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PIPELINE WELDING TECHNOLOGY

Line pipes can be connected by mechanical connectors or welding. Threaded and coupling (T&C) or pin and box connectors are

used for drilling riser and top tensioned riser connections. However, welding is more commonly used for offshore pipelines due to

its proven technology and lower cost than mechanical connectors. Advantages of connectors are: use of high grade pipes (up to

125 ksi SMYS), fast make-up, no welding (no heat-affected zone, no welding inspection), no field joint coating, etc. Disadvantages

of connectors are: high material cost, leak test for each connection, weak for torsion and fatigue, etc. Integral connectors, without

requiring twist the pipe or connector, have

been developed. The available integral connectors are Jetair PSC, Hydil 2000, OSI Merlin, etc.

The maximum pipe grade which can be welded offshore is X-70. Pipe grade higher than X-70 requires induction heat treatment

which is impossible for continuous long pipeline welding. The induction heat treatment is normally done in an oven so it is limited

by the welded products’ size and length.

There are diversity of welding processes such as solid state welding (resistance, cold, friction, ultrasonic, etc.), soldering/brazing,

and fusion welding. Soldering/brazing melts only filler materials not base materials. However, the fusion welding involves partial

melting of base material (called heat affected zone). Electrical energy (electrode) is commonly used for the fusion welding.

Heat affected zone
Source: Introduction to Offshore Pipelines & Risers - Jaeyoung Lee

 SMAW or Stick Welding

and copper alloys. GTAW is most commonly used to weld thin sections of stainless steel and light metals such as aluminum. though some erosion (called burn-off) may occur.  GTAW or TIG Welding Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is more commonly known as tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. As a result. The technique is easy to use and fast (high productivity) and there is no need for slag-cleaning since no flux is used. is used for aluminum and copper materials. The wire electrode is fed from a spool.Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) is frequently referred to as stick welding. This method is also known as metal inert gas (MIG) welding or metal active gas (MAG. It is an arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. It is also significantly slower than most other welding techniques. and high-alloy based materials. magnesium. The MAG process is suitable for steel. low-alloy. i. The electrode used in GTAW is made of tungsten. on the other hand. Shielding is provided by an externally supplied shielding gas. carbon dioxide or oxygen) welding. The flux covering the electrode melts during welding and this forms the gas and slag to shield the arc and molten weld pool. because tungsten has the highest melting temperature among metals. GMAW consists of a DC arc burning between a thin bare metal wire electrode and the work piece.  GMAW or MIG Welding Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) uses an arc between a consumable constant filler metal electrode and the weld pool. . The slag must be chipped off the weld bead after welding. The arc and weld area are encased in a protective gas shield. GTAW is comparatively more complex and difficult to master. However. The process is known for creating stronger and higher quality welds than SMAW and GMAW. the electrode is not consumed during welding. The MIG process.e. through a welding torch which is connected to the positive terminal.

.Jaeyoung Lee Each welding should be examined for its completeness and quality by non-destructive test (NDT). Generally four (4) NDT methods are widely used in welding inspection as shown in table below. Welding types Source: Introduction to Offshore Pipelines & Risers .

Non-destructive test Source: Introduction to Offshore Pipelines & Risers .Jaeyoung Lee .

Jaeyoung Lee .Source: Introduction to Offshore Pipelines & Risers .