Fracture of a Chip-Conveyor Pipe at a Flange Weld as a Result of Poor Fit-Up
A pipe in a chip conveyor cracked at the toe of an exterior fillet weld connecting a flange to the pipe. The chip conveyor consisted of several spool sections. Each section was made up of a length of low-alloy steel pipe and two flanges, which were welded to each end. The composition specified for the pipe steel was 0.25C-0.98Mn-3.52Ni-1.34Cr-0.24Mo, which approximates a 9300 steel with high molybdenum. Investigation supported the conclusion that the conveyor pipe failed by brittle fracture, which was attributed to the stresses induced in forcing the circular flange over the elliptical section of the pipe. The toe of the weld and the adjacent undercut were stress raisers that determined the point of major crack origin. Under residual stress, the internal point of incomplete fusion also initiated additional cracks. Recommendations included ensuring a proper fit between an elliptical flange and pipe end to eliminate the cracking.