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

IPC2012-90326

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INTO LOW TEMPERATURE TOUGHNESS OF LARGE DIAMETER HEAVY WALL X80 PIPELINE STEEL AT SHOUGANG STEEL
Wenhua Ding, Zhonghang Jiang, Jiading Li, Shaopo Li, Chunhe Zha Shougang Research Institute of Technology Beijing, China 100043 Ph. 86(010)8829-7956 , Fax 86(010)8829-7592 dingwh31@yahoo.com.cn, Jiangzh1960@mail.shougang.com.cn, lijiading712@yahoo.com, ustbmp@126.com, zhachunhe@163.com Xuejun Bai, Qun Li, Guodong Zhang Qinhuangdao Shouqin Metal Materials Co., Ltd. Funing Duzhuang County Qinhuangdao, China 066326 Ph. 86(0335)6089-807, Fax 86(010)8829-7592 bxj20040211@yahoo.com.cn, linqun_goal@hotmail.com, zgdynia@163.com Douglas Stalheim DGS Metallurgical Solutions, Inc. th 15003 NE 10 Street Vancouver, WA 98684 USA Ph. (360) 713-2407, Fax (360) 882-1775 dgstalheim@comcast.net

ABSTRACT In recent years the trend in oil and gas transmission pipelines has been toward higher operating pressures. This trend, while the desire to keep steel costs low, has resulted in an increased demand for large diameter heavy wall X80 with good low temperature toughness. It is well known that improving the low temperature toughness with increasing wall thickness of the pipeline is very difficult. To overcome the difficulty of producing consistent low temperature toughness in heavy wall pipe Shougang Steel Research in cooperation with the Shougang Steel Qinhuangdao China (Shouqin) 4.3 m heavy wide plate mill research was conducted. This paper describes the background, composition design and process strategy to produce good low temperature toughness in heavy wall API plate. The importance of the slab reheating schedule and recrystallized rolling process/schedule that occurs during the roughing process will be discussed. The effect of per pass reductions and work roll speed rotation on the strain introduced was analyzed by means of the numerical simulation technology. Furthermore, the center thickness microstructure and low temperature toughness of plate under

the different rolling schedules were researched. The results showed a low reheating temperature and slow rough rolling speed should be implemented. The per pass reductions during recrystallized rough rolling should be increased in a steady fashion, with special emphasis on the reduction of the final roughing pass prior to the intermediate hold (transfer thickness for finishing). When the final roughing pass had a per pass reduction of more than 15%, the main microstructure of plate consists of uniform (surface to center) fine ferrite/acicular ferrite with a small volume fraction of M-A constituent. This fine uniform microstructure results in good low temperature fracture toughness in heavier plate thicknesses. Results of this research and development work will be discussed. INTRODUCTION Energy needs along with economic pressures are requiring that higher operating pressures must be used for the transportation of natural gas. To accommodate the higher operating pressures large diameter thick wall API X80 gas transmission pipelines have been built in recent years. The API plates used in these higher operating pressure large

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diameter thick wall API X80 transmission pipelines must posse the required high strength, excellent low temperature toughness and good welding performance. It is well known that improving the low temperature toughness with increasing wall thickness of the pipeline is very difficult. In particular the center thickness impact toughness and the DWTT performance1,2,3,4,5. Shougang Steel Research in cooperation with the Shougang Steel Qinhuangdao China (Shouqin) 4.3 m heavy wide plate mill researched key steel production parameters that can control successful production of consistent low temperature toughness in heavy wall high strength API X80 pipe,. ALLOY DESIGN According to the equipment characteristics of Shougang 4.3 m heavy wide plate mill and the low temperature toughness requirements of lager diameter heavy wall pipe, an alloy composition design concept consisting of low C, high Mn, moderate levels of Nb-Mo-Ni was developed. In addition, steelmaking processing utilized clean steel melting technology in in order to decrease the content of sulfur, phosphorus, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen6. The Shouqin steel plant has installed a new state of the art SiemensVAI heavy slab caster (maximum thickness of 400 mm) that has many advance technologies such as dynamic soft reduction to improve the internal quality of the slab for applications as the heavy gauge X80 plate. Table 1 shows the chemical composition used for the heavy wall X80 pipeline steel development.
TABLE 1: CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF HEAVY WALL X80 PIPELINE STEEL (WT%)
C 0.06 Si Mn P S N 0.004 Nb 0.06 MoNiCr moderate

In the case of niobium carbonitride: log[Nb][C+12/14N]=2.26-6770/T In the case of niobium carbide: log[Nb][C]=2.96-7510/T Utilizing the previous equations and based on the component content of Nb, C, N illustrated in Table 1, the calculated worst case scenario for niobium solubility was a temperature of 1170 C. The desired reheating temperature range of the slab would be 1160 1200 C. In order to optimize the reheating schedule for optimum austenite grain size control, X80 slab samples were reheated in the laboratory at a heating rate of 10 C/s with a high temperature laser scope to four different temperatures 1140 C, 1160 C, 1180 C and 1200 C. The size and variation of the austenite grain was analyzed. Figure 1 shows the austenite grain size versus the four different reheating temperatures. The original austenite grain continued growing with increasing reheating temperature. Furthermore, when the reheating temperature was below 1160 C the austenite grain was fine and uniform, with the average grain size less than 50m. Increasing the reheating temperature to 1180 C, the austenite grain began to become very coarse and non-uniform in size. At 1200 C the average grain size was greater than 100m. Consequently, the low reheating temperature of large diameter heavy wall X80 should been implemented, which can effectively get the fine and uniform austenite grain microstructure.

0.20 1.70 0.008 0.002

PROCESS STRATEGY Based on the final plate thickness, width and low temperature toughness requirements of the X80 plate, the Shouqin 4.3 m heavy wide plate mill technical group elected to use slabs with 350 mm and 400 mm x 2400 mm (largest slab that can be produced at Shouqin) to minimize the broadside (width) ratio while optimizing the total metallurgical reduction ratio7. In addition, optimal slab reheating schedule for the slab thickness and optimum reduction per pass roughing strategy were adopted. By optimizing the equipment capabilities of the Shouqin 4.3 m heavy plate mill to their fullest levels can typically result in the production of a desired uniformly fine ferrite/acicular ferrite microstructure through the entire cross section of the heavy plate. REHEATING SCHEDULE The reheating schedule of 350/400mm thickness slab was designed for complete dissolution of the main microalloy element niobium while controlled to restrain austenite grain coarsening8. To set the boundary parameters for reheating temperature the following equations were used to compute the niobium dissolution temperature9.

1140 C

1160 C

1180 C

1200 C

FIGURE 1: THE AUSTENNITE GRAIN SIZE AT DIFFERENT REHEATING TEMPERATURE

RECRYSTALLIZED ROUGH ROLLING PROCESS For large diameter heavy wall X80, the recrystallized rolling process is the most crucial processing parameters to improve low temperature toughness. So the effect of per pass reductions and work roll speed rotation during the roughing process on the strain introduced was analyzed by means of numerical simulation technology.
Per Pass Reduction - Roughing

When the other rolling parameters are unchanged, the effect of different pass reductions during recrystallized rough

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rolling on the strain was analyzed by means of the numerical simulation technology. Figure 2 illustrates the effect of the per pass reduction comparing an 8% reduction vs. a 20% reduction. The results shows that the range of the higher equivalent strain grows obviously larger with increasing per pass reduction. In particular, the larger reduction makes the equivalent strain distribution more uniform from surface to center with the deformation uniformly penetrated fully to the center of the thickness.

Roughing Work Roll Speed 15 RPM

8% Reduction

Roughing Work Roll Speed 60 RPM

FIGURE 3: EFFECT OF THE ROLLING SPEED ON STRAIN

20% Reduction

The simulation results shows that a low rolling speed coupled with a high per pass reduction during the roughing passes should be implemented as critical processing parameters. This process control results in optimum conditioning of the austenite grains from surface to center which can effectively improve the quality and mechanical properties of plate10. ROUGH ROLLING SCHEDULE The whole rolling passes consists of width passes, roughing passes and finish passes. To address potential issues in producing consistent low temperature toughness in heavy wall X80 plate, utilizing strategy from the previous discussed numerical simulations three different rough rolling schedule strategies were used to produce 28 x 3750 mm plate on the Shouqin 4.3 m wide heavy plate mill facility. Results were analyzed from three different roughing rolling schedules, Figure 4. As shown in Figure 4, the per pass reduction of #1 rolling schedule increased at a steady rate with the largest reductions of more than 15% occurring in the final 4 roughing passes with the absolute largest reduction in the final roughing

FIGURE 2: EFFECT OF PER PASS REDUCTION ON STRAIN Roughing Work Roll Speed Rotation

When the other rolling parameters are unchanged, the effect of different work roll speed rotation during recrystallized rough rolling on the strain was analyzed by means of the numerical simulation technology, Figure 3. With increasing per pass rolling speed the strain obviously decreased with the uniformity of deformation distribution becoming undesirable.

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pass. Rough rolling schedules #2 and #3 incorporate large reductions in the middle of the pass schedule (passes 3 and 4) followed by less reduction in the final two passes. By having three different rough rolling strategies the effects on final mechanical properties utilizing various surface to center austenite grain size conditioning could be evaluated .

Roughing Schedule #1

FIGURE 4: EXAMPLE OF THREE DIFFERENT ROUGHING REDUCTION SCHEDULE X80, 28X3750 MM

MICROSTRUCTURE AND TOUGHNESS The center thickness microstructure and low temperature toughness of the heavy wall X80 plate under different rolling schedules were researched.
Roughing Schedule #2

Microstructure

Figure 5 shows the center thickness microstructure of heavy wall X80 plate under three different schedules utilized during the roughing process as seen previously in Figure 4. As shown in Figure 5, the X80 plates have uniform (surface to center) fine acicular ferrite and a small volume fraction of M-A constituent using roughing schedule #1. Roughing schedules #2 and #3 used on the X80 plates resulted in a slightly coarser ferrite microstructure along with a fine M-A phase in roughing schedule #2 and a coarser, triangular shape M-A phase in a banded distribution in roughing schedule#3.

Roughing Schedule #3

FIGURE 5: EXAMPLE OF THE CENTER THICKNESS MICROSTRUCTURE WITH THREE DIFFERENT ROUGHING SCHEDULES X80, 28X3750 MM

M-A phase is difficult to discern in the optical microscopy photographs in Figure 5 but was determined through further SEM analysis, Figure 6.

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Roughing Schedule #1, Arrows Identify Examples of M-A Phase

FIGURE 7: AVERAGE CENTER THICKNESS CHARPY ENERGY TRANSITION TEMPERATURE USING THREE DIFFERENT ROUGHING SCHEDULES X80, 28X3750 MM

Roughing Schedule #2, Arrows Identify Examples of M-A Phase

Roughing Schedule #3, Arrows Identify Examples of M-A Phase

FIGURE 6: SEM MICROSTRUCTURE ANALYSIS SHOWING M-A PHASE CONSTIUENTS FROM THE THREE DIFFERENT ROLLING SCHDULES X80, 28X3750 MM

FIGURE 8: AVERAGE DWTT TRANSITION TEMPERATURE USING THREE DIFFERENT ROUGHING SCHEDULES X80, 28X3750 MM

Low Temperature Toughness The center thickness charpy impact toughness and the DWTT performance using the three different roughing rolling schedules are shown in Figure 7 and Figure 8 respectively. As can be seen in Figure 7 and Figure 8, the low temperature toughness of plate using roughing schedule #1 preformed the best in both toughness categories. The low temperature toughness of plates from the #2 roughing schedule performed better than that of those from the #3 roughing schedule. This illustrates the importance of properly designed roughing rolling schedules per pass reductions in achieving optimum austenite grain size conditioning from surface to center. This results in producing as fine as possible final transformed ferrite grain size as seen in the microstructure pictures which of course is excellent for good low temperature toughness properties.

MANUFACTURE OF 33mm X80 PLATE Shougang Steel utilizing the 4.3 m wide heavy plate mill at the Shouqin facility produced 33 x 3350 mm API X80 plate utilizing the low slab reheating schedule and the rough rolling schedules developed on the 28 x 3750 mm plate previously discussed. Slab dimension used was 400 x 2400 mm to produce the final plate dimension of 33 x 3350 x 12,000 mm. The alloy and processing design resulted in a ferrite/acicular ferrite microstructure in all cases. Furthermore, modifications to the rolling schedule as discussed prior have further enhanced the low temperature toughness of the plates. The optimal reduction schedule is shown in Figure 9. The mechanical property results of plate produced with the optimal reduction schedule can be found in Table 2. As can be seen in Table 2, the trial plates have API X80 strength and excellent low temperature toughness.

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1.

2.

3.

FIGURE 9: EXAMPLE OF REDUCTION SCHEDULE USED IN THE PRODUCTION OF 33X3350 MM X80 PLATES TABLE 2: AVERAGE TRANSVERSE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF 33X3350 MM X80 PLATES
Flat Strap Average Yield Strength (MPa) 576 Average Tensile Strength (MPa) 685 Average YT Ratio 0.84 Average Charpy Energy (J 10x10 mm) (center thickness) 293 @ -30 Average DWTT % Shear (Full Size) 86 @ -20

4.

5.

A low C, high Mn and moderate Nb-Mo-Ni alloy design, coupled with an optimal slab reheating schedule and rough rolling schedule, were key process parameters in the production of the large diameter heavy wall X80 plate with good toughness. The original austenite grain in the slab prior to the start of rolling increased with increasing reheating temperature. Lower reheating temperatures should be implemented, which can assist in achieving a fine and uniform austenite grain microstructure during rolling. This results in a fine and uniform transformed ferrite grain size during final plate cooling. Key processing parameters during plate rolling are a low rolling speed and large per pass reductions during the roughing passes. This results in optimum surface to center strain and austenite grain size conditioning, which can effectively improve the microstructure and mechanical properties of the plate. The per pass reductions during recrystallized rough rolling should be increased at a steady rate, with special emphasis on the reduction of the final roughing pass prior to the intermediate hold (transfer thickness for finishing). The final roughing pass should have a per pass reduction of more than 15%. The main microstructure of the 33 mm X80 plate consisted of uniform (surface to center) fine acicular ferrite with a small volume fraction of M-A constituent.

Figure 10 shows the optical microstructure of the 33mm X80 plate. The main microstructure of plate consists of uniform (surface to center) fine acicular ferrite with a small volume fraction of M-A constituent (not visible in optical microscopy, determined through SEM microstructural analysis), and the grain size greater than ASTM 12. This fine uniform microstructure results in good low temperature fracture toughness in heavier plate thicknesses.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors want to acknowledge the support of DGS Metallurgical Solutions, Inc. Mr. Douglas Stalheim and Shougang Research Institute along with the Shouqin heavy plate mill personnel for their support and assistance in this development work.

(A) (B) (C) FIGURE 10: THE OPTICAL MICROSTRUCTURE OF 33X3350 MM X80 PLATE (A) SURFACE; (B) QUARTER; (C) CENTER

CONCLUSIONS The Shougang Steel Qinhuangdao China (Shouqin) 4.3m heavy wide plate mill has successfully developed the large diameter heavy wall X80 with good low temperature toughness. According to the research and development of 33mm X80 plates, the following conclusions can be drawn:

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Working and Steel Processing Conference, Indianapolis, IN. 1997. 6. D. Stalheim, K. Barnes, D. McCutcheon, Alloy Designs for High Strength Oil and Gas Transmission Linepipe Steels, CBMM-TMS International Symposium Microalloyed Steels for the Oil & Gas Industry, Araxa, Brazil, 2006. 7. D. Stalheim, Slab and Level 2 Automation Design Guidelines for Optimum Metallurgy and Productivity for Plate and Steckel Mills, Proceedings of 6th International Conference on High Strength Low Alloy Steels (HSLA Steels 2011), Chinese Society for Metals, Beijing China, 2011. 8. Z. Zhang, Q. Zhang, Effect of Heating Temperature on Prior Austenite Size and Solution of Nb in Pipeline Steel [J]. Journal of Iron and Steel Research, 2008(10): 36~39. 9. D. Stalheim, Y. Yin, et.al., Development and Capability of High Temperature Processing (HTP) Pipeline Steel at Nanjing Iron and Steel Company, Proceedings Pipeline Technology Conference 2009, Ostend Belgium, 2009. 10. D. Stalheim, R. Glodowski, Fundamentals of the Generation of Fine Grain As-rolled Structural Steels, Proceedings AIST International Symposium on the Recent Developments in Plate Steels, Winter Park, Colorado USA, 2011.

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