Challenges of Pipe & Tube Testing

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The following provides an overview of recent changes and challenges facing pipe & tube manufacturers and suppliers.

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  • Not the same. They are round, and hollow but slightly different
    Pipe size refers to nominal ID, not actual ID, or inside diameter
    Tube size refers to the nominal OD, or outside diameter

    Pipe Applications
    Pipe used in the transportation of liquid petroleum for the oil and gas industry has been our primary application

    Tube Applications
    Stainless tubing for boilers, heat exchangers, HVAC, etc.
    Tubing can also be used for construction applications such as square structural tubing for large buildings


  • Various pipe and tube product standard link back to one or more international testing standards.
    The goal behind this is so the testing procedures can be standardised, this also prevents the duplication of effort.

    “The diversity of screw threads used to represent big problems for industry, particularly in maintenance, as lost or damaged nuts and bolts could not easily be replaced. A global solution is supplied in the ISO standards for metric screw threads.”
  • Test specifications permit “end flattening” prior to testing but it is time consuming, and difficult to achieve with thicker material

    Satisfactory grip engagement is an issue with the curved surface, and specimen slippage can occur

  • Match the concave (curvature) portion of the longitudinal strip specimen
    Incorporates an interchangeable face for the concave portion of the specimen which can easily be equipped with different inserts to test various sizes of pipe and tube
    Uses a standard vee jaw to grip the convex portion of the specimen
    Standard flat jaw sets are available, and are suitable with thinner walled material
    In some instances using a standard flat jaw on the inside, and vee jaw on the outside can be successful
  • Gripping hollow material will cause crushing
    The grip jaw opening is the limiting factor in determining how large the pipe, or tube can be tested
    Therefore, a larger capacity system is often required since it can accept larger diameter test specimens
  • Add image of plug being installed into tube
  • Irregular geometry of pipe and tube can make choosing an extensometer for the application a bit challenging. Not all 50 mm (2 in) gage length clip on style instruments are created equal
    Longitudinal strips are curved
    Full section pipe can have a large diameter which limits choice of strain instruments
  • Instron model T3M Mill Type (W-6204) clip on instrument back support securely meets the contour of the inner portion of the longitudinal strip specimen. With interchangeable curved back support provided.
    Instron model T3M Mill Type (W-6204) clip on instrument can be used to test full section pipe with diameter up to 89mm. Uses vee style back support.
  • *** Picture??
  • MPX motorized impact test system in 450-900 joule capacity with adjustable hammer energy capable of testing higher strength maraging steels, and newer alloys with Niobium, or Chromium
    Hammer energy is adjusted through use of different hammer weights that does not require hammer removal
    Conveniently located controls permit efficient operation to meet the 5 second loading requirement of ASTM E-23 & ISO 148
    Motorized hammer, and interlocked guard protects technician from injury
    Easy to use software interface
  • Challenges of Pipe & Tube Testing

    1. 1. Challenges of Pipe and Tube Testing Presented by Instron® A World Leader in Materials Testing An overview of recent changes and challenges facing Pipe and Tube manufacturers and suppliers
    2. 2. 2 Why Now? • Growth in Oil country tubular goods (OCTG) • Shale gas horizontal drilling/fracking globally • Multiple new pipelines planned in the US Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Today in Energy, January 2, 2014. Source: GreenCupboards, Fracking Debate, August 25, 2011.
    3. 3. 3 Why is This Important? • Horizontal drilling and fracking implications • Increased length of pipe • Increased strength • Added multiple wells on a single site • How does this affect your testing requirements? • Increased load capacity and volume of testing • Is your system ready for the changes heading your way?
    4. 4. 4 Pipe & Tube Applications • Are pipe & tube the same thing? • Pipe = Nominal, ID (Inside Diameter) • Tube = Nominal, OD (Outside Diameter) • Pipe Applications • Tube Applications
    5. 5. 5 Product Standards Link to Testing Standards ISO 6892-1 2009 ASTM E8M:2012 ASTM A370 Standard Test Methods and Definitions for Mechanical Testing of Steel Products ANSI/API Spec 5L Petroleum and natural gas industries Steel pipe for pipeline transportation systems ISO 3183:2012 Petroleum and natural gas Industries Steel pipe for pipeline transportation systems ISO 377:1997 Steel and steel products Location and preparation of samples and test pieces for mechanical testing ISO 7438:2005 ANSI/API Spec 5L ISO 3183:2012 ISO 148-1:2010 ASTM E-23 ANSI/API Spec 5L ISO 3183:2012 Bend Testing Charpy Impact Testing Tensile Testing
    6. 6. 6 Your Testing Challenges • Specimen geometry/curvature • Testing full section pipe and tube • Suitable strain measurement • Impact testing high-strength materials
    7. 7. 7 Challenge – Specimen Geometry • The curved shape of pipe and tubing presents a number of gripping challenges.
    8. 8. 8 Gripping Longitudinal Strips • Application-specific jaw faces allow you to quickly grip longitudinal strip curved cut out specimens, without flattening the tab ends.
    9. 9. 9 Challenge – Testing Full Section Pipe/Tube • Specimen preparation is time consuming; lab operators generally want to test the largest full section of pipe possible on a given testing system.
    10. 10. 10 Testing Full Section Product • End plugs are used to prevent crushing • Allows the testing of full product sections • Removes the need to machine specimens from full product, saving time and money
    11. 11. 11 Challenge – Suitable Strain Measurement • Pipe and Tube specimen geometries make attachment of extensometers challenging.
    12. 12. 12 Suitable Strain Measurement • An extensometer securely clamps the inner diameter of strip specimen, preventing strain measurement errors due to slippage or undesired movement on the curved specimen surface. • A single instrument accommodates a wide range of specimen diameters, reducing changes in test setup.
    13. 13. 13 Challenge – Impact Testing High Strength Pipe & Tube Materials • Higher strength materials are being used in the pipe and tube industry in a drive for deeper and more complex well production • Increased impact energy • Continual focus on improved safety • Tractability of results • Greater volume of tests
    14. 14. 14 High-Energy Impact for Pipe & Tube NEW IMAGE Showing advantages… Chiller Screen info • Appropriate hammer weight, which fully fractures specimen at impact, produces accurate and reproducible results • Interlocked safety screen prevents harm to your operator • Automatic recording of test results linked directly into your business system removes operator steps and opportunity for errors • Minimal number of steps required to run a test allow increasing test volume per shift
    15. 15. Does this sound familiar? Do you see the same challenges in your business? www.instron.com for more information

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