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S. A. Blackmana and D. V. Dorlingb a. b. Welding Engineering Research Centre, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, England TransCanada Pipelines Ltd, PO Box 2535, Station M, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 2N6
The economics of constructing pipelines is dependent on the productivity of welding individual pipes together and the integrity of the pipeline girth welds is critical to the overall integrity and reliability of the pipeline. These demands have led to extensive research and development of advanced welding processes for pipeline applications. Recent developments in high strength linepipe and new corrosion resistant alloys together with a resurgence of interest in deepwater pipeline installation methods have led clients and contractors to reconsider their construction methods and to look for more economical processes with higher quality weld deposits. This paper reviews the most recent developments in welding technology suitable for pipeline applications and gives some recommendations for further development. 1.INTRODUCTION 1.1.Background Pipeline Research Council International, Inc (PRCI) have funded a review of high deposition welding processes to provide their members with information on the processes available and guidance on those processes that may provide a production advantage and would therefore be worthy of further funding. Traditionally, the most suitable high deposition processes have been considered to be single shot welding processes. In this review, a wider view is taken and the potential of advanced arc welding and power beam processes are considered in addition to the single shot welding techniques. 1.2.Objectives The aim of this paper is to summarise the recent developments in welding technology applicable to the construction of transmission pipelines and to provide recommendations for further development.
5L X60 pipeline in West Texas [1. The GMAW process therefore represents the current state-of-the-art and represents the benchmark against which other welding processes have been assessed.9 mm (0.312”) wall thickness. 2]. Since that time. . 138 welds were achieved in an 8½ hour working day with a maximum of 25 welds produced in one hour. their applicability to pipeline construction and the likelihood of success in developing a robust production system. The pipelines were installed across the English Channel using floating reels. CRC-Crose Internal Pipe Welding Unit . CRC-Crose International Inc. emphasis is given to the operational performance of the welding processes. Operation PLUTO (Pipe Lines Under The Ocean) was conducted in 1942-4 to transport petrol from England to the Allied troops after D-Day with 975 miles of 3” pipeline made with a maximum output of 9.HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED PROCESSES FOR TRANSMISSION PIPELINES WELDING One-shot welding is not a new concept in transmission pipelines and automatic flash-butt welding was applied to the first North Sea pipelines. 184.108.40.206 miles/day. In addition to extensive use onshore and for S-lay. In 1969. flash-butt welding has probably been the most actively developed one-shot welding process for pipelines. The mechanised GMAW process is currently the most widely used welding process for transmission pipelines and there have been a number of recent welding procedure developments that have improved productivity. Figure 1. In this review. 2.Scope It is assumed that the reader has some knowledge of the subject area and this paper does not therefore describe the fundamental principles of the processes reviewed. were the first to apply a mechanised GMAW system for the construction of a transmission pipeline when their internal and external welding equipment was used to construct 5 miles of 762 mm (30”) OD. the CRC-Evans Automatic Welding's GMAW process and Saipem's Passo system have been proven suitable for J-lay installation.
the mechanical requirements specified for API 5L X80 pipelines. . 56 kilometres (35 miles) of pipeline were welded in 1969. there was a great deal of research investment into the development of novel welding systems for pipeline construction. CRC-Crose External Pipe Welding Unit . However. Despite the success of the mechanised GMAW processes. in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Hence. as a result of its intrinsically low hydrogen content. none of these welding systems are widely applied today. A number of prototype production systems were developed and some systems were used for limited production tests. Additionally. There was no doubt that mechanised GMAW had the potential to be more productive in terms of man hours per weld than conventional manual shielded metal arc welding and. have effectively made mechanised GMAW the only viable mainline welding process for these high strength materials. Figure 2. Equipment costs were relatively high and economic viability was marginal for long-distance projects and certainly not achievable for short projects. mechanised welding was an expensive option. Additionally. gas metal arc welding was essentially immune to cold cracking. since the early 1980s. However. there was still a desire to further improve welding productivity and particularly for J-lay installation of submarine pipelines. However. although several authors proclaimed the success of the processes they developed. Each component was a major technical development but it was the combination of all three parts which made the system successful. CRC-Crose developed the now familiar pipe facing machine to allow accurate machining of the weld bevel. 115 kilometres (72 miles) in 1970 and in 1971 6 projects totalling 509 kilometres (318 miles) were completed. a number of process and equipment developments have improved the overall productivity and economics of mechanised GMAW.The equipment first used by CRC-Crose  consisted of a pneumatically operated internal line-up clamp with four welding heads for making an internal root pass (Figure 1) and two welding heads travelled on an external band as shown in Figure 2.
Turner  estimated that the LB200 could lay a 36” pipeline at 377 joints/day using flash-butt welding. and the demand for major gas transmission pipelines. These may improve consistency and allow higher travel speeds to be utilised. several companies are implementating improved control systems with the potential for arc sensing.1. such as the Oman-India and Qatar-Pakistan pipelines. technology advances in other industry sectors has meant that some of these processes are more technologically advanced and this has improved the chances of success. GMAW is the most widely used welding process and all of the major offshore contractors have developed proprietary welding systems. 3. In selecting suitable welding processes.1.Research activity into one-shot welding waned in the late 80’s but. This welding head deposits two passes simultaneously and has been used extensively onshore and offshore by Serimer Dasa .Dual Torch Welding Head Figure 3 shows the Saturnax welding system which is the first dual torch welding system to be widely used for pipeline construction.REVIEW OF ADVANCED WELDING PROCESS DEVELOPMENTS 3. the mechanical design and weld procedure details are very different and this does affect productivity.1. The use of internal welding machines originally restricted the use of mechanised GMAW to diameters greater than 24” but the development of copper backing systems now permits mechanised GMAW to be used on diameters as small as 8”. However. no totally new techniques are currently known to be under development.1. Although all of these systems are based on the GMAW process. It can be seen therefore that developments in GMAW have made the use of one-shot systems like flash-butt welding less . selftuning welding conditions and seam tracking.Arc Welding Processes 3. Additionally. Unfortunately. interest was renewed in the mid-90's with talk of major deepwater trunklines. In explaining the incentives for McDermott’s development of flash-butt welding. At this time. researchers turned back to the systems previously investigated and with the possible exception of homopolar welding (a variant of resistance welding). Over 400 joints/day are known to have been installed by the LB200 on the 42” NorFra pipeline and the DLB1601 is reported to have achieved 492 joints/day on the 24” Interconnector project.1. Several companies offer mechanised GMAW for rent or purchase. economic changes led to most of these major projects being shelved but welding developments are continuing. 3.1.GMAW For large diameter transmission pipeline construction. The productivity of mechanised GMAW has increased significantly in recent years but major improvements are still envisaged due to the development of dual torch and twin-wire welding systems. 211 joints/day was predicted for GMAW.
a double torch system was found to have a deposition rate (kg/hr) of 1. In weld procedures conducted by TransCanada. Saturnax Welding System In 1999.7mm (0.460”) wall thickness whereas the single torch system required 5 runs to complete 12mm (0. the main benefit . With dual torches. The double torch system had a higher travel speed and required 4 runs to complete an 11.4 times that of a single head system. Figure 3.472”) wall thickness. As pipeline productivity is often controlled by the root pass production in the first welding station. the deposition rate is not twice that of the single torch systems.attractive and many would not be able to compete with the cycle times now achieved by GMAW. CRC-Evans introduced their P500 dual torch welding head (Figure 4). Figure 4. CRC-Evans P500 Dual Torch Welding Head Saipem and Vermaat have also developed dual-torch GMAW systems. This has remote wire feeding and a pendant control and also has the facility for though-arc sensing to guide the welding torch in the weld bevel.
This is different to the dual torch welding systems which carry two torches on one welding head but which are spaced some distance apart. The deposition rate is significantly higher than existing single and dual torch GMAW systems for fill pass applications. Figure 5 shows a twin-wire torch designed by Cranfield University for TransCanada Transmission and fitted to a conventional pipeline welding head. However. 3.1. Initial trials have shown that the system can be used in all positions around the pipe and good metallurgical properties have been achieved. the consumables may be passed through a common contact tip or they may be passed through separate contacts tips that each have their own power supply. 3. development of Saipem's Passo system significantly improved the productivity and Roboweld was not a competitive solution.1. Heerema used mechanised GTAW for J-lay installation of the Shell Maui pipeline  but improvements in pulsed-GMAW now make this a more appropriate choice for this type of application.of these systems is the cost savings that result from the reduced number of fill pass welding stations that are required to keep up with the root welding. It was anticipated that Roboweld would be more productive and provide higher quality welds than GMAW systems.Twin-Wire GMAW Twin-wire GMAW involves the use of two welding wires that are each fed into the same weld pool. Twin-Wire GMAW With twin-wire GMAW.2. Figure 5.1. has been abandoned.2. Saipem’s hot-wire GTAW system.GTAW The development of ‘Roboweld’ . .
3. 15. The electroslag start and stop points must be removed by gouging and rewelded manually. plasma welding would not be very suitable for heavy wall pipes. nickel alloys and titanium. This welding speed is significantly slower than GMAW and it is known from previous research at Cranfield University that orbital plasma welding is extremely sensitive to minor variations in equipment setup.2. it was subsequently reported that some welds exhibited poor mechanical properties.4.1. 17.Electroslag Japanese researchers have developed an electroslag process for fixed pipe . 17 cm/minute respectively.3. Additionally. aerospace.1. The machine welds vertically up using a shaped shoe to support the weld pool but produces comparatively poor mechanical properties.3. stainless steels. However.Power Beam Welding Processes 3. the research programme was stopped. single pass welds up to several hundred millimetres thick. However. Most materials can be welded including steels. they are suitable for completion of the fill passes in very heavy wall pipe where the bevel width makes GMAW difficult. a self-shielded FCAW process known as ‘Styk’ has been used and it is claimed that 24 mm wall thickness can be welded in four passes. 3.Plasma European patent application EP 0 689 896 A1 and US patent 5599469 cover the keyhole welding of large diameter pipes and it is claimed that a 30” x 19 mm pipe can be welded in four passes at 15. The intended application is water pipes over 2 m diameter and 20 mm wall thickness.1.Electron Beam Welding Electron beam welding is used in the automotive. nuclear and power generation industries and has the capability to produce high quality. due to the large welding torch required. The process is similar to the Styk process but a solid wire is used.1. 3. Total first developed electron beam welding of pipelines in the late 1970’s  and a prototype J-lay welding system was constructed.2. Over 500 weld runs were made on 6 different grades of pipe and it was claimed that sound welds could be made in steels up to X100 grade without pre or post heat treatment.5. It was also found that the high vacuum requirements could not be reliably maintained due to poor sealing and when the demand for J-lay subsided. Mechanised FCAW is also suitable for fill pass applications where a manual root pass has been used. The main restriction on the use of the process has been the need to operate within a vacuum chamber at vacuum pressures less than 5 x 10-2 mbar and this has so far limited the applications of electron beam welding.FCAW Flux and metal cored wires have been tested with the mechanised GMAW systems but offer few advantages for normal pipeline applications. . In Russia.
CO2 Lasers Commercially available CO2 lasers are available with output powers up to 25 kW. structural steelwork. the electron beam process offers very high penetration at relatively fast welding speeds but in the 5G position used for S-lay. These lasers have a usable beam power of about 20 kW and can weld up to 28 mm thickness at 1 m/min travel speed.Today. A 10 kW laser would weld 15 mm at the same speed. CTOD results have not been totally satisfactory and Saipem are not planning to use the system in production in the near future. For J-lay welding. the process is tolerant to misalignment and that good welds can be made in the 2G position with up to 5 mm of high-low. The net welding time was reported to be 7½ minutes with travel speeds of 600. The electron beam welding system has a built-in seam tracking system that makes use of back scattered electrons. 500 mm/min in the flat. For many years. The diameter of an unfocused laser beam increases with the power rating and 25 kW lasers have beams between 45 mm and 70 mm . laser welding has been used in automotive. the depth of penetration that can be successfully welded in the overhead position is limited due to problems in maintaining the keyhole. There are two types of laser that are suitable for industrial welding applications. 3. A low vacuum of 10-1 – 10 mbar is used and this is quickly achieved with a relatively simple pumping system.1.6 µm and this is not transmittable through glass.2 mm but mismatch up to 2. 400. aerospace and nuclear applications but with the recent introduction of commercial high power lasers.Laser Welding Laser welding does not have the penetration capacity of electron beam welding but it does not require a vacuum and is therefore applied more widely.2. with seam tracking.5 mm could be tolerated. Unfortunately. They have successfully developed a prototype system with a single welding head and are producing a production system with two welding heads. 3.2. Hence. it is now being considered for heavy engineering applications such as pipe manufacture. vertical down and overhead positions respectively. to transfer the beam from the laser source to the workpiece. CO2 lasers have a wavelength of 10. Masuda  has reported the development of an internal electron beam welding machine by The Japan Gas Association and Kawasaki Heavy Industries and it is claimed that 30” x 19 mm API 5L X65 pipe was welded in the 5G position. a series of mirrors must be used. yellow goods and ship-building. The welding head(s) rotate around the pipe which is held in the vertical position and aligned using an internal alignment clamp. advances in other industrial sectors have led to the development of electron beam welding guns that can operate in atmosphere or low vacuum conditions and TWI are using such a gun to develop the process for Saipem . The weld bead was approximately 2 mm wide and Masuda noted that the maximum tolerable weld gap was 0.2. TWI has demonstrated that. 600.2. A high vacuum of 3 x 10-4 Torr (4 x 10-4 mbar) was used apparently without filler wire. vertical up.
Another method of producing a higher effective beam power at the work piece is to combine the beams from multiple Nd:YAG lasers.7 mm API 5L X52 pipeline. Bouyges Offshore funded ATOL to develop an S-lay system based on a 12 kW laser. Until recently Nd:YAG lasers have been limited in output power and have been restricted to thin sheet applications. ATOL have subsequently designed a second S-lay system which they are marketing.Nd:YAG Lasers The most important aspect of Nd:YAG lasers is the 1. This is believed to be the largest commercially available but it is understood manufacturers have the capability to produce a 6 or 8kW Nd:YAG laser if there was a demand. This makes it much easier to automate high speed welding of complex geometries.2. Nd:YAG lasers usually allow faster welding speeds.5 km sections of a 10” x 12. AXAL is a subsidiary of Interpipe and they have developed a prototype J-lay welding system suitable for lasers up to 20 kW (PCT World Patent Application WO 98/06533). TWI have a group sponsored project ongoing and they have coupled three Nd:YAG lasers. However. All of the equipment is containerised and designed to be easily transported. Nd:YAG lasers are not as economical to run as CO2 lasers but. Current Nd:YAG laser systems are lamp-pumped and are only 2-4% efficient. TWI have a research project ongoing with the Institute de Soudure and Japanese pipe suppliers and Bouyges offshore are members of this programme. This has been used to weld six 0. However. Similar multibeam experiments have been conducted by other researchers. In May 1997. The fibre optic within the cable is usually 300 or 600 µm diameter. Fibre optic cables can be up to 200 m long with an outside diameter of about 10mm. heat loss at the mirrors is also increased and it is necessary to design the mirror system with appropriate water cooling to compensate for this. CRC-Evans Automatic Welding have taken patents for internal/external laser welding of pipelines (US Patents 5796068 and 5796069). Hence. CO2 lasers have been used by a number of research institutions and they have also been developed for seam welding of linepipe. The need to use mirrors and the relatively large beam diameters of high power CO2 lasers makes it difficult to weld complex geometries with CO2 lasers.2.2. It is reported that the system was designed for pipe up to 24” diameter with a maximum of 100 mm of concrete. Nd:YAG lasers are also solid-state devices and therefore more easily transportable. they require large chillers for cooling and this presents a logistical problem in using them on the right of way. Trumpf introduced a 4 kW Nd:YAG laser. 3. It is understood that this was a qualification test only and the welds were not part of a service pipeline. As the power increases. two French companies have developed CO2 laser systems for pipeline welding and one system has been tested offshore by Bouyges Offshore.diameter. diode-pumped lasers are 15-20% . These cover a concept design and equipment has not been built or tested. power for power.06 µm wavelength of the beam which can be transmitted through a fibre optic cable.
efficient and a 1kw diode-pumped laser will be commercially produced by Trumpf in 2000.3. The use of the plasma arc increases the spot size and therefore improves the tolerance of laser welding to root gaps and misalignment. The speed was 25cm/min and a 2mm overlap was obtained.Forge Welding Processes 3. A 1. plasma augmented laser welding appears to be the most successful.Flash-Butt Welding Many miles of large diameter pipelines have been installed onshore in the Former Soviet Union. The system can be used with CO2 or Nd:YAG lasers. A 630mm diameter 8mm thick pipe was welded with a gap of up to 6mm with a single pass and the use of filler metal. Of these.O. However. up to 15mm penetration) and they could also be used for multi-pass welding or as an internal/external combination. Several companies with an interest in pipelines are supporting a group sponsored project at TWI which is investigating high power Nd:YAG welding. For pipeline applications. McDermott licensed the process from the E. Plasma-Laser Technologies Ltd of Israel hold US Patent 5 705 785 for a welding head that focuses a laser beam in the centre of a plasma arc. EWI and Cranfield have also launched another group sponsored project to specifically develop Nd:YAG and arc-augmented Nd:YAG laser welding for transmission pipelines. the use Nd:YAG with a fibre-optic beam delivery system is considered the most appropriate. the process was also accepted for inclusion in API standard 1104. Higher power diode-pumped lasers are expected to follow.3.1. Although these developments in Nd:YAG lasers still do not produce the penetrating power of CO2 lasers. Two reasons given for this are the improvements in conventional welding systems and problems in achieving satisfactory mechanical properties with the available materials.2.Plasma Augmented Laser Welding A number of researchers have considered arc augmented laser processing using a GTAW. The laser guides and restricts the arc which increases the effective power of the laser and hence improves welding speed and penetration at a relatively low cost.2.g. the welding cycle takes three minutes and internal flash removal . Plasma-Laser Technologies have conducted trials for Moscow Pipes Assembling Plant. Pipe line-up takes two minutes. 3. A 1420mm diameter 16mm thick pipe was welded in two passes from opposite sides. PRCI are funding joint research by EWI and Cranfield University to assess Nd:YAG welding for transmission pipelines. 3.3. Following trials by McDermott. These results could undoubtedly be improved by using a higher power Nd:YAG laser or multibeam Nd:YAG system. Paton Welding Institute and invested a significant amount of time and capital in developing it for laybarge operation with over 1500 full scale test welds being made . GMAW or plasma arc. the powers envisaged are close to being suitable for most onshore pipelines (e.65kW Nd:YAG laser was used and full penetration was obtained at a processing speed of 30cm/min. a pipeline was never installed.
Due to the ‘skin effect’ obtaining uniform heating can be a problem and this is one of the reasons why homopolar welding has been developed as an alternative process. Although the heating method is different. The literature survey found one paper published in 1982 and a review paper in 1983 but no recent information. This heat treatment cycle is somewhat longer than the three minutes suggested by Turner (1986). trials for Statoil on 36” pipe required a heating. the overall effect of resistance/induction welding is similar to that of flash-butt welding and it can be expected that there will be similar problems with material properties and post-weld operations.takes one minute.Homopolar Pulse Welding Homopolar pulse welding  is a resistance process operating on the same principle as electric resistance and induction welding.3. Flash-butt welding is not entirely a solid-phase process as some material is melted during the flashing operation. 3.3. In seam welding. In electric resistance welding.Electric Resistance / High Frequency Induction Welding Both of these processes are similar in operation and both are used for seam welding pipes. The high heat inputs of the process and the relatively long time at high temperature have a degrading effect on TMCP steels and post-weld heat treatment is necessary. They state that successful tests were completed on pipes up to 30” diameter and 40 mm wall thickness and they use the term ‘press butt welding’ to describe the process. Tensile and hardness values were acceptable but scatter and the occasional low fusion line charpy were of concern. a homopolar generator is used to deliver a single very high current DC pulse and the weld operation takes only 2-3 seconds. Mannesmann Anlagenbau have published a brochure outlining their proposed J-lay system and induction welding is proposed. According to Sprow (1990). As in seam welding. Due to the short welding cycle. It is claimed that required mechanical properties can be obtained without post weld heat treatment Until recently. current is applied by direct contact and in high frequency induction welding a non-contacting induction coil is used. a narrow heat affected zone is formed. In this case however. Most work had been completed on 3” steel pipe but some . Parker Kinetic Designs specialises in the design and manufacture of homopolar systems for a range of industrial applications and they hoped to market homopolar pulse welding for pipelines.3. US patent 441860 refers to an internal clamping method that can be used with an induction system to align the pipes and apply an axial force to pull the pipes together and create a forged weld.2. work was ongoing at the University of Texas at Austin. the pipe edges are gradually brought together within the electrical field but this is not possible in girth welding where the whole joint surface must be in contact. The HFI process is now acknowledged to produce high quality weld seams. flash removal and postweld heat treatment will be required for girth welds. 3. holding and quenching cycle totalling 6 ½ minutes.
developments have mainly considered non-ferrous pipe materials. the pipes are . However. in general. The speed of the arc is very high (150 m/s or greater) and results in uniform heating of both pipe faces. The essential difference is in the way in which heat is generated prior to the application of the forging force. Since that time.Magnetically Impelled Arc Butt Welding Developed for the joining of thin-wall steel tubing.3. The two main differences between this and the other forge welding processes are the use of an active reducing gas to surround the weld zone and the inventor’s claim that flash removal is not required.5. The welding time is in the order of 2-3 minutes. MIAB welding is a hightemperature forge-welding process. the process can be scaled up to cover any size pipe with the required power being proportional to the crosssectional area of the pipe. After sufficient heating time.Shielded Active Gas-Forge Welding The SAG-forge process was developed by AMR Engineering. which. the square-edged pipe faces to be joined are separated by a small gap and a welding arc is established across the gap. Theoretically. With the MIAB welding process. Statoil investigated this system for the Zeepipe project and welding trials were conducted on board the Allseas laybarge.4. 3. the research programme at the University of Texas was suspended early as it became clear that a very high capital investment would be required to make the process commercial. radial magnetic field is superimposed in the gap which causes the arc to move around the pipe ends as a result of the interaction of the arc current and the magnetic field. A static. Lorelay.12” diameter pipe welds had been made. exhibits weld characteristics similar to the other hot forge techniques.3. Homopolar Welding 3. AMR Engineering have three patents covering various aspects of the process. Difficulties have been experienced in welding steel pipe and a post-weld induction heat treatment is required. Figure 6.
The second head has jaw insert and magnet assemblies for NPS 6. A low-noise portable system has also been developed by NKK Corporation of Japan for welding of low pressure gas distribution pipelines in densely populated urban areas where excavation and construction can only be carried out at night and the excavations reinstated before dawn.2 mm W. A prototype system was designed and built by TWI and delivered to TransCanada where it was commissioned in 1992. The process has been exploited mainly in the European automobile industry to weld a range of carbon and low-alloy steel components such as car and truck axles.. and 12 pipe and a maximum forge force of 600 KN (Figure 7).or bench-mounted units into which the parts to be joined are fed. The system was not designed for high production applications. 3. shock absorbers and gas-filled struts. drive shafts. . The first head is designed for Nominal Pipe Sizes (NPS) 3. Grade 290 MPa pipe.T. The process was proved suitable for small diameter thin wall pipes. floor.rapidly forged together to produce a solid phase bond with a characteristic flash or upset. 4 and 6 with a maximum forge force of 300 kN. Two welding head assemblies were produced. The Welding Institute was contracted to work with TransCanada Transmission in establishing the optimum welding conditions and resultant weld quality for the joining of NPS 4. A major limitation of the current process is the relatively thin wall thickness that can be welded because the rotating welding arc tends to move around the pipe diameter and does not heat the full wall thickness. All of the commerciallyavailable machines are stationary. MIAB NPS 12 Welding Head The development of the MIAB system has currently been suspended. 8. Figure 7. 10. An average of 60 metres of pipe per day was welded. In order to determine the feasibility of the MIAB welding process for crosscountry construction of small-diameter gas transmission pipelines.
This system is no longer being promoted for pipeline welding.1.87 mm.4. 3. An internal mandrel is used to prevent an internal flash from forming but the external surface must be machined after welding. With both of these systems.1. Weld defects similar to those found in castings were observed. ‘High Impact’ welding has been applied to 16”. The system was originally developed for Norwegian contractor. In 1992. 42” and 48” pipelines by TransCanada . A bell and spigot joint was used and a 5 minute post-heating cycle was required to reduce bond line hardness. The welding time was only 60 seconds but it was necessary to wait one hour before the weld metal had cooled and the mould could be removed. Internal and external pre-formed sand moulds were used to contain the molten material generated by the aluminothermic reaction and the joint was formed as a casting.Thermit Welding For pipeline applications.3. The ‘VONO’ system was developed by International Technologies A/S and was demonstrated to a group of pipeline contractors on a landline in Sweden in 1991. the time for setting up the joint is a significant factor and the welding of heavy wall pipe is not considered feasible. orbital and linear friction welding by rotating a radial compression ring between two stationary pipes. The system uses a shaped internal ring with an explosive cartridge assembled behind it. The weld metal had a carbon content of 0.5.Explosive Welding Two explosive welding processes have been developed for pipeline construction and both have been field tested. Monitoring of machine parameters during the weld cycle provides the main quality control check.Radial Friction Welding TWI developed radial friction welding specifically for pipe welding. A coil of sheet steel is wrapped around the joint to contain the blast. . thermit welding is currently limited to the welding of anode bonding cables but it is used for the welding of railway tracks. SCS have a prototype machine suitable for welding up to 6” diameter and are currently developing a production machine capable of joining pipes between 6” and 12” diameter.5. It overcomes some of the handling problems of rotary. The pipe was 8” x 15. Ugland.5.Friction Welding Processes 3.4. The demonstration was performed on 16” x 7 mm pipe. but is now being developed by Stolt Comex Seaway (SCS) .46% and showed a high hardness although a tensile failed at only 374 MPa. 3. Stuart Gibson  investigated the possibility of using thermit welding for 2G and 5G welding of pipelines. The ring is rotated whilst under compression such that heat is generated and a friction weld is created between the ring and the two pipes.Other Welding Processes 3. It is intended that this system will be installed on the Seaway Falcon.2.
they must be completed in one welding station and the critical path operations can be much longer due to the slower setup and the need for post-weld operations such as flash removal. the process control systems used in pipeline GMAW are currently very basic or non-existent and improvements here could improve reliability and reduce repair rate. European Patent Application 803 313 A2 also relates to diffusion bonding of pipelines.2 m/minute and multiple welding heads operate simultaneously. c) electron beam welding. For example.5. A one minute welding time is quoted for a 60. 4. the current GMAW systems complete the root and root/hot pass at up to 1. the power- . the critical path is either the completion of the root or root/hot pass or the total welding cycle time averaged over the number of welding stations.3. 3) Historically. most interest has been taken in the one-shot welding systems and one of the main reasons given is increased welding productivity.3. in the 5G position.5. Therefore. Stainless steel tubulars were also welded.CONCLUSIONS 1) Based upon the above review.5 mm x 3. However. Additionally. These are: a) advanced GMAW systems. each head must cover only one segment of the pipe and the actual welding time for the root and root/hot pass is very short. 3. three processes are considered to offer the most potential in the short/medium term. the test results quoted relate to pipe of 70 mm x 7 mm.  have developed a brazing technique for large diameter components that can tolerate joint clearances of up to 2 mm. b) laser welding and. the use of self-tuning welding parameters and seam tracking could allow higher travel speeds.Wide Gap brazing Lugscheider et al. In particular. Although the one-shot welding systems offer a total welding time much faster than the total welding time for GMAW systems. 2) For many pipeline applications. The time for heating up and brazing was less than three minutes but a 30 minute drying procedure and 20 minute cooling time were used. Although it is claimed that large parts can be welded. increased productivity is not easily related to the total welding time.Diffusion Bonding Sumitomo Metals (European Patent Application 769 344 A1) have developed a high speed diffusion bonding system for joining small and medium diameter tubulars using an amorphous metal insert.8 mm carbon steel tubular. Once the root or root/hot pass are completed the pipe can be moved and the fill and cap passes welded in subsequent welding stations. The use of dual-torch or twin-wire GMAW provides increased productivity at low development risk and welding equipment is readily available.4. mechanised GMAW is still considered the most suitable process. Hence. However.
April 1994. USA.beam processes do not suffer from the same problems as multi-pass and multihead welding is possible with laser and electron beam welding. "Development of an Advanced [Automatic Hot Wire Tig Welding] System to Weld Corrosion Resistant Alloys and     . this system offers the potential to deposit a high speed internal root pass with fill and cap passes produced by advanced GMAW.. “New automatic machine for pipe welding”. (3). and M. Pipeline Technology. pp 119-137. “Offshore welding technology applied to a major onshore pipeline construction project: Maghreb to Europe 48” gasline in Morocco”.. New Orleans. A. Turner. Pipeline Digest. 1995: Vol III. D. S. E. pp 15-20. multibeam Nd:YAG welding is a suitable option but requires a high capital investment. a laser could be used to complete a high speed root pass and the joint filled with an advanced GMAW process. Although penetration in the 5G position is limited. 1970: pp 111114. Belloni. “25 years of automatic welding”. Proceedings of 2nd international conference. CO2 lasers or Nd:YAG lasers could be used but the ability to use fibre-optic beam delivery systems makes Nd:YAG more attractive. These processes may also be used to partially complete a weld and an alternative process used for fill passes. The development of pumped-diode Nd:YAG lasers will improve the feasibility of using lasers on the right-of-way. Multiple welding heads can also be used to improve the cycle time. Hansen. 4) Laser welding does not require a vacuum and technology is relatively accessible. A. 11-14 September. Metal Construction and British Welding Journal. and N. Therefore. REFERENCES  Dye.. 1986. 5) Electron beam welding is particularly attractive for J-lay welding as the full wall thickness can easily be completed in one single pass at a travel speed of up to 1 m/min.L. Randall. Pipeline Engineering Symposium. March. "Flash Butt Welding of Large Diameter Oil and Gas Pipelines". Proceedings. The use of plasma augmented laser welding improves the penetration capability close to that suitable for onshore pipelines and also improves the tolerance to pipe misalignment at relatively low additional cost. Belgium. 23-27 February. The use of internal and external laser welding is also possible. M. Alternatively. The use of an internal electron beam welding head for 5G welding avoids the problems in achieving a vacuum with an external welding gun. For heavy wall pipe. Celant. 2. Poirier. Ostend. the power-beam processes are currently being more actively developed than the one-shot processes.
Vol A.. pp837-843. Masuda. Canada. pp 408417. These are too numerous to reference here and the authors wish to acknowledge the support received. Joining and Welding for the Oil and Gas Industry. Pipeline Technology Conference. "New Technologies for Transmission Pipelines". 5th World Conference. Hudson and S. "Welding the Maui A-B Pipeline". No. T. 8-11 September 1985. R. Proceedings 12th International Conference. Vol 3a pp 83-90. and E. R... 2nd EC Symposium.G. "Reduced Pressure EB Welding for Offshore Pipelines". Punshon. Proceedings. C. Proceedings. Proceedings. International Conference. 11.21-8. Karpiel. J. Proceedings International Gas Research Conference.. .W. Luxembourg. Duplex Stainless Steels '97 Proceedings. K. pp187-196. Welding Journal. G. Carnes. International Conference. Basaraba. Fujimoto. pp 921-930. "J-Configuration Laying . UK. " Advances in homopolar welding of API linepipe for deepwater applications". H. Oostende. Welding and Performance of Pipelines. 20-24 June. 15-18 October 1990. Manchester. Nagano.. de. Gibson. an extensive list of publications was reviewed and discussions held with many people involved in the welding industry. E. T. 21-23 October 1997. Lugscheider. Belloni.          ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In compiling the report for PRCI. "Field Automatic Girth Electroslag Welding Method of Large Diameter and Thick Wall Pipes". UK. Proceedings of 3rd International Conference.. H. pp3138. UK.W. Akahide and E. 1997.. London. 30-31 October 1997. "Thermit Fusion Welding of Pipes". pp 8. Belgium. IIW Document X11-1488-97. Joining and Welding for the Oil and Gas Industry. "High Impact Welding TransCanada Pipelines' Eaglehead Loop". University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.S. New Technologies for The Exploration and Exploitation of Oil and Gas Resources. R.P.  Butler. 5-7 December 1984. London. Vol 72. Emmerson and R. Proceedings. Toronto. 1992. Maastricht.28. 1993. Nichols. Hutt. Netherlands. 18-21 November 1986. "Radial friction welding of offshore pipelines". MSc Thesis. Sivry. London. and A. S. November 1993. Glasgow. Van Den Berg. "Wide Gap Brazing of Pipeline Systems". 30-31 October 1997.S. OMAE 1993. B. Session 2.Electron Beam Welding". Vol 2.Clad Pipes". P. Schittny and E Halmoy.
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