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Steel plate and pipe manufacture 5

Section 1: Steel plate and pipe manufacture

Introduction ............................................................................................................. 7
Table 1 - Steelmaking developments ................................................................... 8
Table 2 - Pipe manfacture developments ............................................................. 9

Plate ......................................................................................................................... 10
Blisters ................................................................................................................. 10
Centreline segregations ...................................................................................... 11
Centreline splits .................................................................................................. 12
Indentations ......................................................................................................... 12
Laminations ......................................................................................................... 14
Laps ...................................................................................................................... 15
Separations in Charpy test piece ....................................................................... 16
Separations in CTOD test piece ......................................................................... 17
Separations in DWTT test piece ......................................................................... 18
Slivers .................................................................................................................. 19

Seamless pipe ......................................................................................................... 20


Copper penetration ............................................................................................. 20
Double shell ......................................................................................................... 21
Ingot defects ......................................................................................................... 22
Laminations ......................................................................................................... 23
Longitudinal surface laps ................................................................................... 24
Manufacturing defects ........................................................................................ 25
Slag inclusions ..................................................................................................... 26
Transverse tears .................................................................................................. 27
Uneven wall thickness ........................................................................................ 28

ERW pipe ................................................................................................................. 29


Burn marks .......................................................................................................... 29
Diverted inclusions .............................................................................................. 30
Hook cracks .......................................................................................................... 31
Lack of fusion ....................................................................................................... 32
Absence of normalizing ....................................................................................... 33
Misplaced normalizing ........................................................................................ 34
Seam misplaced trim ........................................................................................... 35
Seam over-trim .................................................................................................... 36
Seam under-trim ................................................................................................. 37
6 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

DSAW pipe .............................................................................................................. 38


Concave cap ......................................................................................................... 38
Copper cracking ................................................................................................... 39
End crack ............................................................................................................. 40
Hard spots ............................................................................................................ 41
Hot crack .............................................................................................................. 42
Hot tear at lamination ........................................................................................ 43
Hydrogen cracking .............................................................................................. 44
Lack of fill ............................................................................................................ 45
Lack of side-wall fusion ....................................................................................... 46
Lack of inter-penetration .................................................................................... 47
Misalignment ....................................................................................................... 48
Porosity ................................................................................................................ 49
Roof topping ......................................................................................................... 50
Slag inclusions ..................................................................................................... 51
Surface lap at weld .............................................................................................. 52
Toe crack .............................................................................................................. 53
Top-hat cracking .................................................................................................. 54
Undercut .............................................................................................................. 55
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 7

Introduction
In normal circumstances it would be expected that significant plate or pipe defects would
be detected and eliminated in the pipe mill or during the pre-commissioning hydrostatic
pressure test.

Provided a pipeline operates below the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) no
further failures from plate or pipe defects should be expected. However such defects can
provide the initiation point for in-service defect growth by degradation mechanisms such as
corrosion or fatigue.

The following pages show examples of both plate and pipe defects, organized into the
following sections:

• Plate defects
• Seamless pipe defects
• ERW pipe defects
• DSAW pipe defects

Steelmaking developments

Approximate dates for the introduction to general use of new steelmaking techniques are
shown in Table 1.

Pipemaking developments

Approximate dates for the introduction to general use of new pipemaking techniques are
shown in Table 2.
8 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Year Steel type Properties


Pre – 1890s Wrought iron (pure iron with stringers of Usually riveted/bolted; mechanical
silicate/oxide). properties depend on direction of testing,
welding needs care (avoid fillet welds).
1890s – Semi-killed steel (deoxidizing additions Toughness can be low, intermediate
1970s of manganese but low silicon levels), strength (up to X52), satisfactory
ingot cast then hot rolled or normalized. weldability.
1970s – Fully-killed steel (deoxidizing additions Good toughness, high strength (up to
present of manganese and silicon), continuously X65), weldability can be poor due to high
cast then normalized. carbon equivalent.
mid 1970s Fully-killed, aluminium-treated, low- Good toughness, high strength (up
–present sulphur steel (deoxidizing additions of to X65), good weldability; good sour
manganese and silicon, microalloying performance when calcium treated.
additions of niobium and/or vanadium),
continuously cast then controlled rolled.
1980s – Fully-killed aluminium-treated low- Good toughness, high strength (X70
present sulphur steel (deoxidizing additions of plus), good weldability; good sour
manganese and silicon, microalloying performance when calcium treated.
additions of niobium and/or vanadium),
continuously cast then controlled rolled
and accelerated cooled.
1990s – Fully-killed aluminium-treated low- Good toughness, very high strength
present sulphur steel (deoxidizing additions (X100 plus with high Mn content),
of manganese and silicon, alloying satisfactory weldability; sour
additions of chromium, copper, nickel, performance questionable.
or molybdenum, with microalloying
additions of niobium and titanium),
continuously cast then controlled rolled
and accelerated cooled.

Table 1. Steelmaking developments.


Steel plate and pipe manufacture 9

Year Technique Properties


1800s – Lap-welded pipe Poor seam-weld quality and toughness.
1960s
1900s – Seamless pipe Gradual improvements in pipe quality
present due to materials, forging technology, and
inspection.
1930s – ERW (electric-resistance welding): low- Prone to lack of fusion and poor seam-
1960s frequency welding current weld toughness.
(up to 1978
in some
mills)
1960s – ERW: high-frequency welding current Reduced tendency for lack of fusion.
present
(from 1978
in some
mills)
1980s – ERW: improved seam-weld inspection Improved toughness, fewer defects.
present and heat treatment
1990 – HFI (high-frequency induction) welding: Reduced tendency for lack of fusion,
present induction heating introduced especially for heavy-wall pipe.
1900s – SAW (submerged-arc welding) Gradual improvements in pipe quality
present longitudinal welded pipe due to materials, welding technology,
and inspection.
1900s – SAW helical-welded pipe Gradual improvements in pipe quality
present due to materials, welding technology,
and inspection. Increased use for high-
pressure applications in last 30 years.

Table 2. Pipe manufacture developments.


10 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Plate
Blisters

Description

A blister is a void, close to the pipe surface, enclosed by a thin filament of steel caused by
entrapment of gas released during the solidification of the steel.

Significance

A blister is not structurally significant but may be an initiation site for pitting corrosion if
the void is contaminated, for example by salt from a marine atmosphere.

Blisters may cause holidays in thin-film coatings unless they are removed by grinding before
the final grit blast.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 11

Centreline segregations

Description

During solidification of an ingot or continuously cast slab, non-metallic inclusions such as


carbides, sulphides, and silicates may become concentrated at the centre of the ingot in the
last liquid to solidify. When the ingot or continuously cast slab is rolled into plate, these
appear as segregated bands at the mid-wall position.

Significance

Centreline segregations are generally not structurally significant for pressure retention but
they may provide an initiation point for cracking in sour service, and may contribute to weld
defects. Modern steels are much cleaner than older steels, and consequently the degree of
centreline segregation is less.
12 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Centreline splits

Description

Aligned inclusions or segregations create a line of weakness


in the steel plate, typically along the centreline, which
leads to cracking in test pieces, such as this tensile test
specimen.

Significance

These features are a symptom of the test and, since any cracking in the segregated band runs
parallel to the pipe wall and hence parallel with the principal hoop stress in the pipe, they
are not usually structurally significant.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 13

Indentations

Description

Pieces of scrap or foreign bodies


that have been rolled into the
plate surface create depressions
or indentations. When viewed in
section, the grain structure in
the steel follows the outline of
the depression.

Significance

Commonly these features are


relatively shallow and are too small to be structurally significant, but indentations should
be checked for compliance to the pipe specification.
14 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Laminations

Description

Laminations may be defined as a discontinuity lying parallel to the pipe surface. They are
caused by rolling-out of inclusions, or blow holes or ‘pipes’ in the parent material.

Significance

Large laminations may be structurally significant, especially if the pipe wall is subject to
through-thickness stresses, for example during the attachment of branch fittings, fillet-
welded hot-tap tees, or welded repair shells. However, some older pipelines contain pipes
with large laminations that have not created a safety hazard in many years service if they
have been left undisturbed.

Surface-breaking laminations can create coating defects and may serve as an initiation
point for pitting corrosion.

Superficial laminations should be removed by grinding before application of thin-film


coatings.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 15

Laps

Description

A lap is a flap of metal lying flat on the pipe surface, usually with a trapped residue of oxide
or scale beneath it. Laps are caused by a metal protrusion that is folded and rolled into the
hot metal surface during rolling of the plate from which the pipe is made.

Significance

Generally small laps have little or no structural significance. Laps do create defects in thin-
film coatings, and soluble salts trapped in the scale or oxides beneath the lap may act as
corrosion ‘hot spots’ and initiate pitting. Superficial laps should be removed by grinding
before application of a thin-film coating.
16 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Separations in Charpy test piece

Description

Separations are cracks, or crack-like features that appear in the fracture face of mechanical
test pieces used in the Charpy, crack-tip opening displacement (CTOD), and drop-weight
tear (DWT) tests. Their occurrence may be influenced by steel chemistry and plate rolling
conditions, particularly heavy deformation at low rolling temperatures. The crack-like
features are related to the steel microstructure, for example fine bands of Martensite.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 17

Separations in CTOD test piece

Description

Separations are cracks, or crack-like features that appear in the fracture face of mechanical
test pieces used in the Charpy, crack-tip opening displacement (CTOD), and drop-weight
tear (DWT) tests. Their occurrence may be influenced by steel chemistry and plate rolling
conditions, particularly heavy deformation at low rolling temperatures. The crack-like
features are related to the steel structure, for example fine bands of Martensite.
18 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Separations in DWTT test piece

Description

Separations are cracks, or crack-like features that appear in the fracture face of mechanical
test pieces used in Charpy, crack-tip opening displacement (CTOD), and drop-weight tear
(DWT) tests. Their occurrence may be influenced by steel chemistry and plate rolling
conditions, particularly heavy deformation at low rolling temperatures. The crack-like
features are related to the steel structure, for example fine bands of Martensite.

API Recommended Practice 5L3 contains guidance on the interpretation of DWTTs containing
separations.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 19

Slivers

Description

A sliver is a thin, elongated flap of metal


rolled into the pipe surface, often with oxide
or scale trapped beneath it. Slivers are caused
by rolling-out of surface asperities,
protrusions, or solidified splashes of molten
metal.

Significance

Small slivers are not structurally significant. Soluble salts contained within scale or oxides
beneath the sliver may initiate pitting corrosion. Slivers also create defects in thin-film
coatings and should be removed by grinding before application of the coating.
20 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Seamless pipe
Copper penetration

Description

Copper contamination can occur during the Pilger Mill process, for example, following
external contamination from defective equipment. Free copper on the pipe surface penetrates
into grain boundaries and forms a line of weakness that may open up, into crack-like
features, under stress. The ‘cracks’ are normally at right angles to the pipe surface

Significance

In extreme cases the cracks can extend through the pipe wall but should be detected by the
quality-control and pipe-inspection procedures in the pipe mill.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 21

Double shell

Description

Double shell is a discontinuity in the pipe wall that, in extreme cases, splits the pipe wall
into two segments. It is commonly associated with an interrupted pour at the ingot stage
which allows surface oxidation to occur within the partially formed ingot. The line of oxide
remains as a zone of weakness in the finished ingot and separation occurs along the zone
during forging.

Significance

Separations that run at an angle to the pipe wall may be structurally significant and should
be detected by the inspection procedures in the pipe mill. Separations that run parallel to
the pipe surface may not be detected, but may not be structurally significant.
22 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Ingot defects

Description

Defects in the surface of the original ingot


that have not been removed during scarfing*
in the pipe-forming process are carried
through into the pipe wall. They appear as
irregularly shaped crack-like defects running
into the pipe wall at a shallow angle to the
pipe surface

Significance

Small surface defects are not structurally significant but may create defects in thin-film
coatings. These superficial defects may be removed by grinding before application of the
coating.

*Scarfing: the removal of surface defects, usually on semi-finished products by flame-cutting methods. Can be
carried out in-line during primary rolling, when it is referred to as hot scarfing
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 23

Laminations

Description

A lamination is a discontinuity lying parallel to the pipe surface, usually marked by a


concentration of non-metallics. Laminations are caused by rolling-out of inclusions, blow
holes, pipes, or ingot cracks in the parent material.

Significance

Large laminations may be structurally significant but some older pipelines contain pipes
with large laminations that have not created a safety hazard in many years service.
However, such defects could pose a problem if through-thickness stresses are generated in
the pipe wall, for example during hot-tap or repair-welding operations.

Surface-breaking laminations may contribute to coating faults and may serve as an


initiation point for pitting corrosion.
24 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Longitudinal surface laps

Description

A surface lap is a flap of metal lying flat on the pipe surface, usually with a trapped residue
of oxide or scale beneath it. Laps are caused by a metal protrusion that is folded and
deformed into the hot metal surface during the pipe-forming process.

Significance

Generally, small laps have little or no structural significance. Laps do create defects in thin-
film coatings, and superficial surface laps should be removed by grinding before application
of the coating.

Soluble salts trapped in the scale or oxides beneath the lap may act as a corrosion ‘hot spot’
and initiate pitting.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 25

Manufacturing defects

Description

Manufacturing defects appear as irregularly shaped defects in the pipe wall. They are
caused by solidification defects in the ingot that are carried through into the pipe, or pieces
of lapped material that have fallen out.

Significance

Significant manufacturing defects should be identified by pressure testing in the pipe mill
or during the pre-commissioning pressure test.
26 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Slag inclusions

Description

When an ingot is contaminated with slag, the non-


metallic inclusions can appear in the pipe wall. In
well-controlled pipe production, most slag inclusions
are removed during the piercing process and when
the ends of the ingot are trimmed during the pipe
forming process. The shape of the slag inclusion
will be governed by the forging process.

Significance

Slag inclusions are usually too small to be structurally significant. However, surface-
breaking slag may create defects in a thin-film pipe coating and should be removed by
grinding before application of the coating. When contaminated with soluble salts, slag
inclusions can also act as an initiation site for pitting corrosion.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 27

Transverse tears

Description

Cracks in the ingot, for example transverse


shrinkage cracks, may be carried through
to the pipe if insufficient material is removed
from the ingot surface during the scarfing*
process. They appear as crack-like features
at the pipe surface running in the hoop
direction.

Significance

Transverse tears may create defects in thin-film coatings. Superficial transverse tears
should be removed by grinding before application of the coating.

* See entry for ingot defects for a definition.


28 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Uneven wall thickness

Description

Variation in wall thickness along a pipe, commonly in a spiral pattern, which may occur
during the Pilger process. The pipe is rotated as it progresses through the Pilger Mill and
this results in the spiral pattern of wall-thickness variation.

Significance

The variation may be 5 – 10% of the wall thickness, and in extreme cases the variation may
exceed 10%. Limits of wall thickness variation should be checked against the relevant pipe
manufacturing standard.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 29

ERW pipe

Burn marks

Description

Burn marks are local areas of transformed,


hardened, microstructure on either side of
the seam weld on the outer surface of the
pipe. They may be associated with lack of
fusion in the seam weld and are caused by
poor or intermittent electrical contact
between the rollers used to introduce the
electrical current to the pipe. The rollers
are located either side of the joint line on
the outer surface of the pipe.

Burn marks are not found on high-frequency induction (HFI) welded pipe.

Significance

Repair of burn marks is not usually required unless they are extensive, when local dressing
of the pipe wall within acceptable grinding limits is necessary. NDT inspection to confirm
no cracking is present should be carried out.
30 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Diverted inclusions

Line of weld

Description

Non-metallic inclusions in the parent strip are diverted through 90o at the weld seam
causing a plane of weakness. The inclusions become re-aligned as a consequence of the
welding process. They are caused by poor quality, dirty, parent strip.

Significance

Repair is not usually required unless the plane of weakness has resulted in a fracture
through the pipe wall. The inclusions could act as an initiation point for corrosion.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 31

Hook cracks

Description

Internal or external cracks within the weld, usually curved in shape. The cracks are axially
aligned and at right angles to the pipe surface.

Significance

Replace the pipe or install repair clamps or repair shells as appropriate.


32 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Lack of fusion

Description

Lack of fusion in ERW pipe appears as an axial, crack-like, planar fault at the mid-point of
the weld. It is caused by incorrect welding parameters, for example excessively low welding
current which leads to insufficient resistance heating at the joint line.

Lack of fusion may be associated with burn marks on the outer surface of the pipe.

Significance

Replace the pipe or install repair clamps or shells as appropriate.


Steel plate and pipe manufacture 33

Absence of normalizing

Description

If normalizing is not carried out there is a lack of grain-refined structure at the weld line and
poor weld-line toughness. It is apparent on a macro-section as the well-defined heat-affected
zone on either side of the line of the weld.

Significance

Absence of normalizing can lead to failure along the weld line by brittle fracture when the
pipeline is subject to severe service conditions. This problem is only detected by pipeline
failure, so replacement is necessary.
34 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Misplaced normalizing

Description

Misplaced normalizing is caused when the in-line induction-heat treatment coils are not
centred on the weld line. This may result in no or partial heat treatment of the weld zone,
with a resulting lack of toughness.

Significance

Misplaced normalizing can lead to failure along the weld line by brittle fracture when the
pipeline is subject to severe service conditions. This problem is only detected by pipeline
failure, so replacement is necessary.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 35

Seam misplaced trim

Description

Misalignment of the weld-flash removal tool causes an axial groove or depression aligned
to one side of the seam weld.

Significance

Misplaced trim is unlikely to contribute to pipe failure, except in the most extreme operating
conditions, so repair is not normally required.
36 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Seam over-trim

Description

Over-trim creates an axial groove or depression on the line of the seam weld.

Significance

Over-trim is unlikely to contribute to pipe failure except in the most extreme operating
conditions. Repair is not normally necessary.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 37

Seam under-trim

Description

Insufficient removal of the weld flash leaves a linear feature standing proud of the pipe
surface on the line of the seam weld.

Significance

Under-trim is unlikely to contribute to pipe failure, except in the most extreme operating
conditions, so repair is not normally required.
38 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

DSAW pipe
Concave cap

Description

Insufficient weld metal creates a concave profile in the weld cap. Excessive weld travel speed
may contribute to this feature as well as being associated with small-diameter heavy-walled
pipe caused by gravity effect when affecting pipe ends can be associated with tab plate
alignment and weld-pool run off. Incorrect location of the welding head on spiral welder
DSAW pipe will also deliver concave weld profiles

Significance

Not a significant defect if the total weld thickness is greater than the pipe-wall thickness.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 39

Copper cracking

Description

Copper cracking occurs in the weld metal. It is caused by accidental introduction of free
copper into the weld pool. Possible sources include consumable copper coating flaking or
being shaved off in the wire-feed mechanism as well as melting of the electrode contact tip.

Significance

Cut out the affected pipe and replace.


40 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

End crack

Description

End cracks are usually small, < 10 mm long, and located at the end of the pipe. They are
caused by the stress induced in the pipe when the end plugs are forced into the pipe during
the mill hydrostatic test.

Significance

End cracks may not be identified in the hydrostatic test carried out in the pipe mill, or the
pre-commissioning hydrostatic pressure test, because the leak rate is too small to be
detected. The cracks are visible on the radiographs of girth welds and can be detected at this
stage of construction. Cracks found during construction must be cut out and the pipe re-
welded.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 41

Hard spots

Description

Hard spots are caused by accidental rapid cooling of a small area of the plate during hot
rolling, for example by water contamination. The localized area of hard microstructure may
be susceptible to in-service cracking.

Significance

Hard spots may be susceptible to hydrogen cracking if the service conditions are conducive
to this. Cracking would not be expected in hard spots covered by an effective, adherent
coating.

Shallow hard spots may be ground followed by non-destructive testing to check for cracking.
Replace the pipe when the hard spot, and associated cracking, is too big to grind.
42 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Hot crack

Description

A hot crack is solidification crack in the centreline of the weld bead, and tends to occur
towards the end of a pipe in the last metal to solidify. There are several possible causes:

• low melting point impurities in the weld metal, possibly diluted from dirty parent
plate;
• poor solidification profile in the weld, for example a high bead depth-to-width ratio;
• stress on the weld during solidification.
Significance

Cut out the pipe section and replace.


Steel plate and pipe manufacture 43

Hot tear at lamination

Description

A hot tear is a solidification crack in the weld bead that has initiated from a band of
segregation or lamination in the parent plate.

Significance

In operation, a hot tear may only be discovered if the pipe sees severe service. Affected pipe
should be replaced, but an alternative repair procedure may be acceptable subject to a full
defect assessment.
44 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Hydrogen cracking

Description

Hydrogen cracking, or chevron cracking, occurs as transverse cracks in SAW welds often
lying on alternate 45o planes. There are a number of factors that contribute to hydrogen
cracking, including the presence of hydrogen, a susceptible microstructure, residual stresses,
and the effects of time andtemperature.

Significance

Hydrogen cracking is generally found in thick-wall (> 25 mm) and high-strength (> API 5L
X60) pipe, and may only cause problems in severe service conditions. The affected pipe
should be cut out, but alternative repair procedures may be acceptable subject to a full defect
assessment.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 45

Lack of fill

Description

Lack of weld metal in one or more passes caused by incorrect welding conditions, technical
issues with one or more of the welding heads, or incorrect weld-preparation dimensions.

Significance

Loss of strength in the weld. More difficult to detect on small-diameter pipes when present
on the inside weld bead.
46 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Lack of side-wall fusion

Description

Misalignment of the welding head or incorrect welding parameters can cause lack of side-
wall fusion. It appears as a linear defect at the weld side wall, or in the top edge of the weld.
When related to upper regions of the weld pass, it will be vsisble as a missed edge and this
can also be associated with incorrect weld-preparation dimensions.

Significance

Lack of side-wall fusion may cause failure during cold expansion in the pipe mill; otherwise,
it may only be discovered if the pipe sees severe service conditions. The affected pipe should
be cut out but an alternative repair procedure may be acceptable subject to a full defect
assessment.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 47

Lack of inter-penetration

Description

Lack of inter-penetration creates a linear defect between the inside and outside weld beads
from the root face of the original weld preparation. The crack-like defect is aligned through
the wall thickness. It occurs when the root face is too large or the welding conditions are
incorrect.

Significance

Look for sufficient interpenetration of the external and internal weld beads on macro-
sections taken during the manufacturer’s procedure qualification test and during production
macro assessments. Check also during routine quality-control testing. After commissioning,
this problem may only be discovered if the pipe sees severe service.
48 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Misalignment

Description

Misalignment of the weld beads can cause lack of interpenetration in the seam weld.

Significance

Monitoring qualification test macros and production macros can allow misalignment of the
weld passes to be picked up. Misalignment can produce large defects in the seam weld which
should be detected in the mill test or precommissioning hydrostatic test. Testing below 105%
SMYS may not reveal all defects.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 49

Porosity

Description

Porosity is a volumetric-type defect in the weld metal which can be isolated, clustered, or in
the form of piping, and can be contained in the body of the weld or surface-breaking. It is
caused by a number of factors, including hydrocarbon contamination of the weld preparation
(from a multitude of sources), poor control of welding consumables and also incorrect
welding parameters.

Significance

Porosity may only be discovered if the pipe sees severe conditions.


50 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Roof topping

Description

Roof topping refers to peaking at the SAW seam weld. It is a pipe-mill defect caused by
failure to crimp the plate edges sufficiently before the U-and-O pipe-forming process.

Significance

Roof topping may be acceptable within specified limits if pipe does not see severe service.
Otherwise reject the pipe
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 51

Slag inclusions

Description

Non-metallic manganese or calcium sulphide inclusions can form in the pipe wall when the
source steel has a high sulphur content. Their shape depends on the type of inclusion and
the plate-rolling process.

Significance

Slag inclusions are usually too small to be structurally significant. However, surface-
breaking inclusions may initiate a corrosion ‘hot spot’ or a defect in a thin-film pipe coating.
52 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Surface lap at weld

Description

This is a crack in close proximity to the seam weld and running parallel to it, caused by
longitudinal ingot cracks that are carried through into the rolled plate. Such cracks may
occur at any point in the pipe plate. Cracks close to the edge of the plate may open-up during
the welding process.

Significance

Assess the structural significance of the cracks and repair or reject the pipe as appropriate.
Steel plate and pipe manufacture 53

Toe crack

Description

A toe crack is a crack at the junction between the submerged arc weld bead and the pipe
surface. Causes of toe cracks include: plate-surface contamination, poor plate-surface
quality, rolled-in scale, and inclusions that lead to cracking at the weld toe. Delamination
of inclusions may occur during weld cooling with subsequent cracking during cold expansion
in the pipe mill or during a hydrostatic pressure test.

Significance

Toe cracks may only be discovered if the pipe sees severe service conditions.
54 MACAW’s Encyclopedia of Pipeline Defects

Top-hat cracking

Description

A top-hat crack is a solidification crack in the weld bead initiated from a change in profile
at the weld-fusion boundary. It is caused by a poor weld-bead profile that leads to a
concentration of strain during weld-bead solidification.

Significance

Top-hat cracking may only cause problems in severe service


Steel plate and pipe manufacture 55

Undercut

Description

Undercut is a linear defect at the toeof the internal or external weld bead. Base metal is
removed from the edge of the weld bead by the force of the welding arc and the weld metal
fails to fill these regions. Mainly caused by incorrect welding parameter but can also be
affected by plate scale and cleanliness.

Significance

Undercut is usually a rounded defect and, provided it is not too deep, limited lengths of
undercut are allowed in most specifications. Undercut can be repaired, if necessary, by
grinding-out the defect and carrying out a local weld repair. Repair by mechanical dressing
may be possible providing the minimum material thickness is maintained.