You are on page 1of 19


Bacon Donaldson Consulting Engineers Richmond, B.C., Canada V7A 4V4

ABSTRACT ____________________________________________________________________________________________ The Corrosion & Materials Engineering Committee (C&ME) of the Tappi Engineering Division has developed two technical information papers (TIPS) dealing with stainless alloy piping. The first, TIP 0402-24 "Guide to the use of stainless steel pipe specifications" was issued in late 1998. The second, TIP 0402-26 "Guidelines for welding and inspection of stainless alloy piping" was issued in early 1999. Both of these TIPS were sponsored by the Metals Subcommittee of C&ME to provide guidance to mill engineers involved in ordering and installation of stainless alloy (stainless steel and nickel base alloys) piping for a range of services including paper machine stock lines, bleach plant, and pressure piping throughout the mill. They should prove useful in developing specifications and evaluating proposals. This paper reviews the two TIPS. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION In the Metals Subcommittee open forum at the 1991 Tappi Engineering Conference, a discussion was held on the quality of field welded circumferential joints in paper machine stock line piping and TMP pressure piping, made with flux protection of the weld roots instead of root purging. It was reported that fatigue cracking had occurred in several circumferential butt welds after short service. Examination of cross sections showed the cracking had initiated at severe lack of penetration (Figure 1). It was decided that a Technical Information Paper (TIP) on welding and inspection of stainless steel piping would be useful to provide background for mill engineers involved with the installation and maintenance of stainless steel pipe in pulp and paper mill services. The primary focus was to be on manual circumferential butt welds made during shop spooling and field erection of stainless steel pipelines. However, it became apparent that information on the specification of the pipe itself was also desirable and that nickel base alloys as well as stainless steels should be included. Two task groups were initiated: • • • • CA 910402.04 Specification of stainless alloy piping CA 920402.03 Fabrication and inspection of stainless alloy piping

These Task Groups completed their assignments in 1998 and 1999 respectively with the issue of: TIP 0402-24 Guide to the use of stainless steel pipe specification TIP 0402- 26 Guidelines for welding and inspection of stainless alloy piping

The two new TIPs are not intended to serve as specifications, but to provide background information for those preparing purchase inquiries and specifications for stainless alloy piping systems, and for evaluating proposals for the installation of such systems. The TIPs could be considered "awareness" documents to help the mill engineer ask the right questions. As such, they should be used in conjunction with "Recommended specifications for stainless steel piping, fittings and accessories for the pulp and paper industry”, 3rd edition 1, issued in 1986 by the M&ME Committee. Both TIPS assume material selection suitable for the intended service has already been made. In some cases, they do provide examples of industry practice.

8.11 Table I shows some commonly used stainless alloys and weld fillers with their American Welding Society (AWS) designations.9. Where an overmatching filler metal is used. Alloy Selection The stainless alloy pipe. For example.8 the corrosion resistance of stainless steel weld filler metal to inhibited hydrochloric acid cleaning solutions can be reduced by the formation of ferrite networks. Simplistic specification statements like “fabrication and inspection shall conform to the ASME Code (ANSI/ASME B31. These are discussed in a later section of this paper. For the 6% molybdenum austenitic stainless steels.3)” should be avoided. in which the resistance to localized corrosion of the weld metal must at least match that of the wrought base metal. design.3 “ Process Piping”2 can be applied to pulp and paper industry stainless alloy piping. a more highly alloyed (overmatching) filler metal may be used for some services. Overmatching filler metal is most often required in acidic or near neutral oxidizing chloride environments.8 Overmatching filler is generally not required in kraft liquor service or in paper machine white water service. where pressure is greater than 103 kPa (15 psig) regardless of temperature. The ferrite phase is corroded preferentially by hydrochloric acid. With butted joints.GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS Codes and Standards ANSI/ASME B31. The prefix E denotes stick electrode for shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) or flux cored electrode for flux cored arc welding (FCAW). 11 the corrosion resistance of the base metal may be reduced by formation of surface oxide scale as a result of welding heat and inadequate protection of the weld root from oxidation (heat tint).12-14 Weld Filler Metal To address weld metal microsegregation. and weld filler should be selected to provide an adequate margin of safety against general and localized corrosion. Information on corrosion concerns and alloy selection is available in references 3 -5.3 depend on the owner’s designation of the fluid service category involved. and inspection of process pressure piping in a range of alloys and non metals. with the weld filler. The prefix ER denotes bare metal rod for gas metal arc welding (GMAW) or gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW. the corrosion resistance of a weld and the adjacent base metal can be reduced in relation to the unwelded base metal:6. when welding the 6% molybdenum and similar highly alloyed austenitic stainless steels. Depending on the stainless alloy involved. but not mixed.3 is intended to cover process piping including steam and process chemicals. nickel-chromium-molybdenum (nickel based) filler is commonly used for welding 6% molybdenum austenitic stainless steels. It is also possible to use consumable inserts for root welding. because confusion over specific requirements can arise. it important to ensure a sufficient root gap so that the weld metal will be well mixed with the base metal in the root bead. B31. fabrication.7 • • • • the corrosion resistance of the weld filler metal may be reduced by microsegregation of molybdenum and other alloying elements during solidification of the filler. fittings. or joints with narrow root gaps. For example. inspection requirements and acceptance criteria in B31. by the formation of an unmixed zone where the base metal is melted.10 the corrosion resistance of the heat affected zone in the base metal can be reduced by the precipitation of undesirable phases or. This code sets minimum requirements for materials. It may be mandatory in some jurisdictions or it may be referred to in specifications for stainless alloy piping. it may be necessary to limit how much the filler metal is diluted by the base metal to be sure the intended overmatching is achieved. . so little filler can be added that the goal of overmatching is not achieved.

not acceptable in ASME pressure piping codes • incomplete root penetration stress raiser for crack initiation . Power wire brushing appears to. stock stick-slip phenomena. For example. or by other surface cleaning methods including abrasive blasting and sanding.consult alloy suppliers AWS E or ERNiCrMo-3 or as recommended by alloy suppliers The formation of phases or structures that can reduce the corrosion resistance of the base metal heat affected zone depends on alloy chemistry and welding procedure .g. For duplex stainless steels. For austenitic stainless steels and nickel base alloys. meet the quality requirements of ANSI/ASME B31.e. the heat input should be controlled within an optimum range . heat input should be minimized.15. Requirements for prevention and/or removal of oxide scale and heat tint should be based on an assessment of the costs and benefits in a given application.16 Surface Oxides The negative effects of weld-related oxide scales and heat tint are best eliminated by preventing their formation through adequate inert gas purging of the weld root. Special or supplementary requirements may be warranted for some service conditions depending on: • corrosivity • loading conditions . safety.e. in general.Table I. ANSI/ASME B31. vibration. Hand wire brushing does not remove heat tint.g.3 provides guidance on load considerations. Weld filler metals for stainless alloys Alloy “Matching ” filler metal 304L austenitic stainless steel AWS E or ER308L 316L austenitic stainless steel AWS E or ER316L 316L with 2. Acid pickling usually provides the best results but is seldom practical for field welds because of access. heat tint is not a concern in alkaline liquor service. but in fact only smears it.5% Mo 317L austenitic stainless steel AWS E or ER 317L Alloy 20 AWS E or ER320 904L AWS E or ER385 6% molybdenum austenitic stainless matching filler not generally steels recommended or available high nitrogen. headbox approach piping Accordingly it is difficult to generalize about acceptable levels of weld imperfections.3. Weld Quality Welds in stainless alloy piping should. high molybdenum matching filler not generally superaustenitic stainless steels recommended or available 2304 duplex stainless steel matching fillers may be available from some alloy suppliers 2205 duplex stainless steel AWS E or ER2209 2505 and 2507 type duplex stainless steels nickel base alloys Weld Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) AWS E or ER2553 or matching fillers available from alloy suppliers consult alloy supper for appropriate fillers Overmatching filler metal not generally used 317L is sometimes used 317L 904L is sometimes used AWS E or ERNiCrMo-3 AWS E or ERNiCrMo-3 appropriate fillers are available from alloy suppliers AWS E or ER2209 appropriate fillers are available . and environmental considerations. etc. which may include: • cracking may grow easily by fatigue. • special surface finish requirements . Where oxide scales and heat tint form they can be removed by pickling with pastes or fluids containing nitric and hydrofluoric acids. hammer.

Surface finish can influence both corrosion resistance.filler metal. and by the heat treatment (if any) and cleaning given the pipe after welding. seamless.hydrotest (HT) and optional or supplementary tests that may be specified. The TIP states that requirements beyond industry standard levels will generally increase costs and may restrict timely availability. The TIP discusses general considerations in the specification of stainless steel pipe and presents three summary tables based on the method of manufacture of the pipe. Dimensional tolerances can influence the field fit up required during shop and field welding. outside diameter and ovality. centrifugally cast. including safety and code considerations.• • • • site for fiber/deposit build up which could cause crevice corrosion or release in clumps causing process problems (e. A530 governs straightness through two paragraphs: 14.e. Three categories suggested for consideration in the TIP are listed below.1 the finished pipe shall be reasonably straight 14. headbox approach piping) lack of fusion (embedded) stress raiser for crack initiation porosity.2 mm (1/8 inch).g. including corrosion tests.2 for metal arc welded pipe the maximum deviation from a 3 m (10 foot) straightedge placed so that both ends are in contact with the pipe shall be 3. and also the performance of the pipe in special applications like paper machine head box approach piping. and thus should be considered in terms of the potential benefits they return. This is pro-rated for lengths shorter than 3m. i.increased costs associated with additional nondestructive examination(s) may be justified to offset the potential risk of lost production . The corrosion resistance can be affected by the filler metal (if any) used for the longitudinal weld in the pipe. The nondestructive testing required for the pipe should be considered on the basis of cost versus perceived benefits. Others categories are possible. ASTM A530 “Standard specification for general requirements for specialized carbon and alloy steel pipe” sets basic dimensional requirements but the specific standard should also be checked for more restrictive requirements on wall thickness. steep merging angle to base metal) stress raiser for crack initiation site for fiber hang up irregular oxidized root stress raiser for crack initiation site for fiber/deposit build up site for corrosion in some services GUIDE TO THE USE OF STAINLESS STEEL PIPE SPECIFICATIONS This TIP summarizes ASTM/ASME specifications commonly used for stainless steel pipe. • High cost associated with lost production . heat treatment dimensional tolerances of the pipe nondestructive testing performed on the pipe . Surface finishes are generally better with cold worked products. The tables in the TIP compare specification requirements which govern the: • • • corrosion resistance of the pipe . Nickel base alloys were not included. and welded. slag (if aligned may be interpreted as a linear defect by some codes) if embedded are stress raisers if exposed on the process side are stress raisers and sites possible sites for corrosion poor root profile (excessive reinforcement.

and to search for other relevant specifications. For example. Moreover. it is planned to ask for quotations in both solution annealed and as-welded pipe. This is a good way to determine the current issue of a specification.this condition could indicate a problem such as poor alloy choice for the actual service. The circumferential butt joints will be made with the nickel base filler. The defects were first discovered during radiography of the circumferential butt welds. the current issue(s) should be obtained and reviewed before they are referenced in contract documents or purchase orders.3 govern the piping system. Individual ASTM specifications can be purchased on the website and many are available for downloading or transmission by facsimile. The ASTM specifications for stainless steel pipe each include an "Ordering Information" section. or improper installation. A813. Tolerable cost for maintenance with low risk .org. without subsequent solution annealing (as-welded) .astm. A409 pipe welded with filler.2 Seamless thin wall pipe is generally not available and review of Table II indicates the basic purchase options are: • • pipe welded without filler (autogenous welding) followed by a solution annealing heat treatment . since portions of the longitudinal welds in pipe or fillings will likely be radiographed when the circumferential butt joints are radiographed. pipe supplied as-welded should be made with AWS ENiCrMo-3 filler for the longitudinal welds so the specification used must allow for this. 6% molybdenum or equivalent austenitic stainless steel pipe is required for a chlorine dioxide bleaching stage. This led to 100% radiography of the fittings which resulted in major field repairs. A409. The titles of ASTM specifications are keyword searchable on the ASTM website at www. some degree of each is acceptable. . The ordering information can also be supplemented by additional requirements identified by the purchaser in the purchase order. the acceptance criteria for longitudinal welds in ANSI/ASME B31. AWS ENiCrMo3. and martensitic stainless steel pipe. Inspection of the tables in the TIP should be the first step in identifying and specifying the requirements judged necessary for stainless steel pipe to offer the expected service performance. Thus the engineer must make a judgment whether to specify radiography of pipe (and fittings) or to make a field repair. bleaching.A358. The welded pipe table in the TIP also includes duplex . which can affect the suitability of the ordered pipe for the intended service. should rejectable welds be found during installation. Inspection of Table II however.3 are more stringent than those for circumferential welds for example incomplete penetration. Such pipe generally does pass radiography but there is the chance that rejectable longitudinal welds may be found on radiography of circumferential welds. • The welded pipe table in the TIP has been adapted as Table II of this paper to list the current ASTM specifications for welded austenitic stainless steel pipe (which is commonly used in pulping. However.• Significant cost for routine maintenance .3 paragraph 341. large diameter.pipe purchased to one of the basic specifications will likely be adequate. Consideration of alternative manufacturing methods of inspections may be warranted.3 "Process piping ". An “overmatching” filler metal is required to ensure the welded joints match the corrosion resistance of the pipe base metal (see later section). Ordering pipe by referring simply to the ASTM specification and the alloy type leaves options open to the pipe supplier. undercutting. and surface porosity or exposed slag are not acceptable while for circumferential welds. Example Use of the TIP Suppose thin wall (gauge). A778 To ensure competitive pricing. Figure 2 shows severe defects in one of the longitudinal welds of a 24” diameter 90° elbow. poor pipe manufacture with insufficient inspection. Once the appropriate specification(s) have been identified.4. and paper machine applications).at least 38 mm (1 ½”) of the longitudinal joint is to be examined. shows that unless otherwise specified pipe is only subjected to a hydrostatic test.1(b) requires that radiographs of circumferential joints maximize coverage of the intersections with longitudinal joints . It is also desired that longitudinal welds in both annealed and as-welded pipe be capable of passing radiographic inspection. In fact. ANSI/ASME B31. which is intended to guide the user through the choices embedded in these specifications.A312. ferritic. The judgment may depend on whether codes like ANSI/ASME B31. Some percentage of the circumferential butt welds will be inspected by radiography according to the provisions of ANSI/ASME B31.

and valves and parts for high-temperature service. A358 and A409 both require ENiCrMo-3 filler in 6% molybdenum pipe. A358 has tighter tolerances than A409 for OD. and 4 require 100% radiography of the weld. and martensitic stainless steel piping fittings .class 2 does not require radiography. Wrought austenitic stainless steel piping fittings As-welded wrought austenitic stainless steel fittings for general corrosive service at low and moderate temperatures Wrought ferritic. FITTINGS TIP 0402-24 does not address fittings and review of the ASTM specifications shows they are different enough to warrant separate consideration. A409. The effects of surface finish are discussed in more detail in a later section. or 317L austenitic stainless steel pipe involves similar considerations. but this would be unlikely as matching filler is not generally available for the 6% molybdenum grades. leaves the requirements up to agreement between the manufacturer and purchaser. A409 allows filler metal to be used in welding. However. Pickling. forged fittings. All three specifications require solution annealing and allow radiographic testing (RT) as a supplementary requirement. and lower welding and fit up costs might offset a higher first cost for the pipe itself. This chemistry requirement need not necessarily increase the cost of as-welded pipe if it is clearly stated at the inquiry stage. Generally as-welded pipe possesses adequate corrosion resistance if the base alloy appropriate for the service has been selected. It would also be prudent to require positive materials identification (PMI) of the pipe and weld filler with an appropriate minimum molybdenum requirement for the weld filler. ASTM standard specifications for stainless steel fittings A182-96 A403-98 A774-98 A815-98a Forged or rolled alloy-steel pipe flanges. 6% molybdenum stainless steel pipe would usually be ordered pickled and passivated. ferritic/austenitic. wall thickness. For as welded pipe. Straightness is governed by ASTM 530 When as-welded pipe is ordered. or blasting are mentioned as possibilities. it is also important to address the surface finish. and ovality so may be more expensive. Table III. 316L. class 5 requires spot radiography. A409 states the pipe is to be free of scale and contaminating iron particles. Table III lists ASTM specifications for fittings.3. Longitudinal welds in pipe are generally made by automatic electric arc processes and so little weld filler can be used that the welds approach the composition of welds made without filler. Such “near autogenous” welds would be prone to pitting corrosion in chlorine dioxide service. Overmatching filler is generally not needed. Review of the specifications is needed to determine the requirements for radiography. but does not state the means of surface finishing. which are generally left to agreement between the pipe manufacture and the purchaser. In the case of chlorine dioxide service. Both the use of filler and as-welded delivery are optional for A409 pipe. as noted previously. There may be little gain in requiring pickling and passivation of the pipe if the circumferential weld seams are made to a lower quality standard. Thus the inquiry and purchase order should state explicitly that AWS ENiCrMo-3 filler metal be used and the pipe be supplied as welded. it will also be easier to fit up for welding. A358 allows for radiography but reference to Table II show the class must be specified . and classes 1. and A 813 appear to be equivalent from Table II except for a difference in OD tolerance. A409 allows radiography as a supplementary requirement but. For autogenously welded pipe A312.Review of A778 indicates the 6% molybdenum austenitic stainless steels are not included so this specification is dropped from consideration. and there is no point in using ENiCrMo-3 filler if the pipe is to be solution annealed. The specification of 304L. As-welded delivery is optional for A358 so should be stated explicitly in the inquiry and purchase order to avoid confusion.

3 service categories and their radiography requirements are summarized in a later section of this paper. In view of the potential complications. WR fittings are further subdivided as: • • • WP-W WP-WX WP-WU 100% radiography of all welds made with the addition of filler metal. all A403 fittings are heat treated and are supplied to two basic classes: CR which does not require nondestructive testing and WR which does. GUIDELINES FOR WELDING AND INSPECTION OF STAINLESS ALLOY PIPING This TIP outlines considerations for fitup.2. both thin wall (gauge) and thick wall (schedule).3 does not allow ultrasonic testing to be substituted for radiography to attain weld joint quality factors for longitudinal welds in fitting or pipe (B31.3 Interpretations 11. method of manufacture.20 respectively). All longitudinal welds in unlisted components must be 100% visually inspected and it is also necessary to apply the radiography requirement for the appropriate service of B31. carbon steel contamination (rust) of stainless alloys is not generally a concern for service in alkaline kraft liquors or on nonprocess side surfaces (except for appearance).3. Welding Preparation Avoiding iron contamination.3.3.For example. All equipment for the storage. ANSI/ASME B31. and welding preparation of stainless alloys should be covered or faced with material that will prevent contamination by carbon steel particles. duplex stainless steels. It is apparent that A774 fittings might require radiography if used in a piping system covered by ASNI/ASME B31. It is assumed that: • • • the weld root will not normally be accessible for direct visual inspection or repair all circumferential butt welds will be made using filler metal a solution heat treatment will not be performed after welding. it might be wiser to purchase A403 fittings to avoid the possibility of rejectable fittings being discovered during field radiography of circumferential butt joints. It is stated that welds shall be full penetration with or without the addition of filler metal. The welds were leaking due to corrosion and cracking due to fatigue. and inspection of circumferential butt welds made during shop spooling and field installation of stainless alloy pipe and fittings. The goal is to provide guidance in obtaining welds appropriate for the intended service. welding. but ultrasonic testing may be substituted for welds made by the fitting manufacturer 100% radiography of all welds 100% ultrasonic testing of all welds A778 requires only visual examination. Iron contamination can significantly reduce corrosion resistance in some alloy/environment cases while in other cases it is not a concern. and nickel base alloys. mechanical properties.5 illustrate welds in thin wall stainless steel piping that were not fit for the intended purpose due to incomplete root penetration. Hydrostatic testing and radiography are not required and are not included as supplementary requirements.05 and 11.3 does not include as-welded pipe and fittings which would thus be considered as unlisted components per paragraph 302. which states that unlisted components which conform to a published specification or standard may be used provided “the designer shall be satisfied that composition. . For example. Figures 3. and quality control are comparable to the corresponding characteristics of listed components”. The stainless alloys included are austenitic stainless steels. It should be noted that ANSI/ASME B31. handling. B31. Grinding or sanding discs previously used on carbon steel should not be used on stainless alloys.

that is. the specific terms above are preferable to avoid confusion. If plasma cutting is used. Good fit up of the joint is crucial for high quality welding. This may limit the applicability of some welding processes. however. as it can reduce the corrosion resistance in some cases. Grinding or sanding discs previously used on carbon steel should not be used on stainless alloys .Cutting and grinding. It is good practice to grind or sand plasma cut edges to remove the hard glassy residue from the cutting process. . A commonly used guideline for allowable misalignment is 1.6 mm (1/16”). An unfused root can be a stress raiser for fatigue cracking and/or a site for deposit formation and corrosion. Joint alignment can be done with mechanical devices and should be free of depressions and bumps. Tools or materials used to clean joints should not contaminate the stainless alloy with iron. An inadequate root gap may result in incomplete penetration and incomplete mixing of the filler metal with the base metal. 10 gauge pipe with a 3. Only grinding or sanding discs designed for use with stainless alloys should be used. Solvent cleaning should be done with non-chlorinated solvents. paint.) but provides no further guidance. Joint Preparation. depending on the weld acceptance criteria. generally gives the best quality and is preferable for the root pass and one or more of the subsequent passes. and cuttings. carbon or other residues. grease. Large diameter thin wall pipe and fittings are often out of round and require adjustment during fit up. ANSI/ASME B31. the pipe cannot be rotated or positioned to facilitate welding. sawing.5 mm wall) this could produce misalignment up to 50% of the pipe wall thickness and present the welder with a challenge. grinding. Fit up. For thin wall pipe ( e. Joint preparation can influence penetration and weld metal dilution by base metal. For example wire brushes or steel wool used to clean joints should be made from austenitic stainless steel (which is nonmagnetic) and be marked as stainless steel. Welding Welding processes. filings. The weld joint should be free of burrs. Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). sometimes referred to as MIG welding • flux cored arc welding (FCAW) • shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) GMAW and FCAW are sometimes referred to generically as wire feed welding. The joint preparation and root gap must be included in the welding procedure specification (WPS). lubricants. Subsequent passes can be made by: • GTAW • gas metal arc welding (GMAW). care should be taken to protect the process side of the pipe from spatter. Misalignment tolerances should be specified in consideration of the wall thicknesses involved and the service requirements. or plasma cutting are commonly used to cut stainless alloy pipe. It is important to note that field installation requires some welds be done "out of position".g. Machining.3 requires that the inside surfaces of pipe be aligned within the dimensional tolerances of the welding procedure specification (WPS. Heat should not be used in the alignment of joints where it has been determined that the corrosion resistance of the alloy may be reduced. For example GMAW performed out of position may produce lack of fusion. Poor fit up can make it difficult for the welder to fuse both side of the weld root. sometimes referred to as TIG welding. Overheating during grinding should be avoided. Cleaning. and short circuit mode GMAW (GMAW-S) is generally not suitable for pressure piping welds.

and may be required for one or more subsequent passes to prevent oxidation of the root due to melt-through or heating by the covering passes. irregular root profile. The welding procedure qualification (WPQ) is documented and is said to support the WPS. or for severe service welds. and owner’s personnel. It is good practice to post a table of purge gas flow rates and times at the job site if these have not been included in the posted WPS. welding positions and pipe sizes that will be used in the job. by passing an appropriate test on a particular pipe in a particular position. so are the relevant parts of Section IX. For difficult welding positions. he is required to requalify in that procedure. non-critical services (e. If nitrogen or nitrogen /hydrogen gas mixtures are used. is commonly used in Europe). The best way to prevent weld root oxidation is to shield the weld root with an inert gas such as argon.g. It is not necessary to purge the entire run of pipe if purge dams are used. The welder should check tack welds for cracking and any cracked tack welds should be ground out. Several jurisdictions and associations have also devised welder qualification schemes in which each welder carries a log book which lists the procedures in which he is currently qualified ( or certified). The tests involved in qualifying a WPS are given in Section IX which is referred to by ANSI/ASME B31. At least 4 tack welds should be made. and it may be necessary to supplement them with additional requirements relevant to the intended service. For non. Certification does not necessarily guarantee that welders will be capable of meeting the requirements of a given job. Purging should be maintained during the root pass.g. Before making the root pass. and reduction of corrosion resistance and mechanical properties. the amount of purge gas used daily can be recorded. Section IX "Welding and brazing qualifications"17 of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code lists the welding variables to be included in a welding procedure specification (WPS) and also defines how the WPS must be qualified. To simplify WPS requirements.pressurized. A welder may qualify to weld a range of pipe sizes and wall thicknesses in different positions. tacks should be made at least every 150 mm (6”) and should be long enough to resist weld shrinkage forces which will try to pull the root closed. AWS D10. It is good practice to protect the weld root from oxidation. Weld Root Shielding. Tack welds that will become part of the final weld should be performed after preweld purging has been completed. Welders should generally be qualified per ASME Section IX which gives minimum requirements for welder qualification (WQ) in the WPS’s which will be used. It is good practice to post the welding procedures (and inspection standards) at the job site. 90/10 N2/H2. it may be desirable for welders to be skill tested using the welding equipment.Welding Procedures. Written welding procedures are essential. As an overall check on purging.3 is mandatory in a given jurisdiction. Water soluble purge dams are available for closure welds in a pipe run. It should be realized that the WPS and WPQ requirements of ASME Section IX represent minimum mechanical requirements for pressurized service. Nitrogen or nitrogen/hydrogen gas mixtures are also used (Formier gas. for ready access by welders. Weld heat tint may be acceptable in some services. inspectors. spaced 90° apart around the pipe.3. If the welder has not welded to a given WPS in a certain time. For pipe 250 mm (10”) diameter and larger. including fatigue resistance. purge flow rates and/or times will be different than for argon.. tack welds should be free of oxides and both ends should be ground and tapered to promote complete fusion into the root pass. Severe oxidation of a weld root can lead to lack of penetration. The WPS should include the minimum purge gas flow rate. . Welder Qualification and Certification. requirements for corrosion resistance or special surface finish. drains) the owner may elect to specify alternative qualification requirements. if B31. as well as the purging time for each pipe diameter and purge dam spacing to be employed. Welder skill testing should include the use of root purging.e. but this depends on the stainless alloy used and the severity of the corrosion involved.11 18 may be used as a guideline for argon purging. Thus. Tack welding. some jurisdictions and associations have devised “prequalified welding procedures” which may be used by contractors. Welder qualification or skill testing on production welds is generally not recommended.

and they leave a flux residue on the weld root. not particularly corrosive due to a high ratio of sulfate ion to chloride ion. and they leave a flux residue on the root which may be undesirable in some services.. it is recommended that written instructions for the use of flux be developed and included in the (WPS).21 Where it has been established that control of heat tint is important for corrosion performance. (which is a "not unreasonable" simulation of a bleach crevice environment). but the flux protected roots rusted. Reference color charts have been developed which show the heat tint on stainless steel weld roots as a function of purging gas type and oxygen concentration at the weld root20. After 60 days exposure at pH 6 in a D2 stage bleach washer vat. Flux should be used in welder skill testing. which is mixed with alcohol to make a paste and then applied on the inside surface of the pipe adjacent to the weld root and on the faces of the weld preparation. while flux protected roots experienced severe pitting. If flux coated or flux cored filler rods are to be used. British Standard BS 747519 states : • less than 1% oxygen is often specified for stainless alloy piping systems • less than 0.5% oxygen is required to prevent root discoloration ( heat tint) in pipe up to 50 mm ( 2”) diameter • oxygen levels approaching zero are needed to prevent heat tint in pipe greater than 200 mm ( 8”) diameter. the pipe wall thickness and the weld root gap can influence performance. a reference weld or color chart can be used as an acceptance standard. . Because of the sensitivity of flux shielding to procedural variations. In the simulated white water none of the weld roots pitted. They should not be used for services where corrosion will occur under adherent flux. The weld profile is good. Figure 6 shows a cross section of a GTAW weld in type 316L stainless steel thin wall pipe. and in a paper machine simulated white water. When mixed and applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Unfortunately. Fluxes are available which are intended to protect the weld root from oxygen. Portable oxygen monitors are also available to check the concentration of oxygen remaining in a purged volume. the instructions for their use should be included in the WPS and they should be used in welder skill testing. The weld cap is good. During welding the flux melts and flows over the molten root and adjacent parent metal. but the root side is rejectable. grain boundary contamination is apparent at the toes of the root pass. It is further recommended that the acceptability of flux shielding be evaluated in consideration of the service requirements. For example Figure 8 shows a coupon containing a GTAW butt weld made in 316L pipe using flux coated 317L GTAW rod. Proprietary filler rods with flux coating or flux cores are also available as an alternative to inert gas purging for root pass welding. Figure 7 shows a weld made with flux shielding by the same welder. but at higher magnifications. In ferric chloride solution. The effectiveness of these fillers depends on welder skill and adherence to the manufacturer's instructions. The weld was made with voltage and current specified in the WPS and with flux applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. The simulated white water used for the test was. fluxes can be effective in limiting oxidation of the molten weld root and allowing full penetration welds with reasonable profiles. For example. nitrogen and argon purged welds did not pit. but with 70 A current instead of the specified 60A. Reference 22 reports the results of an investigation where both purged and flux protected welds in 317L stainless steel pipe were tested in ferric chloride solution. flux can dry out and fall off the inside surface of the pipe if the pipe is handled roughly during fit up. the faces of the 316L coupon were not corroded while severe corrosion occurred at crevice sites under the serrated mounting washer and also under flux which adhered to the 317L filler metal. They are typically supplied as a dry powder. These products are not effective in preventing heat tint of the base metal adjacent to the weld. This may be a site for corrosion in some services. however.Each welder can inspect the weld root visually for oxidation before he closes the root pass. They are less effective in preventing heat tint. Flux cored and flux coated filler rods.

UT). RT is performed to detect cracks.Identification of welds.g. Inspection The requirements for weld inspection methods and scope. for wall thickness greater than about 5mm (0. and weld acceptance criteria should be clearly understood. Larger diameter pipe may be inspected from the inside. This requires a flashlight if the root is not readily visible from one end of the pipe. excessive reinforcement. A portable alloy analyzer can be used to confirm the composition of base metal and the weld filler metal. A pre-job “quality” meeting between the owner (or owner’s representative). and if some weld roots are visually accessible. The dispute resolution agreement should address options. The amount of dilution of an overmatching filler by base metal can be determined. hold points. Visual examination can be performed for weld root oxidation and heat tint. and costs for obtaining a second opinion on rejected welds including cut out of welds for verification of volumetric inspection results (radiographic testing or ultrasonic testing). e. and slag . Radiographic examination. Ultrasonic testing (UT) is generally limited to thicker wall piping. Complete removal of oxide and heat tint may require a combination of mechanical and chemical cleaning. but this usually requires a confined space procedure. responsibilities. the final weld pass should be examined for a smooth transition to base metal. Some means of dispute resolution should be agreed upon before work begins. slag. or solutions containing nitric and hydrofluoric acids. lack of fusion. or “grapes”. Identification of welds is required by ANSI/ASME B31. porosity. . and proper safety precautions should be followed in their use. “sugaring”. Safety. and inspection personnel can be useful in identifying and resolving differences in understanding before the work begins. VT should be performed to ensure the fit up meets alignment and gap requirements. These agents are harmful to human tissue. porosity. Visual examination. A videoprobe can be used for visual examination of weld roots for incomplete penetration. The root side of all circumferential butt welds should be visually examined by the welder before the root is closed. incomplete penetration. Post Weld Cleaning As outlined in the "General considerations" section of this TIP. Visual (VT) and radiographic testing (RT) are commonly used for circumferential welds in stainless alloy piping. application. In addition. It is good practice to mark each weld with the name or number of the welder. if this is a specification requirement. the welding contractor and welders. In addition. Visual examination should always precede volumetric examination (RT. The most effective chemical cleaning agents for stainless alloys are pastes. Positive Materials Identification. and oxidation or heat tint. Root oxidation can be detected by RT if it is severe enough to result in incomplete penetration. gels. the nature and extent of post weld cleaning of weld roots should be based on consideration of the effect on service performance and the cost of cleaning. and undercut. most jurisdictions will have environmental regulations governing proper disposal.3. fissuring. and disposal instructions are available from the manufacturers of these products. Each weld pass can be visually examined from the outside for freedom from cracking. This may be difficult for long runs of pipe where worker access to the inside is not possible.2”).

3 of B31.3 VT plus either RT or UT required extent of VT is 100% extent of RT or UT is a minimum of 20% see paragraph M341. Table IV. These do not meet all of the requirements of B31. subsequent welds should be inspected at random so that some percentage of each welder’s work or total weld length is inspected .3 includes acceptance criteria for each of the fluid service categories.3 Fluid Service Definition category D non-flammable non-toxic not damaging to human tissues design pressure ≤ 1 MPa (150 psig) -28°C ≥ design T ≤ 186°C (-20°F ≥ design T ≤ 366° F) normal fluid fluid service not classified as category D.Extent of inspection.3 for further details. service severe cyclic.3 is a useful guide to inspection requirements and may be mandatory in some jurisdictions.4. Examination VT only required extent is that necessary to satisfy the examiner see paragraph 341. it is not adequate simply to reference B31. Each welder’s first two production welds should be inspected using the inspection techniques that have been specified. or high pressure.3 is not mandatory. but cannot relax the B31.4 of B31. the owner can specify the acceptance criteria based on an assessment of fitness for service. If B31. SA and the number of full displacement cycles during the expected life of the system exceeds 7. as the extent of inspection depends on the fluid service designation determined by the owner. . Inspection requirements in ANSI/ASME B31.8 of the allowable displacement stress range. The owner is free to increase the extent of inspection as part of the engineering specification. Table IV summarizes the approach taken in B31.4 of B31.3 category M potential for personnel exposure judged to be significant single exposure to a small quantity of the fluid can cause serious irreversible harm VT plus either RT or UT required extent is a minimum of 5% of fabrication covering the work of each welder or welding operator see paragraph 341.3.3.5 "Pipe flanges and fittings" Class 2000 rating for the specified design pressure and temperature VT plus RT extent of VT and RT is 100% UT may be substituted for RT if specified in the engineering design see paragraph 341. Typical acceptance criteria for general stock line applications of thin wall stainless steel pipe are given below. weighing the added cost and benefits.5 to 10% is not uncommon.3. but have been found to be useful in practice. However. ANSI/ASME B31.4. but cannot decrease it if this code is mandatory.4.1 of B31. due to bending and torsional stresses exceeds 0.3 severe cyclic the displacement stress range.3 paragraph 341. ANSI/ASME B31.000 service for which the owner specifies the use of B31.M.4 provides for increasing the extent of examination when defects are revealed.3.3 acceptance criteria if this code is mandatory. Se. If these welds are acceptable.3 Acceptance criteria.3 high pressure VT plus RT extent of both is 100% UT cannot be substituted for RT see paragraph K341. The owner can specify more stringent requirements.3 chapter IX high pressure is defined as greater than that allowed by ASME B16.2 of B31. ANSI/ASME B31. Reference should be made to B31.

ASM International. environmental. New York. Ohio.H.44 no. . Boniszewski. 7. 9. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Committee of Iron and Steel Producers of the American Iron and Steel Institute. 8. providing both sides of the joint are fused and the requirements for incomplete penetration are met incomplete penetration less than 20 mm (3/4”) length of continuous incomplete penetration in 150 mm ( 6”) of weld or a total of 20 mm of separated occurrences of incomplete penetration in 6” of weld. pp. Atlanta. Nickel Development Institute Publication 11 007. Tappi Journal. fittings and accessories for the pulp and paper industry. May 1996. 3. "Guidelines for the welded fabrication of nickel-containing stainless steels for corrosion-resistant services". 349-407) in Mill control & control systems: quality & testing.3 rd edition. TAPPI.. B31. "The manufacture of welded stainless steel tubing for maximum corrosion resistance in kraft evaporators". 4. 1992. D. electrical. Richard E. 6. 1992. 10. 135s-154s "Corrosion behavior of stainless steel. Pages 1187-1220 in Corrosion. 1982. then an appropriate reference weld or color chart can be used as a comparator for inspection. 1986. Tappi Press. 3rd edition".G. and Andrew Garner. "Corrosion behavior of welded stainless steel". "Austenitic stainless steels: welding must take account of service conditions". TAPPI. Toronto.41-47. 1987.F. Doughty and W. 1992. Arthur Tuthill. "Stainless steels for pulp and paper manufacturing".C. pp. edited by Andrew Garner. REFERENCES 1. pp. underfill underfill to a maximum of 20% of the pipe wall thickness provided both sides of the joint have been fused and the underfill has rounded contour. Bowers.3. If control of weld root oxidation or heat tint has been specified. 9th edition. "Corrosion in the pulp and paper industry". "ASME Code for pressure piping. T. Volume 9 of Pulp and Paper Manufacture.E. Metals and Materials.• misalignment less than or equal to 50% of the pipe wall thickness. vol. Atlanta.67-86. Currently being revised. "Corrosion". Richard Avery. pp. nickel base alloy and titanium weldments in chlorination and chlorine dioxide bleaching".J. Avery and A. Welding Journal :Welding Research Supplement.4 mm (3/32”) provided the root profile is smooth so as not to act as a stress raiser • • • ANSI/ASME does not address weld root oxidation or heat tint. Washington. 1992. T. 7th International Symposium on Corrosion in the Pulp and Paper Industry. Distributed by the Nickel Development Institute. Chapter 10 (pp.9 (September 1961). Orlando. Comerford. 2. 5. 609-613. D.3:Process piping". December 1978/January 1979. Metals Park. root protrusion root protrusion less than or equal to 2. S. "Recommended specifications for stainless steel piping. Gooch. corrosion. Atlanta. Volume 13 of the Metals Handbook. ANSI/ASME B31. Tuthill.

1990. "Qualification of duplex stainless steel welds". "Fabrication and post fabrication cleanup of stainless steels". 1992. "ASME Boiler and pressure vessel code section IX: qualification standard for welding and brazing procedures. TAPPI. British Standards Institution. 22. New York. Tuthill . London. 6pp. 1999. Arthur H. Paper 46 in volume 2 of Duplex 94: 4th International conference on duplex stainless steels.34. CORROSION 99 paper no. Christie. pp. 19. root joint with hand fed filler". and welding operators". Tappi TIP in preparation 1999.11. CORROSION '90 Paper #539. 15. Aastrup. 17. American Society of Mechanical Engineers.S. Tappi TIP 0402-23. Vagn Hansen. "Reference colour charts . "Root surface quality requirements . British Standard BS 7475. "Corrosion evaluation of stainless steel root weld shielding". 1992. Copenhagen. Atlanta. Nickel Development Institute Publication 10 004.W.for purging gas in stainless steel tubes". Tappi Press. and P. "Welding of duplex stainless steel". FORCE Institute report 94. J. 20. ANSI/AWS Standard D10. brazers. 16. 7th International Symposium on Corrosion in the Pulp and Paper Industry.11. 1998. "Effect of post weld cleaning on corrosion resistance of austenitic and duplex stainless steel weldments in bleach plant service". 1994. Atlanta. FORCE Institute. Toronto. . Atlanta.E. 1989. "Effect of some surface treatments on corrosion of stainless steel". "GTAW root pass welding of 6% molybdenum austenitic stainless steel pipe . 12. Coates. Orlando. Tappi Press. 18. Nielsen. welders. Glasgow. Houston. "Recommended practices for root pass welding and gas purging". 1995. T. American Welding Society. NACE.87-95. 21. NACE International. Specification for fusion welding of austenitic stainless steels. 14. D. J.high efficiency purging or pickling? ". Abington Publishing. Cambridge. 1994. Vagn Hansen. Tappi TIP 0402-20. Margaret Gorog and Linda Sawyer. 13. G. 277. Miami. 1994.

Fatigue crack at root of incompletely penetrated circumferential butt joint in 316L thin gauge pipe. Radiographs of longitudinal welds in 24" diameter 316L stainless steel 90° elbows. Weld was made with poor fitup and flux for root protection (16X.Figure 1. Figure 2. The defects were first found on radiography of circumferential butt joints. . electrolytic etch in 10% oxalic acid).

Inside surface of a circumferential butt weld in a 316L stainless steel stock line in corrosive paper machine white water service. combined with flux residue and weld heat tint. Leaking at a weld in 316L stainless steel thin gauge pipe. The butt weld was made with flux for root protection and was not fully penetrated. resulted in severe corrosion and leaking. . Figure 4. due to incomplete root penetration and corrosion.Figure 3. The crevice in the root.

electrolytically etched in 10% oxalic acid). Such external repairs are temporary. Note that the cracking has diverged into the base metal. External repairs made to fatigue cracking which initiated at an incompletely penetrated root in a paper machine stock line weld. Figure 6. as fatigue cracking will persist if root imperfections and cyclic loading remain. This penetration might be detrimental in some services (upper cross section 16X. lower cross section 250X. . Cross section of a circumferential butt joint made with application of root flux according to the manufacturer's instructions and welding within the specified parameters. The root profile is good but intergranular penetration/precipitation has occurred at the root side weld toes.Figure 5.

Figure 8. The other side of the 317L weld. but the weld root is not acceptable (16X electrolytically etched in 10% oxalic acid).e.Figure 7. which had been shielded by Argon did not corrode although there was minor corrosion of the 316L under light heat tint. outside the specified parameters. but with 10 amps greater welding current . Cross section of a circumferential butt weld made by the same welder as Figure 6 with properly applied flux for root protection. .i. The weld cap is good. Root side of a GTAW weld made with flux coated GTAW rod in 3 mm wall 316L pipe. The coupon was cut from the as welded pipe and exposed at pH 6 in a D2 stage bleach washer for 60 days. Crevice corrosion occurred in the 316L pipe under the serrated mounting washer and in the 317L weld filler under adherent flux.

5% OD tol’s HT Y Y ET opt UT opt Tests PT S5 S3 RT S5 Y2 Corr S7 S6 A31298 A35898 Seamless and welded N annealed opt austenitic stainless steel pipes Electric fusion welded Y annealed austenitic Cr-Ni alloy steel as welded opt pipe A409Welded large diameter opt annealed 95ae1 austenitic steel pipe as welded opt A778Welded unannealed austenitic opt not annealed 98 stainless steel tubular products A813Single or double welded N annealed 95 austenitic stainless steel pipe A814Cold worked welded N annealed Y 96 austenitic stainless steel pipe General notes Unless otherwise noted.5% 1% ≤ 1. The actual test results need not be reported unless specified in the purchase order.80 1/8 . Classes 1.5% ≤ 1. Note 1: The specifications generally allow for provisions of other diameters and wall thicknesses than those listed providing the pipe complies with all other requirements of the specification. is required it is it is noted by a “Y” in the appropriate column. If hydrotesting (HT).5% < + 10% Y Y S5 S5 S6 S6 S7 S8 S7 in ASTM A530 “Standard specification These specifications require mechanical testing to meet specified minimum values.4 NPS SCH 5 . or radiographic testing (RT). Class 5 requires spot radiography at a minimum of 1 foot every 50 feet. ultrasonic testing (UT).30 NPS SCH 5 . Note 2: Class 2 does not require radiographic inspection. ASTM specifications for austenitic stainless steel pipe ASTM Title Filler metal Heat treat Cold work Size range 1 OD broad +0. 10 3 . the standard broad tolerances for dimensions listed for general requirements for specialized carbon and alloy steel pipe” apply.5% Y S4 opt opt S2 S2 S6 moder ate tight +12.5% Tolerances wall -12. and 4 require 100% RT.Table II. . liquid penetrant testing (PT).5% +12.5% ≤ 1. If these tests are available as supplementary requirements the supplementary requirement number is noted in the appropriate column. 3.50” wall 1/8 .5% -0. 1/8 .01’’ oval ≤ 1. If there is no entry the test is not addressed by the specification.30 NPS SCH 5-80 usually > 3 NPS 14-30 NPS SCH 5. eddy current testing (ET).062”/0.48” OD .80 broad broad -12.