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ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories

Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis

Edited by
Khlefa A. Esaklul
Khlefa A. Esaklul
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ASM International
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Book Chapter

Catastrophic Failure of an 1830 mm (72 in.) Diam Spiral-Welded Water Line

W.F. Jones, III
W.F. Jones, III
Consulting Metallurgical Services, Inc.
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Page range:
150 - 152


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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W.F. Jones, III, 1992. "Catastrophic Failure of an 1830 mm (72 in.) Diam Spiral-Welded Water Line", Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Khlefa A. Esaklul

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