A A A A critical view on the significance of HAZ toughness critical view on the significance of HAZ toughness critical view on the

significance of HAZ toughness critical view on the significance of HAZ toughness
testing testing testing testing

Andreas Liessem Europipe GmbH, Mülheim, Germany
Marion Erdelen-Peppler Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung, Duisburg, Germany

International Pipeline Conference IPC 2004
October 4 - 8, 2004 Calgary, Alberta, Canada


EUROPIPE. The world trusts us.
1 Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Proceedings of IPC 2004
International Pipeline Conference
October 4 - 8, 2004 Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Andreas Liessem
Technical Service
Europipe GmbH
Formerstrasse 49
45470 Ratingen, Germany
Marion Erdelen-Peppler
Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung
Ehinger Straße 200
47259 Duisburg, Germany

Within the heat affected zone (HAZ) along the weld seam
of LSAW linepipes discrete microstructural regions of reduced
toughness can not be avoided and are commonly designated
with the term Local Brittle Zones. The nature of these LBZ has
been intensively investigated and the gathered knowledge is
exploited in today’s steel technology, plate processing and pipe
manufacturing. The HAZ toughness has been improved in
general by reducing M-A constituents and by austenite grain
refinement. Nevertheless local areas of low toughness within
the CGHAZ can not be avoided completely. They are
statistically distributed in every pipe.
Furthermore it seems to be widely accepted that the
structural reliability of LSAW linepipe produced and inspected
with state-of-the-art technology is not influenced as these areas
of low toughness have a limited size and distribution. This has
been demonstrated by numerous investigations including small
scale (CVN, CTOD), wide plate and burst tests. The essence of
these investigations is that the failure behaviour of linepipe
containing part wall defects in the HAZ is toughness
independent. So far researcher’s world is clear and in good
shape. Nevertheless many linepipe specifications tend to
stipulate stringent test requirements with regard to acceptance
criteria for the HAZ. In the occurrences of test failures a re-test
procedure for test lot acceptance is carried out. As a matter of
fact the LBZ are present along the weld seam over limited areas
in each pipe. Therefore such a re-test procedure is regarded to
be inappropriate in terms of quality inspection as it randomly
sorts out pipes just by the statistical chance. With regard to
HAZ toughness the pipes failed by this test do not differ from
those pipes accepted and released for dispatch.
As a final conclusion it can be stated that the existing test
procedures for the HAZ toughness testing of the main standards
and specifications do not reflect the current developments with
regard to improved HAZ toughness achieved by the
development of optimised steel composition and with regard to
the enhanced defect detection probability along with modern
NDT inspection methods. An amendment of the current test
procedures in this direction is proposed. Therefore proposals
are made as start for a common discussion.
Keywords: HAZ toughness, submerged arc welding, defect
probability, CVN test, CTOD

Within this paper the main influencing factors for the
toughness in the heat affected zones within the production of
LSAW pipes will be reviewed. Statistical evaluation of previous
large scale production will be presented and reviewed with
regard to the requirements of major standards and
specifications. Beside the material properties the occurrence
probability for defects and imperfections plays the second
important role within the assessment of structural integrity. The
use of most modern, automated welding and inspection
technologies therefore represents a prerequisite to assure high
quality with low defect probability and need to be considered in
defining toughness requirements for CVN and CTOD testing.
Fixed fracture toughness requirements as 0,20mm CTOD are
more frequently specified, but do not adequately consider the
intended application and service conditions and should be
replaced by minimum values specific for the intended
combination of applied stress, crack dimensions and material
fracture toughness.
LBZ: Local brittle zone
HAZ: Heat affected zone
CTOD: Crack Tip Opening Displacement

High strength large diameter linepipes used for long
distance or deep water pipeline are manufactured in the most
economic way by submerged arc welding (SAW) in two passes.
This high performance welding process is characterised by a
2 Copyright © 2004 by ASME
high heat input with cooling conditions that impacts on the
toughness properties in the zone adjacent to the weld. The
microstructure and herewith the toughness of this heat affected
zone (HAZ) is mainly influenced by the cooling time t
800°C to 500°C, the maximum reheating temperature and the
chemical composition. The HAZ is characterised by a wide
range of different microstructures, depending on the distance
from the fusion line and the cooling conditions (Figure 1).
Intercritically heated zone
Fine Grain HAZ
Grain coarsened HAZ
reheated grain
coarsened HAZ
Intercritically reheated
fine grain HAZ
notch positions

Figure 1: HAZ microstructural regions within two pass weld
with typical Fusion Line CVN position (acc. [1])
Generally the lowest toughness values are expected in the
grain-coarsened heat affected zone (CGHAZ), as the toughness
decreases with increased heat input and an increase in grain
size. With increasing cooling time the microstructure in the
HAZ is transformed from martensite to upper bainite as shown
in Figure 2. This transformation to upper bainite is shifted to
longer cooling times by significant additions of nickel which
leads to lower FATT even at higher carbon equivalent.

1 10 100 1000 10000
Cooling time from 800 to 500°C (s)

100% martensite (M)
Upper bainite (UB) (with MA constituent)
martensite + lower bainite
Range for
two-pass SAW
(1% Ni)
(0.11% C)
(5% Ni)
(3.3% Ni)
girth welding

Figure 2: Correlation between FATT and the cooling time
t8/5 for different steel compositions and microstructures
occurring in the CGHAZ (acc. [2])
The upper bainite is coarse grained and exhibits fractions
of M-A constituents. Both microstructural features typically
reveal low toughness properties. As the cooling conditions in
two pass SAW welding remain virtually constant irrespective of
wall thickness the grain growth and the formation of M-A
constituents has to be limited by appropriate chemical
composition. The main measures currently known to improve
HAZ toughness by optimised chemical composition are
summarised in Table 1. Reduction of both carbon and carbon
equivalent play a predominant role in avoiding the formation of
M-A constituents. Furthermore the controlled use of limited
additions of microalloying elements is reported to inhibit the
grain coarsening by formation of finely dispersed nitrides
and/or oxides [3[5]. These favourable effects have been
confirmed by weld cycle simulation tests for a variety of steel
compositions. [2-[5].

with positive
influence on Measure
FATT Upper
of C and
l l Decreases hardenability and
limits formation of M-A
of Nb
l Decreases hardenability and
limits formation of M-A
use of Ti
l l Restricts austenite grain
of Ni
l Retards the formation of upper
bainite to longer cooling times
Low S, P,
l Reduces precipitations and
Table 1: Improvement of HAZ toughness by adapted steel
The review of the published results shows that there is a
fair level of understanding and that this knowledge is
continually exploited in the steel chemistry and processing
routes for linepipes, by which the overall HAZ toughness has
been considerably improved and the statistical probability of
having low toughness values in the HAZ has been reduced.
Nevertheless values below the minimum requirement are still
found due to the presence of LBZ’s when the notch is
favourably positioned in the CGHAZ. LBZ’s are discrete
microstructural regions of low toughness within the CGHAZ,
but surrounded by microstructures with higher toughness. As
the toughness of the CGHAZ depends mainly on the chemical
conditions and the welding procedure (heat input, cooling
time), which are technically constant due to strict control within
narrow ranges for a specific linepipe production, it becomes
obvious that LBZ are existing in each pipe of production.
3 Copyright © 2004 by ASME
In Table 2 the test and acceptance criteria of some major
linepipe standards and specifications are compared.
Differences can be found mainly with regard to notch position
in the HAZ, the amount of tests and the acceptance criteria. The
HAZ is generally tested in case of offshore application, whereas
HAZ testing is not mandatory for most onshore standards. In
most cases the specimen with notch position “Fusion Line”
(FL) is defined to sample 50% weld metal and 50% HAZ.
Other specification requires a position where the root of the
notch is in the CGHAZ to the maximum extent possible.

Standard Applica-
Test Acceptance criteria
Offshore Charpy-V 38/45J at FL, FL+2, FL+5
(outside sub-surface and in
addition mid thickness for
CTOD Not required for HAZ
0.20mm min. for base
material and weld (MPQT
ISO 3183-3 Offshore Charpy-V 38/45J at the notch location
with the lowest min. average
during MPQT
CTOD for information only from
base material, HAZ, weld as
an option during MPQT
Statoil R-
Offshore Charpy-V 34/45J at FL, FL+2, FL+5
(outside subsurface)
CTOD for information only from
base material, HAZ and weld
during MPQT
ISO 3183-2 Onshore Charpy-V
Both tests not required in
Both tests not required in
Charpy-V 34/45J at FL, FL+2, FL+5 at
mid thickness
CTOD Not required

Table 2: Requirements of important technical standards with
regard to HAZ toughness testing for grade X65 or equivalent

The test and acceptance criteria according DNV OS-F101
turn out to be the most stringent ones. In total, 6 sets of
specimen have to be positioned at different areas within the
HAZ. In Figure 3 the notch positions of these 6 sets are marked
in a macrograph of a weld with 34,9mm wall thickness.
Compared to the STATOIL specification R-SP-230 and other
standards for offshore application the amount of testing is
doubled and consequently the probability of Charpy-V test
failure. The current ISO 3183-3 requests only the notch
locations no. 1 to 3 of Figure 3 to be performed during
manufacturing procedure qualification test (MPQT). The notch
location giving the lowest minimum average is set to be taken
for production control tests.

Figure 3: Macrograph of weld cross section (34,9mm
wall thickness) with possible HAZ notch locations acc. DNV

With this macrograph it can be demonstrated that the weld
seam geometry, which in practise is not perfectly symmetric,
plays an important role with regard to HAZ Charpy-V notch
testing. As the heat input increases with increasing wall
thickness the width of the HAZ increases. Therefore it is the
purpose of the linepipe manufacturer to limit this unavoidable
energy increase as much as possible. The most effective
measure to lower the heat input is increasing the welding speed.
The welding lines of Europipe will therefore by equipped with
new power sources allowing the use of up to 4 wires for inside
welding, respectively up to 5 wires for outside welding. Hereby
a heat input reduction of approximately 10% is enabled.
Alternatively the heat input can be limited by reducing the weld
seam cross section. Such a “narrow” weld cross section will
have on the other hand a much steeper fusion line profile. A
notch positioned at the fusion line boundary (50% weld/50%
HAZ) of such a steep line lies with a higher percentage of its
length in the CGHAZ as in case of a less steep fusion line as
indicated in Figure 3 by notch position 4a. Of course the failure
probability for a notch along such a steep fusion line is
increased despite the lowered heat input.

In Figure 4 the production results (SAWL 450, 34.9mm
WT) for Charpy-V notch tests with notch location FL and
FL+2mm according DNV OS-F101 are presented. It is evident
that the great majority of values for FL are at a test temperature
of –20°C significant above the minimum requirement of 36J.
But some tests reveal values which are in the range of this
lower limit with one value that failed. The distribution for
specimens with notch location FL+2mm is shifted in general to
higher values as the CGHAZ is sampled to a smaller amount.
Failures are not reported for this notch location. This
demonstrates the effectiveness of the measures with regard to
optimised steel composition for HAZ toughness. As the results
of FL+5mm are almost at the level of base material they are not
shown here.

3 2 1

6 5 4
4a 5a 6a

4 Copyright © 2004 by ASME

T= - 20°C
20 45 70 95 120 145 170 195 220 245 270 295 320 345
CVN toughness, individual Value [J]

FL (root) FL(root)+2mm

Figure 4: Influence of notch position on HAZ toughness

How the toughness values of HAZ depend on the heat
input is revealed in Figure 5 and Figure 6 for different pipe
productions of X65/X70 and –30°C test temperature. The test
and acceptance criteria followed the requirements of the Statoil
specification RSP-230. As the heat input increases with
increasing wall thickness the minimum and average values for
different HAZ notch locations are evaluated depending on wall
thickness. As the width of the HAZ is growing with increased
heat input/wall thickness the average toughness for the three
different notch locations is reduced. For wall thickness below
25mm there is a more distinctive increase of the values
reducing the risk of failures to virtually zero. With increasing
wall thickness the probability for test failures increases to a
maximum rate of 3% for FL notch position as the average
values decreases. For FL+5mm test failures even for the
thickest wall thickness have never been reported.

20 24 28 32 36 40
Wall thickness [mm]



FL FL+2mm FL+5mm
T= -30°C
Grade X65/X70
45J min. average

Figure 5: Influence of wall thickness on average CVN
toughness for different notch locations in the HAZ

20 24 28 32 36 40
Wall thickness [mm]




FL FL+2mm FL+5mm
T= - 30°C
Grade X65/X70
34J min.

Figure 6: Influence of wall thickness on minimum individual
CVN toughness for different notch locations in the HAZ

The current procedure applied in case of a test failure is to
reject the initially failed pipe and to retest two other pipes from
the same test lot. In case that all retests from the two pipes pass
the minimum and the average requirement the lot is released
except the initially failed pipes. Such a retest procedure is in
contrast to the nature of LBZ’s in the CGHAZ along the weld
seam. The LBZ’s are characterised by a limited size of a
microstructural magnitude but occur with a statistical
distribution in each pipe length. This has been proven by the
results of additional tests from failed pipes. In all cases within
Europipe’s experience this second test passed successfully the
minimum requirements. As the statistical risk for failures is
generally low the chance of a second failure of the same pipe is
nearly zero. Concluding the above it can be stated that the pipes
initially failed and consequently rejected do not have different
properties as those pipes accepted and released. To increase the
number of notch locations or a higher test frequency will
therefore not lead to higher quality of the pipe delivery, but
only to higher reject rates and costs.

The likelihood of the different known welding defects is
depending on the type of welding process as the main welding
parameters like heat input significantly differ. As described
above the SAW process is characterised by a high heat input
with the discussed detrimental effect on the HAZ toughness,
but the likelihood for having any planar defects like lack of
fusion is very limited. A weld macrograph with marked
locations for possible defects in the HAZ is shown in Figure 7.

5 Copyright © 2004 by ASME

Figure 7: HAZ related defects and detectability by inspection
methods of Europipe
It is obvious that the number of possible defects is small
and their detectability is high if modern NDT techniques are
used. The non-destructive inspection of the HAZ starts already
in the plate mill where a 100% UT-coverage of the plate body
can be offered by the plate mills associated with Europipe. The
quality standard of Europipe includes visual, automated UT and
X-Ray inspection [6]. As the pipes are cold expanded these
inspection are performed before expansion according to a
significant higher sensitivity than required by specification.
Hereafter the pipe is plastically deformed by the expander.
Although this process virtually constitutes only the last forming
step, it fulfils also a function as quality control. It should be
noted that the residual stress level of the pipe is herewith
significantly reduced. The pipe is then loaded in the mill
hydrotester, normally in the range of 95% yield stress. The
second automatic UT inspection of the weld seam is performed
after hydrotesting followed by X-Ray inspection of the pipe
ends and possible weld repairs. By this extensive inspection
procedure the probability for undetected defects is very low. In
a risk analysis performed by DNV on behalf of Europipe, the
probability of a linepipe delivered by Europipe with an
undetected failure has been estimated to be 8. 5 10
A major application of the assessment routines is the
investigation of the structural integrity of welds. Welds are
thought to be generally defective, thereby increasing the risk of
failure in comparison to non-welded components. An important
difference between the two that has to be accounted for is the
inhomogeneity in terms of mechanical properties of the weld.
As shown before, low toughness is commonly associated with
welds in pipes and structural steels. Although the alloying and
welding techniques have been optimized to reduce the amount
of such low toughness areas, commonly referred to as Local
brittle zones (LBZ), they cannot be completely avoided. The
important question that has been subject of discussion within
the last years is the significance of such LBZ to the structural
integrity of welded components.
A considerable amount of research work was directed
towards fracture toughness tests, wide plate tests and the
different behaviour of those tests when encountering areas of
low toughness in the HAZ. The influence of the size of LBZs
[8[9], the sampling methods [10], notch location, weld
geometry mismatch and loading mode [11[12] were
investigated. It was shown that the CTOD test is very sensitive
of boundary conditions, therefore it was even considered
questionable it the critical CTOD is a material constant [13].
Wide plate tests were conducted to correlate the results of
fracture toughness tests to the structural behaviour of welded
components [14-[18], the discussions were controversial.
Whereas some authors did not see the safety of the structures
endangered [16[18], others found low CTOD values to coincide
with fractures in wide plate tests [14,[15]. The following
explanations for the discrepancy between fracture toughness
tests, wide place tests and actual structures in service were
• Fracture Toughness tests like CTOD are very “critical”
in terms of placing pre-cracked defects so that they
sample a large quantity of low toughness
• Constraint is much higher in the deep notched SENB
specimens than in the actual structures, therefore
instability predictions based on CTOD results may be
overly conservative and not realistic [11]
• The probability for a combination of large defects, low
toughness and high loads is very low in the real
• In a large structure, the areas of low toughness are
surrounded and supported by tougher material, CTOD
tests aim at excluding this effect
• If the above named mechanism does appear in a
CTOD test in form of a pop-in, the assessment is very
stringent although the appearance of pop-ins is also
attributed towards the test itself (high constraint-high
It should be noted, that the research work summarized
above was mainly conducted on welds on structural plates for
offshore industry. A relatively small amount of experimental
work has been conducted on welded pipes exposed to internal
pressure. In all cases, the pipes failed at stress levels above the
yield strength, regardless of the low toughness values found in
the HAZ. In [19], CTOD values down to 0.022 mm were
obtained at -10°C. Ring expansion and burst tests were
conducted where the test pipes contained defects in a range of
depths up to 50% of the wall thickness and lengths up to 450
mm. The failures initiated from defects successfully positioned
into the CGHAZ, yet the failure pressure level was well above
the levels predicted by fracture mechanics assessment
according to PD6493 [20], in fact, the test results suggested that
the failure behaviour was toughness -independent. In [21], the
defects were exposed to fatigue loading to sharpen the notch tip
radius, the defect depth equalled 50% of the wall thickness.
Regardless of the sharpened notch tip which is in this respect
comparable to the notch tip in fracture mechanics tests, the
pipes failed at stress levels above yield strength. The study was
aimed at evaluating fracture mechanics concepts, it is
noteworthy in this context that the Battelle concept [22] yielded

Type of defect

Defect position


Planar surface breaking defect


Safe detection (Visual, expanding, AUT weld



Safe detection (Visual, AUT weld seam)

Minor undercuts can be tolerated

Slag inclusion


Planar defects, safe detection

Lack of fusion


Virtually not existing for SAW and perfectly
detectable by AUT

Lack of overlapping/
interpene tration

3 or 4

Safe detection (AUT weld seam, X
macro at pipe ends)





6 Copyright © 2004 by ASME
the most accurate predictions. A recent study [23] on seam weld
defect tolerance applied a constraint based fracture mechanics
analysis on a surface breaking defect. Despite the low
toughness values that were found in the CTOD tests, the ring
tension tests which were conducted exhibited plastic collapse
failure mode. Standard fracture mechanics assessment routines
implied the defective ring to be unsafe, whereas constraint
based fracture mechanics assessments were able to predict the
plastic collapse failure mode in a conservative manner.
The question whether or not a brittle failure may take place
is always related to the triangle of load-defect-toughness, the
focus in the past being clearly held on the estimation of the
toughness. Especially the estimation of a realistic defect size is
of large importance when assessing the impact of low
toughness. Modern NDT systems allow a safe detection
especially of the more detrimental planar defects, a fact that
should be considered in an ECA. A calculation based on BS
7919 [24] utilizing the computer program Crackwise [25] was
conducted to demonstrate these effects. The load was assumed
to be 70% of SMYS of grade X80 which is realistic for an
internal pressure load in a pipeline. A calculation of the critical
flaw height for a surface flaw and an embedded flaw positioned
in different ligament heights varying the assumed toughness
from CTOD = 0.01 mm to 0.1 mm was conducted. CTOD
values below 0.1mm represent the lower bound HAZ results in
critical situations, e.g. heavy wall pipes, as can be seen in
Figure 8.

<0,1 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6
CTOD Fusion Line [mm]
T= - 10°C
X65, 31,9mm WT

Figure 8: Distribution of CTOD values of HAZ for a heavy
wall pipe
The results of the calculations are depicted in Figure 9 and
Figure 10, respectively. The latter diagram visualised the effect
of ligament height (plotted on the z - axis) and the fracture
toughness in terms of CTOD values (plotted on the x- axis) on
the critical flaw height.

The diagrams show that down to these low toughness
levels, the critical flaw height is always larger than 5% of the
wall thickness, which equals the detection level of a modern
NDT system. Looking at the actual numbers for the flaw height,
starting from 2mm for a critical CTOD of 0.01mm, it is highly
questionable that a localised area of low toughness can extend
to those dimensions physically. Even applying the conservative
tool to estimate the critical crack sizes, the dimension of the
assumed defects are so large that it is virtually impossible for
them to be completely embedded in low toughness areas.

0 0,01 0,02 0,03 0,04 0,05 0,06 0,07 0,08 0,09 0,1
CTOD [mm]

Figure 9: Critical flaw height versus toughness for a surface
flaw in an X80 pipe subjected to a load equal to 70% SMYS


CTOD [mm]
Ligament height [mm]

Figure 10: Critical flaw height of an embedded defect as a
function of ligament height and toughness subjected to a load
equal t o 70% SMYS, pipe grade X80

Apart from the above named findings, there are other
differences between offshore constructions and line pipes, the
important are:
• Potential areas of low toughness are in the middle of
the pipe wall and surrounded by tougher material
• Stress concentrations compared to offshore structures
are low
• The probability of producing flaws is lower in the
submerged arc process with the high heat input than in
the multi-pass welding process
• Complete seam weld is inspected prior to delivery
• Pipes are cold expanded (typically at about 1%) and
Detection level of
NDT system
7 Copyright © 2004 by ASME
have therefore already demonstrated the resistance
against fracture at a stress level higher than yield


It can be concluded that the manufacturing potential for
improvement of the HAZ toughness has been widely applied.
Alloying techniques are continuously being modified to
enhance the HAZ toughness and to restrict the formation of
LBZs. The research on welding technology has focused on
improving the, i.e. lowering, the heat input in t he SAW process
while maintaining the benefit of high deposition rates and
welding speed and thus having a very economical process while
maintaining acceptable toughness properties. This has led to the
point where the reject rates are low but under certain
circumstances, e.g. high wall thickness, cannot be totally
At the same time as the focus was set on the alloying
techniques and processing routes to optimize the HAZ
toughness, progress has also been made in other areas of
research. The welding technique itself has been improved to
lower the rate of defects and very importantly, the NDT
capability has been developed. Nowadays, modern NDT
techniques are utilized to inspect the complete longitudinal
weld of each individual pipe.
The status quo for longitudinal welded pipes may be
summarized as follows. There is a relatively low probability of
defects, especially in comparison to the multi-pass welding
process used in offshore welding. At the same time, again in
contrast to offshore structural welding, each weld is inspected
with NDT suitable for a safe detection of the most critical, i.e.
planar, flaws. And on top of these measures, there is the cold
expansion process subjecting the pipes to approximately 1%
deformation and the hydrostatic test conducted in the mill prior
to delivery at a load level close to the yield strength of the pipe.
These production steps would lead to failures if there was a
combination of low toughness and large flaws present in the
tested pipe. Assuming each of these pipes does contain areas of
low toughness in the HAZ, a proof test of the complete
structure has thereby been conducted.
On the other hand, the important question is: How has the
testing philosophy in terms of “small scale” toughness tests
changed in the course of the time to take into account these
findings? How is the difference to typical offshore structural
welding, which was basis for research on LBZ for a long time
period, accounted for?
It seems that the testing was intensified in number
conducting the tests in a more stringent manner with the aim to
find LBZs. In this context, it is important to realize that
published research results (details in the previous chapter) on
the significance of low toughness to the structural integrity
supported the thesis that due to the supporting effort of areas of
higher toughness, the LBZs do not lead to premature fracture.
These findings are not accounted for in current requirements.
Also, the statistical nature of the localized brittle zones is
not accounted for in the retesting procedures, instead pipes are
rejected which are, by the nature of the production process
which is stringently controlled in modern pipe manufacture, not
different to the rest of the batch which is released.
It seems that at this stage, the most important issue that
needs to be resolved is: Under which circumstances can LBZ in
a longitudinal weld of a pipe endanger the structural integrity?
These boundary conditions need to be excluded with the
means of appropriate testing and the stipulation of adequate
requirements. Looking at the triangle of load, toughness and
defect interacting necessary to cause failures in structures, only
the latter can be influenced in pipe production and are therefore
addressed in this context. Solutions to the problems could be:
• Determination of the extension of the LBZs. An
indication for the width of the zone is given by the
results of the FL+2mm and the FL+5mm tests,
where the latter are in the range of the base
material and the former can be somewhat in
between the FL and base material. The
requirements for the FL values could be relaxed if
it can be proven that the extension is not critical.
• Specifying a fracture toughness test that leads to a
better correlation with full scale test results.
Research is ongoing in this area and aims at
testing with a lower constraint which is more
representative of the flawed pipe subjected to
internal pressure
• Incorporating the probability of occurrence of
defects and the maximum defect geometry which
can survive the expansion and mill hydraulic
pressure test to set up acceptance criteria for
toughness levels tolerable within localized zones.
• Retesting the pipe that was rejected and releasing
it if the acceptance levels are then met. This
procedure does not solve the unanswered
questions, yet it is a pragmatic way of making
allowance for the statistical nature of LBZs.


Since more than two decades the existence of low
toughness areas in the HAZ of submerged arc welded linepipe
is known and investigated in comprehensive studies with regard
to their metallurgical nature and their significance on structural
integrity. The alloying techniques and steel making practices
have been successfully developed to improve HAZ toughness
and are nowadays technical standard in modern manufactures.
Nevertheless low toughness values in Charpy-V and CTOD
tests are still found as frequency and criticality of testing has
been increased in current specifications. As low toughness HAZ
areas are statistically distributed along the weld seam of each
single pipe length, an increase in test frequencywill not lead to
higher quality of the pipe delivery, but to higher reject rates and
costs due to the higher probability of encountering these areas
of limited size. Furthermore recent investigations on structural
significance of low toughness HAZ showed no implications on
the integrity.
It is therefore recommended that the existing procedures
for defining and testing HAZ toughness are re-considered under
consideration of the actual loads, the defect probability and,
incorporating the size of the LBZ, also their significance on the
structural integrity.

8 Copyright © 2004 by ASME

[1] Niederhoff, K and Gräf, M.K., 1990, “Toughness
Behaviour of the Heat-Affected Zone (HAZ) in Double
Submerged-arc Welded Large Diameter Pipe”, Proc. Pipeline
Technology Conference, Oostende, Belgium, Vol. B, pp. 13.1-
[2] Gräf, M.K. and Niederhoff, K., 2000, “Properties of
HAZ in Two Pass Submerged-arc Welded Large Diameter
Pipe”, Proc. Pipeline Technology, Volume II, R. Denys, Ed.,
Elsevier Science BV
[3] Kanazawa, S. and Nakashima, K., et al., 1976,
“Improvement of Weld Fusion Zone Toughness by fine Ti/N”,
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