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The repeated failure of a welded ASTM A283 grade D pipe that was part of a 6 km (4 mi) line drawing and conducting river water to a water treatment plant was investigated. Failure analysis was conducted on sections of pipe from the third failure. Visual, macrofractographic, SEM fractographic, metallographic, chemical, and mechanical property (tension and impact toughness) analyses were conducted. On the basis of the tests and observations, it was concluded that the failure was the combined result of poor notch toughness (impact) properties of the steel, high stresses in the joint area, a possible stress raiser at the intersection of the spiral weld and girth weld, and sudden impact loading, probably due to water hammer. Use of a semi- or fully killed steel with a minimum Charpy V-notch impact value of 20 J (15 ft·lbf) at 0 deg C (32 deg F) was recommended for future water lines. Certified test results from the steel mill, procedure qualification tests of the welding, and design changes to reduce water hammer were also recommended.

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