Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 30–37 | Cite as

Failure Investigation of a Defective Weldment of an Oil Product Transmission Pipeline

  • Sayyed Shamseddin Abedi
Case History---Peer-Reviewed


An API 5L X52 oil product transmission pipeline experienced a sudden failure at a portion which had been buried in the bed of a river crossing after 33 years of service. Results showed that mechanical properties of the weldment had been reduced due to weld defects. The defects had been formed during construction welding and installation of the pipeline in the bed of the river crossing. No failure had occurred until this portion of the buried pipeline came out of its place in the bed of the river crossing. Under this condition, defective weldment (due to hydrogen stepwise cracking, incomplete fusion, porosity formation, and entrapped slag inclusion) was not capable of enduring stress imposed by the strong river stream and consequently failed. Metallographic and SEM studies as well as stress analysis were used for pipeline fracture investigation.


Failure analysis API 5L X52 Welding defects Pipeline Oil products 



This research funding was provided and supported by the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI). The author would like to thank Mr. Nematollah Adibi (RIPI pensioner member) for his technical assistance in data gathering, specimen preparation for testing, and also project report reviewing.


  1. 1.
    C.G. Siegfried, Corrosion of Pipelines, in ASM Handbook, vol. 13, ed. by S. William Pelletier (ASM, New York, 1987)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A.W. Peabody, R.L. Bianchetti, Peabody’s Control of Pipeline Corrosion, 2nd edn. (NACE, Houston, 2001), p. 2001Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    H.M. Shalaby, W.T. Riat, A.A. Alhazza, M.H. Behbehani, Failure analysis of fuel supply pipeline. J. Eng. Fail. Anal. 13, 789–796 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    B. Leis, R.N. Parkins, Mechanics and material aspects in prediction serviceability limited by stress corrosion cracking. Fatigue Fract. Eng. Mater. Struct. 21, 583–601 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    SSh Abedi, N. Adibi, A. Abdolmaleki, Failure analysis of SCC and SRB induced cracking of a transmission oil products pipeline. J. Eng. Fail. Anal. 14, 250–261 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    C.R.F. Azevedo, A. Sinatra, Failure analysis of a gas pipeline. J. Eng. Fail. Anal. 11, 387–400 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    L.P. Conner, Welding Handbook (American Welding Society, New York, 1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    AWS committee on methods of Inspection, Welding Inspection Handbook (American Welding Society, New York, 2000)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    “Welding Inspection and Metallurgy” Recommended Practice 577, American Petroleum Institute, API, 2004Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. Coshan, P. Hopkins, K.A. Macdonald, Best practice for the assessment of defects in pipeline-corrosion. J. Eng. Fail. Anal. 14, 1245–1265 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    K. Sindo, Welding Metallurgy (John Wiley & Sons-Wiley Interscience, Hoboken, 2003)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    R.W. Messler, Principle of Welding-Processes, Physics, Chemistry and Metallurgy (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH&Co, Dresden, 2004)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    R. Davis, Corrosion of Weldments (American Society for Metals, ASM, Metals Park, 2006)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    C.R.F. Azevedo, Failure analysis of a crude oil pipeline. J. Eng. Fail. Anal. 14, 978–994 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    E.S. Drexler, A.J. Slifka, R.L. Amaro, N. Barbosa, D.S. Lauria, L.E. Hayden, D.G. Stalheim, Fatigue crack growth rates of API X70 pipeline steel in a pressurized hydrogen gas environment. Fatigue Fract. Eng. Mater. Struct. 37, 517–525 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    N.T. Nguyen, M.A. Wahab, The effect of undercut, misalignment and residual stresses on the fatigue behavior of butt welded joins. Fatigue Fract. Eng. Mater. Struct. 19, 769–778 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    D.K. Karamitros, G.D. Bouckovalas, G.P. Kouretzis, Stress analysis of buried steel pipelines at strike-slip fault crossings. Soil Dyn. Earthq. Eng. 27, 200–211 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    C. Schmitt, G. Pluvinage, E. Hadj-Taieb, R. Akid, Water pipeline failure due to water hammer effects. Fatigue Fract. Eng. Mater. Struct. 29, 1075–1082 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    R.W. Hertzberg, Deformation and Fracture Mechanics of Engineering Materials (Wiley, New York, 1996)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    A. Amirat, A. Mohamed-Chateauneuf, K. Chaoui, Reliability assessment of underground pipelines under the combined effect of active corrosion and residual stress. Int. J. Press. Vessels Pip 83, 107–117 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Corrosion Research Group of the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI), NIOCTehranIslamic Republic of Iran

Personalised recommendations