It is generally accepted that hot induction bending (HIB) results in a decrease in strength and an increase in fracture toughness in bend area, heat affected zone (HAZ) and weld metal (WM). As the result, Post bend heat treatment (PBHT) is not considered to be a requirement and could be waived for saving money and time. This research work raises the concern that factual verification of proper microstructure and no localized brittle zone is vitally necessary prior to waving PBHT.
Evaluation of the steel microstructure and mechanical properties as the result of various pipe chemistries during pipe bending has been verified in this experimental work. It is emphasized that knowledge and control of prior steel pipe chemistry, control of temperature, cooling rate and bending speed assures the reliability and repeatability of induction bends, especially in critical environments such as low temperature application.
In the present work, qualitative and quantitative microstructural analysis, hardness and impact test performed and evaluated on samples from X70 line pipe with 3 different steel chemistries. The samples prepared from different locations on body, weld and HAZ in the as received and as bent condition. It was found that the final microstructure and mechanical properties in the as bent condition is dependent on the chemistry, steel cleanliness and microstructural uniformity. It was observed that small localized brittle zone with traces of upper Bainite and Martensite islands could be transformed in the microstructure with rich chemistry containing non-homogenous central segregation. It is concluded that factual verification of proper microstructure with no localized hard zone is required prior to waving PBHT.