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Proceedings of the 2012 9th International Pipeline Conference IPC2012 September 24-28, 2012, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Heavy Gauge UOE Pipe with Improved Compressive Strength for Offshore Pipeline

Nobuyuki Ishikawa and Hitoshi Sueyoshi Steel Research Laboratory, JFE Steel Corporation, Fukuyama, Japan Osamu Yamamoto West Japan Works, JFE Steel Corporation, Kurashiki, Japan

Kimihiro Nishimura Steel Plate Business Planning Dept., JFE Steel Corporation, Tokyo, Japan Akihiko Tanizawa, Yasumitsu Kiyoto and Daisuke Naganuma West Japan Works, JFE Steel Corporation, Fukuyama, Japan

ABSTRACT Offshore gas pipeline development has been expanding toward deeper water region that requires pipes to have strong resistance against collapse by external pressure. Collapse pressure is mainly dominated by pipe roundness and compressive strength. In order to improve compressive strength, it is quite important to understand the Bauschinger effect caused by cyclic deformation during pipe forming. Compressive strength is reduced by the Bauschinger effect since compression in the circumferential direction is applied after the pipe expansion. Therefore, prevention of Bauschinger effect is an important issue for improving compressive strength of pipes. In this paper, the effect of microstructure on the Bauschinger effect was investigated. It was proved that microstructure that consists of a hard second phase shows a large strength reduction in reverse loading, since a mixed microstructure with soft phase and hard phase enhances the Bauschinger effect. In order to obtain homogeneous bainitic microstructure, advanced plate production technology, where heat treatment on-line process (HOP) is applied after accelerated cooling, was developed. The steel produced by HOP process exhibits a fine bainitic microstructure with very low amount of hard second phase such as MA constituent. It was demonstrated that the trial produced pipe with HOP process has a higher compressive strength than conventional pipes. In addition to the fundamental study on compressive strength, further investigations were conducted to optimize other material properties for offshore linepipe, such as DWTT property, resistance to hydrogen induced cracking and HAZ toughness to comply with DNV requirements. Production tests of Grade X65 linepipe with the 38mm WT and 876mm OD was carried out. Material and mechanical properties of these heavy gauge linepipes were introduced.

1. INTRODUCTION Deepwater pipelines need to have thicker pipe wall to prevent collapse by external hydraulic pressure. As oil and gas exploration goes deeper water, thickness requirement for linepipes have increased recently. The DNV standard [1] is the major guideline for design of offshore pipelines, which requires the pipes to have thicker wall to increase collapse resistance. Other important material and structural parameters for controlling the collapse pressure of deepwater pipelines are compressive yield strength and roundness of pipe. In the DNV standard, compressive yield strength is given by the tensile yield strength multiplied by the fabrication factor, fab. Fabrication factor is specified as fab =0.85 for the linepipes manufactured by U-O-E process since the compressive yield strength is usually lower than tensile yield strength. Prestraining of pipe body during cold forming of pipe, such as expansion process, considerably reduces yield strength in the compression test. This phenomenon is so-called the Bauschinger effect. In designing the deepwater pipeline, improving the compressive strength and roundness of the pipe directly increases collapse resistance of the pipe. Many investigations have been carried out in order to improve the compressive strength of pipes by modifying the pipe forming process [2,3] or adding heating process after pipe forming [4-7]. An expansion process is applied as a final forming process of UOE pipes, and this tensile straining gives a major effect on the strength reduction in the compression test. Therefore, a simple way for reducing the Bauschinger effect is to reduce the expansion rate. However, a certain level of expansion is necessary for improving roundness of the pipe. Even if the Bauschinger effect is reduced by smaller expansion rate, low roundness leads to lower collapse resistance. Instead of the expansion process as a final forming process, a compression process can be applied. It was reported that

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applying compressive deformation by using pressing tools from the outside of pipe gives higher compressive yield strength than that of JCO pipe [3]. Heat treatment after pipe forming is also an effective way to increase compressive yield strength by strain aging. The pipe coating process, which requires heating of the pipe up to around 200oC to attach the anti-corrosion layer, can be used to improve the compressive strength. Many investigations proved that coating heat can increase compressive strength [4-7] and higher collapse resistance was verified by full scale collapse testing [6,7]. Although the above-mentioned additional process can improve the compressive strength of pipe, the most reliable measure to maximize the collapse resistance of pipe is to improve the material property itself without modifying the manufacturing process. Therefore, the effect of microstructure on compressive strength was investigated in this study to develop the linepipe used for deepwater offshore pipeline. In addition to compressive strength, there are many other stringent material requirements for the linepipes used for deepwater pipelines. Basically, heavier wall thickness than that of onshore linepipe is necessary for offshore linepipe, which strongly affects the material properties such as strength, toughness of pipe body and welds, and so on. Sour resistance property is often required for offshore linepipe. In order to obtain enough strength for heavy gauge steel plate, richer chemistries are necessary, while HAZ toughness is deteriorated by a richer chemistry [8]. Achieving the DWTT toughness requirement is one of the key issues for designing heavy gauge steel plate, and careful controlling of plate rolling parameters is required. Lower temperature rolling is applied to improve DWTT toughness, but sour resistance property may deteriorate by formation of the hard phase [9]. And all the conditions for improving strength, toughness and other properties may affect compressive strength. Therefore, advanced thermo-mechanical controlled processing (TMCP), which consists of controlled rolling and accelerated cooling followed by on-line heat treatment [10,11], was applied in plate manufacturing for heavy gauge offshore linepipe. In this study, extensive studies were conducted to improve compressive strength while balancing other material properties by using the recently developed advanced TMCP technologies. Trial production of Grade X65 linepipe with 38mmWT and 876mmOD for offshore pipeline was conducted, and material and mechanical properties of these heavy gauge linepipes were introduced in this paper. 2. EFFECT OF BAUSCHINGER EFFET MICROSTRUCTURE ON

The back stress is defined as shown in Figure 1, noted as . Since the Bauschinger effect is caused by dislocation localization, obstacles against dislocation movement can cause the Bauschinger effect. It was reported that an increase in volume fraction of hard second phases in steel such as cementite or martensite increases the back stress [13, 14]. Fine grain also enhances Bauschinger effect [15]. Therefore, it is considered that the Bauschinger effect can be controlled by controlling the microstructure of steels. The main purpose of this study is to develop linepipe steel with excellent compressive strength by controlling the Bauschinger effect. So, close investigation on the effect of microstructure of linepipe steels on the Bauschinger effect was first carried out.


0.5% 0.5%

Comp. Tensile



Figure 1 Schematic illustration of stress-strain curve in cyclic loading and back stress

2.1 Bauschinger Effect Pre-strained steel usually shows lower yield stress when loading is applied in the opposite direction of prior loading, as shown in Figure 1. This is so-called the Bauschinger effect, and gives a strong effect on the mechanical properties of steels. The Bauschinger effect is the phenomenon closely related with dislocation structure development in plastic deformation. Microscopic localization of dislocations with the process of piling up and cell structure formation is thought to be the origin of long range internal forces acting on the direction of prior loading [12]. This internal stress is known as back stress and reduces flow stress in the opposite direction to prior loading.

2.2 Effect of Bainite Volume Fraction on Bauschinger Effect The effect of the bainite phase on the Bauschinger effect was first investigated. Five different steels with chemical compositions of 0.01~0.2%C-0.3%Si-1.5%Mn-Nb-V were used. Only carbon content was changed to obtain different bainite volume fractions while each ferrite and bainite phase has the same property. Steels were hot rolled at above 900oC to the thickness of 15mm, then accelerated cooled from 720oC. Examples of the microstructure of the steels used are shown in Figure 2. By using these steels, a cyclic loading test was conducted. Figure 3 shows the configuration of the round bar specimen. The length of the parallel portion was relatively short so as to apply compressive deformation with preventing buckling of the specimen. In the cyclic loading test, compressive pre-strain to various strains was first applied, and then tensile lording was applied to the same specimen. True stress-true strain curves for 100%Ferrite and Ferrite-30%Bainite steel were shown in Figure 4. Tensile stress-strain curves were compared in Figure 4. The stress-strain curve of the steel without prestrain was obtained in the tensile loading, but it was confirmed that yield strength and flow curves are almost the same in both tensile and compressive direction for the steel without prestrain. It is seen that flow stress of pre-strained steel is lower than that of without prestrain. This strength reduction of pre-strained steel was caused by the Bauschinger effect and strength drop, which means the back stress, is higher for the steel containing bainite phase. While several parameters for quantifying the Bauschinger effect were proposed, the Bauschinger effect factor B0.5, as defined below, was used in this study.

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600 500 True stress (MPa) 400 300 200 1% 100 Back stress 0 0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 True strain 3% 5% Compressive pre-strained steel w/o pre-strain 100%F

(a) 100% Ferrite

(b) Ferrite-10%Bainite

(a) 100% Ferrite steel

800 700 True stress (MPa) w/o pre-strain F-30%B

(c) Ferrite-30%Bainite Figure 2 Microstructure of the steels for cyclic loading test

600 500 400 300 200 100 0 0 0.02 0.04 0.06 1% 3% 5%

Compressive pre-strained steel

Back stress

Figure 3 Cyclic loading test specimen



True strain


y (+) = y ( )

(b) Ferrite-30%Bainite steel (1) Figure 4 True stress-true strain curves in cyclic loading test.

where, y(+) and y(-) are tensile and compressive yield strength, the stress corresponding to 0.5% strain, respectively. Bauschinger effect factor B0.5 represents the ratio of yield strength in final loading to the yield strength in previous loading. Figure 5 shows the effect of bainite volume fraction on the Bauschinger effect factor with the condition of 1.0% pre-strain. It is obvious that the Bauschinger effect factor decreases with increasing bainite volume fraction, and 100% bainite steel shows higher value than F-50%B steel. Therefore, ferritebainite dual phase microstructure shows a large Bauschinger effect and single microstructure is better for preventing strength reduction by the Bauschinger effect. 2.3 Effect of M-A constituent on Bauschinger Effect Bainitic microstructure design is often used for high strength linepipe steels, which is produced by applying controlled rolling and accelerated cooling. Low carbon bainite is considered to be the best candidate for the steel used for offshore linepipe. However, low carbon bainite often consists of M-A constituent [16], which is formed during cooling after accelerated cooling. Carbon concentration to untransformed austenite is unavoidable during bainitic transformation, and carbon enriched region turns into M-A constituent during cooling. This hard second phase is considered to enhance the Bauschinger effect same as martensite or cementite [13,14], and

1.0 Pre-strain: 1.0% 0.9

0.8 0.7 0 20 40 60 80 100

Bainite volume fraction (%)

Figure 5 Effect of bainite volume fraction on Bauschinger effect factor.

need to be removed for reducing the Bauschinger effect. One of the possible measures to remove M-A constituent is to apply heat treatment after accelerated cooling. This concept was applied in the actual production of sour resistant steel by the heat treatment on-line process (HOP) [10, 17]. Figure 6 shows schematic illustration of the temperature profile in plate rolling process. Accelerated cooling is applied after controlled rolling

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Heat treatment on-line process (HOP) Temperature

Stress (MPa)

0.5% Tensile



0 -200




(b) HOP

strain (%)

(a) Conventional


Figure 6 Schematic illustration of temperature profile in plate rolling.


Figure 8 Stress-strain curves in cyclic loading test for X65 plate.





(a) Conventional

(b) HOP


Figure 7 Microstructure of the steels produced by (a) conventional ACC process and (b) Heat treatment on-line process (HOP).



in the conventional process, while on-line heat treatment is applied after accelerated cooling in the newly developed process, so-called HOP. In order to investigate the effect of M-A constituent on the Bauschinger effect, a cyclic loading test was conducted using Grade X65 plates with conventional and HOP process. The chemical compositions of the steel were 0.05C-0.3Si-1.3Mn-NiMo-Nb, and the plate thickness was 33mm. Slab heating, controlled rolling and accelerated cooling conditions were the same. Heat treatment online process was applied for one plate, while the other was used in as accelerated cooled condition. The microstructure of the steel plates in the quarter thick region is shown in Figure 7. In the steel with the conventional process, it is seen that M-A constituents, marked by arrow in the picture, are formed in the bainite matrix. The volume fraction of M-A constituents in the conventional steel was around 3%. On the other hand, almost no M-A constituent was seen in the steel with the HOP process. Cyclic loading test, the same as the previous section, was conducted using steel plate with and without M-A constituents. Figure 8 shows stress-strain curves for both steels in the case of 1.0% compressive prestrain. During the compressive loading and unloading to 1.0% compressive strain, stress-strain curves are the same for both steels. However, in the reversed tensile loading, the flow stress is higher for the steel produced by HOP which contain almost no M-A constituents. Bauschinger effect factor is plotted vs. compressive prestrain for both conventional and HOP steels in Figure 9. Bauschinger effect factor increases under higher compressive prestrain since the effect of strain hardening became more significant. Bauschinger effect factor


Applied compressive strain (%)

Figure 9 Effect of bainite volume fraction on Bauschinger effect factor.

for HOP steel plate is always higher than that of conventional steel. Volume fraction of M-A constituent in the conventional steel is very low and seems to give a small effect. However, it is considered that the higher hardness of M-A constituent causes high level of strain concentration in the region close to bainite/M-A constituent interface because of the large strength discontinuity. Therefore, reducing M-A constituent is considered to be an effective measure for preventing strength reduction by the Bauschinger effect. 3. PRODUCTION OF HEAVY GAUGE UOE LINEPIPE WITH IMPROVED COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH 3.1 Target Material Properties and Trial Production Based on the above-mentioned investigation, trial production of heavy gauge linepipe with improved compressive strength was conducted. The pipe forming process was conventional U-O-E process, but advanced plate production process was applied to improve compressive strength of pipe body by reducing the Bauschinger effect. The target mechanical properties for this trial production are shown in Tables 1 and 2. The strength grade is DNV Grade 450, equivalent to API Grade

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Table 1 Target tensile and compressive properties of the trial X65 linepipe.
Pipe size Grade DNV OF-S101 Grade 450 SFDU O.D. (mm) 876 W.T. (mm) 38 Tensile - transverse TS YS (MPa) (MPa) 464584 535760
*4 *1

Tensile - longitudinal Y/T (%) 93 YS TS (MPa) (MPa) 535655 570



Compression - transverse YS (MPa) Min. 405

*5 *4


EL (%) Min. 24

EL (%) Min. 24

Y/T (%) Max. 93

Max. 450-


*1 Trans.: Round bar specimen *2 Longi.: Rectangular strip specimen *3 Cylindrical specimen: 20mm x 60mmL *4 YS: Rt0.5 *5 Only for trial production

Table 2 Target toughness and sour resistant properties of the trial X65 linepipe.
Charpy Impact test at -10 C Body HAZ (J) (J) Min. 155 (Ind.) Min. 38 (Ind.)

CTOD test at 0 C Body HAZ (mm) (mm) Min. 0.15 (Ind.) Min. 0.10 (Ind.)

DWTT at -17 C SA (%) Min. 75 (Ind.) 85 (Ave.)


Sour resistant properties Sour condition 10% H2 S pH3.0 HIC CLR 10%max CTR 3%max SSCC 90% actual YS No crack

206(Ave.) 45 (Ave.) *6 reduced specimen to 19mm

Compressive YS (MPa)

X65, and the wall thickness and the outer diameter are 38mm WT and 876mm OD. In addition to the basic requirement for DNV Grade 450 linepipe, target properties include many supplemental requirements, such as enhanced dimension requirement D, for sour service requirement S, fracture arrest properties F are set as the target for the development in this study. As for compressive yield strength, the target property was set as minimum 405MPa, which is 90% of SMYS, in the trial production test. Trial production was conducted with the chemistries carefully optimized for balancing strength and toughness. Special consideration was made for reducing impurities to improve the sour resistant property. In the plate manufacturing process, heat treatment on-line process was applied to get homogeneous microstructure and to improve compressive strength by reducing the Bauschinger effect from a hard second phase. Conventional process, controlled rolling and accelerated cooling, was also applied in order to compare to the mechanical properties of linepipes. Pipe manufacturing was conducted by the conventional UO-E process. Forming conditions were carefully controlled to get a higher level of roundness complying with DNV supplemental requirement D. Seam welding was done by the 4-electrode SAW process. Welding conditions are quite important to achieve a higher toughness of welds. Heat affected zone, HAZ, in the seam weldment exhibit lower toughness because of formation of local brittle zone in CGHAZ, coarse grain HAZ, or ICCGHAZ, inter critically reheated CGHAZ, and its always a challenging issue for high strength heavy gauge linepipes [8,18]. Special considerations on chemistries and welding conditions were made for achieving excellent Charpy impact toughness in HAZ, as well as CTOD toughness. 3.2 Tensile and Compressive Strength Figure 10 shows the tensile properties of trial produced linepipes with conventional ACC process and heat treatment online process, HOP, in plate manufacturing. The tensile properties were enough to comply to the requirements for both linepipes either the longitudinal or transverse direction. Noted that longitudinal yield strength of HOP applied pipe is higher than that of conventional pipe. Lower longitudinal yield

strength usually occurs in the UOE linepipe partly because of the Bauschinger effect in pipe forming. It can be said that the HOP process is also effective for reducing the Bauschinger effect and increasing the longitudinal yield strength of pipe.

600 YS 550

Grade 450 (X65), 876mm OD x 38mm WT TS


YS, TS (MPa)



400 Trans. Longi. Trans. Longi.



Figure 10 Tensile properties of the trial Grade 450 linepipes

550 Grade 450 (X65), 876mm OD x 38mm WT Inside wall Outside wall 500


90% SMYS


350 90o 180o 90o 180o



Figure 11 Compressive yield strength of the trial Grade 450 linepipes

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Results of the compressive yield strength of the trial pipes were summarized in Figure 11. Cylindrical compression specimen, 20mm x 60mmL, were taken from the circumferential portion of 90o and 180o from the seam in both outer and inner pipe wall. The compressive yield strength of conventional pipe was enough to meet 85% of SMYS requirement but could not achieve 90% of SMYS target. On the other hand, the HOP applied developed pipe shows acceptably high compressive strength in all portion. It was confirmed that microstructure control by the heat treatment on-line process is beneficial for improving the compressive strength of linepipe. 3.3 Toughness of the Pipe Body The DWTT transition curve of the trial Grade 450 linepipe by HOP is shown in Figure 12. The 85% SATT is lower than 40oC, which gives enough safety margin to prevent brittle fracture propagation. Even for a heavy gauge of 38mm, optimized controlled rolling and accelerated cooling conditions enabled a fine bainitic microstructure through out the plate thickness. A higher cooling rate in accelerated cooling process is the most important manufacturing parameter to obtain transformation strengthening and a fine microstructure. The online heat treatment was applied for this trial production to reduce M-A constituent, but fine bainitic microstructure was not changed by the heating process, keeping excellent toughness of pipe body. As well as the DWTT property, Charpy energy of pipe body was over 400J at 10oC, which is enough to comply with supplementary requirement F. This also gives a large margin to arrest running shear fracture.
100 80

statistics. Both CGHAZ and ICCGHAZ, marked as OF and CB+2mm in Figure 14, showed higher energy value than the target property. This result also indicates that the probability of brittle crack initiation from the HAZ region is quite low. The CTOD tests were conducted on the pipe body (base metal), seam weld metal and HAZ (fusion line) and the results are summarized in Table 3. All the specimen shows acceptable CTOD value at 3oC. As well as the Charpy impact test, excellent HAZ toughness of the developed heavy gauge linepipe was confirmed.



(a) Charpy test

(b) CTOD test

Figure 13 Schematic illustration of notch position for Charpy impact test and CTOD test on HAZ region.
99.9 99.0

Cumulative frequency (%)


OF CB+2mm


10.0 5.0

S.A. (%)

60 40 20 0 -80 -60 -40

Specimen: reduced thickness to 19.1mm

1.0 20






Absorbed energy, vE -10 oC (J)

Figure 14 Weibull distribution of HAZ Charpy energy of HOP applied Grade 450 linepipe.

Temperature ( C)
Figure 12 DWTT transition curve of HOP applied Grade 450 linepipe.


Table 3 CTOD test results of HOP applied Grade 450 linepipe.

Position 1 HAZ Weld metal Base metal 1.39 0.37 1.39 CTOD at -3 C (mm) 2 0.53 0.36 1.36 3 1.92 0.32 1.39 Ave. 1.28 0.35 1.38

3.4 HAZ Toughness For producing heavy gauge linepipe, a larger heat input is necessary during seam welding by SAW. As stated in the previous section, CGHAZ or ICCGHAZ often shows lower toughness because of the formation of a local brittle zone. Therefore, a Charpy impact test was conducted with the notch position on CGHAZ and ICCGHA, as shown in Figure 13(a). A CTOD test was also conducted with the notch position of F.L., this means the line including 50% of weld metal and 50% of HAZ, as shown in Figure 13(b). The Charpy test results are shown in Figure 14. Twenty specimens with the same notch position were tested in same condition at 10oC, and Charpy energy was plotted by Weibull

3.5 Sour Resistant Properties HIC and SSCC test were conducted on the HOP applied Grade 450 linepipe. No cracks were found in HIC and SSCC (four point bending) tests under the condition of 10%H2S of NACE A solution. It was proved that the developed linepipe is applicable for a mild sour environment.

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4. CONCLUSION Effect of microstructure on the Bauschinger effect was investigated in order to improve compressive strength of linepipe. Based on the fundamental research on the Bauschinger effect, heavy gauge Grade 450 (X65) offshore linepipe was developed. Trial production of 876mmOD and 38mmWT linepipe was conducted and material properties were evaluated. Results are summarized as follows; (1) A strength reduction by the Bauschinger effect increases with increasing bainite volume fraction in ferrite-bainite dual-phase steels. The M-A constituent in bainitic microstructure has a strong effect to reduce the yield strength by the Bauschinger effect. Therefore, controlling the microstructure to a single bainitic microstructure without M-A constituent is effective measure to reduce the Bauschinger effect on high strength linepipe steel with higher compressive strength. (2) Trial production of Grade 450 linepipe with a size of 876mmOD and 38mmWT was conducted by applying the heat treatment on-line process (HOP) in plate manufacturing. The M-A constituent was effectively reduced by the heat treatment on-line process. Developed linepipe exhibited excellent compressive strength, which is over 90% of SMYS, while keeping acceptable tensile properties. (3) Even with heavy pipe wall of 38mm thickness, DWTT, Charpy impact and CTOD testing proved that the developed linepipe has excellent pipe body and HAZ toughness. It was also proved that the developed linepipe is applicable for a mild sour environment.

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