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A 10-in. diam, spiral-welded AISI 1020 carbon steel pipe carrying water under pressure developed numerous leaks over a four mile section. The section was fabricated using submerged-arc welding from the outside surface. Each welded length of pipe had been subjected to a proof pressure approximately twice the specified design pressure and two-thirds the approximate yield point of the parent metal. No failures or leakage were observed during proof testing. Metallurgical examination corroborated visual checks, indicating a distinct lack of root penetration in the split areas. Splitting occurred as a result of inadequate root penetration. The most likely source of difficulty in the welding process was the linear speed. Probably, the failures would not have occurred in absence of the welding problem. Also, the pipe was inadequate for the specified design pressure, as well as the reported maximum system pressure.

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C. Howard Craft, Failure of a Spiral-Welded Water Pipe, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Buildings, Bridges, and Infrastructure, ASM International, 2019,

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