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Engineering Procedure

SAEP-37 22 October 2011


Pipelines Residual Magnetism Removal
Document Responsibility: Welding Standards Committee

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards


Table of Contents

1 Scope............................................................ 2
2 Conflicts and Deviations................................ 2
3 Applicable Documents................................... 2
4 Definitions and Acronyms.............................. 3
5 Sources of Magnetism................................... 3
6 Magnetism Verification.................................. 3
7 Residual Magnetism Levels.......................... 3
8 Magnetism Removal Methods....................... 4

Figure 1 – Method I of Demagnetizing................. 8


Figure 2 – Method II of Demagnetizing................ 8
Figure 3 – Method III of Demagnetizing............... 9
Figure 4 – Method III of Demagnetizing............... 9

Previous Issue: New Next Planned Update: 22 October 2016


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Primary contact: Awwami, Adnan Ni'Mah on 966-3-8809516

Copyright©Saudi Aramco 2011. All rights reserved.


Document Responsibility: Welding Standards Committee SAEP-37
Issue Date: 22 October 2011
Next Planned Update: 22 October 2016 Pipelines Residual Magnetism Removal

1 Scope

1.1 This procedure specifies the various methods to remove residual magnetism
from pipelines (mostly underground). Residual magnetism causes “Arc Blow”
to the welding arc during welding and this result in shifting the arc from the
weld area. Arc blow can cause excessive spatter, incomplete fusion, and
porosity.

1.2 Additional requirements may be provided at the time when residual magnetism
is encountered during pipelines welding.

2 Conflicts and Deviations

Conflicts between this Engineering Procedure and any other Saudi Aramco Standard
shall be resolved by the Consulting Services Department in writing.

3 Applicable Documents

Unless stated otherwise, all Standards, Specifications, and Codes referenced in this
procedure shall be of the latest issue (including revisions, addenda, and supplements)
and are considered a part of this procedure.

3.1 Saudi Aramco References

Saudi Aramco Engineering Procedure


SAEP-310 Piping and Pipeline Repair

Saudi Aramco Engineering Standard


SAES-W-012 Welding Requirements for Pipelines

3.2 Industry Codes and Standards

American Petroleum Institute


API STD 1104 Welding of Pipelines and Related Facilities

American Society of Mechanical Engineers


ASME B31.4 Pipeline Transportation Systems for Liquid
Hydrocarbons and other Liquids
ASME B31.8 Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping
Systems
ASME SEC IX Welding and Brazing Qualifications

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Document Responsibility: Welding Standards Committee SAEP-37
Issue Date: 22 October 2011
Next Planned Update: 22 October 2016 Pipelines Residual Magnetism Removal

4 Definitions and Acronyms

AC: Alternating Current

Arc Blow: A condition that occurs when the arc does not follow its intended path from
the electrode to the work piece due to presence of magnetic field.

CSD: Consulting Services Department Welding Specialist or Engineer.

DC: Direct Current

Oersted (abbreviated as Oe): The unit of magnetizing field strength or intensity.


Residual Magnetism: Magnetism retained in the pipelines.

5 Sources of Magnetism

Magnetism can be introduced to pipeline from different sources: it can be electrical


source such as Cathodic Protection System, magnetic leakage from overhead high
tension power cables or magnetic source such as during instrument scraping using
magnetic flux pig.

6 Magnetism Verification

There are two methods to check if magnetism is existing on the pipeline:

6.1 Qualitative

This can be done by moving small piece of steel (approximate weight 10 gram)
or 2.6 mm bare electrode (coating or flux is removed) towards the underside of
the pipe and if the pieces get hung then magnetism is exiting on the pipe.

6.2 Quantitative

Magnetism can checked and measured using an instrument called gauss meter.
The gauss meter reading will help to determine in advance what would be the
most suitable method to remove the magnetism during welding.

7 Residual Magnetism Levels

There are generally three ranges of magnetism that require specific actions for each range:

7.1 Magnetism Strength < 20 Oe

Only the welder can notice slight disruptive in the welding arc at such low level
of magnetism. If the welder encounters difficulties during welding, then, the

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Document Responsibility: Welding Standards Committee SAEP-37
Issue Date: 22 October 2011
Next Planned Update: 22 October 2016 Pipelines Residual Magnetism Removal

quick solution is to reduce the welding current to the minimum possible range
for the subject electrode size and to reduce the welding arc length to the
minimum.

7.2 Magnetism Strength ≥ 20 Oe but < 100 Oe

Arc blow will be noticeable and detrimental to the welding operation when the
magnetism strength is higher than 20 Oe. At this range of magnetism welding
must be done with AC power source in order to counter attack the residual
magnetic field. Weldability can be enhanced by applying simple demagnetizing
procedures Method I and II in Section 8.

7.3 Magnetism Strength ≥ 100 Oe

If magnetic field intensity is at such high level then demagnetizations procedure


Method III and IV in Section 8 must be used to be able to weld with no arc
blow.

8 Magnetism Removal Methods

All of the impressed current of the Cathodic Protection System upstream and
downstream of the welding location must be disconnected before any welding
operations. Also, remove cables with direct current away from the welding area to
reduce magnetism produced by the direct current power.

It is not possible to demagnetize the whole pipe; however, there are various methods to
temporarily remove the magnetism or disrupt the magnetic field at the weld location to
perform the welding operation. It cannot be decided that once one method is applied
then the magnetism will be eliminated, it is trial process where people must start with
the simplest procedure (Method I) and proceed to the more complicated procedure
(Method IV).

8.1 METHOD I (Figure 1)

This method requires single AC welding generator and welding cables (they
must suit the current range of the applicable electrode). It is more likely that
once the root pass is completed then the demagnetization can be terminated and
the welding operation can be continued.
1) Wrap the AC earthling cable around the pipe to form a tight coil (not less
than turns).
2) Set 100 mm space between the edge of the coil and the weld joint being
demagnetized.

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Document Responsibility: Welding Standards Committee SAEP-37
Issue Date: 22 October 2011
Next Planned Update: 22 October 2016 Pipelines Residual Magnetism Removal

3) Turn the generator on and gradually increase the current to the specified
setting of the applicable electrode size. The initial setting of the current
should be 0 amps.
4) Commence welding and if arc blow is observed then increase the current
or increase the number of turns or use larger size electrode (it is possible to
try combination of actions). If the magnetic field is still causing arc blow
then use methods III or IV below

8.2 METHOD II (Figure 2)

This method requires single AC welding generator, welding cables (they must
suit the current range of the applicable electrode). It is more likely that once the
root pass is completed then the demagnetization can be terminated and the
welding operation can be continued.
1) Connect the AC earth cable to a splitter (steel bar). Four earth cables
should be connected to the pipe, two on each side and they can be 300 mm
apart.
2) Turn the generator on and gradually increase the current to the specified
setting of the applicable electrode size. The initial setting of the current
should be 0 amps.
3) Commence welding and if arc blow is still observed then increase the
current to the maximum range of the applicable electrode size.
4) If arc blow does not go away then move the earth cables connections
closer together (on each pipe side) or use larger size electrode (it is
possible to try combination of actions). If the magnetic field still affecting
the welding then use Method III or IV.

8.3 METHOD III (Figure 3)

This method requires single DC welding generator, 300 amp capacity cable,
4 mm – 6 mm diameter electrode and gauss meter. The same generator used for
the demagnetization will also be used for welding. If it is noticed that this
method does not work then use Method IV must be applied.

After disrupting the field strength to a suitable level, the operator has about one
hour to start the root weld. On this basis, before starting, ensure that all the
requirements to complete the welding operation are ready as time is limited.

If the maintenance work requires replacement of pipe section then the total
length of the pup piece should be at least 300 mm.

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Document Responsibility: Welding Standards Committee SAEP-37
Issue Date: 22 October 2011
Next Planned Update: 22 October 2016 Pipelines Residual Magnetism Removal

Instructions:
1) Measure the magnetic field strength using gauss meter. Move the meter
around the weld/pipe end circumference and mark the location that has the
maximum magnetic field strength then record the reading and the polarity.
2) Wrap the earth cable around the pipe to form a tight coil (approximately
20 turns). Set a 100 mm space between the edge of the coil and the
weld/pipe end being demagnetized.
3) Connect the positive terminal of the generator to a welding cable.
Complete the electric circuit by connecting the weld cable and the earth
cable with 4 – 6 mm diameter electrode.
4) Turn the generator on and gradually increase the current (make sure the
current setting was at 0 amp).
5) Hold the gauss meter near the area that had maximum reading and increase
the current slowly until a change in the meter is observed. If it is noted
that the magnetic field is increasing then switch off the power source
immediately and do step 6, otherwise do step 7.
6) Change the polarity on the generator and then turn the generator on and
gradually increase the current (make sure the current setting was at 0 amp).
7) When the current reaches 80 amps quickly increase the current to
300 amps and hold for ten seconds or until electrode breaks to cause
sudden interruption in the current. The interruption of the applied power
produces the required changes.
8) Switch off the welding generator in the normal manner and measure the
magnetic field strength and direction. Compare this reading with the
original readings of step 1. The field strength should be reduced to
between -20 Oe to +20 Oe and now welding can be performed using DC
welding without further demagnetization.
9) If the reading is greater than 20 Oe but less than 100 Oe there is a choice
of either applying Method I or II and welding using AC or continuing
further demagnetization by repeating the steps 1 – 8 in this method until
the magnetic field strength is between -20 Oe to +20 Oe.
10) If the reading is greater than 100 Oe, further demagnetization is necessary.
If the polarity has reversed, then repeat steps 1 – 8 until demagnetization
ID completed.
11) If the magnetic field changes only slightly then increase the number of
turns on the coil, thereby increasing the amp turns, and, repeat the whole

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Document Responsibility: Welding Standards Committee SAEP-37
Issue Date: 22 October 2011
Next Planned Update: 22 October 2016 Pipelines Residual Magnetism Removal

procedure. This increases the demagnetization penetration.

8.4 METHOD IV

This method requires the use of two DC generators: on generator for


demagnetizing and one for welding. The demagnetizing operation is maintained
throughout the welding operation to eliminate arc blow. This method is
employed when welding operation is taking long time to be completed and there
is concern that magnetism is restored before completion of welding operation
(unlike Method III where welding must be done within 1 hour after
demagnetizing). Using this method of demagnetization, the residual magnetic
field is opposed by the induced field, reducing overall pipe magnetism to low
levels. It is more likely that once the root pass is completed then the
demagnetization can be terminated and the welding operation can be continued.

Instructions:
1) Measure the magnetic field strength using gauss meter. Move the meter
around the weld circumference and mark the location that has the
maximum magnetic field strength then record the reading and the polarity.
2) Wrap a continuous length of cable around one side of the joint to form a
tight coil (approximately 12 turns) then drape the cable under the weld
joint and wrap it around the other side of the joint. The coil should be
wound in the same direction on both sides
3) Verify that the edges of the coils are within 500 mm of the root gap.
4) Connect the cable ends to the DC generator and verify that the polarity is
opposing the polarity observed in step 1.
5) Set the welding generator current to 0 amps and turn it on, read the field in
the weld gap using the gauss meter while slowly increasing the current
until the gauss meter reading is in the range of -20 Oe to +20 Oe.
6) If the reading on the gauss meter is increasing then stop the operation and
reverse the polarity on the generator. Do step 5 again.
7) Maintain that the current of demagnetizing generator throughout the
welding of the root pass.

Revision Summary
22 October 2011 New Saudi Aramco Engineering Procedure.

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Document Responsibility: Welding Standards Committee SAEP-37
Issue Date: 22 October 2011
Next Planned Update: 22 October 2016 Pipelines Residual Magnetism Removal

10 turns
minimum
100 mm
Pipe

Side 1 weld Side 2

AC Welding generator

earth cable

Figure 1 – Method I of Demagnetizing

Pipe 100 mm
Side 1 Side 2

300 mm
apart

Weld

AC Welding generator

splitter

earth cable

Figure 2 – Method II of Demagnetizing

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Document Responsibility: Welding Standards Committee SAEP-37
Issue Date: 22 October 2011
Next Planned Update: 22 October 2016 Pipelines Residual Magnetism Removal

20 turns
minimum 300 mm
Pipe 100 mm

Side 1 Side 2

4-6mm daim. elctrode

earth cable

DC Welding generator

*if the work is to replace pipe section then after damage and welding of side 1, the same procedure should be applied to side 2
*if the damage is conducted to repair existing weld then no need to damage side 2

Figure 3 – Method III of Demagnetizing

12 turns
minimum
500 mm
Pipe

Side 1 Side 2

earth cable

DC Welding generator

Figure 4 – Method IV of Demagnetizing

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