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Two failures of AP15A grade J-55 electric resistance welded (ERW) tubing in as our gas environment were investigated. The first failure occurred after 112 days of service. Replacement pipe failed 2 days later. Surface examination of the failed tubing indicated that fracture initiated at the outside surface. Metallographic analysis showed that the fracture originated in the upturned fibers adjacent to the ERW bond line. Cross sections of the weld were removed from three random locations in the test sample. At each location, the up turned fibers of the weld zone contained bands of hard-appearing microstructure. Hardness measurements confirmed these observations. The cracks followed these bands. It was concluded that the tubing failed from sulfide stress cracking, which resulted from bands of susceptible microstructure in the ERW zone. The banded microstructure in the pipe suggested that chemical segregation contributed to the hard areas. Postweld normalized heat treatment apparently did not sufficiently reduce the hardness of these areas.

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Robert M. Billings, Failure of Grade J-55 Electric Resistance Welded Production Tubing, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 1, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1992, p 393–395,

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