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Title: Measuring variations in mechanical properties across an electric-resistance-welded (ERW) pipe seam with a portable device
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Downloadable: Yes 
Project No.:
Research Agency:
Catalog No.: 2346s
Date of Publication: 2015-06-01
Price: $25.00 US
Authors: Steven D Palkovic, Brendon M Willey, Michael J Tarkanian, and Dr Simon C Bellemare
Abstract: MATERIAL TESTING FOR STEEL PIPES is an important part of integrity management for new and existing pipelines. We utilize a novel testing apparatus, the hardness strength and ductility (HSD) tester, to probe local gradients in mechanical properties within components containing welded joints such as an electric-resistance-welded (ERW) seams or butt-joints for girth welds. The HSD tester performs a frictional sliding experiment where a stylus generates a permanent groove across the exterior surface of the pipe. Measurements of the residual groove are characteristic of the mechanical properties of the tested material and allow us to generate a complete uniaxial stress-strain curve for each measurement location. Our testing apparatus and method may be performed outside of a laboratory such that it is directly attached to a field component without interrupting service. When travelling across an ERW seam, the HSD tester detects a significant hardness increase in the heat-affected zone (HAZ), and a soft spot at the bond line near the centre of the fusion zone. We also observe greater fluctuations and a larger HAZ for low-frequency welds when compared to high-frequency ERW pipe. Our results indicate that this methodology is appropriate for verification of the steel grade and manufacturing processes, as well as the assessment of the mechanical integrity of welded joints. Future work will lead to a dual-stylus technique which will further improve the sensitivity of the device. The HSD tester has the potential to be a valuable tool for material testing in field environments, and provides the capability of evaluating the steel grade of materials and assessing the quality of welded joints for both new and existing pipeline infrastructure.
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