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HOTWIRE TIG WELD CLADDING OF PIPELINE SYSTEM COMPONENTS Why do we need CRA lined pipeline

HOTWIRE TIG WELD CLADDING OF PIPELINE SYSTEM COMPONENTS

Why do we need CRA lined pipeline systems?

Traditional oil & gas pipelines and riser system components are constructed from high strength carbon steel and are adequate for ‘clean’ oil & gas flows. Higher deposits of oil & gas are now being discovered at depths approaching

a thousand metres where the flows are at high pressures, elevated

temperatures and have high concentrations of potentially corrosive contaminants , such as NaCL (salt), H 2 S (hydrogen sulphide) and CO 2 (Carbon Dioxide). To provide corrosion resistance, the inner surfaces of pipes and spools are lined with a thin layer of Corrosion Resistant Alloys (CRA) material (Inconel

625, Inconel 825, 316L etc). This could be in the form of a welded mechanical lining or metallurgical weld overlay. CRA lining of carbon steel is less expensive than the use of solid CRA material for pipeline components. It has the advantages of

- lower pipeline weight (thinner substrate wall thickness)

- higher strength

- reduced material costs

- Reduction in service costs and expensive pipeline inspections

- Environmentally safe as you do not need to continuously inject environmentally polluting corrosion inhibitors

The use of CRA lining in pipelines systems is currently seeing an exponential

growth due to ‘sour’ oil & gas production. PEC’s PipeLineClad (PLC) system is

a technological answer to this requirement and is preferred to traditional methods of weld cladding pipe line components.

© Power Electronics & Controls Limited, Kettering UK Publication: Rotary_PipeCLAD.doc Date: 4 May 2010

What are the CRA weld-clad requirements

- 2-3mm CRA welded lining of internal surfaces

- <5% iron dilution of the CRA layer

- good fusion of the CRA layer to the substrate carbon steel pipe body to allow bending

- low hardening of the substrate due to chromium diffusion during welding

- required yield, tensile strength, hardness and corrosion properties

- low defects due to difficulties of accessing faulty welds in long pipes

- emphasis on overall productivity rather than just welding cycle times and deposit rates (accounts for re-work, manipulation, welding etc

- Safe welding environment for the operator

Technologies for CRA weld-cladding

Pipe cladding The traditional method is to support and rotate the pipe on rollers with the fixed welding head inside the pipe. At the end of each revolution, the torch is indexed outwards by a few millimetres and the process continues until the complete inner part of the pipe has been weld-clad. Pipe lengths up to 12metres and 6-30” diameters can be welded in one or more operations. Generally, there is a balance between productivity and quality knowing that higher deposit rate methods have a higher risk of weld defects (lack of fusion, porosity, uneven weld deposit etc). Finding the right balance is a difficult task and requires a thorough understanding of the welding processes used, equipment design and CRA lining requirements.

What are the benefits of PEC’s PipeLineClad (PLC) system over traditional systems?

PEC supply CRA weld cladding systems based on the Hotwire TIG and Pulsed MIG processes only as we believe these to be the higher quality processes for automated weld cladding. The main difference in our product is that we address the welding of ‘pipeline system’

- flow line pipes

- pipeline components – various types of spool bodies (spacer/riser, diverter, crossover/adapter), adapter flanges etc All CRA welding systems on the market are dedicated pipe cladding systems– they cannot be easily used for weld-cladding spool bodies. The latter have to be welded on other dedicated welding equipment at additional capital costs to the fabricator. The PEC PLC system can weld pipes and pipeline spools on a single machine. This unique product has the additional benefit of high productivity weld- cladding using the TwinArc TIG process for spool bodies and TwinWire HotTIG for pipes.

© Power Electronics & Controls Limited, Kettering UK Publication: Rotary_PipeCLAD.doc Date: 4 May 2010

Other manufacturers offer Single wire processes using more complicated two torch configurations to increase productivity. Our configuration is deliberately limited to welding up to 3000mm lengths in one operation. Although this will result in increased manipulation time when cladding longer pipes (6m/12m lengths), we believe this is compensated for by the higher productivity, less re-work and easier accessibility of the welds for inspection and repair.

PipeLineCLAD system description PEC’s pipeline cladding system consists of two weldheads - Rotary Head for welding the spool bodies, BOP.s, wellhead valves - Conventional weld-head for pipe cladding These two weld-heads are supported on one mechanical structure (Figure 1) that provides the precision movement in the vertical (2000mm) and horizontal (3000mm) axes. The welding controller, power sources etc are shared by the two weld-heads. The duty cycle of a dual-head system can be very high as set up of one type of component is done during the welding period of the other. For large and heavy parts, this time can be considerable.

Rotary Head for weld-cladding spool bodies The primary benefit of the Rotary Head is that it does not require manipulation of the component - ideal for large spool bodies. The spools are mounted on a metal plate (2” thickness) rather than a turntable. This reduces investment and maintenance costs which can be quite considerable for block weighing 10 tons or more. The other major labour saving comes from the ease of centring the torch to the internal bore to be welded. This takes a few minutes and does not require the spool to be moved in any way. Once centred, the torch rotates around the bore (2G vertical weld) and performs the weld. The Rotary Head is used to weld-clad spools- spacer/riser, diverter, crossover/adapter, adapter flanges (ring grooves within) up to 30” bore diameter. Non-pipeline products include racetrack bores & flanges on ram type BOP stacks, choke/gate valves, wellhead Xmas Trees etc Using traditional methods, the spools are mounted on a large, heavy duty turntable. The part has then to be manipulated by the operator to centre the bore to the torch. This is time consuming, has operator HSE and safety implications and high maintenance costs of the turntable. Rotary Head welding eliminates these problems.

Conventional weld-head Pipe cladding using the PLC system Most CRA pipe are up to 12 metres long and 6”-30” diameter. This requires the weld to be carried out horizontally (1G) by supporting the pipe on rollers and rotating it using a powered roller or headstock/positioner.

© Power Electronics & Controls Limited, Kettering UK Publication: Rotary_PipeCLAD.doc Date: 4 May 2010

There are systems on the market that claim to successfully weld-clad 12 metre pipes in one operation using two torches welding simultaneously. It is difficult to visualize this method except as a multiple operation method. PEC’s PLC system is designed to weld pipes up to 6 metres in length in two operations (3m from each end). The main disadvantages of this method are:

- manipulation time is increased as you need to weld from both ends

- Additional cost of ‘girth’ welding the pipes for 12metre lengths

However, there are considerable advantages as well which must be considered to provide a balanced view of the whole CRA pipe weld process:

- Welds are more accessible for inspection

- Better welding torch stability increases weld integrity and productivity

- Permits Torch oscillation which will spread the heat and CRA material transversally. This reduces iron dilution, allows for better penetration of the heat into the carbon steel substrate and reduces weld thickness to the necessary levels (less material waste)

- Rotation speed using a headstock is very consistent compared to using powered rollers

- Uses high integrity TwinWire Hot TIG welding processes

- Very simple hardware configuration – headstock, pipe supports and precision column & boom to guide the torch.

- high integrity TIG root and filler pass welds for the ‘girth’ welding

Choice of arc welding processes

- Single Torch/single wire HotTIG

- Single Torch Twin wire HotTIG

- TwinTorch Single wire HotTIG

- Single Torch Pulsed MIG

- Submerged arc

CRA linings are relatively thin (2-3mm). This will be difficult to achieve with 12 metre length pipes as the rotational speed of the pipe needs to be high. This will increase ‘slip’ in the supporting turning rollers and affect the welding operation. Deposits between 3-4mm are easier to achieve in a single layer but difficult over two layers (required to restrict iron dilution to less than 5%). One possibility is to use the Single wire HotTIG process with oscillation, which, with careful WPS development, could achieve the dilution criteria and weld thickness criteria in a single layer. This method is used extensively in weld-cladding tubing hangers and tubing spool bodies for the well head valve industry. Whilst other welding process can be considered, the controllability of the TIG and MIG processes and their relative ease in automated welding methods make them the only processes for our consideration in CRA weld-cladding. We have summarised the main features of these processes for pipe and spool body weld-cladding.

© Power Electronics & Controls Limited, Kettering UK Publication: Rotary_PipeCLAD.doc Date: 4 May 2010

Process

Maximum

No of layers for <5% dilution

Comments

deposit rate

(kg/hr)

Pipe cladding

   

Welded in 1G position

Single wire Hot

2.75

2

For pipes up to 8” size

TIG

+ osc

TwinWire HotTIG + osc

5.00

2

For pipes from 8”-30”

Pulsed MIG

3.3

1

Optional item- single arc

+osc

Spool

   

Welded in 2G position

cladding

TwinArc TIG

4.0

2

6”-30” diameter spool bodies

(2G position)

Osc. = oscillation

Examples of welding times using PEC’s PipeLineCLAD system. CRA material: Inconel 625 Dilution requirement: <5% Processes: Hotwire TIG, Pulsed MIG Weld length: 3000mm CRA height: 4mm

Pipe weld-cladding (1G welding position) welding times (hr)

 

Process

Layers

6”

12”

24”

30”

SingleWire Hot TIG

2

19.4

38.3

77.69

97.1

SingleWire Hot TIG + oscillation

1

17.4

34.9

69.9

87.4

TwinWire Hot TIG + oscillation

1

-

21.8

43.7

54.6

Single Arc Pulsed MIG

1

11.6

23.3

46.6

58.2

Comment: Single arc Pulsed MIG is comparable to TwinWire HOT TIG with oscillation. Both processes are capable of achieving 5% dilution in a single layer weld

Spool body weld-cladding (2G welding position)welding times (hr)

 

Process

Layers

6”

12”

24”

30”

SingleArc Hotwire TIG

2

21.8

43.7

87.4

109.2

TwinArc Hotwire TIG

2

13.1

21.8

43.7

54.6

Single Arc Pulsed MIG

1

13.4

26.9

53.7

67.2

Comment: TwinArc Hotwire TIG is the optimum process for spool cladding

© Power Electronics & Controls Limited, Kettering UK Publication: Rotary_PipeCLAD.doc Date: 4 May 2010

Recommendations:

a) Welding processes for pipe cladding in 1G position using conventional equipment configuration (Figure-1)

i) for pipe between 6-9” diameter use single wire Hot TIG in 1G position, with or without oscillation

ii) for pipes between 9”- 30”, use TwinWire HotTIG with oscillation

iii) single arc Pulsed MIG with oscillation offers comparable CRA

deposit rates but with unknown problems when welding with long torches.

(The Pulsed MIG process is very sensitive to arc gap variations (contact tip to work piece distance). With 3000mm torches, we will get quite considerable ‘torch bounce’ which will produce varying arc gap distances with resulting poor welds).

b) Welding processes for spool cladding in 2G position using Rotary Head (Figure-1)

i) for spool bodies less than 6” diameter, use single arc Hotwire TIG

ii) for spool bodies between 6” – 30” diameters, use TwinArc Hotwire

TIG

c) System configurations:

i) PLC Pipe & Spool combination system (Figure1)

ii) Dedicated pipe cladding system

iii) Dedicated spool cladding system

The maximum arcing time achievable (2 shift basis) would be 10-12 hours per day (allowing for setup, pre-heat etc) For large volumes of pipes & spool bodies, it may be necessary to have dedicated systems for pipe cladding and spool cladding. The PLC system would be suitable for smaller volumes and where flexibility of use is required – Rotary Head can weld a wide variety of components other than spool bodies.

TwinWire HotTIG weld TwinWire HotTIG Torch TwinArc Hotwire TIG
TwinWire HotTIG weld
TwinWire HotTIG Torch
TwinArc Hotwire TIG

© Power Electronics & Controls Limited, Kettering UK Publication: Rotary_PipeCLAD.doc Date: 4 May 2010

TwinWire TIG Torch for Pipe cladding RotaryHead for spools Positioner Floor Plate for spool mounting
TwinWire TIG Torch
for Pipe cladding
RotaryHead
for spools
Positioner
Floor Plate for spool
mounting

PEC’s PLC PipeLine weld cladding system for pipes and spools

PLC PipeLine weld cladding system for pipes and spools Twinarc TIG welding in 2G position Spool

Twinarc TIG welding in 2G position

for pipes and spools Twinarc TIG welding in 2G position Spool bodies welded in 2G with

Spool bodies welded in 2G with TwinArc Hotwire TIG

Pipe line components include: - elbows - pipes - spacer spools - cross over/adapter spools
Pipe line components include:
- elbows
- pipes
- spacer spools
- cross over/adapter spools
- diverter spools
- reducer spools
- adapter flanges

© Power Electronics & Controls Limited, Kettering UK Publication: Rotary_PipeCLAD.doc Date: 4 May 2010