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June 30, 2017 / Klaas van Alphen
Category: Research Update 

Two New Research Projects Underway

Earlier this month the Energy Pipelines CRC Board approved two new research projects. Both projects received full support from the members of the APGA Research and Standards Committee.

Short descriptions of both proposals are provided below.

RP6.2-05: High voltage holiday testing of dual layer FBE

The project will examine the change in allowable holiday testing voltage that dual layer fusion bonded epoxy (FBE) coatings can be subjected to when exposed to moisture thereby simulating the possible state of such coatings when tested after leaving the coating applicators site. This work aims to reduce both the likelihood of causing holidays to otherwise “good” coating and to detect all damages caused to the coating after leaving the coating applicators site. Specifically, this project will;

Determine if the lower voltages required for holiday testing on single layer FBE after exposure to moisture, as found in previous studies, apply similarly to dual layer FBE, and, if not, what reduction should apply;
Assess the impact of repeated testing on factory and moisture exposed coating in the field;
Determine the dielectric strength of different coating materials and how that changes with moisture for both individual and dual layers.

Achieving these aims will reduce the cost of pipeline construction and improve the integrity of the applied coating system.

RP6.3-12: Elimination of PWHT for in-service welding

Many essential pipeline modifications and repairs require welding. Codes mandate the use of post weld heat treatment (PWHT) above a certain thickness, and the Australian standards AS1210 and AS4458 prescribe a maximum thickness of 32 mm which can be welded without PWHT (for fine grained steels only). Unfortunately, the product within the pipeline carries away the heat necessary for PWHT and many pipelines cannot be depressurised thus making PWHT impossible during repair welding. This project will study the many different code thickness limits above which PWHT is required, and consider elimination of PWHT in some cases by evidence of the absence of hydrogen assisted cold cracking (HACC), examination of microstructure and hardness, and measurements of residual stress. The results of this project will inform future revisions of AS2885.2, and reduce the high costs associated with unnecessary PWHT. The possibility of buckling of the run pipe during a pressure test of the fitting will also be examined.

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