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Comparison of API 1104 Appendix A and BS 7910 Procedures for the assessment of girth weld flaws

Sarah E Smith and Henryk G Pisarski
TWI Ltd
Paper presented at 5th International Pipeline Technology Conference, Ostend, Belgium, 12 - 14 October 2009.
Abstract
The 2007 revision to API 1104 Appendix A for assessing flaws in pipeline girth welds is compared with BS 7910 Level
2 assessment procedures. Results from full-scale pipe bend tests and wide plate tests are used to plot assessment
points for both procedures. Both procedures predicted failure but by widely ranging margins of safety. Generally,
there was little difference between the two procedures, although assessments to BS 7910 were slightly closer to the
assessment curve than those to API 1104. Assessments to API 1104 were more likely to predict failure by plastic
collapse than those to BS 7910. Example cases were undertaken to compare predicted tolerable flaw sizes using
each procedure.
Introduction
The US Department of Transport and PRCI funded a programme to update API 1104 Appendix A, details of which
were published at the IPC 2006 conference.[Wang et al, 2006] The procedure was published by API in July 2007, replacing
Appendix A of the 2005 edition of API 1104. It describes a three-tier approach with Options 1-3 assessments for
fracture mechanics-based analysis of pipeline girth welds. Option 1 is a graphical approach, while Option 2 is based
on a failure assessment curve (FAC) which is similar to the failure assessment diagram (FAD) in BS 7910. The
approach has been validated using historical data, including full-scale tests.[Wang et al, 2006] Option 3 is applicable when
the pipeline is subjected to fatigue. It does not describe an assessment method but refers to BS 7910.
The new API 1104 rules[API, 2007] are compared with the previous rules [API, 2007] and BS 7910.[BSI, 2005] Validation data for
the new acceptance criteria against full-scale pipe bend tests on girth welds is examined.[Coote et al, 1986] The acceptance
criteria are also evaluated against wide plate test results.[Denys et al, 2000] Examples showing the effects of including and
not including pipe misalignment (hi-lo) and welding residual stresses at girth welds on flaw assessments are given.
Background
The fitness-for-purpose criteria in Appendix A of API 1104[API 1104, 2005] have been revised to account for the actual
crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) of the material, and the applied stress and material strength. There are now
three options for fitness-for-purpose assessments.[API 1104, 2007] The simpler Option 1 is a graphical method. For a ratio
of applied stress to flow stress, referred to as 'load level' Pr, for the case under consideration the ratios of flaw height
to wall thickness (WT) and flaw length to outside diameter (OD) are determined. There are two sets of curves, each
for a specific CTOD value. The actual CTOD of the material must be equal to or higher than the CTOD for the curve
used. Although this method is the simpler of the two, it does not consider the benefits of a higher CTOD than
0.25mm or the consequences of a lower CTOD than 0.1mm. Option 2 is a FAD-based method. The toughness ratio Kr
is plotted against the stress ratio Lr, and the point is acceptable if it lies inside the FAD. Although this method is more
complex, it allows the CTOD determined from the material to be used. Options 1 and 2 are specifically designed for
assessing surface flaws, but embedded flaws are assessed as surface flaws of the same height. Option 3 is applicable
where crack growth by fatigue is expected to be significant, and recommends the use of validated fitness-forpurpose procedures, like BS 7910, to develop acceptance criteria.
Full scale pipe bend tests
Test data were obtained from 38 full-scale pipe tests performed on girth welds and pipes containing circumferential
flaws.[Pick et al, 1980, and Coote et al, 1986] Details of the test specimens and assessment input details, including yield strength
and fracture toughness in terms of CTOD are presented in Table 1. It can be seen that in some cases the CTOD of the
material was below 0.05mm, the minimum specified by API 1104. A bending load was applied to a pipe with an
artificial flaw located at the position of maximum tensile stress. The strain at failure was measured and the failure
stress was calculated from the applied bending moment. Although stress and strain at failure were reported, the
bending moment was not. Since the stress was derived from the bending moment, failure stresses greater than the

used to calculate the plastic collapse.2 278 635 0.1 531 0.1 6.9 14 >606 >0. % Notes 36 x 11.5 64.3 79 0. Since the flaw size was known.36 1 14 36 x 11.1 8.1 6.5 6 36 x 11.28 689 0. 2c.48 1 10 36 x 11.8 Dimensions Test OD.yield strength could be overestimated.8 >723 >0.1 5. API 1004 Appendix A Option 2 requires a 'safety factor' of 1. Lr.1 76.1 5.71 18 36 x 11.1 466 0.6 300 >690 >0.1 531 0.2 22 36 x 11. When estimating tolerable flaw sizes. a.1 531 0. from bending mm mm mm moment at failure MPa Strain at failure.1 3.5 270 0.1 3.2 23 36 x 11.1 531 0.1 531 0. The reference stress.5 1 13 36 x 11.1 59.1 9.1 466 0.1 531 0.7 331 390 0.9 63.28 689 0.03 6.9 279 411 0.1 3.14 1.1 531 0.1 531 0.5 to be applied to flaw length. in x WT.3 63.3 19 36 x 11.8 81.03 10.1 531 0.33 1. No mm 4 655 .1 466 0.5 1 5 36 x 11.4 59.23 1.1 4.2 9 36 x 11.2 11 36 x 11.03 5.31 2 8 36 x 11. For comparison purposes the assessments were conducted assuming zero residual stress.5 60.3 683 0.1 3. the API 1104 procedure does not include a method for incorporating residual stresses.1 3 38 >606 >0.3 61 570 0.49 1 12 36 x 11.49 24 42 x 15 496 0.1 531 0.5 >755 >0.1 5.2 7 36 x 11.8 655 0.03 7.1 531 0. Table 1 Full-scale test details from [Coote et al.1 300 >690 >0.5 75 655 0.6 591 0.1 531 0.1 5. MPa Stress estimated CTOD.37 21 36 x 11.3 265 569 0.47 16 36 x 10.5 69.1 0.5 >723 >0.1 3.8 >726 >0.1 531 0.78 17 36 x 10.1 3.8 68.7 25 42 x 15 496 0.6 612 0.1 531 0.51 15 36 x 11. 1986] Yield strength. axis of the FAD was derived from the Kastner equation.3 470 0. and the aim of the calculations was to predict failure stress and the position of the failure on the FAD the safety factor required by the new API 1104 Appendix A was not applied in the calculations. Assessments to BS 7910 (Level 2A FAD) were conducted using TWI software Crackwise 4.

76 532 0.26 49 30 x 19 472 0.9 141 629 0. The results are shown plotted on the FAD in Figure 1 for assessments performed according to both the new API 1104 Appendix A and to BS 7910.76 532 0. Comparing the results from the API 1104 Appendix A procedure with those from BS 7910.26 42 x 15 496 0.7 460 0. 2 CTOD below 0.7 460 0.72 470 0.1 100 487 0.5 WT).08 3.1 441 0.7 460 0.1 3.195 33 24 x 6.31 31 36 x 11.35 48 36 x 11.08 2.72 470 0.32 29 36 x 11.1 51 542 0.76 532 0.6 1 1 2 Notes: 1 Flaw larger than API allows (height greater than 0. These include several cases where the original crack size was greater than the limits imposed by API 1104.73 139 595 0.08 10.1 282 470 0. nearer the plastic collapse region.4 470 0.8 199 427 0.46 51 30 x 19 472 0. ie Lr≥1.7 315 527 0. but the points farthest from the line were also obtained using the BS 7910 procedure.275 35 24 x 6. The points closest to the line were obtained from the BS 7910 procedure.38 50 30 x 19 472 0.165 46 36 x 11.76 532 0.05mm (the minimum specified by Option 2 of the new API 1104).9 280 533 0.23 3. The API 1104 results also imply in most cases that the failure will be less brittle and more controlled by plastic collapse than that predicted by BS 7910.72 470 0.5 300 462 0.45 52 28 x 24.1 2.9 107 513 0.08 3.1 2 112 635 >0.62 27 36 x 11.2 116 656 0.1 3. and several cases where the CTOD was below the 0. All of the assessment points are outside the FAD.65 32 24 x 6.7 134 461 0.1 8 70 >606 >0. .1 2.06 3. both show wide scatter.1 3.1 466 0.1 3.09 5 125 520 0.201 34 24 x 6.04 3.48 105 566 0. including those with low CTOD. and most are in the elastic-plastic area.75 47 36 x 11.08 3.35 30 36 x 11.05mm limit.27 28 36 x 11.9 127 586 0.

Fig. was not to predict tolerable flaw sizes. Because the flaw size was known.1.2. . In several cases the failure stress predicted by BS 7910 was close to the measured failure stress. as would be expected since several points were close to the line in the FAD. Details of the test specimens including yield strength. As would be expected. in all cases the predicted failure stress was below the actual failure stress. Assessments to BS 7910 (Level 2A FAD) were conducted using the flat plate solutions for the estimates of Kr and Lr axes in the FAD and assuming zero residual stresses. FAD for full-scale results pipe tests assessed using API 1104 Appendix A 2007. Fig. the safety factor required by Option 2 of the new API 1104 Appendix A was not applied. and the aim of the calculations. Predicted failure stress versus actual failure stress for full-scale pipe tests Wide plate tests Wide plate test data from 15 tests were obtained from a paper by [Denys et al (2000)]. Girth welds in pipe (Grades X70 and X65) of 42 and 48in diameter were tested. There is also slightly more scatter in predictions with BS 7910 compared with API 1104. in this case. Option 2 and BS 7910 Level 2A procedures Figure 2 shows the failure stress predicted by API 1104 and BS 7910 compared with the actual failure stress in each case. the conservatism of the assessment would be increased had the safety factor been included. CTOD and initial crack dimensions are given in Table 2. Since the safety factor required by the API 1104 Appendix A procedure was not applied in the calculations.

093 4.25 430 519 0.65 241 517 1. MPa CA1 CA2 X70 48" x 16. Fig.7 The FAD with assessment points calculated according to the new API 1104 (Option 2 assessment) and BS 7910 (Level 2 assessment) is shown in Figure 3 for the X70 and X65 materials.382 7.76 CC2 X70 48" x 16.01 CB2 X70 48" x 16.3. assessed according to API 1104 Appendix A 2007.5mm CE3 470 470 0.29 0.5 86 526 1.15 0.25 132 524 1.85 0.9mm 498 CB3 8.25 430 535 0.88 0. In all cases.55 CB1 5 133 524 0. FAD for wide plate tests on X70 and X65 material.83 CA3 8. 2000] Test Pipe details Yield strength.33 CD2 X65 42" x 30.5 86 546 1. % 133 552 1.09 CD3 7. Option 2 and BS 7910 Level 2A procedures .9mm CTOD a 2c Stress at failure.131 4.412 7. mm mm mm MPa 5 498 Strain at failure.65 253 517 1.46 CE1 5 226 542 2.Table 2 Test specimen details from [Denys et al.09 CC1 5 133 547 1.25 241 504 1. the assessment points are outside the FAD.5 86 556 1.65 253 522 1.29 CD1 5 226 548 2.9mm 498 CC3 8.448 4.5mm CE2 X65 42" x 30.10 7.

flaws with height less than about 7mm are more conservative. A CTOD of 0. slightly more scatter is observed in the BS 7910 results. as noted previously. When residual stresses were considered the BS 7910 procedure was more conservative than the new API 1104 methods for deeper flaws (with depth from about 7. Fig. similar to the first two but with 1mm misalignment. Calculations to BS 7910 Level 2A assuming zero residual stresses predicted the largest tolerable flaw dimensions in all cases. Again. than those of API 1104. had the safety factor been included. On the other hand. Several assessments were carried out to BS 7910: one case assuming residual stress to be at initially at yield but allowed to relax depending on the applied stress. without the safety factor. From Figure 3. for the X65 pipe.5mm are more conservative than BS 7910.15. The predicted failure stress for both procedures was below the measured failure stress in all cases. Figure 5 shows the results in terms of curves of flaw height against predicted tolerable flaw length. Applying the required safety factor means that results for flaws with height less than 7.5mm was assumed. a theoretical case was considered.5 to 11mm. ie further away from the FAD assessment line. the new API 1104 predicted more conservative tolerable flaw lengths. For shallower flaws however. . the API 1104 Appendix A assessments exclude the safety factor on crack length so the results could be more conservative than indicated in Figures 3 and 4. the BS 7910 results seem slightly less conservative. Again the BS 7910 assessments are more scattered than the API 1104 but this is marginal. one case assumed zero residual stress. in accordance with BS 7910 procedures. the maximum flaw height considered here). the BS 7910 assessment points for X70 material appear in some cases to be more conservative. However. nearer the FAD.example case In order to compare the API 1104 Option 2 assessment method with BS 7910 Level 2A assessment procedures. This was a 42in OD pipe with 22mm WT with the specified properties of Grade X65. overall the new API 1104 assessments tend to cluster in the plastic collapse region of the FAD (Lr>1) more than the BS 7910 assessments.As noted previously. Predicted failure stress versus actual failure stress for wide plate tests Effects of welding residual stress and girth weld misalignment . especially for the higher strength. Two further cases were considered. and an applied axial membrane stress of 85% SMYS. The stress concentration factor caused by the misalignment was 1. The failure stress in each case predicted by the new API 1104 Appendix A procedure and by BS 7910 is shown plotted against the measured stress at failure in Figure 4.4.

Comparison of predicted maximum tolerable surface flaw sizes for in a 42in OD x 22mm WT. These tests were also assessed without applying the safety factor required by the new version of API 1104. meaning that predicted flaw dimensions with the safety factor applied should be even more conservative. All were outside the FAD. this implies that in cases where the safety factor is applied. The old API 1104 method was most conservative. with the API 1104 results nearer the plastic collapse region. When the effects of residual stresses were ignored.5mm were predicted using BS 7910 than with API 1104. For deeper flaws. where the limits on flaw length applied by the new API 1104 were less than those for the previous API 1104. except for longer flaws. A theoretical case was considered. the approach . to compare tolerable flaw lengths predicted using the old and new versions of API 1104. larger flaws were predicted to be tolerable. Since these tests were assessed without applying the safety factor and were outside the FAD. Discussion Results from 38 full-scale bend tests were evaluated using Option 2 of the new Appendix A to API 1104. the API 1104 results were more conservative. All of the assessment points for these tests were outside the FAD. with the results of the API 1104 assessments in the plastic collapse region while the BS 7910 Level 2 assessment points were at the knee of the FAD. The API 1104 procedure has no means of including the effects of residual stress. The API 1104 assessment points were nearer the plastic collapse region of the FAD than those from BS 7910. in comparison to the case where residual welding stresses were included. X65 pipe using different assessment procedures When girth weld misalignment was considered the BS 7910 procedures reduced the predicted tolerable flaw sizes. Similar observations were made for wide plate test data for X70 material.05mm. The new API 1104 Appendix A assessment predicted larger tolerable flaw lengths than the old version for deeper flaws. Since tensile residuals are known to contribute to the risk of brittle fracture. These included some specimens where the original flaw size was larger than the limits specified in API 1104 and some specimens with fracture toughness below the specified 0. The wide plate tests for X65 material were also outside the FAD. For the X65 material however. using the specified properties of X65 material. However it should be noted that the API 1104 procedure does not make any allowance for misalignment or residual stresses.05mm limit. For shallower flaws API 1104 Option 2 predicted smaller tolerable flaw lengths than BS 7910.Fig. This means that the point where the new API procedure (with the safety factor applied) predicted smaller tolerable flaw lengths for a given flaw height was at flaw heights of around 8mm. and using BS 7910 Level 2. When residual stresses were assumed to be zero (with weld misalignment of 1mm) then. ignoring them could result in unsafe predictions of acceptable flaw size. Although API 1104 claims to avoid this by specifying a minimum CTOD of 0. the conservatism of the new API 1104 Appendix A procedure will be increased (and the accuracy reduced). BS 7910 predicted smaller tolerable flaw lengths. BS 7910 predicted larger tolerable flaw dimensions in all cases. as expected. as can be seen in Figure 5. This was most noticeable when yield strength magnitude residual stresses were also assumed.5. In this case smaller flaw sizes for flaw height up to about 5.

The stress concentration was treated as a local bending stress of which 15% was a primary stress (ie contributing to both fracture and plastic collapse axes of the FAD) whilst 85% was treated as a secondary stress (ie contributing to the fracture axis of the FAD only).5% strain) of 465MPa and tensile strength of 531MPa. In these analyses. nor are other . It was found that BS 7910 was more conservative than the new API 1104 Appendix A procedure when misalignment was considered. Figure 6 shows that misalignment increases the CTOD driving force and the difference increases significantly as yield strain is approached and exceeded. In this case only one level of misalignment (of 1mm) was considered and for cases where higher levels of misalignment are present the difference between the procedures would increase. Comparison of the finite element results with predictions made using the BS 7910 Level 2B (material specific) FAD and API 1104 FAC assessment methods all show similar behaviour up to about 0. The new API 1104 method has several advantages over the old method. The background to this approach is described elsewhere.5%.5% strain for zero misalignment. Fig. the versatility of the BS 7910 approach enables the effects of misalignment to be captured. see Figure 6. As there is no way of accounting for misalignment in an assessment to API 1104.6. by including the stress concentration caused by misalignment in the BS 7910 procedure. However.seems rather arbitrary especially when applied to high strength steels. The versatility of the BS 7910 procedure enables higher strains to be analysed. these become increasingly important at installation/service strains approaching and exceeding yield. the predicted driving force CTOD is increased significantly and is conservative with respect to the finite element analysis for strains up to at least 1. even strength mismatch with respect to the parent pipe and misalignment (e) of 0 and 1.[Cheaitani. The possibility of failure by plastic collapse is also taken into consideration. The actual fracture toughness of the material is considered. the API 1104 procedure ignores misalignment and becomes increasingly non-conservative at higher strains. Comparison of CTOD driving force curves for a 3 x 50mm circumferential surface crack in a 400mm OD x 20mm WT pipe with misalignment (e) of 0 and 1. API 1104 Appendix A states that its use is restricted to conditions where the maximum axial design stress is no greater than the SMYS and the maximum axial design strain is no greater than 0. In contrast. and large wall thickness. strain for a given applied stress was derived from the pipe material stress-strain curve. the BS 7910 procedure starts to become unconservative for strains above approximately 0.2% strain or 90% of yield strength.1%. some disadvantages remain: misalignment at the weld is not considered. in cases above approximately 0.5mm in a girth weld of width 10mm However.The analyses were conducted for a 400mm OD x 20mm WT pipe in bending with a circumferential surface crack 3 x 50mm on the OD.5%. The analyses were conducted assuming a weld width of 10mm.5mm. For the case analysed. where tensile residual stresses could be significant. The effect of misalignment at the girth weld was considered in further detail by comparing the driving force CTOD versus applied axial strain curves derived from a 3-D finite element analysis with those from the API 1104 Appendix A and BS 7910 procedures. The pipe had a yield strength (at 0. as is the material strength. this suggests it could potentially be non-conservative where high levels of misalignment are present. 2009] Again.

Pick R J and Burns D J. 2005: Incorporating Amendment No 1. The degree of non-conservatism will increase as misalignment is increased. and comparison with finite element analyses (see Figure 6).5mm misalignment) the API 1104 procedure became non-conservative at strains exceeding 0. although these calculations did not include the safety factor on crack length required by the new API 1104. is not considered. Paper 21. 'Guide to methods for assessing the acceptability of flaws in metallic structures'. 20th edition. November. Generally. American Petroleum Institute. or to allow for any yield discontinuity. there was little difference between the two procedures. API 1104 2007: 'Welding of pipelines and related facilities'. Assessments to API 1104 were more likely to predict failure by plastic collapse than those to BS 7910. smaller tolerable flaws were predicted than both versions of API 1104. Welding and Performance of Pipelines. such as seamless pipe. These factors limit the versatility of the procedure but can unwittingly result in unsafe predictions of acceptable flaw size. 2005: 'Welding of pipelines and related facilities'. BS 7910 predicted larger tolerable flaw dimensions. 20th edition. and there is no way to use the specific stress-strain curve of the material. although assessments to BS 7910 were slightly closer to the assessment curve than those to API 1104. BS 7910 predicted smaller tolerable flaw lengths. Coote R I. For the case considered (1. In addition. This could result in unsafe predictions of allowable flaw size in materials which exhibit a discontinuous yielding or a Lüders plateau. For deeper flaws. Third International Conference. Ignoring them could result in unsafe predictions of tolerable flaw size. However. Example cases were considered to compare tolerable flaw lengths predicted using the old and new versions of API 1104 and BS 7910 Level 2. On the other hand. the limitations have the potential of missing important features about the condition of the girth weld which could lead to unsafe estimates of acceptable flaw size to be made. or of the possibility of relaxation. no mention is made of the magnitude of residual stresses. significant tensile residual stresses are likely to be present which will increase the risk of fracture. Glover A G. Both procedures predicted failure but by widely ranging margins of safety. this indicates that it could be potentially nonconservative where misalignment or other deviations from intended geometry are present. but especially yield discontinuity. Indeed. the BS 7910 procedure had the ability to provide conservative but realistic estimates of the CTOD driving force curve to at least 1. Volume 1. American Petroleum Institute.2% or 90% of yield strength. Consequently for critical applications it is recommended that BS 7910 assessment procedures are considered instead.variations in pipe geometry. When residual stresses were assumed to be zero. Since BS 7910 is able to specifically include stress concentrations arising from misalignment (and other deviations from intended geometry). in thick section welds and welds in high strength steels.1% strain. . there is inadequate treatment of residual stresses and the shape of the stress-strain curve. pp21-33. while API 1104 Appendix A states that residual stresses are accounted for by specifying minimum CTOD and Charpy energy values. These place severe limitations on the versatility of the API 1104 approach which are not present with the BS 7910 procedure. The effect of misalignment in increasing the CTOD driving force (or CTOD requirement to avoid failure) was illustrated for a circumferential crack in pipe using the BS 7910 and API 1104 Appendix A procedures. References API 1104. Concluding remarks Results from full-scale bend tests and wide plate tests from girth welds in X65 and X70 pipe were evaluated using Option 2 of the new Appendix A and BS 7910 Level 2A procedures assuming zero residual stresses. 1986: 'Alternative girth weld acceptance standards in the Canadian gas pipeline code'. Although the new API 1104 method has advantages over the old some significant disadvantages remain: misalignment of pipes at girth welds is ignored. amended July 2007. British Standards Institution. These are not limitations with the BS 7910 procedure. For shallower flaws both versions of API 1104 predicted smaller tolerable flaw lengths than BS 7910. As there is no way of accounting for misalignment in an assessment to API 1104. BS 7910.

Denys R M. Paper 30. Vol. Pick R J. FITNET. Wang Y-Y. Welding Institute of Canada. 2008: 'FITNET Fitness-for-service procedure'. 17-19 November. Proceedings of Conference on Fitness-for-Purpose Validation of Welded Constructions. Glover A G and Coote R I. 2009: TWI. 1980: 'Full-scale testing of large diameter pipelines'. Horsley D and Bauman G. Proceedings of IPC2006. May. 6th International Conference. Coote R I and Pick R J. Lefevre A A.Cheaitani M J. Proceedings of Conference on Pipeline and Energy Plant Piping: Design and Technology. Liu M. FITNET Thematic Network. 2006: 'A tiered approach to girth weld defect acceptance criteria for stress-based design of pipelines'.1. The Welding Institute. 2000: 'Failure characteristics and defect tolerance levels of girth welds in large diameter X65/X70 steel linepipes: experimental verification through wide plate testing and comparison with ECA prediction models'. to be published. Glover A G. De Jaeger C and Claessens S. . Pipeline Technology. Revision MK8. 1981: 'Engineering critical assessment of pipeline girth welds'.