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Unique Characteristics of Hydraulically Expanded Long Seam Pipe. Jason Norris Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC Steelton, PA. Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC. Content. Introduction Mill Configuration Topic Background Information Discussion Topic Conclusion. Introduction.

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Unique Characteristics of Hydraulically

Expanded Long Seam Pipe

Jason Norris

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Steelton, PA

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC


  • Introduction

  • Mill Configuration

  • Topic Background Information

  • Discussion Topic

  • Conclusion

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC


  • Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC was founded in 2003

    • Purchased former Bethlehem Steel Corp., Steelton, PA

    • UOE Mill facilities on the location of Dura-Bond’s Fusion Bond Coating Plant.

    • Completely refurbished the forming, welding and finishing equipment. Extensively modified welders. Installed laser controlled seam tracking on the ID welders.

    • Upgraded Ultrasonic Equipment and Radiographic Equipment

    • Installed a complete destructive testing laboratory and sample preparation machine shop

    • Achieved API Q1 licensure October 2004

    • Produced over 240,000 Tons 2006 through 2009

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Mill Configuration

  • Manufacturing Process

    • UOE Double Submerged Arc Welded Long Seam Pipe

  • Forming and Welding Equipment

    • Double Sided Single Pass Planer

    • End Planer

    • Long Seam Double Sided Edge Crimper

    • U press – 7,000 tons

    • O press – 20,000 Tons

    • ID/OD Welders

      • 3 - ID Berkeley Welder 2-Wire Continuous Feed Machines

        • Lincoln Power-Wave Welder System

        • Laser guided wire feeder heads

      • 3 - OD AC/AC 2- Wire Continuous Feed Welder

    • Longitudinal seam welding is a “Continuous Welding System” and does not require tacking and run-on or run-off tabs.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Mill Configuration

  • Finishing Equipment

    • Hydraulic Expansion and Hydrostatic Testing

      • 5,000 psi capacity

    • Double Ended End Beveling Machine

  • Hydraulic Expansion is the point of today’s discussion

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Evaluation Systems

  • NDT

    • Weld seam 100% Fluoroscopic inspection prior to expansion

    • Ultrasonic Inspection

      • Long seam system is an 11 channel machine with 7 probes and provides 100% inspection of the weld

        • Considering replacement with phased array system in 2011

      • Pipe Body UT system has 4 wheel probes with a 4 channel transducer array in each wheel which provides helical inspection of 100% of the pipe surface.

    • Weld Radiographic

      • X-ray of pipe ends with up to 17” of film

      • Capable of 100% long seam weld x-ray

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Evaluation Systems

  • Destructive Testing Lab

    • Tensile Testing

    • Charpy Testing

    • Drop Weight Tear Testing

    • Vickers and Rockwell Hardness Testing

    • Machining facilities for sample preparation

    • Spectrographic analysis is performed off-site

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Product Capability

  • Size and Grade Capability

    • Low Strength pipe

      • A252, API 5LB, API 5L X42

        • 24” OD to 42” OD

        • thickness to 1.000”

    • High Strength Pipe 24” OD to 42” OD

      • API 5L X52 – thickness to 0.850”

      • API 5L X60 – thickness to 0.825”

      • API 5L X65 – thickness to 0.800”

      • API 5L X70 – thickness to 0.775”

      • API 5L X80 – thickness to 0.750”

      • Wall thicknesses beyond listed max may be considered.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Project Participation

  • Energy Transfer, 42” & 36” X70

  • Exco Energy/Regency Gas, 36” X70

  • Dominion 30” & 36” X70

  • Northern Natural Gas 30” & 36” X70

  • El Paso Energy 30” X70

  • Kern River Gas Transmission 36 “ X70 & X65

  • Colonial Pipeline 30” X52

  • Texas Gas 26” & 30” X70

  • Williams Gas 42” X70

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Topic Background

  • Energy needs for North America have been increasing over the past 10 years

  • Many new pipeline projects, primarily natural gas, have been built especially in the past 3-4 years

  • Economics of gas transportation have resulted in a desire for increased operating pressures of natural gas lines.

  • The increased operating pressure goal has resulted in more stringent requirements being placed on the pipeline builders by regulators to assure pipeline safety.

    • Field hydrostatic testing of in-service pipelines can determine if the line can operate at increased pressures.

    • After field hydrostatic testing , an inspection pig can be run through the line to determine if deformation (bulging) took place as a result of the test.

    • If too much deformation has occurred, the situation must be addressed by the operator before approval is granted to operate at a higher pressure.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Topic Background

  • It has been reported that in the process of field testing of pipe, that pipe with lower than expected yield strength has been discovered.

  • The Question is … How can the owner be sure of the yield strength of every foot of pipe in the line? Plate/coil mills and pipe mills utilize the required sample testing methodology to ascertain compliance with the production specification standard (API 5L).

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Discussion Topic

  • The problem of deformed pipe being discovered after field hydrostatic testing revolves around strength issues.

  • API 5L strength testing is a single random tensile test per 50 or 100 pipe test unit (lot) size. A tensile test unit requires 1 test per 100 pipes in the test unit. Typically a test unit is a “Heat” if it meets the test unit criteria.

  • Other API 5L required tests have different test unit sizes i.e. weld tensile, guided bend, weld charpy etc.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Discussion Topic

  • The result of tensile test unit sampling is a statistical representation of skelp and pipe results assuming that the processing of the skelp for pipe applications has good process control and the changes in properties from forming are considered.

  • However, statistically, it is possible that pipe with lower yield strength could “slip” through the system undetected. This possible “slip” could result from a low tensile testing sample frequency of 1-4% depending on test unit size.

  • Is there a way to detect such an event in production without destructive testing?

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Discussion Topic

  • All JCO and UO long seam mills have expansion capabilities for dimensional control.

  • The two types of expansion methods are:

    • Hydraulic expansion – pressurized water is used to expand the entire pipe length at once. A set of sizing clamps contains the pipe during the expansion process and helps give the finished pipe its dimensional properties.

    • Mechanical expansion – uses mechanical “shoes” to expand the pipe. The sizing mandrel expands the pipe incrementally along the length.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Discussion Topic

Mechanical Expansion

Hydraulic Expansion

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC


Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Expansion Video

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Discussion Topic

  • For hydraulic expansion, the pressure system is set up based on the product’s specified minimum yield strength, the diameter and wall thickness.

  • A unique characteristic of hydraulic expansion is that to fulfill the pressure requirement in this single step process (versus other multi-step systems), the yielding behavior of the entire pipe is monitored with a graphic recording display. This cannot be replicated with a multi-step expansion process.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Expander Charts

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Discussion Topic

  • What hydraulic expansion means to customer confidence is that the yielding behavior (yield stress) of EVERY pipe can be seen, recorded and documented.

  • This means that every pipe has a “tensile test” and graphic records can show variations in yield strength from pipe to pipe.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Discussion Topic

  • If a pipe yields lower than the minimum or higher than the maximum values allowed, it can be detected at the hydraulic expander.

  • An added benefit is that data from expansion records can be used to reveal the Bauschinger Effect on the end product.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Setting Up Test Pipe

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Other Characteristics

  • Dimension and Shape

    • Properly installed and maintained expander dies make exceptionally straight pipe with uniform dimensions along the length of each pipe segment.

    • Possible field cuts along the pipe length will offer excellent fit to mill finished ends.

    • Uniform dimensions and shape provide efficient and productive double jointing and fusion bond coating processes.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC


  • Hydraulic expansion shows the yielding behavior of every pipe expanded.

  • Strength variations from pipe to pipe can be seen in the hydraulic expander process.

  • In a sense, every pipe has a “tensile test” performed and documented.

  • Bauschinger Effect can be evaluated for different chemical compositions and skelp/plate rolling practices.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC


  • More work needs to be done to study expander yielding behavior and actual pipe strengths to develop correlations.

  • Potentially, hydraulically expanded pipe can act as a screening mechanism for low strength pipe.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC

Thank you for your attention.

Dura-Bond Pipe, LLC