on weld bead shape, attributed to an increase in
fluidity with CaF2 content. (Ref. 34, permission to reproduce requested of South East
Asian Iron and Steel Institute).

Fig.11 Effect of flux TiO2 content on weld bead shape, including wetting angle. (Ref.
34, permission to reproduce requested of South East Asian Iron and Steel Institute).

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Fig.12 Effect of flux melting point and bulk density (BD) on concave depth in weld
beads. (Ref. 92, reproduced by permission of JFE Steel Corporation).

Fig.13 Effect of flux MgO content on weld bead shape. MgO additions increase flux
melting point. (Ref. 34, permission to reproduce requested of South East Asian Iron
and Steel Institute).

Fig.14 The effect of the slope of the weld on undercut and concave depth. Undercut
ratio is the % undercut weld toe in a given total weld length. (Ref.92, reproduced by
permission of JFE Steel Corporation).

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Fig.15 A photograph illustrating the cold bending of spiral welded pipes in Germany.
(Ref. 36, reproduced by permission of Pennwell Publishing).

(d)

(e)
(f)

Fig 16 Weld bead shapes (Ref.88 and 96).


a,b undesirable depth: width ratio, increasing risk of centreline solidification
cracking.
c desirable depth: width ratio.
d ‘mushroom shaped’ weld giving susceptibility to solidification cracking in the
flare position.
e,f effects of voltage on weld bead shape and penetration.
14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Fig.17 Crack arrest data for pipelines, showing comparable values of toughness for
UOE and spiral welded pipes. (Ref.65, permission to reproduce requested of Société
Française de Metallurgie et Materiaux).

Fig.18 Crack/no-crack boundary and data for NACE cracking tests, for UOE pipes
and a single spiral welded test pipe. (Ref.26, permission to reproduce requested of
Bahrain Society of Engineers).

14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
Fig.19 Variation of time to failure with applied stress for specimens from the weld
regions of several pipes (pipe A is spiral welded X60, pipes B and C are UOE X70).
(Ref.76, permission to reproduce requested of American Gas Association).

Fig.20 Ratio of threshold stress to SMYS in NACE tensile tests, showing spiral
welded pipe performance (circled in red) is comparable to UOE pipe performance.
(Ref. 95, reproduced by permission of Corus)
14460/1A/03
Copyright © 2003, TWI Ltd
APPENDIX A

QUESTIONNAIRE SENT TO STEELMAKERS WHO SUPPLY SPIRAL PIPE


MILLS, AND A SUMMARY OF THEIR RESPONSES

A1
14460/1A/03
Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

QUESTIONNAIRE FOR STEELMAKERS

1. STEEL GRADE FOR SPIRAL WELDED PIPES

a) What grades of steel (API 5L) do you typically supply to manufacturers of spiral
welded line pipe?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) Do you supply steel for spiral welded pipe to codes and standards other than API
5L? If so, please give details.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) Do customers impose restrictions on you as steel makers? If yes, please provide


details.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

2. STEEL MAKING ROUTE

Please provide details of the steel making route used for producing the strip used
for spiral pipe manufacture.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

3. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION

How does the composition of strip for spiral welded pipe differ from that of plate
for UOE pipe? Example compositions would be appreciated.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

A2
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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
4. STRIP PROCESSING

What thermomechanical processing (including accelerated cooling) is employed?


Please indicate how this varies with grade and thickness.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

5. STRIP HANDLING

a) Quality control
i What quality controls are imposed on the strip?
_________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________

ii Do you monitor consistency of strip properties along each coil and/or between
coils? If yes, what do you monitor?
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

b) Edge preparation
Are you required to provide steel for spiral welded pipe with any special edge
preparation? If so, please give brief details.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

c) Please provide typical maximum and minimum strip lengths, widths and
thicknesses, plus tolerances for spiral pipe manufacture.
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________

d) Any other comments on strip handling?


_________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

A3
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

6. MECHANICAL TESTING

a) Which mechanical tests are performed on the steel strip?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) Do you test specimens at an angle to the rolling direction? If so, please indicate the
typical orientation(s) used.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
If it were available, it would be useful for us to have some actual existing
mechanical test data for our database.

7. CORROSION

a) Do you carry out corrosion tests? If yes, please give details.


YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) What constitutes acceptable and unacceptable corrosion test results?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
If it were available, it would be useful for us to have some actual existing
corrosion test data for our database.

8. GOOD AND BAD EXPERIENCES

Please give summary details about any good or bad experiences you are aware of,
or have had, regarding spiral pipe.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

When complete, please return to Joanna Nicholas, TWI, Granta Park, Great
Abington, Cambridge, CB1 6AL, UK. (E-mail: joanna.nicholas@twi.co.uk)
Thank you.

A4
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
NAMES OF STEELMAKERS APPROACHED

Arcelor Lucchini Siderugica S.p.A.


BHP Steel Niobium Products
CANTOR Corporation Nippon Steel
Citisteel USA, Inc Nucor Corporation
Corus Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO)
Corus Tuscaloosa Rautaruukki Metform
Gallatin Steel Salzgitter Großrohre GmbH
Highveld Steel & Vanadium Stelco Group of Businesses
Hysla, SA de CV Sumitomo Metal Industries
IPSCO Enterprises Thyssen Krup Stal
JFE Steel

A5
14460/1/03
Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
RESPONSES FROM STEELMAKERS QUESTIONNAIRE

1. Steel grade for spiral welded pipes


Source Grades of steel (API5L) Grades of steel (other) Customer restrictions?
1 B, X52, X56, X60, X65, (DIN 17100) EN10025, EN10208-2 Yes, depends on specifications, especially for projects, can restrict
X70 chemical composition and mechanical test values.
2 B, X42, X52 ASTM A53, A139, A252 Yes, Impact energy, Carbon equivalent and coil weight.
3 X42 to X70 N/A No
4 B to X70 EN10208, DIN17172, EN10217, DIN1626, No
DIN1628, EN10219, DIN17120
5 X56-X70 JIS G3444, EN1011, JIS G3301 No

2. Steelmaking route
Source Details
1 Blast furnace, ladle desulphurisation, VPL plant, continuous casting
2 EAF, LMF, Continuous casting, Equalising furnace reheating, Steckel Mill Rolling, laminar flow cooling and upcoiler coiling
3 Blast Furnace, Pre-treatment (Desulphurisation), Converter, RH Degassing, Continuous caster
4 BOF, ladle treatment (desulphurisation, Ca treatment for most of the pipe strips), vacuum treatment (for HIC strips), continuous casting
5 Blast Furnace, LD converter, Ladle furnace, continuous casting, controlled rolling, coiling.

A6
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
3. Chemical composition
Source Differences in composition v. UOE plate
1 None
2 Chemistry will be on the low side for spiral pipe without yield loss after forming, due to small ratio of wall thickness to pipe diameter. UOE must
be on the high side. For example, Carbon is ranged between 0.17% and 0.19%. Carbon will be averaged at 0.19% for UOE and 0.17% for spiral if
without a significant difference between longitudinal and transverse tests.
3 No experience, but I think higher alloying is required for hot coils because of annealing effects caused by the low cooling rate after coiling, and the
lack of expansion during pipe manufacture.
4 Only produce strip.
5 Strip: 0.05C, 1.55Mn, 0.20Si, 0.03Al, 0.05Nb + V, Ni, Mo, Ti, Ca
Plate: 0.07C, 1.50Mn, 0.25Si, 0.03Al, 0.05Nb + V, Ni, Mo, Ti, Ca

4. Strip processing
Source Details
1 Normal TM process without AC, variations depend on special requirements.
2 Laminar flow cooling with control finishing and coiling temperatures designed. Heavier gauge, lower coiling temperature will be specified with
consideration of strain rate.
3 We can apply the controlled rolling, accelerated cooling for hot coils. We also control the coiling temperature and total reduction ratio.
4 The final rolling temperature is within 50°C for different pipe grades (below Tnr for Nb-alloyed grades), accelerated cooling, coiling temperature
620-650°C. The properties for the different grades are made mainly by varying the composition; one part is made without microalloying, for the
higher grades Nb (+Ti) or Nb+V (+Ti) -alloying is used
5 Rolling: 3 stage roughing mill (4 stands), finishing (7 stands). The finishing rolling temperature will be decreased as the grade or thickness
increases. Accelerated cooling from laminar water flow. The starting and finishing coiling temperatures will be decreased as the grade or thickness
increases.

A7
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
5. Strip handling
Quality Control Edge Typical values Other comments
prep?
What Consistency Any Length Width Thickness Tolerances
Source along/between coils
1 A number of checks including gauge control, temperature No Varies 1500mm 8.5-20mm to DIN EN 10051 None
controls and various mechanical and surface checks.
2 AGC Gauge Control and manual Yes, Coils are cut at 'Cut No Depends 36"-78" 0.25"-1" Width -0"/+1" Coil weight 20-40
inspection, as well as metal lab to Line' and test coupons on coil Thickness ASTM short tons, coil weight
testing from front, middle and weight A635 Coil Weight is limited by highway
back are taken for the limit +/-5% load limit, crane /
same grade and size with forklift and coiler/
the same process decoiler capability.
parameters
3 We control the following Yes, we monitor the No Depends 700- 6 to 19mm None
parameters: slab reheating parameters given on 1950mm
temperature, entry temperature to previously. thickness
finishing mill, finishing and coil
temperature, coiling temperature, weight
total reduction in finishing mill limit
4 Surface inspection, flatness control Thickness, profile, width, No Minimum length 70 m, maximum length 500 m, None
flatness, final rolling and maximum width 1860 mm, min. width 900 mm, max.
coiling temperatures thickness 20 mm for grade B, 14 mm for grade X70, width
tolerance 0, +20 mm, thickness tolerance +/- 0.20 mm for
Grade B (width 1500, thickness 10 mm), thickness
tolerance +/-0.23 for X70 (width 1500, thickness 10),
flatness 6 mm/m

5 Yes, coupons are taken to No 80-140m 1400- 10-15mm Rainproof covers are
check the top bottom and 1800mm used for long distance
mid-thickness of each coil export.

A8
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
6. Mechanical testing
Source Tests Angle
1 Tensile, Impact, DWTT, bend 45°
2 Tensile, Impact 0°, 90°
3 Tensile, Impact (Charpy), DWTT As spiral to match circumferential direction
4 Tensile, Impact (Charpy), DWTT 0°, 90°
5 Tensile, Impact (Charpy), DWTT, bend, hardness 30°

7. Corrosion
Tests Acceptability
Source Any Details
1 No
2 No
3 Yes As requested by customer. HIC test is carried As per NACE for solution B
out in NACE TM0284 solution B
4 Yes HIC tests (for HIC resistant pipes) As per general specifications
5 Yes SSCC tests. Constant load tests. Customer requirements, usually no cracking over 720 hours,
with 72% or 80% SMYS applied load

A9
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
8. Good and bad experiences
Source Good Experiences Bad Experiences
1 Not given Not given
2 Good volume Welding quality depends on edge condition, and jointing process highly related to coil end condition.
3 Not given Because no mechanical expansion Baushinger effects are larger than in UOE pipes. The strength of the spiral
angle direction is lower than that of the transverse direction when controlled rolling is applied to obtain high
strength. As a result, materials for spiral pipes require a higher strength level than UOE pipes for the same
grade. Otherwise, there is a risk that the spiral welded pipe will have insufficient strength.
4 As a rule, making It may be problematic to fulfil the Y/T requirements in the transverse direction of the strip.
pipe strips is
trouble-free
5 On one occasion, the strength drop of the flattened pipe was too great to satisfy the Y/T ratio. Usually this is
caused by the relatively low strength 30-40° with respect to the rolling direction

A10
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
APPENDIX B

QUESTIONNAIRE SENT TO SPIRAL PIPEMAKERS AND A SUMMARY


OF THEIR RESPONSES

B1
14460/1A/03
Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

QUESTIONNAIRE FOR PIPEMAKERS

1. PIPE STEEL GRADE AND SIZE.

The answers given to this question will determine how we interpret the answers to the
other questions, since the grade may affect processing routes and response to service
conditions, for example.

a) What grade of spiral welded pipe do you typically manufacture? Please attach a
table showing your full matrix of product grades and dimensions if possible.

Grade (API 5L) Sizes (diameter and wall thickness)

b) Please state any factors limiting the steel grades or pipe sizes listed above (e.g. mill
capacity; customer demand).
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) What is the maximum pipe length available?


_________________________________________________________

d) What codes and standards do you supply spiral welded pipe to, other than API 5L?
_________________________________________________________
2. STEEL SOURCE

a) Do you obtain steel from selected sources only? If yes, how do you choose your
sources?
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

B2
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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

b) Do you impose requirements on steel suppliers (e.g. chemical composition,


processing, toughness)? If yes, please summarise.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) If you are also a provider of UOE pipe, do you require or observe differences in
chemical composition for the two product forms? If so, please summarise.
Example compositions would be appreciated.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

3. STRIP HANDLING

a) Quality control
i. What quality controls do you impose on the strip?
_________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

ii. Do you monitor consistency of strip dimensions and/or properties along each coil
and/or between coils? If yes, what do you monitor?
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

b) Edge preparation
Please summarise edge preparation techniques used, and weld preparation
employed.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________

c) Do you discard coil ends? If yes, what are the criteria for length of discard?
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
B3
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

d) Any other comments on strip handling?


_________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

4. PIPE FORMING

a) Please summarise the key features of the pipe forming process, including details of
any coil flattening, any prebending and forming.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
b) How do you control the dimensions of the pipe and what tolerances are achieved?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

5. WELDING

a) Which type of welding process do you use?


‘One-step process’ i.e. conventional spiral welding process
‘Two-step’ process i.e. forming and tack welding prior is carried out prior to
final welding at off-line welding stands? If so, please give details, including
number of forming stations, tack welding stations, and final off-line welding
stations.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) What seam tracking and control of root gap procedures are employed?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) How many welding heads are used for internal and external welding?
INTERNAL______________________________________________
EXTERNAL______________________________________________

d) What consumables are used for welding (including tack welding for ‘two-step’
process)?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

e) How is electrical contact attained?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
f) How do you control weld misalignment and what tolerances are achieved? If
possible, please include relevant data on your measurements or tests.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

g) How is the weld profile controlled, and what tolerances are achieved? If possible,
please include relevant data on your measurements or tests.
i) internally
_______________________________________________________

ii) externally
_______________________________________________________

h) Are skelp end welds included in the pipe you supply? If yes, please give details of
the welding and NDT procedures used for the skelp ends.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

6. POSTWELD OPERATIONS

a) Is any postweld heat treatment carried out on the seam weld? If so, please give
details
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) Are any postweld sizing operations carried out on the pipe, e.g. cold expansion? If
yes, please summarise.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

7. HYDROTEST

Please give details of the conditions (time and % specified minimum yield stress)
used for hydrotest.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
8. NDT REQUIREMENTS

a) What NDT techniques are used to inspect pipe, and at what stages do the
inspections take place? (Include both mill and client inspections.) Please give
details of NDT equipment sensitivity and type of calibration piece used, where
appropriate.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) What constitutes acceptable and unacceptable NDT results?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) What standards do you perform your NDT to?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

d) Are any problems experienced in meeting these standards?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

9. COATING

Are any additional requirements (e.g. weld profile) imposed to ensure good quality
internal or external coating? If so, please give details.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

10. DESTRUCTIVE TESTING

a) What destructive tests are performed on the pipe/pipe material?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
b) Are test samples oriented with respect to the pipe axis or the rolling direction of
the skelp?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) What constitutes acceptable and unacceptable test results?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
If it were available, it would be useful for us to have some actual existing
mechanical test data for our database.

11. CORROSION TESTS

a) Do you carry out corrosion tests (including both sweet and sour conditions) on
spiral weld seams? If yes, please give details.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) What constitutes acceptable and unacceptable corrosion test results?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
If it were available, it would be useful for us to have some actual existing
corrosion test data for our database.

12. COMMON DEFECTS AND THEIR CONTROL

Please could you list the most common defects that you encounter, and describe
the remedial measures taken to control them?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

13. COST ISSUES

What price differentials do you expect to be able to achieve for spiral welded pipe
in comparison with UOE pipe?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
14. CUSTOMER PERCEPTIONS

a) Please indicate how your customers and potential customers view the use of spiral
welded pipe, including any restrictions on application.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) Please indicate, if possible, how your customers view spiral welded pipe made by
the ‘two step’ process, by comparison with that made by conventional technology,
in particular in terms of properties, quality and delivery times.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

15. GOOD AND BAD EXPERIENCES

Please give summary details about any good and bad experiences you have had, or
are aware of regarding spiral welded pipe.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

When complete, please return to Joanna Nicholas, TWI, Granta Park, Great
Abington, Cambridge, CB1 6AL, UK. (E-mail: joanna.nicholas@twi.co.uk)
Thank you.

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
NAMES OF PIPEMAKERS APPROACHED

American Spiral Welded Pipe Kuwait Pipe Industries & Oil Services
Arabian Steel Pipe (KPIOS)
Byard Engineering Consultant Ltd - UK Middle East Tube Co
Confab Naylor Pipe
Corinth Pipeworks Noksel
Datasteel PSL Holdings
Europipe Rautaruukki Metform
Group 5 Saudi Salzgitter Großrohre GmbH
Hellenic Pipeworks Spiral Mfg
HICOM Stelco Group of Businesses
Hyundai Hysco Syndicate Trading
IPSCO Enterprises Inc UFUK
Iran Spiral Co Umran Pipes
Wellspun Pipes

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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
RESPONSES FROM PIPE MAKERS QUESTIONNAIRE

1. Pipe steel grade and size


Source Grades Sizes Limiting factors Maximum pipe Other (Non API )
API 5L length standards
1 Up to 406x5.6 to 1220x16 Pipe machines SU1000 and SU1500 18.1m EN 10208, 10217,
X70 10219, DIN 17120,
17172, 1626, 1628
2 B-X70 6.625"-120" OD, 0.118"-1" wt. Customer requirement is usually for max. X52. Plant 16m BS 3601, ASTM A252
can produce in higher strength grades
3 B-X60 20"-118" OD, 5-25mm wt Smaller diameter and higher steel grade reduce the 80ft (for water BS 3601, JIS 5530,
thickness capability on any given diameter less than service) AWWA 200
32". Local customers prefer not to use grades higher 60ft (for oil and gas)
than X60
4 X52 813, 1422mm OD, 20.6mm wt Wall thickness min 4mm, max 25.4mm, OD min 17m AWWA 200, DIN 1626,
400mm (16"), max 3000mm (120"), steel grade X70 DIN 2458
max.
5 B-X80 16" to 100" for lower grades (to All intermediate diameters are achievable. Usually, 18.3m. If no DIN 1626, 2640, BS
64" for X56 upward) 4.5 to up to 56" OD for all service, above 56" only for requirements for 534, NFA 49150, UNI
22mm wt (to 14.2mm for X56 water projects. hydrotest or UT after 6363, EN 10224, 10219,
upward) hydrotest, can 10208
increase lengths
6 B-X70 16" to 80" OD, 3/16" to 5/8" wt Pipe sizes under 16", and wt over 5/8" (Can produce 12.5m typical, 18m ASTM/AWWA
up to 100" dia) on request
7 B-X80 20"-66" OD, 6.3-22mm wt TMCP coils only available up to X80, WT for hot 18.2m (typical 17.2- EN 10208, ISO 3183,
rolled coils is limited to 22mm for X70. For non 17.6) DIN 17172, DNV rules
TMCP steels, can get 25mm wt. 90% of all spiral
manufactured is for high pressure oil and Gas service
in X60-X70
8 A-X80 609.6-2540mmOD, 6.5-5.4wt maximum strip width 18m ASTM, BS, DIN 17172
9 X52- 18-80" OD, 5.6-19.1mm wt X70, minimum OD 18" - mill capacity. 12.5m IS 3589, 5504, DIN
X70 1626, ASTM A252

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2. Steel source
Source Selected Sources and how selected Impose requirements & what Composition differences wrt UOE
1 Yes, own steel, lead time and quality Yes, composition, mechanical N/A
properties. Dimensions, tolerances,
steel processing.
2 Yes, sources meeting the needed HR coil specifications, valid Yes, composition, mechanical props. N/A
accreditation certifications, plant evaluation visits, guidance Dimensions, tolerances, Export
from past experience and third party inspection during the packing requirements
manufacture of the coils.
3 Yes, Availability of material, price, quality, capability to meet Yes, API 5L PSL2 for chemical N/A
delivery date, track record. analysis and mechanical properties,
CE 0.39 max, Al:N not less than 2:1
4 Yes, from a selected steelmaker (up to 16mm wt and to X60). No, but if the contract requires it we N/A
For higher steel grades, other suppliers are used. We hold ISO will apply that additional requirement
9001, 2000, and in this programme, there is an assessment and (e.g. max CE, Y/T ratio, crown of
selection system for steel suppliers coils)
5 Yes, preliminary qualification and preserial tests to assess the Yes, according to customer N/A for this Mill
pipe quality made with the steel to be qualified. Qualification specifications and internal standard.
based on capacity of the supplier, flexibility, quality of the Geometry of the coils, chemical
delivered coils, quality of documentation, delivery times, grade composition, mechanical properties
range, technical service aptitude, Quality Management system. on pipe, dimensional tolerances,
documentation to be produced.
6 Yes, Suppliers must comply with our general specification for Yes, Chemical composition (Max Yes, no specifics given
incoming steel, or the specific requirements of the customers CE, Pcm), Mechanical Properties
(Y/T), Dimensional tolerances (wt).
Minimum and maximum coil size
and weight, minimum and maximum
strip width

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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
2. Steel source (continued)
Source Selected Sources and how selected Impose requirements & what Composition differences wrt UOE
7 Yes, only coil from an affiliated company is purchased, which Yes, requirements based on the Yes. We are not a supplier of UOE pipes
has an experience in production of TMCP-hot rolled coils of above listed standards or on the basis but our affiliated company is not only
more than 30 years. First X70 has been rolled and used for of individual project specifications producing hot rolled coils but also
spiral pipe production in 1972 in our company. Development are discussed and agreed between manufacturing plate material for
of steels for pipe production has been performed between steel steel and pipe mill. Bauschinger longitudinal welded pipes. Different
mill, hot rolling mill and spiral pipe mill. Nevertheless, a effect depending on pipe diameter analytical approaches are used depending
continuous improvement process is carried out between steel steel grade and wall thickness has to on processing and cooling route. Steel
producer and spiral pipe mill. Supplier rating is done on a be taken in consideration by the coil compositions and limits used are not
regular basis (monthly) including all kind of quality aspects supplier. intended for external use and can not be
(e.g. coil defects delivery time etc.). At scheduled intervals, submitted therefore
quality meetings are held. A general coil material specification
has been agreed between both parties by contract.
8 Yes, according to our quality assurance procedure. Yes, with our main hot rolled coil No
suppliers we have agreed specific
technical requirements for different
steel grades and applications.
9 Yes, we have a laid down procedure in our quality system for Yes, some restrictions on mechanical No
the selection of sub-contractors. The minimum criteria is as properties, chemical composition,
follows: Capacity and capability, track record, reputation, and toughness
quality system and confirmation of fulfilment of our specific
tender requirements for procurement of hot rolled coil

B12
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
3. Strip handling
Source Quality Control Edge Preparation Coil Ends Other Comments
What Consistency
1 Thickness measurement, width Between coils, mechanical Edge milling, including bevelling. Yes, dimensions, None
control, visual inspection, properties, thickness Y preparation for all thicknesses. mechanical
certificates measurement, width control, properties and
surface quality depending on
customers
requirements.
2 Normally we procure the HR Yes, after loading and during Milled edge coils are milled Yes, we discard the None
coils strictly in accordance with production, the strip width of approximately for 12 mm from tail and tongue
our specifications. Visual the HR coils is monitored each side. Slit edge coils are slit portions of the HR
inspection of the HR coils, continuously to suit the edge for 15mm from each side and coils to the extent of
measurement of dimensional preparation prior to welding. further milled for 1-2mm from about 30-50cm from
tolerances, identification of each Tensile properties, guided each side. On both the sides, strip each side, or more as
HR coil with respect to the tally bend test, impact test and wire brushes are installed to clean may be required.
sheet and stickers to ensure hardness test are performed the top and bottom edges of the
proper identification. regularly as per the testing strip. Strip edges are either square
frequency laid down in API 5L cut or bevelled (double V)
and customer specifications depending on the wall thickness
of the pipe to be manufactured.
3 Visual and dimensional control Yes, strip width, plate camber Coil Side-side trim cutters. Edges Yes, 500mm None
are 'Y' cut for thin plate and 'X'
cut for thicker material.
4 Measuring of thickness (by UT Yes, consistency of strip Strip edge preparation is Yes, depends on None
thickness meter) and strip width, dimensions is monitored by performed by edge milling quality of the end,
telescoping, checking of coil raw material inspector before machine. Different types of joint and the spiral pipe
specifications, with order and during pipe production. design for welding can be specification.
information, chemical analysis Width and thickness is achieved (e.g. single V, double V)
and mechanical properties of measured and recorded in
coil. relevant reports.

B13
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
3. Strip handling (continued)
Source Quality Control Edge Preparation Coil Ends Other Comments
What Consistency
5 Inspection at receipt – no. No, it is not possible to check Edge crimping, bevelling and Yes, elimination of necessary None
of coil, heat no. grade, the dimensional values inside edge heating. coil ends (according to the
customer's allocation, logo the coil, but the deviations on shape of the ends). Usually
and size, geometrical tape properties are detected about 1m
properties, chemical on the production machine.
analysis.
6 Comply with the Yes, consistency of Strip edges are cut by circular Yes, it is discarded with the None
requirements stated on our dimensions is monitored knives (shearing). Weld end position with no
general specification for along each coil (Wall preparation by edge milling. specified minimum width.
incoming steel. thickness, width, weight and
length) Consistence of
mechanical properties
monitored each heat.
7 Control of rolling Yes, the hot rolling mill Edges are milled and bevelled A typical length of min 2.5m Coil length and
parameters and submits the recorded before pre-bending of the edges is discarded (This is based on weight can be
temperatures, composition geometrical data for each and forming and tack welding of our experience and the optimised by the
of the heats, yield strength individual coil including the pipe (see fig. 1 and fig. 2). evaluation of mechanical and steel mill to
and mechanical properties curves for coil width and microstructural properties of achieve a
(depending on the thickness along the full coil the coil). In case of maximum pipe
specification applied). length. These values are used temperature deviations outcome when
and monitored during pipe exceeding the limits during skelp end welds
forming. hot rolling a greater length are not accepted
can be discarded. as part of the
produced pipe.

B14
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
3. Strip handling (continued)
8 Visual, raw materials Yes, strip dimensions during With profile milling cutters in X Yes, up to 2m because of None
certificates, dimensional. production in the spiral and Y shape depending on strip excessive strip dimensions
machine. thickness. This work is done in and lamination.
the spiral machine.
9 Thickness tolerance, width Yes. On receipt: width of the Coil edges are slitted with Yes, initial lip & tail end of Side Guide Rolls
tolerances, variations coil at both ends for 1.5m Circular Slitter followed by edge the coils are discarded, are provided to
telescopicity and camber of from each end for each coil. milling and chamferring. This because the variation of coil keep strip in the
the HR coils, initial lip and Wall thickness at the ends of ensures a constant width of the width and thickness are centre of the
tail end lengths. the coil, chemical analysis - strip with clean and machined beyond the acceptable limit. mill.
Additionally the chemical two coils per heat, edge. For higher wall thickness,
analysis and mechanical Mechanical testing, one coil single or double - V preparation
properties of each coil are per heat. During welding: is made by edge miller for good
checked. Surface quality width and thickness at weld penetration.
and edges are also random locations.
monitored.

B15
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
4. Pipe forming
Source Key features Dimensions controlled
1 Uncoiling, coil levelling, edge preparation, levelling, edge prebending, Circumferential tape, thickness gauge, measuring tape. Dia ±1mm,
forming (3 roller). ovality ±0.5%, thickness ±0.3mm, straightness <L/1000
2 Flattening of the coils is carried out prior to the edge preparation and The internal pipe support which controls the pipe diameters consists
forming. Pipe forming is based on the 3 roller bending system. The pre- of a number of adjustable rollers which supports the material directly
bending support unit supports the exact forming of the cylindrical pipes. behind the welding point. The tolerances as laid down in the API 5L
and customer specifications are achieved.

3 Angle of mill, plate width to be maintained constant by means of edge Back-up roller at pipe forming section Tolerance of ±3mm can be
trimming. maintained on pipe circumference.
4 There are the following units in spiral welding machines: 1. Two step Dimension of the pipe is controlled by two rolls on the inside and
levelling including three rolls for levelling of the coil end and seven rolls outside of the pipes in the spiral welding machines. The API 5L
for levelling of the whole surface of the coil. 2. Prebending unit to prevent tolerances for pipe diameter are guaranteed.
weld seam edge peaking after main driver and forming unit. 3.Two forming
unit with two different forming methods a) External edge forming b) Free
forming.
5 Coil setting up, coil unwinding, skelp welding, strip flattening, edge API, EN standards requirements, or better. The dimensions are
trimming, edge preheating, edge crimping, pipe forming, pipe welding, pipe measured manually (diameter with a circometer or gauge; length with
cutting. a metallic double decameter)
6 Forming by 3 sets of rolls (bending device with an internal star arm guide). The forming is monitored continually by tape. API, AWWA and
ASTM tolerances can be achieved.
7 Coil edges are milled, bevel preparation and prebending is performed before Diameter, plate offset, peaking and other typical geometrical values
the pipe is formed in a roller cage and a continuous tack weld is carried out. are measured continuously during forming. Normally API 5L or DIN
EN 10208-2 values are required, but based on customer requirements
and agreements up to 50% of the API or DIN values can be
guaranteed.
8 The strip coming from the de-coiling station is pulled through a 7 roller For the time being the pipe diameter is checked with a calibrated
flattening-device, the strip edge milling machine and pushed with the main circumferential tape and if corrections are necessary the pipe forming
drive through the strip edge pre-bending device into the 3 multiple roller angle will be adjusted. The achieved tolerances are +2.4 / -0.8 mm.
pipe forming system with outer pipe caging unit.
9 The mill has built-in features for coil straightening, coil edge slitting, edge Dimensions of the pipes are ensured by setting mill to a perfect helix
milling, pre-bending of the edges and forming cage. Coil is formed into angle determined by constant and uniform strip width. The tolerances
pipe by 3 roll bending mechanism. on OD at the pipe body and pipe ends are nearly same, while API
allows liberal tolerance on the pipe body.

B16
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
5. Welding
Source One/ No of Seam Number of wires Consumables Electrical Weld Weld profile Skelp end
Two stands tracking and contact misalignment welds
step root gap
Int. Ext. Int. Ext.
1 One Laser control 2 2 Esab OK 12.20 by means Visual, Visually, As Yes and no,
/ OK Flux of mechanical macrographic internal. Depending on
10.71, Esab OK rotating measurement examination Bead customer
12.24 / OK Flux contactor control, bead height height requirements.
10.71, Esab OK macrograph, typical 1.5mm typical Normally not
13.24 / OK Flux laser monitoring 2mm included in gas
10.71 pipes
2 One The welding One head As Int. AWS EM12K Spot light Proper As Yes, Pipe
gap between with 2 wire, AWS tracking, laser selection of the Internal diameters 18"
the strip wires is F7A2 beam tracking, welding OD and over
edges is used for macrographic parameters and contain skelp
automatically wall examination of strip edge end welds as
controlled thickness the weld to preparation. per API 5L.
and adjusted es above check Welding gap Skelp end
by an 0.406", misalignment, control, joints are made
electronic- below thus meeting all selecting wire by an
hydraulic that, only the tolerances of diameter and automated
control unit. one wire API 5L and plate thickness SAW process.
Seam is used customer as per the API 100%
tracking is specifications 5L tolerances radiography
done by spot including T
light/laser joints. For
guidance safety reasons,
system. skelp end joints
are not
included in 16"
OD pipe and
smaller, as
customers
request it.

B17
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
5. Welding (continued)
Source One/ No of Seam Number of wires Consumables Electrical Weld Weld profile Skelp end
Two stands tracking and Int. Ext. contact misalignment Int. Ext. welds
step root gap
3 One Laser seam 2 2 Solid wire and Arc with Shifting the As SAW, x-ray
tracking Tandem Tandem flux earth weld head off Internal. and Manual UT
device giving through centre. 3mm 5mm on cross weld
feedback to forming weld bead weld
computer rollers. height max. bead
which height
controls the max.
weld head
position
4 One? The root gap Max. Max. two The There is a Weld Measure Measure: It depends on
is controlled three wires. consumables sharp rod misalignment 1) weld width As Int. the customer
by Automatic wires. are welding under strip can be measured 2) weld height but requirements
Gap control electrode and and moved by a compass. 3) weld 3) weld on the contract.
system and flux for laterally The maximum concavity convexity. The outside
the position Submerged arc with strip. acceptable value 4) contact The skelp end is
of outside welding (SAW) is 4mm. Weld angle tolerances performed on
welding head misalignment 5) pen. depth are the cross seam
controlled by can be detected (for 1st day according rewelding
Image by on line UT prod’n) to API5L, machine. This
processing device ASME, machine is
system. Sec IX controlled by
PLC system.
The full length
of skelp end
weld is tested
by UT.

B18
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
5. Welding (continued)
Source One / No of Seam tracking Number of wires Consumables Electrical Weld Weld profile Skelp end welds
Two stands and root gap Int. Ext. contact misalignment Int. Ext.
step
5 One Laser tracking 3 2 Wires and Contact Manual Manual meas. Specific Usually not for
system welding flux through the measurement. height: welder meas. oil and gas
unit Offset values calliper, width: device, projects, but
equal or better slide calliper, then as accepted for
than required welding angle: int. water projects
by API 5 L, macrography 100% by
EN 10208 radiography.
6 One Seam tracking Wires according By means Using a seam Visual and As Int. Except if no
is controlled to AWS Code of contact tracking, dimensional accepted by the
by TV camera (EL12, EM12K shoes (int.). continuously inspection client
and the root or EA2). verification of using callipers specification. In
gap is Agglomerated the UT results and gauges. case of
controlled by Welding Flux. and acceptance, are
laser sensor Laboratory used UT and/or
(MVS checking by RT.
System). macroetching

B19
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
5. Welding (continued)
Source One / No of Seam tracking Number of Consumables Electrical Weld Weld profile Skelp end welds
Two step stands and root gap wires contact misalignment
Int. Ext. Int. & Ext
7 Two One Seam tracking 3 to 2 to Flux, wire, Mechanically, Visual controls 100% visual Yes, Skelp end welds are
forming is done by 4 3 inert gas e.g. steel on the pipe control, manufactured in a fully
station automatic laser wires wires brushes inside and dimensional automatic SAW process with the
and three systems. Tack . . outside, controls on weld same flux and wire
welding welding is metallographic seam height and combinations used for the
stations. done samples, x-ray width at different helical weld seam. min distance
automatically. films, in case stage of of skelp end weld from the pipe
To control the of extreme production. ends: 200mm. The weld seam at
root gap the misalignment Tolerances all T-points is ground flush
outrunning it can be according to the within a tolerance of ± 0.5mm.
angle of the detected by mentioned 100% X-ray and UT-testing of
pipe forming automatic UT. standards or the skelp end weld and all T-
machine is Tolerances project points is performed. This skelp
also according to specifications. end weld has the same full usage
automatically the mentioned factor as the normal weld seam
controlled and standards or without any further client or
adjusted. project authority restrictions. Cold
specifications bending on site of skelp end
weld pipes is performed in the
same manner as for pipes
without skelp end welds.

B20
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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
5. Welding (continued)
Source One / No of Seam Number of Consumables Electrical contact Weld Weld profile Skelp end welds
Two stands tracking and wires misalignment
step root gap Int. Ext. Int. Ext.
8 Two 3 final Automatic 3 wire 2 wire, MAG: S1-Si Ground: high Laser seam Manually; seam Yes, Some customers
off-line laser systems DC, DC, electrode and current capacity tracking the seam height is accept pipes including
welding AC, AC Nitrogen ground brush system is height is max. 2.0 cross welds, welding and
stands AC (80%)/Argon system. installed and max. 1.5 mm NDT procedures depend
(20%) shield Internally: special the mm of the customer
gas contact nozzles. misalignment specification. A specific
SAW: S2 / S2- Externally: is max. 0.5 SAW cross weld station is
Mo electrode special contact mm available, NDT
and high jaws examination is performed
quality manually
welding flux
9 One Laser guided 1, 2 1, 2 Conform to Electrical contact Laser Vision Weld profile is For API Grade pipes
seam wire wire AWS is provided seam controlled by skelp end welds are not
tracking 5.17/5.23 through Electrical tracking adjusting welding included, however, for
system Grounding System current & voltage / Water Pipelines
control of Device - attached installed on weld speed and the conforming to IS
root gap by to the Main Pinch both ID & position of Welding Standards, skelp end
electro- Rolls. OD welding. Head. Bead Height welds are acceptable.
hydraulic on ID is maintained DPT before root run of
mechanism. between 1.0 & 1.5 outer welding to ensure
mm. Bead Set is removal of defects.
maintained as Dome Radiographs are taken for
Shaped & Seam Face the T-Joints of the skelp
Angle between 15 to end welds and UT for the
30 Degrees. balance skelp-end weld
Bead Height on OD length.
1.5 - 2.0 mm.

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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
6. Postweld operations
Source PWHT? Postweld sizing?
1 No No
2 No No
3 No No
4 No No
5 No No
6 No No
7 No No
8 No No
9 No No

7. Hydrotest
Source Details
1 According to standards and customer requirements, 90-100% SMYS, 10-20s
2 As per API 5L requirements and 90% SMYS, 10s
3 75-90% SMYS, 10s
4 The time and %SMYS are defined according to the standard. They are at least 75%, 10s for water pipes and 95%, 10s for oil and gas pipes.
5 As required by customers specification. Usually 90% SMYS for 10s.
6 The standard minimum time is 10s. Pipes of API 5L X42 and above are tested using a pressure test considering a fibre stress of 90% SMYS
7 Depending on customer specification the test pressure is calculated on the basis of specified minimum wall thickness and up to 100% SMYS.
Test duration is 10-15s usually, but can be up to 30s. Occasionally time and pressure intervals are defined by customers.
8 Each pipe is tested up to 95% of the specified yield stress. The holding time of the test pressure is between 10 sec. To 30 sec. depending on
client’s requirement and specification.
9 API and client specifications are followed for hydrotest. Duration of testing is usually 15s. Pipes are subjected to a pressure so as to generate a
hoop stress equal to 95% SMYS

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8. NDT requirements
Source Techniques and when Acceptable or not? Standards Problems
1 Ultrasonics: pipe body right after welding, pipe ends after cutting, weld Standards and API 5L, EN10208, Manufacturing of
seam after hydrostatic pressure test, calibration on pipes with notch or hole. customer DIN 17172, EN10217, calibration pipes
X-ray and Fluoroscopy: after hydrostatic test. specifications DIN1626, DIN1628, is difficult
Magnetic particle Inspection on bevels: after all other operations. EN10219, DIN17120 (especially on 5%
All requirements according to standards and customer specifications. and customer notch)
specifications
2 100% on-line automatic ultrasonic scanning of the weld bead and HAZ API 5L, but if API 5L, ASTM A578 No
Lamination scanning beside the weld, within one inch. Calibration setting customer specs have and customer specs
as per API 5L, Table 21. Spot radiography as per API 5L. Off-line pipe more stringent
body lamination scanning as per ASTM A578 with Level II acceptance requirements, these are
criteria. Residual magnetism check at the pipe ends MPI for weld repairs adhered to
and on bevelled ends. Manual UT scanning on pipe ends for lamination
scanning and for other defects, shear wave scanning. Calibration pieces as
per API 5L and customer specs.
3 Automated UT for lamination on the plate edges and pipe body. 6.35mm Back-wall echo with API 5L No
FBH, half wall thickness Automated UT inspection on spiral weld after lamination test and
hydrotesting. N5 notch and 3mm drilled hole. X-ray on pipe ends, 2% coupling check. Probe
sensitivity coupling test with
spiral weld test
4 On-line ultrasonic devices which are installed on the spiral welding API 5L and customer No
machine after the forming and welding unit. The UT devices are Specs
Krautkramer KSEZ8, with sensitivity 0-120dB. Calibration is performed on
a reference sample to API 5L Manual ultrasonic device. Krautkramer
USN52, sensitivity 0-110dB. Calibration by mill and client inspectors in
hand-UT test stations.

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8. NDT requirements (continued)
Source Techniques and when Acceptable or Standards Problems
not?
5 Automatic UT inspection of the weld and the pipe body Manual UT inspection of According to API 5L, UT: It is not
regions identified during the automatic UT operations X-ray inspection of the UT client EN10246-9, practical to use a
indications given by the automatic UT and confirmed by the manual UT. X-ray specifications EN10246-10 3.2mm drilled
inspection of weld repairs and surfacing by automatic MIG/MAG. X-ray inspection of hole at 33%
pipe ends (according to applicable specifications). UT - weld: multichannel (8) UT (API), we must
bench on pipe machine and after hydrotest; shear wave angle probe; N5 or N10 notches calculate the
and/or 1.6 or 3.2mm drilled hole. Typical sensitivity 1.6mm hole at 100% ±2dB. Pipe sensitivity of each
body: 10SE probes, 50% minimum of the surface is checked. Base material at pipe channel to be sure
end: 50mm with SE technique; 5mm flat bottom hole, 100% sensitivity. RT:Sensitivity that the calibration
typically 2% of weld thickness is okay.
6 Automatic UT: Full length of the weld seam (before Hydrostatic Test) Automatic UT Defect rates API 5L, Any No
unit using a probe arrangement system with 4 angular probes and 2 normal probes higher than 7% other requests
(positioned adjacent to the weld seam). The strip inspection is UT inspected by two area. Cracks are should be
normal probes. Probe guiding device with probe adjustment devices, swivel frame for unacceptable, and analysed
adjustment according to the respective seam angle. Horizontal support for automatic any detection
tracking of the probe systems in case of seam deviations. Magnetic particle in pipe should be
bevel. Manual UT in pipe ends investigated
7 Ultrasonic testing, X-ray testing, magnetic particle testing. The base material can be Acceptable and DIN EN In some cases the
tested for laminations 100% as requested by DNV rules or several offshore unacceptable 102046-ff, SEP- interpretation of
specifications before forming. The weld seam and areas adjacent to the weld are tested defects are rules, DNV- the standards is
for transverse and longitudinal defects after hydrotesting, pipe ends and bevels are also defined by the Rules, DIN EN difficult. We have
tested for laminations after hydrotesting. Manual UT of the skelp end weld is also done specifications 10208-2, Shell made large
after hydrotesting. X-ray testing of pipe ends, UT-indications and 100% of the skelp applied specifications investments in
end weld is done after hydrotesting and before final inspection. (For details on the and customer 2002 and 2003 to
process flow see attached Fig. 2). Sensitivity and type of calibration piece is defined by specific meet client and
the customer. Usually N5-notches and 1.6mm bores are used on the calibration pipe for DNV standards.
the weld seam according API 5L, or DIN EN 10246ff. For X-ray evaluation API 5L,
DIN EN 10246-9 or customer specific definitions are applied.

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8. NDT requirements (continued)
Source Techniques and when Acceptable or not? Standards Problems
8 All NDT tests are carried out in accordance with clients’ requirements. Visual API 5-L and API 5-L and Any special could
Inspection of pipe dimensions and weld seam. Ultrasonic testing of base metal and clients clients be solved
weld seam. X-ray pipe end testing (with Film). Fluoroscopy testing (continuous X-ray) specification specification
9 NDT Techniques in mill stage: Real Time Radioscopy (x-ray). NDT Techniques in API 5L & API 5L, ASTM, No
Inspection Stage: i). UT of Pipe Body / Weld Seam / HAZ / Pipe Ends. ii). MPT of Customers' ASME and
Bevel Ends. iii). X - Ray Radiography of Pipe End Welds and Ultrasonically Specifications Customer
suspected points on welds. Details of calibration pieces given. based on Specifications.
interpretation of
test results in
terms of defect
levels & irrelevant
indications and
procedural
performance.

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9. Coating
Source Additional requirements?
1 Yes, low and smooth weld bead, small weld toe angle
2 Yes, weld bead height
3 Yes, no sign of Necking, edge of weld must merge smoothly with base material, no sharp radii on weld bead
4 No
5 Yes, profile, shape, height
6 Yes, maximum weld bead height (2mm internal, 3mm external)
7 Yes, external weld seam height
8 Yes, external weld seam height should not be higher than 1.5mm (max. 2mm)
9 Yes, Weld Seam heights are usually kept at moderate levels, around 1.0mm to 1.5mm for ID Welds and 1.5mm to 2.0mm for OD Weld Seam and
it is of dome shaped profile having seam face angle of 15 deg to 30 degrees.

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10. Destructive testing
Source What tests? Orientation? Acceptable or not?
1 Tensile tests, impact tests, bend tests, DWT test, hardness test. According to requirements, usually Standards and customer requirements.
with respect to pipe axis (except Data in appendix 1.
weld)
2 All tensile tests as per API 5Land customer requirements; As per API 5L 42nd edition API 5L and customer requirements
guided bend test as per API 5L; Charpy V-notch impact test as
per ASTM A370 and API 5L; Hardness testing as per customer
specifications; chemical analysis.
3 Tensile tests, bend tests Pipe Axis API 5L and customer requirements
4 Tensile tests, impact tests, bend tests, DWT test, hardness tests, As per standard and customer
chemical analysis requirements
5 Tensile tests, macrographic, charpy tests, and any additional Standards and customer requirements.
tests required by specifications
6 Tensile Tests (weld and base metal); Bend Test; Hardness Standards and customer requirements
Test; Charpy Test; Macrographic Test; Micrographic Test
7 Depending on specifications: hardness test, tensile test, impact Test samples are oriented transverse Acceptable and unacceptable defects are
tests, drop weight tear tests, bending tests to pipe axis in case of base material. defined by the specifications applied
For weld tests transverse to weld Statistical data is available but will not be
provided with this questionnaire. We
propose to show and discuss statistics in a
separate meeting, as more explanation is
needed.
8 All destructive tests required by the client, f.e. hydrostatic test, All test samples of the pipe body are Test results within the acceptance limit
bend test, yield and tensile test, Charpy test, drop weight tear taken transverse to the pipe axis, specified by the applicable specifications
test, micro hardness test samples of the pipe weld are taken are considered to be acceptable
perpendicular to the weld seam
9 Bend test, tensile test, Charpy impact test, drop weight tear HRC - transverse to the rolling Governing Specifications, i.e. as per API
test, metallographic examination & hardness, as applicable as direction. Pipe Base - transverse to 5L & as per Customer Specifications, as
per the governing specification(s). the pipe axis. Pipe Weld - transverse modified based on test values and
to the weld axis. interpretations of test results in terms of
appearance of fractured surfaces.

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11. Corrosion tests
Source Tests? Acceptable or not?
1 Yes, as required According to specifications.
2 Yes, HIC tests to NACE TM-02864-1996 and sulphide SCC as per ASTM G39 and Acceptance criteria for HIC and SSCC tests are usually
NACE TM-0177-1996. Corrosion test coupons are cut from the pipes including the laid down in customer specifications. HIC tests:
welded portion, and sent to independent laboratories or the steel manufacturer's CLR=15% max. CSR=1.5% max. CTR=5.1% max. SSCC:
laboratories for testing. no visible cracking that exceeds 0.1mm in the through
thickness direction.
3 No N/A
4 No N/A
5 Yes, our mill is qualified for both sweet and sour conditions.
6 No N/A
7 Yes, HIC tests and SCC tests according to NACE Defined by the specifications applied.
8 No N/A
9 No N/A

12. Common defects and their control


Source Common defects Remedial measures
1 Dimensional defects, weld defects Adjustment of the forming and welding equipment
and surface defects.
2 Porosity in the weld bead, offset Welding parameter control, cleaning of the welding flux. Controlling the settings of the electrohydraulic units
of the plate edges, off-seam of the for the settings. Spot light, laser seam tracking system, macrographic examination for welding head setting.
weld
3 Lack of weld penetration Weld seam tracker
4 Pinholes, undercut Redrying the flux, and control of flux particle size. Welding parameter control.
5
6 Porosity, slag inclusion Weld process control, selection storage and handling of consumables.
7 Pores, slag inclusions, Visual and NDT-controls at various states of production combined with automatic welding and full recording of
misalignment, slivers, coil edge all relevant welding parameter in a kin of electronic diagnosis centre. Visual and UT-controls at various stage.
defects, roll ins Close contact to our coils supplier in regular meetings and workshops on quality aspects.
8 Lack of fusion, lack of Remedial measures are re –adjustment of welding parameter and checking of the quality of the welding
penetration, slag inclusion. consumables.
9 Rare incidents of weld defects, viz slag and porosity are observed which are controlled by adhering to the technical discipline of practicing the laid
down procedures for controlling welding consumables and welding parameters established during Welding Procedure Qualification. This is a
common phenomenon, not restricted to Spiral Weld pipes alone.
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13. Cost issues
Source Price differentials expected
1 Not given
2 15-20% saving compared with UOE pipe of a corresponding grade and similar quantities
3 Spiral cheaper, arising from the reduced set-up costs and the versatility to produce any diameter as preferred by the client.
4 Not given
5 Not given
6 No information - not yet supplied pipes for oil and gas service
7 This question cannot be answered generally. The price differences to UOE-pipes are very much depending on diameter, wall thickness, quantity
and project specifications.
8 Spiral SAW pipes can be expected to be 5-15% cheaper depending on the diameter and wall thickness
9 For pipe-sizes 30" dia & above, HSAW Pipes are positively economical. The difference can be 5% to 10%. For 30" dia & below, rates are
generally at par.

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14. Customer perceptions
Source General 2-step
1 No technical problems, but some old regulations cause restrictions. No problems
2 Helically welded pipes are having a longer welded length. They contain skelp end joints.
They are not suitable for offshore applications. The individual pipe lengths vary and are
not the same as in the longitudinally welded pipes. The helically welded pipes are not
suitable for use in gas applications as the spiral seam inside the pipe results in loss of
pressure.
3 If a customer has a preference, they go for UOE pipes
4
5 Perfect straightness, flexibility for production, high level of quality Difference in speed during production. The main concern
of customers is the achievement of the required standard
for pipes. One-step process enables us to achieve the
more stringent standard in oil and gas.
6
7 The number of companies using spiral welded pipes in high pressure gas transmission In general our customers accept pipes from the two step
lines (gas and oil) is increasing steadily. Nearly all European gas transmission companies process as equivalent to UOE-pipes and are aware of the
are using our spiral welded pipes since years (e.g. Ruhrgas since 1970). In some cases technological and quality related benefits compared to
skelp end welds are not accepted. For offshore projects in shallow waters where spiral the conventional process.
welded pipes could also be used spiral pipes are often excluded by specifications due to
limited experience of pipe laying contactors.
8 Spiral welded pipes are in general not used for sour gas pipe lines Conventional welded spiral pipes are subject to weld
seam cracks. Pipes produced with the “two step” process
have almost no cracks and higher welding speeds can be
achieved
9 The Spiral Weld Pipes are being specified at par with LSAW Pipes by Leading Clients & 2-step not manufactured in our country
Consultants in "The Oil Sector". For e.g. Leading Pipe Line Companies accept HSAW
Pipes at par with LSAW Pipes for Crude Oil Transportation Projects. However, some
"Built In Resistance or Mind Set" does exist for not accepting HSAW Pipes for High
Pressure Gas Transmission Pipeline work and/or for White Product Transmission
Pipeline Projects. For offshore projects being implemented in our country. The
apprehensions & resistance because of increased weld-length is quite significant &
HSAW Pipes are not being accepted.

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15. Experiences
Source Good Bad
1 No problems, no difference
2 We have manufactured HSAW pipes for more than 3 decades and they are in-service for sour and We have not had any, but see perceptions re
non-sour applications. We have never experienced a failure of our pipes. customer view.
3 None to report None to report
4
5 No bad experiences re: quality can be identified since the beginning of this mill's production Some customers complain about damage during
(1960). transportation.
6 Manufacturing large OD pipes (>48") Difficulties in forming pipes with 20" OD and less
and wt greater than 14.3mm in steel grades X60
and higher.
7 We can only rely upon our customers feed back on spiral pipes, which is in general a very positive In some cases customers have reported on bad
feedback without bad reports on properties or characteristics related spiral pipes. Those customers experiences with spiral welded pipes as a result of
having used spiral pipes are using it again without defining any special restriction (except skelp poor quality control in pipe manufacturing and
end welds) selection of coil materials.
8
9 We have not had any bad feed back from our customers to date. The laying contactors are happy
using Spiral Welded Pipes at par with Longitudinal SAW Pipes. Spiral Pipes, by virtue of their
process of manufacturing, are fully round and straight pipes. Chances of Ovality & Out of
Roundness are significantly less in HSAW Pipes vis-à-vis LSAW Pipes.

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APPENDIX C

QUESTIONNAIRE SENT TO COATING CONTRACTORS AND A SUMMARY


OF THEIR RESPONSES

C1
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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

QUESTIONNAIRE FOR COATING CONTRACTORS

1. TYPES OF COATINGS

a) What coatings do you apply to spiral welded line pipe?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) Does spiral welded pipe restrict the coating or method of coating used? If yes,
please give a brief summary of the restrictions.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

2. COATING THICKNESS

a) Is a greater coating thickness required on the spiral weld seam compared with the
bulk material? If yes, please indicate how this is achieved.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) Are there any problems associated with coating spiral welded pipe compared to
UOE pipe? If yes, please summarise.
YES
NO

3. FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

If you were in the position to do so, are there any restrictions or recommendations
you would make to the pipe manufacturer in order to facilitate or improve the
application of coatings? If yes, please summarise.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
4. GOOD AND BAD EXPERIENCES

Please give summary details about any good or bad experiences you are aware of,
or have had, regarding spiral pipe.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

When complete, please return to Joanna Nicholas, TWI, Granta Park, Great
Abington, Cambridge, CB1 6AL, UK. (E-mail: joanna.nicholas@twi.co.uk)
Thank you.

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
NAMES OF COATING CONTRACTORS APPROACHED

Al-Qahtani Pipe Coating Terminal ITI Group


Applied Rubber Coatings KPIOS
Augusta Industrial Coatings Liberty Coating Co
Bayou Coating LLC Lining Systems
Bayou Pipe Coating Nylospray
Bredero Price Pipeline Protection Ltd
Citadel Technologies Epoxy & Structural Precision Coatings
Confab PSL Holdings
Edlon Inc Ranbar Technology Inc
EUPEC Rautaruukki Metform
General Plastics Corp Salzgitter Großrohre GmbH
IECC Epoxy Stupp Bros. Inc

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RESPONSES FROM COATING CONTRACTORS QUESTIONNAIRE
1. Types of coatings
Source Coatings Applied Restrictions
1 External: FBE, 3 layer PE Liquid Epoxy and Liquid Solvent less PU Internally: Liquid Epoxy or None
Liquid Solvent less PU
2 External: FBE, 3 Layer PE, 3 layer PP. Internal: epoxy flow coat, cement mortar lining None
3 External: 3 layer side extruded PE None
4 Epoxy Flow coat for gas pipelines, Epoxy alimentary for drinking water and used water, cement Yes, steel surface quality and welded
mortar for drinking water and used water quality for epoxy alimentary
5 3 Layer P.E., Coal Tar Enamel, Concrete Coating, Liquid Epoxy, Polyurethane, Conventional Paints, None
all types of Rubber Lining and Cement Mortar Lining.
6 External: polyethylene and polypropylene. Internal: Epoxy. None

2. Coating thickness
Source Greater Achieved how Problems cf UOE
on weld
1 No N/A With Spiral, FBE requires a good control of weld bead maximum height to
avoid pinholes or bubbles at the interface between the weld bead and the
parent steel.
2 Yes The coating thickness on the pipe body exceeds the None
minimum thickness at the top of the weld, and is always
well above the minimum specified.
3 Yes Need to maintain a higher coating thickness on the whole None
pipe to ensure that the spiral seam is covered to the
minimum spec. This results in higher consumption of PE.
4 Yes Maintain same thickness on weld as bulk material. 60µm None
min for Epoxy Flow coat.
5 Yes Sometimes coating economies are used. To achieve None
specified thickness on weld we have to provide approx.
20 to 30% of the on rest body of pipe.
6 No N/A We have not coated UOE pipes, but our opinion is that there are more
problems with UOE pipes, because the straight seam rotates non-uniformly
compared with the spiral seam, which rotates more smoothly on the line.

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3. Future developments
Source Restrictions or What
recommendations for
Pipemakers
1 Yes Pipes should have very good control of out of roundness tolerance, and good weld bead shape to avoid coating
defects
2 No
3 Yes Reduction of weld bead height to reduce consumable consumption. Optimising welding parameters and welding
consumables, along with weld seam tracking could result in lower bead height.
4 Yes Pipes should be free from oil, grease, scale and residual porosity. The welded profile must be in accordance with the
recommendations of the coater.
5 Yes We would say, weld seam dimensions to be strictly controlled as per specs.
6 No

4. Experiences
Source Good Bad General Comment
1 Spiral welded pipes are straighter than UOE or ERW Spiral pipes, when non-expanded can have
pipes worse out of roundness than UOE pipes
2 Coating plant is part of the integrated pipe mill. The
pipes have excellent straightness and minimised out of
roundness for the complete pipe length. No difference
between the pipe body and the pipe ends.
3 Problem of consumption of PE.
4 When spiral welded pipe has good surface quality and When the pipe surface is questionable or the
welding is of good quality and acceptable cap heights, welding and weld profile is poor, there can be
all is well difficulties.
5 As coating applicator we did not
experience any things which can be
termed as "BAD".
6 We have only had good experiences, with no special
problems.

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APPENDIX D

QUESTIONNAIRE SENT TO PIPE LAY CONTRACTORS AND A SUMMARY


OF THEIR RESPONSES

D1
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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

QUESTIONNAIRE FOR FABRICATORS/PIPE LAY


CONTRACTORS

Where possible, please quantify cost benefits/disadvantages.

1. PIPELINE PROJECTS USING SPIRAL WELDEDPIPE

a) Do you make use of spiral welded line pipe? If so, please provide details of the
materials used in recent projects (Length, Pipe Size, Grade, Other).
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) Under what circumstances do you not use spiral welded?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) Are there any developments in spiral welded pipe properties, and/or quality and/or
delivery schedules that would extend your range of application of this product
form? If yes, please give details.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

2. CODES AND SPECIFICATIONS

a) Which national, international or company codes and specifications to you work to


when using spiral welded pipe? A copy of any company specifications would be
appreciated.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

b) What relaxations or supplementary requirements (if any) are applied to any of the
above specifications to allow the use of spiral welded pipe?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

3. DESIGN

Do you impose any additional design limitations when using spiral welded
linepipe by comparison to other product forms? If so, please give details and brief
reasons.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________

4. PIPE SUPPLY

a) If you procure pipe, do you procure from selected mills only? If so, how do you
select these mills?
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) Spiral welded pipes are produced in two principal ways, which are slightly
different:

1. ‘One-step process’, i.e. conventional spiral welding process.


2. ‘Two-step process’ i.e. tack welding is carried out prior to final welding at a
separate station.

Please specify which kind of pipes you are using predominantly; pipes made by
the ‘one-step’ or ‘two-step’ process. In case you have experienced both types,
please indicate your experience concerning the technical differences between these
two products (pipe geometry, weld geometry, delivery time, etc.). If possible,
please include relevant data on your measurements, tests or observations for
verification.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) Do you impose requirements in excess of API on mills? If so, what are they?
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
d) Do you permit skelp end welds in pipes supplied? If so, please state any special
requirements for these?
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

e) What price differentials to you expect for spiral welded pipe in comparison with
UOE pipe?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

f) What cost penalties/benefits result from using spiral welded pipe?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

5. USAGE

a) What type of pipe laying procedures do you do?


Land
Offshore
S-lay
J-lay
Reeling
Other
_________________________________________________________

b) Please indicate what welding processes are used, and where applicable, give
details.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) Do spiral welded pipes pose any problems over UOE with respect to field
bending? If so, please indicate how.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
d) Are there any other problems with spiral welded pipe compared to UOE?
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

e) What good and/or bad experiences to you have of field welding spiral pipe?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

f) Do you have any experience of reeling spiral welded pipe? If so, please give
details, and any aspects that are better or worse than reeling UOE pipe.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

g) How do you think clients perceive the use of spiral welded line pipe? If there are
anxieties, on what are they based?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

h) Have you ever encountered any problems in procedure qualifications for spiral
welded line pipe? If so, what?
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

i) Does the spiral weld seam affect girth weld NDT? If so, please comment.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

j) Do you have any experience of welding spiral pipe lines for sour service? If so,
please give a summary account.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
6. CORROSION

a) Do you regard spiral welded pipe as more susceptible to general corrosion


problems than other product forms? If so, how do you manage this?
YES
NO
Requirements on pipe makers (please specify)
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

Operational controls (please specify)


_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

b) Do you regard spiral welded pipe as more susceptible to sour corrosion problems
than other product forms? If so, how do you manage this?
YES
NO
Requirements on pipe makers (please specify)
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

Operational controls (please specify)


_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

c) Do you require corrosion testing (including both sweet and sour conditions) on
spiral welded seams? If yes, please give details.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

d) What constitutes acceptable and unacceptable corrosion test results?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

If it were available, it would be useful for us to have some actual existing


corrosion test data for our database.

D6
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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
7. GOOD AND BAD EXPERIENCES

Please give summary details about any good or bad experiences you have had, or
are aware of, regarding spiral pipe.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

When complete, please return to Joanna Nicholas, TWI, Granta Park, Great
Abington, Cambridge, CB1 6AL, UK. (E-mail: joanna.nicholas@twi.co.uk)
Thank you.

D7
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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
NAMES OF PIPELAY CONTRACTORS APPROACHED

A&B Welding Services Ltd Millennium Pipeline Project


ACIPCO Motherwell Bridge Engineering
AEA Technology MTB Engineering
Alfred McAlpine Services &Pipelines Ltd Murphy Pipelines Ltd
Bechtel Ltd MW Kellogg
Bonatti S.p.A. Noble Drilling Europe
BPA Oceaneering International Inc
Cherrington Corporation Odebrecht Oil & Gas Services Inc
Chiyoda Corporation OJ Pipelines
Colt Engineering Corporation Penspen Ltd
Condmag Petro-line Construction Group
Costain Oil Gas & Process Pipework and Welding Services
CRC Evans Redpath Engineering Services
Danheux & Maroye SA Rockwater Ltd
DSND Oceantech Ltd Sheehan
EMC/Saipem Smit Land & Marine Engineering Ltd
Engineers India Ltd Snamprogetti S.p.A.
ENSCO Offshore UK Stolt Offshore
Fabricon Ltd Subsea 7
Fluor Daniel Ltd Summit Pipelines
Foster Wheeler Ltd TD Williamson
George Harms Construction Co Technip Coflexip
Halliburton (KBR) Tecnomare
Heereme Group Torch Inc
JGC Umax Pipeweld
JP Kenny Ltd United Pipelines Ltd
Kennedy, John (Civil Engineering) Ltd Whessoe LGA Gas Technology
Kvaerner Process Ltd Zeetech Engineering
McDermott Inc

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RESPONSES FROM PIPE LAY CONTRACTORS QUESTIONNAIRE

1. Pipeline projects using spiral welded pipe


Source Use Prohibition Developments
1 No. We've never been offered spiral as an option, most We do not use spiral welded pipe.
spiral is larger diameter, when you get to larger diameter
of say 14" and above, the thickness required for reeling
normally would be unachievable.
2 Yes, 660m of 610mmx14.3mm X52 for the fabrication of High pressure oil and gas service Improvements in quality, cost,
a storm water outfall in Scotland availability.
3 Yes, Grade B for water service. A pipe mill has been We do not use spiral welded pipe for process None
temporarily built at the construction site for this project, service such as hydrocarbon service, but we use it
and the pipes have been flake lined for water service unless the owner prohibits the
use of spiral welded pipe.
4 No. All pipelines Inadequate capacity of UOE
mills, Overwhelming price
advantage.
5 No Usually not qualified for the area we serve (subsea Reliable quality and properties.
construction)
6 Yes
7 No Client specifications Client driven.

2. Codes and specifications


Source Which codes? Supplementary requirements?
1 API 1104, DNV Rules, EN 3650 ISO3183 No specific requirements for spiral welded pipe.
2 API 1104, API 5L Customer specification
3 API 5L No specific requirements for spiral welded pipe.
4 N/A N/A
5 API 1104, BS 4515, DNV OS-F101
6 AP1 1104 Customer requirements
7 DNV OS-F101, API 1104, BS 4515, EN 3650 Codes do not cover spirally welded pipe.

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3. Design
No respondents reported any design limitations associated with spiral welded linepipe compared with other product forms.

4. Pipe supply
Source Selected mills? Mill Excess of API Skelp end Price differentials Cost
type welds penalties/benefits
1 Yes. All mills with a track N/A Yes, Charpy transition curves, No Don't know - tend to be delivery N/A
record in supplying strain ageing tests, Corrosion driven
subsea pipeline to the testing, CE limits, Y/T ratios,
high qualities we require Hardness testing etc - see
are considered. However, supplied documentation
this means the list is quite
limited.
2 Yes. Restriction on the One No No N/A N/A
company vendor database step
and past experience
3 Yes, If owners approved One No Yes, provided We expect a very large cost merit in Spiral welded pipes
manufacturers list is step the using spiral welded pipes over can be supplied in
applicable, we select requirements UOE. double random
spiral mills from it. If not, of API 5L length, therefore field
we have our own para. 5.5 are weld points can be
approved list. adhered to reduced.
4 Price, schedule, track N/A Yes. API 5L is pretty much a No Prices for linepipe are largely N/A
record. tunnel spec (anything can be determined by the market at that
driven through it). Linepipe particular time. It is very difficult to
purchase may often be based predict price differentials for UOE
on API 5L, but there is usually pipe ordered a few months apart;
a substantial project the same would be expected to
specification on top of it. apply to spiral welded pipe.

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4. Pipe supply (continued)
Source Selected mills? Mill Excess of API Skelp end Price differentials Cost
type welds penalties/benefits
5 No, but all suppliers are N/A Yes, for SAW, and probably No No idea May be cheaper,
subject to audit and would for spiral increases options and
approval. suppliers,
dimensional stability
for machining and fit-
up need to be
established re pipe
lay efficiency. Not
sure of implications
for intelligent
pigging.
6 Yes Both Yes
7 No, pipe mills for N/A Yes, pipe end dimensions and No, but may Anticipate that spiral would be less
procurements are selected tolerances are important for need to expensive than UOE.
on cost, technical ability mechanised and automatic revise/review
and schedules for GMAW systems employed by if this would
delivery. our company. Typically, when have
procuring to DNV OS-F101 implications
Section 6, Table 6-15 for corrosion/
enhanced dimensional fatigue and
requirements would be engineering
requested as a minimum. analysis.

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5. Use
Source Laying Welding Field bending Other Experiences Reeling Client Procedure Problems Sour
procedures processes problems problems (welding) perception qualification NDT of service
girth weld experience
1 Offshore, Manual We have not looked into None None Probably No I do not No
J-lay, GMAW, this in any detail. similar to the experience believe it
Reeling SMAW, negative would,
GTAW, feelings/ same as
GSFCAW; perceptions HFI/ERW
Auto on
GMAW, HFI/ERW of
GTAW 10 years ago.
2 Land, SMAW Yes. Seam Customer Not used None Don't know No problems No No
Offshore, position on preference previously problems
Onshore bending
fabrication, neutral axis.
offshore
pull.

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5. Use (continued)
Source Laying Welding Field bending Other Experiences Reeling Client Procedure Problems Sour
procedures processes problems problems (welding) perception qualification NDT of service
girth weld experience
3 Land. SMAW We do not If pipes are See previous None Normally No No No
apply any supported major oil problems problems.
bending to by pipe companies Longitudin
spiral welded shoes, the restrict the al seam
pipes because pipe seam use of spiral welds in
there is some may welded pipes UOE pipes
uncertainty overlap to water are the
over the with shoe service. same.
strength after welding.
welding. When
branch pipe
welding is
taken off
from the
main pipe,
the branch
pipe
welding
may
overlap
with the
spiral seam
which
cannot
maintain
the sound
weldability

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5. Use (continued)
Source Laying Welding Field Other Experiences Reeling Client Procedure Problems Sour
procedures processes bending problems (welding) perception qualification NDT of service
problems girth weld experience
4 Design and N/A N/A Would N/A No. Not likely Anxieties N/A Shouldn't No
management expect to see reeling about track do
poorer fit- of spiral pipe - record, weld
up wrong behaviour
diameter range and strip
quality
5 Offshore, Mechanised N/A N/A N/A No. Reeling Reputation N/A AUT is No
J-lay, S-lay, GMAW. rends to be for low tech the main
Reeling Narrow small applications inspection
groove, diameter, 12- and not method.
SAW double 14" typical mainstream Need to
jointing steel mills. grind caps
for probe
access.
6 Not given
7 Land, Mechanised Only if Pipe end None None Based on No As with None.
Offshore, and spiral dimensions concerns experience. UOE, the
S-lay, J-lay automatic seam over cap would
GMAW, increases homogenous need to be
SAW, stress pipe removed
SMAW and intensity properties, for AUT.
GSFCAW, factor. longer weld
Onshore and length re
Offshore corrosion
and defects.

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6. Corrosion
Source General (more susceptible?) Sour Corrosion Testing
1 No opinion No opinion N/A
2 No. No. No
3 No. However, we do not use spiral welded pipes No. No. We do not use spiral welded pipes in corrosive service, but they may be used
in corrosive line applications. in seawater service with internal linings such as cement or epoxy.
4 No opinion No opinion N/A
5 Yes. Could be an issue with bottom of line and No opinion Would do
seam weld. Usually the seams are specified at the
top.
6
7 More susceptible to general corrosion. 6 o’clock Yes Yes
cannot be avoided.

7. Experiences
Source Good Experiences Bad experiences
1 N/A N/A
2 N/A N/A
3 See Use/Other problems
4 N/A N/A
5 N/A N/A
6 One pipemaker - although low cost, problems with dimensional tolerances. Not out of roundness, but
diameter variability.
7 N/A N/A

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APPENDIX E

QUESTIONNAIRE SENT TO END USERS AND A SUMMARY


OF THEIR RESPONSES

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

QUESTIONNAIRE FOR END USERS

1. PIPELINE PROJECTS USING SPIRAL WELDED PIPES

a) Do you make use of spiral welded line pipe? If so, please provide details of recent
projects (Project, Length, Pipe Size, Grade, Terrain, Land/Offshore, Service
Conditions, Other).
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) What is the highest strength spiral welded line pipe that you have employed?
Please give service conditions.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) Under what circumstances do you not use spiral welded pipe? Please provide
details of recent projects (Project, Length, Pipe Size, Grade, Pipe Manufacturing
Route, Terrain, Land/Offshore, Service Conditions, Other).
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

d) Are there any developments in spiral welded pipe properties, and/or quality and/or
delivery schedules that would extend your range of application of this product
form? If so, please give details.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

2. CODES AND SPECIFICATIONS

a) Which national, international or company codes and specifications do you work to


when using spiral welded pipe? A copy of any company specifications would be
appreciated.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) What relaxations or supplementary requirements (if any) are applied to any of the
above specifications to allow the use of spiral welded pipe?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

3. DESIGN

Do you impose any additional design limitations when using spiral welded line
pipe by comparison to other product forms? If so, please give details and brief
reasons.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

4. STEEL SOURCE

a) Do you require the steel used for pipes in your projects to be acquired from
selected sources only? If yes, how are the sources selected?
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

b) Do you impose requirements on steel suppliers (e.g. chemical composition,


processing, toughness)? If yes, please summarise.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
5. PIPE MAKER

a) Do you require the pipes used in your projects to be acquired from selected pipe
makers only? If yes, how are the sources selected?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) Spiral welded pipes are produced in two principal ways, which are slightly
different:
1 ‘One-step process’ i.e. conventional spiral welding process.
2 ‘Two-step process’ i.e. tack welding is carried out prior to final welding
at a separate station.

Please specify which kind of pipes you are using predominantly: pipes made by
the ‘one-step’ or ‘two-step’ process. In case you have experienced both types,
please indicate your experience concerning the technical differences between these
two products (pipe geometry, weld geometry, delivery time, etc.). If possible,
please include relevant data on your measurements, tests or observations for
verification.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) Do you impose requirements in excess of those in API on pipe makers (e.g. steel
chemical composition, processing, toughness, test requirements? If yes, please
summarise.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

d) Do you permit skelp end welds in pipes supplied? If so, please state any special
requirements for these.

YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
6. NDT REQUIREMENTS

a) Do you require specific NDT techniques to be used to inspect pipe in the mill?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) Do you require additional third party weld line inspection?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

c) What constitutes acceptable and unacceptable NDT results?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

7. DESTRUCTIVE TESTING

a) What destructive tests are performed on the pipe?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

b) What constitutes acceptable and unacceptable test results?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
If it were available, it would be useful for us to have some actual existing
mechanical test data for our database.

8. CORROSION

a) Do you regard spiral welded pipe as more susceptible to general corrosion


problems than other product forms? If so, how do you manage this?
YES
NO
Requirements on pipe makers (please specify)
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
Operational controls (please specify)
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

b) Do you regard spiral welded pipe as more susceptible to sour corrosion problems
than other product forms? If so, how do you manage this?
YES
NO
Requirements on pipe makers (please specify)
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
Operational controls (please specify)
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

c) Do you require corrosion testing (including both sweet and sour conditions) on
spiral welded seams? If yes, please give details.
YES
NO
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

d) What constitutes acceptable and unacceptable corrosion test results?


_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
If it were available, it would be useful for us to have some actual existing
mechanical test data for our database.

9. COST BENEFITS

What cost benefits have you seen resulting from the use of spiral welded pipe?
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
10. GOOD AND BAD EXPERIENCES

Please give summary details about any good or bad experiences you have had, or
are aware of regarding spiral welded pipe.
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

When complete, please return to Joanna Nicholas, TWI, Granta Park, Great
Abington, Cambridge, CB1 6AL, UK. (E-mail: joanna.nicholas@twi.co.uk)
Thank you.

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
NAMES OF END USERS APPROACHED

ADNOC Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV


AGIP Divisione Esplorazione e Norsk Hydro AS
Prduzione – ENI S.p.A. North Carolina Natural Gas Corporation
Amerada Hess Ltd Northern Border Pipeline Co
Apache Corporation NOVA Gas Transmissions Ltd
BG Technology Pacific Gas and Electric Co
Bord Gain Eireann Petrobas
BP Amoco Petrochemical Industries Co. KSC
Cairn Energy Plc Petroleum Development Omas
Chevron Research & Technology Co Petronas Research and Scientific
Citgo Petroleum Corp Phillips Petroleum Co
Columbia Energy Group Pipeline Technologies Inc
Conoco Inc Prodetra BV
Consolidated National Gas Company Public Gas Corporation of Greece (DEPA)
Duke Energy Corporation Qatar General Petroleum Corporation
Electrabel QATARGAS
El Paso Energy Corporation Questar Corporation
Equity Oil Co Ras Laffan Liquified Natural Gas Co. Ltd
EXXON Mobil Ruhrgas AG
Fachverband der Gas-und Sabine Pipe Line Company
Warmeversorgungsunternehmungen SaskPower
Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd Saudi Aramco
Gas Natural / ENAGAS Schlumberger Industries SA
Gasum OY Sedigas
Gasunie Engineering BV SEGAS
Gaz de France Shell UK Exploration and Production
Gibson Petroleum Shell Iran
Great Lakes Gas SK Corporation
Transmission Company Statoil
Anadarko Petroleum Strategic Energy Ltd
Husky Oil Limited Suncor Inc
Enbridge Pipeline Sydgas AB
Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company Talsiman Energy (UK) Ltd
JGC Corp Texaco Inc
KN Energy Inc TotalFinaElf
Koch Gateway Pipeline Company Transco plc
Kuwait National Petroleum Company Viking Gas Transmission Company
Kuwait Oil Company RWE Gas
Lone Star Pipeline Company The Williams Companies
Marathon Oil Company MDU Resources
MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Co Zakum Development Company (ZADCO)
Mossgas Pty Ltd
National Fuel Gas Company

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RESPONSES FROM END USERS
1. Pipeline projects using spiral welded pipe
Source Use, recent projects Highest Strength used Not used when Developments
1 Don't use All cases Concern is consistent quality
from mill sources including
mechanical properties,
residual strains, dimensions
2 LNG Plant. Used in seawater cooling service, diameter API 5L Grade B Any service other than No
range 18" to 96", but predominantly 66" and 84". Used on seawater cooling water.
existing two trains, and two train expansion. API 5L Grade
B, fabricated to ASME B36.10M. Onshore, across flat
open countryside above ground. Some areas in plant below
ground. Service, low pressure sea water, rating ANSI
B16.5 Cl150
3 Used on a number of projects in the past, onshore, dry gas API 5L X52, DIN Wet gas No. We will not be installing
(list provided) 17172 St60.7 pipe 24" OD and above again,
so would use UOE for all
future work.
4 2km 30" Grade 483 (X70) with thickness up to 14mm; Grade 550 (X80). We use spiral welded No
37km 36" Grade 483 (X70) with thickness up to 13.4mm; Sweet natural gas, pipe under all
65km 48" Grade 550 (X80) with thicknesses up to design pressures up to circumstances
19.1mm. All service is sweet natural gas. Terrain varies 8690kPa. Pipe
from flat to mountain foothills. We have approximately operating at 80%
3000km of spiral welded pipe in our system, in sizes from SMYS. Design
NPS 18 to NPS 48 temperature -5°C
5 We have used spiral welded pipes X52, for gas, Severe cyclic conditions inside the plant where We have good experience
in all circumstances over the last condensate and crude ASME B31.3 is the basic code. Spiral pipes are not with the improvement in steel
40 years. oil. used inside the plant due to branches or spools that manufacturing especially for
would cross with the spiral welds, however outside sour service. Our local pipe
the plants to the launcher or receiver, spiral pipes mill continuously improves
can be used. and uses full ultrasonic
examination. The UT
machines are of the latest
technology.

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Source Use, recent projects Highest Strength used Not used when Developments
6 Don't use All cases
7 Don't use Yes, hopefully this project will set
out some clear guidelines for the use
of spiral welded pipe. Additionally, it
is important to get better information
on the controls that are needed in
order to ensure a quality similar to
that achievable with longitudinal
welded pipe and seamless
8 Yes, 34-48” OD 8.74-15.88mm Sour Service and Offshore Not as far as we are aware
wt

2. Codes and specifications


Source What codes? Supplementary requirements
1 API 5L, ASME B31.4, B31.8
2 API 5L Grade B fabricated to ASME B36.10 None
3 API 5L, DIN 17172
4 CSA Z245.1 Supplemented by company proprietary specification Supplementary requirements are the same as for UOE pipe
5 API 5L as basic code. Procurement to company standard Company standard on SAW pipes, and special requirements for sour
service
6 Pipeline steel manufacture is covered by company specification which If we were to use spiral welded pipe, then additional requirements would
amends ISO3183-3 not API 5L. Spiral welded pipe is not specifically have to be applied to the existing specification, e.g. dimensional control,
excluded by the specification, but it has never been used for oil and gas quality of welds, including weld profile.
pipelines in the company.
7 Not given
8 API 5L Company specs for each individual project

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3. Design
Source Design Limitations?
1 Don't use
2 Yes, low pressure non hydrocarbon service, mainly seawater
3 Not Applicable
4 No
5 Yes, we don't allow field bending of spiral welded pipes. We specify that the forming stress shall not exceed 10% SMYS
6 Don't use
7 Don't use
8 Not sure, but suspect as per relevant design code

4. Steel source
Source Selected sources? Requirements on steelmakers
1 Although we do not require specific sources of coils or plates, our audit We have in-house line pipe specs that specify requirements
procedure includes assessment of the pipe mills practices on purchasing coils beyond the API specs
and plates. Emphasis is on their specs, source audits, alliances and continuous
improvement processes with their suppliers.
2 No No
3 Yes previously - only used European manufacturers. N/A
4 Yes, technical questionnaire followed by technical assessment No, all requirements are imposed on the pipe manufacturer, who
will then impose them on the steel supplier
5 No Steel requirements are stipulated in company standard
6 Steel for pipelines must be acquired from reputable, good quality producers Weldability tests may be waived depending on the application
and may be subject to audit by the company. and confidence in the supplier
7 Yes, we do this for all types of pipeline steel, so would do the
same for spiral welded pipes
8 Yes Yes, composition limits.

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5. Pipemaker
Source Selected pipemakers? One / Two step Additional requirements? Skelp end welds?
1 Yes, We have approved mill lists for line We have no Yes. If we purchased spiral welded pipe, I would think that for large diameter
pipe grades. Sources are selected on the position on this we would specify requirements based on pipe these would need to be
basis of their reputation for quality and issue. We would the project requirements when it came to accepted to make the product cost
are then audited. The audit involves a expect this JIP to toughness and weldability. effective. We, however, would have
detailed in-the-mill assessment as well as provide high concern for these welds, and
a technical review of the product design, information on would expect the mill to pay as
metallurgy, NDE and quality assurance the pros and cons much attention to the welding and
inspections. of each of these quality of these welds as is paid to
processes. the seams.
2 No None No
3 Yes.
4 Yes, commercial quality, and technical About 60% one Yes. We don't use API. However, we Yes. Ultrasonic or film radiographic
questionnaires. On site assessment of step, and 40% impose restrictions to CSAZ245.1, inspection of the weld and the tee
manufacturing facilities. two-step. No covering tighter chemical composition, intersections. Spiral weld and skelp
technical weldability tests, higher CVN end weld must be a certain distance
difficulties for requirements and tighter dimensional apart at the pipe ends. Require
either method. controls. ASME section IX welding
procedure. Require tensile, Charpy,
hardness and bend tests.
5 Yes. Company has a list of approved One-step Yes. Chemical composition (mainly lower Yes. The skelp end weld must be
vendors. Approval is made based on C, S). Toughness requirements. fully radiographed and located not
criteria that include capability and less than 12" from the pipe ends.
experience of not less than 5 years,
QA/QC and other financial stability
issues. Currently, evaluation is made on
'qualification submittals', but a
manufacturer could be removed from the
list when found to have quality or delivery
problems.

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5. Pipemaker (continued)
Source Selected pipemakers? One / Two step Additional requirements? Skelp end welds?
6 Yes. Pipe is only acquired from reputable We would only Yes. Additional requirements are Company does not normally accept
suppliers who can demonstrate good accept a 'two step' specified, in particular crack arrest skelp end welds in production pipe.
quality manufacturing systems and process because properties for rich gas pipelines. However, the nature of spiral
inspection. Pipe mills are subject to better quality can welded pipes means a higher
regular audit and approval by company be achieved with proportion of skelp end welds
engineers. this process. compared to high frequency welded
pipes. Rejection of pipe with skelp
ends would reduce the economic
advantages of spiral welded pipe.
Additional specification
requirements would have to be
considered for skelp end welds to be
retained.
7 See 4b
8 Yes, by technical review and audit May use either Yes Yes in principle, but not usually an
issue in practice to date.

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6. NDT requirements
Source Specific? 3rd party inspection Acceptable or not
1 We require UT inspection We commonly use third party inspection on products Non-conformance with the applicable spec. If the
where we have concerns. We are not using spiral pipe results are barely within spec, or we see recurring
at the moment, but we use third party inspectors on quality issues we may reject on the basis of poor
some electric resistance welded critical applications workmanship.
or for mills where there is limited experience or
problems have occurred previously
2 No No ASME B36.10
3 N/A
4 Yes No As per specification
5 Yes, we require full UT of the weld; Yes, especially when the purchase order involves As per API 5L
8" from the ends of the pipe should large quantities or pipe for sour service.
be radiographed; all repairs are to be
radiographed; all UT indications
(marks) are to be radiographed.
6 NDT would include UT of the seam Third party inspection requirements are determined Acceptance criteria are defined in the Company
weld for both longitudinal and by the confidence in the pipe mill. It is likely that for spec. One of the key issues for SWP is
transverse defects, and UT of the SWP Company would require 100% surveillance dimensional control of the finished pipe.
pipe body for laminations. inspection Mechanical expansion is not normally used in
Radiography of the seam welds SWP mills. To reduce problems with pigging the
would be required at the pipe ends diameter and out-of-roundness tolerances need to
and at junctions. be controlled for the whole length of the pipe and
not just the ends.
7 Not given
8 Yes, UT of weld and for laminations. Usually company inspection, but if purchased by As defined for specific project.
contractor, we would insist on selected third party
guys.

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7. Destructive testing
Source What? Acceptable or not?
1 We do not usually do this outside of the mill.
2 As per code As per code
3 N/A
4 Tensile in pipe body and weld. CVN in the pipe body and weld. DWTT in the pipe body. Bend and As per specification requirements
hardness tests in the weld region
5 Tensile tests (inc determination of yield), hardness, CVN As per specification requirements
6 Tensile tests, CVN, bend tests, DWTT, macrography, hardness tests As per specification requirements
7 Not given
8 Tensile in pipe body and weld, CVN in the pipe body and weld. DWTT. Metallographic examination, As per specification requirements
cross weld, hardness

8. Corrosion
Source General Corrosion? Sour Corrosion Testing Acceptable or not
1 I would not consider it much different than long There would be concern We would be testing weld hardness Conformance to the
seam SAW pipe. I have heard the concern that about residual stress in the with tests on cross sections of the spec. Usually 250HV10
the pipe cannot be laid with the weld seams on pipe, and the effect on production pipe. This is the same maximum hardness.
the top. We do not see this as an issue since in SCC performance. practice as for long seam pipe.
actuality laying practices cannot assure that the
seams are always on top, especially offshore.
2 Not completed
3 N/A
4 Not considered more susceptible Not considered more No testing N/A
susceptible
5 No, our experience with internal or external Not considered more For sour service, we require that As per code
corrosion is not spiral weld related susceptible samples from the welds (spiral and
skelp end) are HIC tested, along with
the base material before manufacture.

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8. Corrosion (continued)
Source General Corrosion? Sour Corrosion Testing Acceptable or not
6 Not considered more susceptible Yes, requirements on Yes. HIC testing required for sour See Company Spec
pipemakers - control of S service. SSC testing may be specified
content, inclusion shape for the seam weld
full UT lamination check
of the steel.
7 Yes, we do this for all types of pipeline
steel, so would do the same for spiral
welded pipes
8 In general, no but it is only carbon steel. Need to Probably would try to No testing N/A
inhibit as necessary during operation. avoid use at present

9. Cost benefits
Source Benefits
1 We understand it is lower in cost compared with long seam, but we would need to do a risk assessment to determine if there are any cost benefits.
2 Not answered
3 N/A
4 For a given project we go out for bids on both spiral and UOE pipe. Sometimes the spiral welded pipe is cheaper, sometimes it is more expensive.
In our country, the largest UOE mill is 42". When we want 48" we have to use spiral or go offshore.
5 I have no direct involvement in this.
6 Cost benefits appear to be advantageous from figures quoted by suppliers, but Japanese suppliers can compete with their UOE pipe, and the use of
skelp end welds would have to be accepted by company to realise the benefits.
7 Not given
8 None to date

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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
10. Experiences
Source Good Experiences Bad Experiences General
1 We have no experience
2 Not answered
3 Five pipelines as per supplied list. No reported
problems.
4 We can specify a lower Charpy energy for control of Production rate is slower and for larger
a ductile fracture, as burst tests have shown that the projects this can be a major factor.
fracture will turn to follow the longitudinal axis of
the skelp.
5 We have very good experience with spiral welded The only bad case was three lengths of 16" We have seen no differences in
pipes. Many of our pipelines are made of spiral water pipe that leaked due to lack of fusion serviceability or integrity between spiral
pipes, including two submarine (48" for crude oil at the weld. This occurred in 1983. pipes and other types. In fact, our company
and 20" for bunker, both constructed in 1968 and have faced failures in longitudinal welded
still in service with no problems). Three new 56" pipes as well as spiral or seamless due to
submarine pipelines and one 24" submarine bunker corrosion but no failure was attributed to
line will be constructed from spiral pipes as part of a the spiral weld.
new 'Crude export facilities' project.
6 We have no experience of spiral welded
pipe for oil and gas applications.
7 Not given
8 Not given

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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
APPENDIX F

QUESTIONS SENT TO PIGGING AND HOT TAPPING CONTRACTORS,


AND A SUMMARY OF THEIR RESPONSES

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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

QUESTIONS SENT TO PIGGING CONTRACTORS

I understand from the PPSA website that your company is involved in pigging services.
TWI are currently undertaking a study of the use of spiral welded pipe for oil and gas
service. As part of this study, we would be interested to know if there are any problems
associated with pigging spiral welded pipelines, and whether you have had good or bad
experiences with this product form. All the responses received will be kept confidential
by the removal of all company references.

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

QUESTIONS SENT TO HOT TAPPING CONTRACTORS

I understand that your company is involved in hot tapping of pipelines. TWI are currently
undertaking a study of the use of spiral welded pipe for oil and gas service. As part of this
study, we would be interested to know if there are any problems associated with hot
tapping spiral welded pipelines, and whether you have had good or bad experiences with
this product form. All the responses received will be kept confidential by the removal of
all company references.

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART
NAMES OF PIGGING CONTRACTORS APPROACHED

3P Services PII Pipeline Solutions


AJAKS S.A. Pipeline Engineering
Albab Trading Pipeline Pigging Products Inc
Apache Pipeline Products Pipeline Services LLC (PLS)
Argus Machine Co Ltd Pipeline Technologies Co of China (PTC)
B.G. Technical Ltd Rontgen Technische Dienst bv
Baker Hughes Pipeline Management RST Projects Ltd
Group (PMG) Sahara Petroleum Company (SAPESCO)
BJ Services Smith Flow Control
Challenger Special Oil Services TD Williamson
Cosmo Engineering Co Ltd Technipipe
NDT Systems & Services AG Tom Sowerby
NKK Corporation TRAPIL
N-SPEC Tuboscope Pipeline Services
Online Electronics Ltd Vee Kay Vikram & Co
Optimess Engineering GmbH Yong Shun Pigging Services Co Ltd
Pigging Technology International
Pigs Unlimited Inc
Pigtek Ltd
DANA Automated Systems Co
(Sanayei Novin DANA)
Decoking Descaling Technology Inc
Diascan Technical Diagnostics Centre Open
Joint Stock Company
Emerald Pipeline Services
Enduro
FTL Seals Technology Ltd
GD Engineering
Ghizzioni S.p.A.
Girard Industries
H Rosen Engineering GmbH
Halliburton
ICI Synetix
IKM Testing AS
Inline Services Inc
Integrated Plant & Pipeline Solutions GmbH
IST Molchtechnik GmbH
Kleiss & Company bv
Knapp Polly Pig Inc
LTS Inc
N.G.K.S. International Corp
Nautronix Ltd

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GSP 14460 SPIRAL WELDED PIPE FOR OIL AND GAS:
STATE OF THE ART

NAMES OF HOT TAPPINGCONTRACTORS APPROACHED

Colt Atlantic Services


Easy Tapper
Flowserve
IFT
IPSCO
PHL
Plidco
Protapping
Red Flame
Stolt Offshore
TD Williamson
Team Industrial Services
Topaz

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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
RESPONSES FROM PIGGING CONTRACTORS

Pigging Responses
Source Comment
1 Older spiral welded linepipe has had a reputation for problems in dimensional tolerance/ovality/out-of-roundness at the pipe-ends and subsequent poor fitting
at the field girth welds - but not to such an extent as to cause problems in pig travel. Very few pigs, by design, cannot negotiate 10%+ restriction in the larger
diameters (16"+ for which spiral welded linepipe is usually used). I'm not aware of any special considerations for hydrotest either… It has been recently used
in Canada for grades including API-5L-X70 (SMYS of 70,000 psi!), whereas historically it has been used for LP stuff (water) due to its rep. for the problems
detailed above. I encountered a heap of it on sections of a landline in the former USSR, where we ran aggressive cleaning pigs, MFL Intelligent pigs etc. in a
22" with no problems at all. Pigging duty couldn't get much more onerous than that.
2 Before starting my own consultancy business, I worked in pipeline inspection for 34 years. In all that time we inspected a great deal of spirally welded
pipelines. None of the pipelines gave any real problems to the pig except that the amount of data recorded was higher than for normal pipe as the data from
the spiral weld pattern is recorded constantly. With longitudinally welded pipe the system tends not to record good pipe between the girth welds as the seam
weld signal is quiet and does not cause fluctuations in the magnetic circuit and hence does not think that the signal is metal loss. One other minor point was
that spiral weld pipe tended to be more oval than other pipes but this did not affect the data recorded.
3 Yes, we already inspection such a pipeline for one of our client. That means an inspection with our equipment
4 There are no problems in pigging spiral pipe. You can't currently do crack detecting in the spiral weld.
5 Our past experience with Spiral Weld pipe has not been too favourable. Most of the (SPW) pipe we have pigged has been successful, however it causes the
pigs of any and all types to wear faster and in many cases in the Far East we find the internal diameters are not constant by as much as 2+ inches due to
varying speeds and rate of laying the pipe causing the pipe to torque down it's internal diameter. This being said we have made special pigs for cleaning spiral
weld pipe which have performed well.
6 There is no difficulties in cleaning of spiral welded pipelines, the only problem I am aware of is having the weld at the 6:00 o’clock position and resulting in
severe corrosion
7 We provide ultrasonic inspection services with a tethered tool in pipelines that cannot be pigged with regular intelligent pigs, such as submarine (off) loading
pipelines. In our inspection services we have come across pipelines built of spiral welded pipe. As our tool is actually a vehicle on wheels, the pipe geometry
does influence the behaviour of the tool. In principle, it does not influence our inspection or data gathering. It only makes data interpretation a bit more
difficult (sometimes awkward therefore more time consuming) but we can cope with that. In some pipelines welds are internally attacked by corrosion,
sometimes earlier than the pipe base material. In pipes fabricated of longitudinally welded pipe this has only effect on the circumferential welds. However, in
pipes made of spiral welded pipe there are several (spiral) welds crossing the 6 o'clock position of the pipe and we have seen several cases where EACH one
of the spiral welds was attacked by corrosion. This is especially valid in pipelines carrying crude oil where also water is present. (Water is heavier than oil,
therefore the corrosion attack at 6 o'clock.)

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Copyright  2003, TWI Ltd
Pigging responses (continued)
Source Comments
8 Our pigs have been run successfully through spiral welded pipelines in the past and this type of construction does not pose any problems for us.
9 Spiral welded pipes have been pigged throughout the world already for many years as far as our knowledge reaches, and without specific difficulties.
10 We have researched our files and also contacted some of our distributors with your question. We cannot find where we have sold or used pigs for spirally
welded pipes, but we are confident in saying that they have been used before. We would prefer to pig pipes that are not spirally welded, but for most
pigging operations (especially foam pigs), it would not cause a hindrance for sending the pig through the line. On the other hand, if the application was to
remove water (or other liquid product) from the line, it may prove very difficult, because small amounts of liquid would remain in the line due to the
small ridges of the spiral welding.
11 We have used pigs on larger diameter, 20"-36", gas and Oil pipelines without a problem. Intact theoretically they should help the wear rates of the pigs by
wearing evenly around the seal O/D rather than on a single point where the weld bead is, as you would find on normally welded pipe.
12 We have inspected a lot of spiral welded pipelines without problems. The restrictions of inspection capabilities near the weld (HAZ) are marginal since
the spiral weld is machine made. Generally, we like spiral welded pipe better than seamless, since it is made of rolled steel and thus has a very constant
wall thickness.
13 Our company has had many years of experience inspecting spiral pipe. The question you put to us should be focussed on the results of inspecting spiral
pipe. Running pigs in spiral pipe cause a few problems but nothing that could not be overcome by simple modification of the pig itself. The data that we
achieve from running pigs can be affected in spiral.
14 Our company has not had any problems pigging Spiral Wound pipe, although there is not a lot of lines left SW. However problems will be encountered
during Intelligent pigging as the spiral is in continuous contact with the pig sensors causing erroneous readings.
15 We have pigged cross country pipeline with Spiral Welded Pipes from sizes 18"NB to 28"NB. These pipelines have been used for Oil, Gas & Effluent
transfer. We have not faced any problem during pigging of spiral welded pipes.
16 We generally do not have difficulty with these types of pipes/welds. The only problems that arise are if the welds protrude too far into the pipe.

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Hot tap responses
Source Comment
1 I cannot see too many problems from the point of view of retrofitting the tee save some structural consideration of the seam intersecting the
branch. As I understand it, the issue with spiral pipe is related to the hot tap cutting operation and in particular 'springing' of the coupon. This can
cause jamming of the cutter and I believe that the tapping companies recommend strong backs to hold the coupon in place.
2 Our company manufactures emergency pipeline repair products, one of them being bolt on type hot tapping saddles. Spiral welded pipes present a
problem achieving a seal on the outside surface due to the weld crowns. If the welds can be ground down flush, then a repair sleeve or bolt on hot
tap can be installed and sealed successfully. I would expect weld-on type hot tap saddles to have fit up problems due to the spiral welds as well.
3 No problems with hot tapping, but larger diameter (>12" OD) pipes there is a problem with springback of the coupon. We use strongbacks to keep
the coupon in place.

F8
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TWI Ltd QA System
TWI operates the following formal QA systems, which ensure that client requirements
are met, and that any work done is conducted in a planned and controlled manner
which is suitable for audit.

• All technical activities are controlled by a management system, which complies


with the general requirements of the BS EN ISO 9000 series of standards.
• Project management is audited by LRQA as complying with BS EN ISO 9001 and
software development in accordance with TickIT ISO 9000-3 Reg No 925004.
• The scheduled testing activities are accredited by UKAS Reg No 008.
• Examination activities are assessed to ISO 9002 by PCN and CSWIP.

These formal QA systems include the following features, which are particularly
relevant to ensuring the success of projects at TWI.

• Close and frequent contact with the client is requested of the Project Leader
during the project, to cover particularly any change of TWI personnel, equipment
availability, project delays and changes.
• Regular management reviews of projects are held covering finance, technical
progress and adherence to schedule (3 monthly and at project completion).
• Project sponsors are formally contacted on project completion by senior TWI
management to determine their satisfaction with the work done. TWI
management, however, welcomes such feedback at all times during the course of
projects. Significant lapses in service are subjected to a structured management
review so that poor procedures are identified and rectified.

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