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



Philippe Burlot(1) , Jacques Besson(1) , Yazid Madi(1,2) (1) Mines Paristech, Centre des Matriaux, CNRS UMR 7633, BP 87, 91003 Evry CEDEX, France Email: (2) Ermess EPF-Ecole dingnieurs 3 bis rue Lakanal 92330 Sceaux

Rmi Batisse(3) , Stphane Hertz-Clmens(3) (3) GDF SUEZ, Ple Mcanique Matriau Intgrit Structure, 361 avenue du Prsident Wilson, Saint-Denis la Plaine - CEDEX, France

ABSTRACT The purpose of this work was to evaluate the fracture toughness for different plastic constraint levels of a grade X63 line pipe representative of in-service line pipes in France. This study was carried out for high constraint levels using Compact Tensile (CT) specimens and low constraint levels using Single Edge Notched Tensile (SENT) specimens. Moreover, in order to reduce the amount of tested samples, silicone replicas of crack advance were made all along the test. The results show that the loss of plastic constraint induces Jvalues about 70% higher compared to high constraint tests. A strong crack growth resistance anisotropy was observed at high constraint. This anisotropy is signicantly reduced at low constraint.

NOMENCLATURE L Rolling direction T Transverse direction S Through thickness direction YS Yield stress UTS Ultimate tensile stress u Uniform elongation Z Area reduction at fracture J Jintegral

Je Jp K E LL CMOD ALL p ACMOD p a a W H B b = W a

Elastic part of J Plastic part of J Stress intensity factor Youngs modulus Poissons ratio Dimensionless function of the specimen geometry Dimensionless function of the specimen geometry Plastic area under the load-displacement curve Plastic area under the load-CMOD curve Crack length Crack extension Specimen width Specimen height Specimen thickness Ligament length

The principal directions of the pipeline are displayed in Figure 1.

Introduction Predicting failure of in-service pipelines is essential to guarantee the integrity of these structures. Classical approaches for fracture assessment are based on the use of Compact

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under a pressure of about 70 bars. Its chemical composition is displayed in table 1. The steel presents a ferrito-pearlitic banded microstructure aligned along the rolling direction (L). Cerium was added to form globular cerium sulphide (CeS) [8]. In comparison to MnS inclusions which are also often found [9], CeS particles are hard enough to keep a spherical shape during rolling thus potentially improving fracture resistance. However rolling still leads to particle alignment along the rolling direction.


Directions of the pipeline

C 0.17

Mn 1.30

Si 0.32

S 0.01

Ni 0.02

Mo 0.03

Nb 0.04

Ce 0.04

Tensile (CT) specimens [1]. The aim of such studies is to evaluate a fracture toughness criterion based on the J-integral [2]. However, it has been shown (see e.g. Thaulow and al., [3]) that CT specimens present some limitations for pipelines fracture assessment due to the geometry of such structures. CT tests tend to be very conservative as they are not representative of the in-service loading conditions for which a strong loss of constraint effect is observed [4]. In addition CT specimens are limited to axial or tangential crack propagation (TL1 or LT congurations). Through-thickness crack propagation (i.e. TS or LS congurations) can hardly be studied using such specimens due to the relatively small thickness of pipelines. Under these conditions loss of constraint is also important. In order to circumvent these difculties, specimens for which the stress state is closer to in-service conditions and which allow the study of through thickness propagation have been developed in the past few years. This is the case of Single Edge Notched Tensile (SENT) specimens which are used to test both base metals and welds [47]. In this study the fracture behaviour of a grade X63 line pipe steel representative of in-service materials was studied. Characterization was carried out using impact Charpy tests, CT and SENT specimens for which Ja curves were determined using the multiple specimen technique. Different loading conditions were investigated corresponding to in-plane (LT and TL) and through thickness (TS and LS) crack extension. These tests allow to study fracture resistance anisotropy as well as the role of plastic constraint. Material characterisation The material studied during this work is an X63 pipeline steel. It originates from a pipe manufactured in the early 70s which is representative of pipelines in service in France. The pipe outer diameter is equal to 914 mm (36) and its thickness is equal to 11 mm. The pipe was used for several years


Chemical composition of the X63 pipeline steel (wt.%)

The characterisation of mechanical properties was carried out at room temperature. The elasto-plastic tensile behaviour of the material was studied in both rolling and transverse directions. Tensile properties are displayed in table 2. The yield stress (YS ) along the T direction is higher than along the L direction. This can be explained by the UOE pipe manufacturing process which leads to prestraining of the material along the T direction [10, 11]. The ultimate strength (UTS) is, on the other hand, higher for the L direction. The Lankford coefcient measured for both directions is close to 1. This indicates a slight plastic anisotropy.

YS (MPa) L T

UTS (MPa) 669 660

u (%) 13.6 12.3

Z (%) 71 69

477 515

Mechanical properties of the X63 line pipe steel

Charpy tests were carried out at room temperature for congurations LT, TL, LS, and TS following the AFNOR NF EN ISO 14556 standard. Measured fracture energies are shown in table 3. Despite the slightly plastic behaviour anisotropy, a strong fracture anisotropy was observed. The fracture energies for specimens tested along the T direction (TL and TS) are about half that of specimens tested along the L direction (LT and LS). It can also be observed that, for a given loading direction, specimens for which the crack grows along the S direction exhibit a slightly higher energy (TS vs. TL (+30%) and LS vs. LT (+20%))

1 In the TL conguration, load is applied along the T direction and L corresponds to the crack growth direction.

Ductile crack growth characterisation procedure Ductile crack extension was characterised using both CT and clamped SENT specimens for which the multi-specimen method

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out using the initial values of the geometrical parameters, a, W , and B, for both the CT and SENT tests. Conguration Energy (J) LT 1605 TL 80 5 LS 1975 TS 1075 CT specimens having a width equal to W = 25 mm and a thickness equal to B = 10 mm without side grooves were used. Due to the pipe thickness, this geometry only allows to test TL and LT congurations. On the other hand, SENT specimens were used to test LT, TL, LS and TS directions. Two SENT geometries (shown in Figure 2) were used with different B/W ratios. For type 2 B/W = 2 and for type 3 B/W = 0.5. Due to the pipe curvature, TL specimens could only be prepared using geometry type 3. In all cases, the clamping distance was equal to 25 mm on both ends of the specimens. All specimens were fatigue precracked so as to obtain an initial crack length to width ratio (a/W ) equal to 0.5. The maximum KI value during pre cracking was equal to 15 MPa m in order to limit the size of the plastic zone.

TABLE 3. Charpy fracture energies for the different congurations (room temperature)

was employed to determine the Ja curves. However, in order to reduce the number of test specimens, silicone replicas of crack extension were taken in the case of SENT specimens. The technique consists of several steps: (i) slightly unloading of the sample, (ii) injection of silicone into the crack, (iii) silicone cross-linking, (iv) reloading the specimen, (v) removing the replica. These steps can be repeated up to 12 times for a single test, providing as many replicas and thus as many J values. It was checked on several samples, with different crack extensions, that the crack length measured on the last replica after breaking the specimen in liquid nitrogen is close (less than 2% error) to the one obtained using fractography. It is important to note here that, as the crack length is measured after testing on fractured specimens or replicas using the basic method (ie. optical measure in nine points of the crack), crack advance due to blunting is not taken into account in the evaluation of a. Values of J and a were computed following the ASTM (E)1820 standard. The Jintegral is considered to be the sum of an elastic part and a plastic part: J = Je + J p (1)

Type 2 H = 50 mm W = 5 mm B = 10 mm LS2 , TS2 , LT2

Type 3 H = 50 mm W = 10 mm B = 5 mm LS3 , TL3

Je is computed using the stress intensity factor, K, as: Je = K 2 (1 2 )/E. K is computed from the load using ASTM (E)1820 for CT specimens and the work of Cravero and Ruggieri [12] for SENT specimens. J p can be evaluated using either the Load Line displacement (LL), or the Crack Mouth Opening Displacement (CMOD). J p can then be expressed as: LL ALL p Bb CMOD ACMOD p Bb

Jp =


Jp =



where ALL (resp. ACMOD ) is the plastic area under the load p p displacement curve (resp. plastic area under the loadCMOD curve). LL (resp. CMOD ) is a geometry dependant nondimensional factor. In this work, the load line displacement was used for CT specimens with LL = 2 + 0.522b/W following ASTM (E)1820. The CMOD was used for SENT specimens with CMOD = 1.0398 0.687a/W following Cravero and Ruggieri [12] for clamped SENT specimens. Calculations were carried


SENT specimens (type 2 and type 3).

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Results and discussion CT tests The Ja curves for CT specimens for both loading conditions (LT and TL) are compared in Figure 3. In both cases J increases linearly as a function of a. As in the case of Charpy tests (table 3), a strong rupture anisotropy is observed with values of J as well as of the tearing modulus dJ/da being lower for the TL conguration. For instance, the values of J for a crack advance of 1 mm is about 670 kJm2 for the LT conguration and about 270 kJm2 for the TL conguration. The tearing modulus varies from 460 MPa in the rst case to 180 MPa in the second one. It is important to note here that, as the crack front is not straight (red line in Figure 4), the CT tests are not valid according to the ASTM (E)1820 standard.

2 mm

2 mm
1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 a (mm) 2 2.5 J1 =269 kJ.m2 J1 =671 kJ.m2 TL LT

J (kJ.m2 )

FIGURE 3. Comparison of the J-a curves for CT tests in the LT and TL congurations

FIGURE 4. Fracture surfaces of CT specimens in the LT (above) and TL (below) congurations

The fracture surfaces obtained for both congurations are compared in Figure 4. In the TL case, fractography reveals lines corresponding to the L direction. These stripes are about 20m wide and 80 m long. It can be seen in Figure 5, where a closer view of the inclusions in both the LT and T L congurations are displayed, that, whereas the voids originating from the inclusions are round and deep on the LT conguration, the voids in the T L one are elliptic and shallower. Some fragments of inclusions can be seen all along the voids in both congurations. The anisotropic inclusion could possibly account for the anisotropic rupture properties following [13,14]. In the LT conguration, the inclusion lines are aligned with the loading direction thus leading to better fracture properties. SENT tests SENT tests were performed for the same test conditions as CT tests. Figure 6 compares the J-a curves for SENT tests in

LT and TL congurations. The effect of anisotropy is not marked although TL conguration shows slightly lower J values than LT conguration. However, due to pipe thickness, TL conguration has been prepared using geometry type 3 and LT conguration using geometry type 2 (see Figure 2). The effect of specimen geometry on the measured J values was evaluated for the LS conguration by comparing geometry types 2 and 3. Results are shown in Figure 7. Geometry type 3, because of its low thickness to width ratio (B/W ), leads to higher plastic constraint and consequently lower J values. Based on the comparison of LS2 and LS3 geometries, it can be assumed that the Ja curve for a virtual TL2 geometry 2 would lead to higher J values than those obtained for the TL3 geometry shown in Figure 6. Consequently it can be concluded that the strong fracture anisotropy obtained on CT specimens is not observed for SENT specimens. These hypotheses need to be

2 Note

that the TL2 geometry cannot be machined due to the pipe dimensions.

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50 microns



J (kJ/m2 )

600 LS2 400 LS3



1 a (mm)


50 microns

FIGURE 7. Comparison of the Ja curves for SENT tests in the LS conguration using two different geometries (LS2 and LS3 )

Unlike CT specimens, SENT specimens allow the evaluation of ductile crack growth along the thickness of the pipeline. Figure 8 shows the evolution of the fracture toughness of specimens taken in LS and TS congurations. Samples were prepared using the same geometry (type 2) to eliminate geometry effects. Both tests lead to very similar Ja curves with the TS conguration leading to slightly lower J values. These results are not in agreement with Charpy impact tests (table 3) which exhibited a strong fracture anisotropy. As previously shown, fracture anisotropy is no longer observed using SENT specimens.

FIGURE 5. Voids and inclusions alignment on CT specimens in the LT (above) and TL (below) congurations


J (kJ/m2 )

checked using FE simulations of the different geometries.

600 LS2 400 T S2


800 T L3 LT2


J (kJ/m2 )


0 0 0.2 0.4 a (mm) 0.6 0.8 1



FIGURE 8. Comparison of the Ja curves for SENT tests in the LS and TS congurations
0 0.5 1 a (mm) 1.5 2

FIGURE 6. Comparison of the Ja curves for SENT tests in the LT2 and TL3 congurations

Ja curves provide some information about crack resistance, but it may also be interesting to consider data such as the loadCMOD or the aCMOD curves. These results are shown in Figures 9 and 10 in the case of TS2 and LS2 specimens.

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The corresponding Ja curves are plotted in Figure 8; crack growth starts for a CMOD of about 0.4 mm. It can be observed that the maximum load is obtained for TS loading. This can be explained by the higher yield strength measured along the T direction (table 2). However crack extension is faster for T loading as shown in Figure 10. This leads to a faster load drop for T loading as shown in 9. This complex rupture behaviour indicates that a detailed numerical analysis of the tests must be carried out accounting for pre-hardening, anisotropic damage and crack extension.

The comparison between J values for SENT and CT tests, for LT loading, are shown in Figure 11. The effect of the difference in plastic constraint is clearly highlighted. Indeed, due to higher plastic zone in front of the crack tip, SENT specimens show higher J values. For instance, J values for a crack growth of 1 mm is about 480 kJm2 for SENT sample and about 270 kJm2 for the CT one. This result is in accordance with the results predicted by Cravero and Ruggieri [12].


20 T S2 15 LS2 Force (kN) 10

J (kJ/m2 )

1000 800 600 400 200 CT SENT (T L3 )

0 0 0.5 1 1.5 a (mm) 2 2.5 3

0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 CMOD (mm) 0.8 1 1.2

FIGURE 11. Comparison of the Ja curves for SENT and CT tests in the TL conguration

FIGURE 9. Comparison of the loadCMOD curves for SENT tests in the LS2 and TS2 congurations


a (mm)

0.6 LS2 0.4 T S2


0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 CMOD (mm)

FIGURE 10. Comparison of the crack advance (a)CMOD curves for SENT tests in the LS2 and TS2 congurations

Conclusion This study demonstrated the effect of plastic constraint, due to geometry and load type effect, on a grade X63 line pipe steel. Tests on high (CT) and low (SENT) plastic constraint specimens were conducted. In order to signicantly reduce the amount of tested samples, a procedure was developed which uses silicone replicas of crack advance made during the test. This procedure enables keeping the multi-specimen analysis testing procedure for a single-specimen test. For high plastic constraint specimens (CT and Charpy), a strong fracture anisotropy between LT and TL conguration was observed. TL loading leads to lower Charpy fracture energies and lower J values. This anisotropy is hardly observed on SENT tests (see Figure 8). Effect of geometry, i.e. of plastic constraint, was observed by comparing, for the same loading conditions, CT and SENT tests. A strong reduction of anisotropy effect (see Figure 6) and an improvement of toughness in TL direction (see Figure 11) are obtained. Geometry effect on toughness is also observed between two types of SENT specimens (see Figure 7), developing a different level of plastic constraint.

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In the near future, nite element simulations of the various tests will be performed in order to evaluate local strains and stresses to better understand the experimental results shown in this paper.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors acknowledge the support of GDF-SUEZ/GRT Gaz, in the frame of the chair "Durability of materials and structures for energy" supported by EDF and GDF-SUEZ/GRT Gaz at Mines ParisTech and Ponts ParisTech.

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