Offshore Platform Steel Specification

by M.L. Peterson, Conoco Inc.,
E.L. Von Rosenberg, Materials & Welding Technology Inc.,

Part of: Offshore Technology in Civil Engineering: Hall of Fame Papers from the Early Years


The discovery in the 1980's of local brittle zones (LBZ's) in and near the heat-affected zone (HAZ) of the fabrication welds in certain offshore platform steels caused great concern among the engineers and welding specialists of the period and led directly to the preparation and adoption of API RP2Z in May 1987 of Recommended Practice for Preproduction Qualification for Steel Plates for Offshore Structures. This recommended practice describes a procedure by which steel producers could prequalify their product in advance of purchase and delivery and thereby reduce the risk of steel plate being delivered to the jobsite which would exhibit weldability problems from the standpoint of low HAZ toughness or HAZ cracking problems when using typical and conventional welding procedures, i.e., the need for extensive fracture toughness testing by the fabricator on each weld procedure was eliminated in favor of a more sophisticated one-time test program in the laboratory of the producer. This recommended practice covers two areas: (1) testing weld HAZ for toughness using CTOD tests and (2) delayed cracking tests using the controlled thermal severity test (CTS) and Y-groove test. This RP was developed for use with API steel specifications 2H, 2Y, and 2W. Most of the effort has been toward the quantification of API 2Y and 2W steels in thicker sections = 4 (100 mm). This program has been scientifically successful albeit with a significant penalty of time and cost to the steel producer. There has been sufficient standardization that various purchasers have and will accept the same qualification performed previously for another job. This, of course, is exactly what API standards are intended to accomplish. API RP2Z was revised in 1992 and is currently being reviewed for a second revision intended to reduce some of the conservatism built into the original document by our lack of full understanding of the embrittling mechanisms in the HAZ of welded structural steels but now strongly supported by a substantial data base of good material. The paper discusses some of the proposed changes and contains data on the currently achievable fracture toughness levels.

Copyright holder: Copyright 1994, Offshore Technology Conference

Subject Headings: Welding | Steel plates | Toughness | Steel structures | Steel | Offshore structures | Cracking


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