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Commission of the European Communities

technical steel research

Properties and service performance

HIGH STRENGTH STRUCTURAL


A EUROPEAN REVIEW

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Commission of the European Communities

technical steel research

Properties and service performance

HIGH STRENGTH STRUCTURAL


A EUROPEAN REVIEW

GT AS S OCIATES
9 Crossways, Silwood Road
Sunninghill, Ascot
GB-BERKS S L5 OPL

Contract No ECI 1467-86 UK

FINAL REPORT

m
PA?, Γ"' h.
Directorate-General
Science, Research and Development

CL
1988 EUR 11761.EN—
Published by the
COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES
Directorate-General
Telecommunications, Information Industries and Innovation
L-2920 LUXEMBOURG

LEGAL NOTICE
Neither the Commission of the European Communities nor any person acting
on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use which might be made of
the following information

'ECSC-EEC-EAEC. Brussels · Luxembourg, 1988


C O N T E N T S
Page No.
ABSTRACT V

1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. STEELMAKING TECHNOLOGY 5
2.1 Desulphurisation and Inclusion Shape
Control 6
2.2 Vacuum Degassing 8
2.3 Continuous Casting 9
2.4 Alternate Casting Procedures 13
2.5 Summary 14
3. STEEL GRADES AND PROCESSING 16
3.1 Plates 17
3.1.1 Normalised Plates 18
3.1.2 Thermo-mechanical Controlled-rolLed
Plates 22
3.1.3 Accelerated-cooled Plates 30
3.1.4 Quenched and Tempered Steel Plates 38
3.1.4.1 Metallurgical Design 38
3.1.4.2 Commercial Quenched and
Tempered Steels 40
3.2 Sections 47
3.2.1 Current Status of Steel Section
Production 48
3.2.2 New Developments in Steel Section
Technology 51
4. WELDABILITY OF HIGH STRENGTH STRUCTURAL STEELS 55
4.1 Effect of Steel Composition and Heat Input 56
4.2 Effect of Preheating 59
4.3 Welding Electrodes 61
4.4 Carbon Equivalent Formulae 62
4.5 Commercial Data and Procedures 64
5. FATIGUE OF HIGH STRENGTH STRUCTURAL STEELS 68
5.1 Welding Techniques to Improve Fatigue 71
5.2 Post-weld Techniques to Improve Fatigue 71
5.2.1 Weld Toe Grinding 72
5.2.2 Peening 72
5.2.3 TIG-dressing 73
5.3 Effect of Plate/Section Thickness 75
5.4 Fatigue in Offshore Structures 76
5.5 Summary 79
IV

C O N T E N T S
Page No.
6. THE MARKETPLACE FOR HIGH STRENGTH STRUCTURAL 83
STEELS
6.1 Buildings 83
6.2 Bridges 88
6.3 Off-highway Vehicles and Equipment 95
6.3.1 Earthmoving Equipment etc. 95
6.3.2 Forklift Trucks 97
6.3.3 Cranes 97
6.4 Mining Equipment 99
6.5 Air and Gas Handling Equipment 102
6.6 Shipbuilding 104
6.7 Offshore Platforms and Rigs 106
6.7.1 Operators' Viewpoint 106
6.7.2 Designers' Viewpoint 110
6.7.3 Substituting Higher Strength Steel -
Case Study 112
6.7.4 Jack-up Rigs 114
6.7.5 Accelerated-cooled Steels 116
6.7.6 Summary 117
7. STANDARDS, SPECIFICATIONS AND CODES 119
8. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS 125
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 143
REFERENCES 145
TABLES 156
FIGURES 173
ν

ABSTRACT

The report reviews various aspects of steelmaking, steel


design and processing and Limitations to the wider use of
higher strength structural steel plates and sections in
Europe. The marketplace for these steels has also been
reviewed. Advances in steelmaking technology such as desul­
phurisation, inclusion shape control, vacuum degassing and
continuous casting enable a high quality product to be manu­
factured and their effect on mechanical properties and micro­
structure is reported. The development of normalised,
controlled­rolled, accelerated­cooled and quenched and
tempered steels with respect to alloy design and processing
procedures is also presented. The property limitations of
each type of steel grade relative to processing are discussed
and commercially available grades within Europe are tabulated.
Data is presented which shows that high strength steels can
be welded according to documented procedures, albeit with
care and control. Fatigue performance and various methods
of improving the life of high strength steel joints are
discussed. Limitations to the wider use of high strength
structural steel imposed by existing standards and codes are
emphasised and proposals are made to improve this situation.
Various applications are considered and the future market­
place, both onshore and offshore, is reviewed. Finally,
recommendations are presented involving production plant,
technical and market areas.
VI

ZUSAMMENFASSUNG

Der Bericht befaßt sich mit verschiedenen Aspekten der Stahlerzeugung, der
Stahlausfuhrung und -Verarbeitung sowie den Grenzen eines breiteren Ein-
satzes höherfester BaustahIbleche und -profite in Europa. Er enthalt auch
einen Überblick über den Absatzmarkt fur diese Stähle. Durch Fortschritte
in der Stahlgewinnungstechnologie, wie sie die Entschwefelung, die Kon-
trolle der Gestalt der Einschlüsse, die Vakuumentgasung und der Strangguß
bedeuten, läßt sich ein qualitativ hochwertiges Erzeugnis herstellen.
Über ihre Auswirkungen auf die mechanischen Gütewerte und die Mikrostruk-
tur wird ebenfalls berichtet. Außerdem wird die Entwicklung normalgeglüh-
ter, kontrolliert gewalzter, beschleunigt abgekühlter und vergüteter
Stähle unter Berücksichtigung der Legierungsausführung und der Verarbei-
tungsverfahren, erläutert. Es werden die Grenzen der Eigenschaften jeder
Stahlsorte in bezug auf die Verarbeitung erörtert und die in Europa im
Handel befindlichen Sorten in einer Tabelle aufgeführt. Anhand von Daten
wird .gezeigt, daß hochfeste Stähle nach festgelegten Verfahren geschweißt
werden können - wenn auch nur unter größter Sorgfalt und strenger Kon-
trolle. Es wird über die Ermüdung und die verschiedenen Methoden zur Ver-
längerung der Lebensdauer von Verbindungen aus hochfestem Stahl berich-
tet. Hingewiesen wird auch auf die durch bestehende Normen und Vorschrif-
ten gesetzten Grenzen eines breiteren Einsatzes hochfester Baustähle, und
es werden Vorschläge zur Verbesserung dieser Lage gemacht. Der Bericht
geht auf verschiedene Einsatzmöglichkeiten sowie auf die künftigen Absatz-
chancen im On-shore- wie auch im Off-shore-Bereich ein. Schließlich wer-
den Empfehlungen sowohl für Produktionsanlagen als auch für den techni-
schen Bereich und den Absatz gegeben.
-VII -

RESUME

L'étude passe en revue différents aspects de L'élaboration et de La trans-


formation de L'acier ainsi que Les facteurs qui Limitent L'utiLisation des
tôles et profilés de construction à résistance plus élevée en Europe. ELLe
examine aussi Le marché qui existe pour ces produits. Les progrès accomplis
dans Les technologies d'élaboration telles que la désulfuration, le con-
trôle de la forme des inclusions, le dégazage sous vide et La couLée con-
tinue permettent d'obtenir un produit de haute qualité et L'étude rend
compte des effets de ces progrès sur les propriétés mécaniques et la micro-
structure. Elle présente l'élaboration d'aciers normalisés, à basse tempé-
rature de finition, ayant subi un refroidissement accéLéré et trempés et
revenus en ce qui concerne la nature de L'alLiage et Les procédés de trans-
formation. Les limitations des propriétés de chaque nuance d'acier en fonc-
tion du procédé de transformation sont examinées et les nuances commercia-
lement disponibles en Europe sont présentées sous forme de tableau.
L'étude donne des informations tendant à démontrer que les aciers à haute
résistance peuvent être soudés selon des procédures déterminées, à condi-
tion d'opérer avec prudence. La résistance à la fatigue et différentes
méthodes pour prolonger la durée de vie des joints en acier à haute résis-
tance sont analysées. L'accent est mis sur les limites imposées à une plus
large utilisation des aciers de construction à haute résistance par Les
normes et codes existants, et des propositions sont faites en vue d'améli-
orer cette situation. Diverses applications sont examinées et le marché
futur, à l'intérieur et à l'exportation, est envisagé. Enfin, des recom-
mandations sont formulées en ce qui concerne l'unité de production. Les
techniques et La commercialisation.
HIGH STRENGTH STRUCTURAL STEELS - A EUROPEAN REVIEW

EEC Contract No. ECI-1467-B7240-86-UK

1. INTRODUCTION

The major impetus in the development of high strength struct-


ural steels over the past two decades has been the desire for
lighter-weight structures. In addition to the obvious
physical advantages of lighter structures, such as easier
handling and transportation of structural elements, the
weight savings possible produce a marked cost benefit due to
a reduction in the steel tonnage and the amount of welding
required. This is true even though the cost per tonne of
steel is somewhat greater and extra precautions during welding
are invariably necessary.

It has probably been the demands made by the offshore industry


that have prompted most work on high strength steels since
any weight saving on the huge fixed platforms and on the
mobile drilling rigs would result in a substantial cost
benefit. This has led to the widespread adoption of Grade 355
(E355, BS 4360 : 50D etc.) which is the highest strength
steel employed for general use. Limited use of higher
strength steel offshore (e.g. BS 4360 : 55E) has been reported
and its wider use is predicted. Even higher strength quenched
and tempered steels are used in the construction of mobile
jack-up rigs. Other industries such as the general con-
struction industry, off-highway equipment manufacture (cranes,
excavators etc.) and the mining industry are using, or con-
sidering the use of, high strength structural steels in
Europe. The steels under consideration in this review are
those having a minimum yield strength of greater than 355 N/mm2

Advances in the metallurgy of steelmaking and steel process-


ing have enabled the development of high quality structural
steels possessing greatly improved mechanical properties
which, because of their lower overall carbon and alloy
-2

content, can be readily fabricated. Such developments as


vacuum degassing, desulphurisation and continuous casting
(concasting) have resulted in very clean, homogenized steels
with very low sulphur and residual element content. This
has enabled the production of steels with very good toughness
and through thickness properties and has eliminated the
serious problem of lamellar tearing.

The development of more advanced controlled processing tech-


niques such as controlled rolling, thermo-mechanical con-
trolled processing (TMCP), incorporating accelerated cooling
from the final rolling pass, and more efficient conventional
quenching processes such as the roller quench have made
possible the production of steel plates with excellent com-
binations of strength and toughness. These techniques have
also allowed the evolution of more sophisticated alloying
combinations resulting in higher strength steels using steel
chemistries with low carbon and lower alloy additions. The
leaner steel chemistries also result in better weldability.

Because of the hot rolling restrictions placed on steel


sections, high strength at reasonable alloy levels has been
difficult to achieve. However, the more difficult procedure
of accelerated cooling of steel sections is currently being
evaluated within the EEC, and if this technique can be shown
to be commercially viable then the market for high strength
steel sections could expand rapidly. This is a very promising
development which will be reviewed in some detail.

The developments in both steelmaking and steel processing


will be discussed in the present report together with the
proliferation of steel grades being produced. In addition
to the advantages offered by these steels the main limitations
to their wider implementation will be highlighted, such
as welding and fatigue performance, and methods of reducing
or eliminating associated problems will be presented. A
further restriction to the use of higher strength structural
steels lies in the current specifications and design rules
for structural steelwork which, in some cases, either do not
include higher strength steels or incorporate requirements
which effectively prevent their use. This aspect will also
be reviewed.
2. STEELMAKING TECHNOLOGY

Spectacular advances in ladle metallurgy have been made over


recent years which now enable the production of very high
quality steel. These advances, which include desulphurisation
(incorporating inclusion shape control), argon stirring,
vacuum degassing, vacuum-arc degassing and continuous casting
(concasting), have greatly assisted in eliminating some of
the major problems that were restricting the wider use of
steels which had been developed for more demanding applic-
ations and which possessed much higher strength/toughness
combinations. The replacement of the outdated open-hearth
steelmaking process by the basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS)
process, and to a lesser extent by the electric arc process,
has provided the steelmaker with a much more efficient pro-
duction procedure. Less than 17„ of steel produced in Europe
is now made in the open-hearth furnace while about 657» of
steel is made in a modern basic oxygen furnace (BOF).

An interesting point made by USINOR was that while all their


steel production is currently by BOF, if cost were no problem
then they would like to install some smaller electric arc
furnaces. This is because in general they find that orders
for higher strength structural steels are for relatively
small tonnages such as 30 tonnes or 50 tonnes and the minimum
melting capability of their BOF's is 200 tonnes. It is
therefore necessary to hold the excess steel slabs in stock,
deploy them to a lower grade application or wait to see if
orders can be accumulated. No doubt other companies have a
similar outlook.

It is not intended to go into great detail on steelmaking


procedures in the present report but rather to highlight
certain aspects of the technology which have helped develop
higher strength structural steels to the extent that their
overall 'property package' is now prompting much interest
from various industries, particularly the offshore industry.
-6

2.1 Desulphurlsation and Inclusion Shape Control

The development of low sulphur steels with inclusion shape


control is arguably the most significant advance in ladle
steelmaking made in recent years. It has been responsible
for the virtual elimination of lamellar tearing and for a
marked increase in through-thickness ductility and toughness.
The most popular means of desulphurisation in Europe is by
the TN process developed by Thyssen Niederrhein AG which
involves the injection of calcium compounds (CaSi, CaC~) into
the ladle using argon as the carrier gas. Stirring is also
accomplished by means of the carrier gas. This results in
desulphurisation, deoxidation and homogenisation of the heat.
The usual practice is to ensure a low oxygen content as this
favours desulphurisation and hence a high aluminium addition
is made prior to desulphurising.

A comprehensive review of desulphurisation and inclusion


shape control has been published by Wilson and McLean
which discusses the metallurgy, chemistry and practicality
of the various procedures. It is obvious that because the
activity coefficient of sulphur in pig iron is about 5 the
implication is that it is about 5 times easier to remove
sulphur from hot iron than it is from low carbon steel.
Consequently, all modern plants in Europe employ hot metal
desulphurisation using calcium carbide, magnesium or other
materials injected into the liquid iron. As an example, hot
metal desulphurisation can reduce the sulphur level from
0.025-0. 077.S down to 0. 002-0 . 017.S . ( 2 ) Desulphurisation in
the steel ladle can further reduce the sulphur range to
0.002-0.0157o maximum, depending on requirements. It is also
possible to produce low sulphur steels (0.002-0.017, maximum)
by the electric arc furnace/vacuum-arc degassing route.

In addition to reducing the sulphur content of steel, the


injection of calcium is also an effective inclusion shape
control addition i.e. it produces globular sulphides which
are hard and relatively undeformed at hot rolling temper-
atures. Other common additions that produce inclusion shape
7 -

control are rare earth metals (mischmetal or suicides con-


taining mainly Ce, La, Nd and Pr) and zirconium. In effect,
the addition of inclusion shape control agents eliminates
the formation of elongated Type II manganese sulphide part-
icles which are detrimental to toughness.

The significance of both low sulphur content and inclusion


shape control on the mechanical properties of steel is
illustrated in Figures 1 , ( 2 ) 2 ( 3 ) and 3. (4) The dramatic
effect of reducing the sulphur level to below 0.0067» on
improving the transverse impact properties at -40°C is shown
in Figure 1. This effect is more pronounced as the sulphur
is reduced to $0.0037,. A similar effect is observed on the
through-thickness ductility when RAT, (reduction in area)
values approaching 807o are achieved at sulphur levels around
0.002-0.0057o, Figure 2. The improvement in properties also
extends to fatigue performance and Baumgardt et al (4 ) have
shown that by using the TN process the fatigue strength of
E355 plates (the figure after the capital letter E denotes
the yield strength in N/mm1 ) can be increased by 457, in the
through-thickness direction, Figure 3.

Some reservations have been expressed about the use of very


low sulphur steels, viz:-

1. there is a greater danger of hydrogen cracking in the


heat-affected zone (HAZ) than with steels with higher sulphur
contents. The hypothesis is that the presence of inclusions
helps to nucleate ferrite during cooling, and by reducing
the number of inclusions this transformation is inhibited
resulting in greater hardenability and transformation to
lower temperature transformation products of greater hard-
ness. However, experience suggests that if reasonable
precautions are taken, such as preheat, low hydrogen elec-
trodes and consumable drying, this problem may be of little
practical significance.

2. More general hydrogen cracking is a possibility with


ultra-low sulphur steels and this is associated with a major
reduction in Type II MnS inclusions resulting in less sinks
for hydrogen diffusion thereby producing greater triaxial
stress concentration at the remaining sink zones situated at
the matrix/non-metallic inclusion interfaces. This condition
allows easier fracture propagation. More work appears to
be justified in order to clarify the behaviour of the 'cleaner'
higher strength structural steels with respect to hydrogen
cracking, although it must be stated that some companies
have not experienced the problems discussed above.

No practical problems have been encountered with implementing


desulphurising processes or inclusion shape control and
most of the major European steelmakers produce low sulphur
steels for offshore application or at customers' request.
Inclusion shape control can now be achieved even in high
manganese steels without the use of electro-magnetic stirring
(EMS) although one steelmaker stated that in segregated areas
such as the centreline of concast slabs, where manganese
levels are high, Type II MnS inclusions cannot be completely
eliminated.

2.2 Vacuum Degassing

The introduction of vacuum degassing units in European steel-


making plants has occurred only in very recent years. As an
example, for the RHOB (Rheinstahl Heraus Oxygen Blowing)
process, liquid steel is simply circulated in a vacuum chamber
placed over the ladle as shown schematically in Figure 4.
Vacuum degassing allows for the efficient production of steel
with very low hydrogen, very low inclusion and very low
carbon contents with a concomitant improvement in mechanical
properties and weldability. It is also possible to make
alloy additions and temperature adjustments without breaking
the vacuum.

By use of degassing, the hydrogen level in liquid steel can


be reduced by between 35 and 60% and the final level can
be less than 1.5 ppm. Data shown in Figure 5, after Barr
and Mitchell, ' indicates that 3570 of the initial hydrogen
content was removed and the level then remained constant
through to the continuously cast slab. Further reductions
in hydrogen content can be achieved by carefully controlled
heat treatment at the slab and plate stages. While the
reduction in hydrogen content is most important when producing
heavy plates or heavy sections in order to avoid hydrogen
cracking or flaking, another major advantage with vacuum
degassing, as stated by many companies, is the ability to
produce a clean steel with accurate control of the chemical
composition. The latter, coupled with the capability of
decarburisation, enables low carbon equivalent steels to be
produced within tight specifications.

Vacuum degassing of higher strength steels is not necessarily


normal practice and most steelmakers will await a request
from the customer before undertaking the treatment. However,
some companies consider that for stringent applications, such
as for offshore structures, vacuum degassing is a necessary
procedure. Of little doubt is that vacuum degassing of high
strength structural steels produces a high quality product,
but it should be noted that not all European steelmakers
have installed the equipment.

2.3 Continuous Casting

( 7-9 )
The developments made in continuous casting technology
have been such that high quality steels can now be produced
with the advantages of high product yield and increased
output and with overall cost savings compared with the ingot
casting route. Among other relevant technical advantages
claimed for concast steel are:-

a. uniformity of good quality steel;


b. uniformity of chemical composition;
c. reduction or elimination of macrosegregation;
d. improved plate surfaces;
e. ease of grain size control;
f. a more dimensionally accurate finished product.
10

These advantages enable high quality, high strength structural


steels to be produced economically and therefore at compet­
itive prices, making them attractive for a wider range of
structural applications. However, in order to achieve these
advantages the steelmaker must have a properly aligned unit
of modern design and must have good control over the temper­
ature of the molten steel.

The degree of segregation during continuous casting is


dictated by the superheat, the control over the roll gap,
the casting speed and the general maintenance of the unit.
For example, USINOR typically aim for a superheat of about
+20°C. For most high strength steels the casting speed is
in the range 0.7­1.0 m/s with the mould oscillation frequency
a function of the casting speed. The secondary cooling is
adjusted so that the steel temperature at the end of the
curved part of the continuous casting machine is above the
low ductility range. To further minimise segregation USINOR,
together with many other European steel producers, employ
electro­magnetic stirring (EMS) during casting. EMS is
achieved by the use of inductor coils inside rolls located
in the secondary cooling zone. USINOR stress that there
must be no mis­alignment of the rolls. Some centreline
segregation due to Μη, Ρ etc. is still observed on occasions
but in thicker plates only. At least one major European
steelmaker (BSC ) no longer uses EMS even with higher manganese
steels. Svenskt Stål also do not use EMS.

Segregation studies performed by Fabrique de Fer de Charleroi


showed little segregation of Cu, Ni and Si while the 'segre­
gation factor' for Mn varied between 1.15 and 1.25. The
elements that produced the higher levels of segregation were
C, P, S and Nb (V was not studied) and hence these elements
should be controlled in order to minimise centreline segre­
gation and the associated impairment in toughness and in­
creased susceptibility to hydrogen induced cracking due to
the formation of lower temperature transformation products.

For the reasons already discussed, concasting is the obvious


choice relative to ingot casting, but the casting route
11

chosen depends on the mechanical properties with respect to


the final thickness of the plate, which in turn is dictated
by the maximum concast slab size. Most European steel com­
panies are able to cast slabs of about 300 mm in thickness
(Svenskt Stål :■ 290 mm) although the typical slab thickness
is somewhat less than 300 mm. Using a slab thickness of about
300 mm it is possible to produce steel plates of the lowest
grades up to a thickness of 150 mm, but for higher strength
grades such as normalised E355 and E460 the maximum plate
thickness is limited to about 80­90 mm. Production of higher
strength structural steel to meet API X80 pipeline specif­
ication (min. 550 N/mm' yield strength) by controlled rolling
concast slab, for example, is limited to around a plate
thickness of 30 mm i.e. a 10:1 rolling reduction is necessary
to achieve the higher strength and toughness requirements.
The 30 mm maximum plate thickness is necessary even after
rolling slabs on one of the most powerful rolling mills in
the world ­ the high capacity 9,000 tonne rolling force
mill at Dillinger Hüttenwerke.

The Engineering Equipment and Materials Users' Association


(EEMUA) has recently published a steel specification for
offshore structures (adapted for Offshore from BS 4360 : 1986)
which presents requirements for the purchase and supply of
weldable structural steel for use in
construction and in
( 12 )
maintenance work for offshore installations. The steel
grades covered include Grade 450 (previously BS 4360 : 55
Grade and having a minimum yield strength of 450 N/mm2 ).
The specification states that "The minimum rolling reduction
ratio of continuous cast (concast) steel for plate shall be
4:1 unless otherwise agreed with the Purchaser". Also,
"The continuous casting process shall generally be limited
to the production of material of thickness up to and including
50 mm unless otherwise specifically agreed with the Purchaser."
These limitations imposed by the offshore industry, including
the oil companies, indicate their concern about the limited
amount of rolling reduction that might be introduced into
steel plates for offshore structures and the associated
problems related to strength and toughness that this might
12

involve. The retention of some ingot casting capability is


therefore important in that this route would be needed to
produce thicker plates/sections of higher strength structural
steel to meet the requirements of the offshore industry in
particular.

Higher strength steels, such as the BSC RQT grades and the
Svenskt Stål OX grades, are limited to plate thicknesses of
100 mm in the former case and 80 mm in the latter case, due
to the limitations of the roller quench unit and not the
concast feedstock size. This is also the case for the direct
quenched steels produced by USINOR, with the quench unit
restricting the maximum plate thickness to 40-50 mm.

Over recent years continuous casting has progressed to the


stage where some Europe steelmakers, including USINOR and
Forges de Clabecq (and Svenskt Stål), are concasting 1007» of
their steel production. However, most companies retain at
least some ingot casting while others such as Creusot-Loire
have all ingot casting. In fact USINOR obtain ingots from
Creusot-Loire for the production of thicker plates. Creusot-
Loire would not consider continuous casting because they are
a small tonnage producer and also produce high quality steels
with high alloy levels. ARBED have a similar reasoning in
that they would need long production sequences of similar
grades to make concasting an economic proposition. It would
also prove difficult, if not impossible, to concast billet
for rolling their heavy sections since the rolling reduction
would be too low. Because of the problem of limited rolling
reduction associated with concast billet or slabs most
European steel producers retain some ingot casting capability
so that they can fulfill orders involving high strength
heavy plates. The potential ingot casting tonnages typically
account for about 107o of total production.

The following list shows the percentage of total crude steel


production that is being continuously cast in 1987 for various
countries, together with the forecast for 1997. The percentage
of concast production is notably lower for the European
13

countries Chan for Japan.

Continuously Cast Steel as a


Percentage of Total Crude
Steel Production

Forecast
1987 1997

Belgium/Luxembourg 77% 867.


West Germany 817. 917.
France 827. 877.
Italy 767. 887.
Netherlands 457. 767.
United Kingdom 607c 827.
Spain 607. 807.
Other Western Europe 717. 857.

Sweden 827. 927.

Japan 927. 95.57.


South Korea 627. 847.

Within the next decade Japan, the main competitor of European


steelmakers, will be continuously casting over 957. of crude
steel production with over a 57. better yield, thereby prod-
ucing high quality and cheaper higher strength steel grades.

2.4 Alternate Casting Procedures

Two further production procedures are worthy of brief note -


direct rolled ingots and pressure casting. When ingot cast-
ing, the major or preferred route used by BSC is direct
rolling ingots. In this case the ingot is cast into the
correct shape for acceptance directly in the rolling mill
thereby eliminating the cogging process. The maximum size
ingots are cast as 600 mm thick and 1.8 m long pieces. Of
the total ingot production at BSC, more than 907. of high
strength structural steel plates are produced from direct
rolled ingots permitting the rolling of thicker plates.
­14

Investment preference at C reusot­Loire has been given to a


pressure casting unit. The equipment will be installed in
1988 and in production by 1989. C reusot­Loire claim that it
is an easier process to control than continuous casting and
some three of four times cheaper. Other companies rarely
use this method because they are larger tonnage producers
(Creusot­Loire currently produce about 100,000 tonnes of
steel per year ­ all high strength steel) which makes concast­
ing more economically attractive. Italsider have already
commissioned a pressure casting unit for their C ampi works,
which produces 2­300,000 tonnes of steel per year, and this
has been in full production for over two years. They also
confirm the economics of the process and in addition they
claim that the process eliminates centreline segregation.
The process is computer­controlled and therefore the pouring
rate and the cooling pattern can be accurately monitored and
controlled thereby controlling the slab solidification process
and enabling centreline segregation due to S, Ρ, Mn etc. to
be­ avoided. Pressure casting will produce slabs 7­10 m long
χ 0.2­0.4 m thick. The capability of producing slabs up to
400 m thick, i.e. about 100 mm thicker than those typically
produced by continuous casting, means that slabs produced by
pressure casting can be subjected to greater rolling reductions
and can be rolled to produce higher strength thicker plates
compared with those possible by concasting.

2.5 Summary

Technological advances in steelmaking procedures mean that


exceptionally high quality steel can be melted and cast.
Developments continue within Europe and on­going research
into the continuous casting process in Europe, as sponsored
by the European C oal and Steel C ommunity, has been reviewed
by Evans. The effort is large, but results appear to
justify the financial support.

The most popular high strength structural steel at the present


time, Grade E355, has found increasing application due to
the introduction of desulphurisation and inclusion shape
15-

control, vacuum degassing and continuous casting. Confidence


in the use of this steel has grown because of the benefits
incurred from these secondary processes. These benefits
mainly include:-

a. sulphur levels below 0.002%;


b. inclusion shape control;
c. hydrogen levels below 2 ppm;
d. nitrogen levels below 0.008%;
e. low levels of phosphorous, oxygen and the harmful resid-
uals As, Sn, Sb, Bi and Pb;
f. accurate chemistry range control;
g. improved product yield, cost savings and other benefits.

Experience gained from using E355 has served as an excellent


base for the promotion of steel grade E420 and higher strength
steels. These higher strength steels are generally designed
into structures where a more demanding performance is required.
The recent developments made in steelmaking technology permit
these higher strength steels to meet the more stringent
requirements with greater confidence and previous restrictions
to their use, as seen by the designer and the fabricator,
should now play a minor role in the choice of steel. However,
based on discussions with designers and fabricators it is
necessary that these developments, together with the result-
ing specific advantages, be fully explained and discussed
with these people since lack of communication at this stage
will dramatically limit the wider application of higher
strength structural steels.
16-

3. STEEL GRADES AND PROCESSING

The structural steel grades under review in this report have


a minimum yield strength level of about 420 N/mm2 , i.e.
Euronorm 113 : Fe E420 KT, BS 4360 : 55C and E, SEW 089 :
TT St E43, NFA 36-201 : E420 FP, extending up to around
1000 N/mmJ e.g. OX 1002, XABO 90. Their applications are
varied and will be covered later, while in this Section steel
chemistries, product processing (both plate and sections)
and steel specifications will be reviewed. The metallurgical
developments in steel chemistry and hot processing have, by
design, progressed simultaneously with the result that sig-
nificant advances have been made over the past 20 years
whereby leaner steel compositions coupled with more soph-
isticated heating and hot rolling techniques have produced
steels with superior strength/toughness combinations and
improved weldability.

The development of improved mechanical properties in the


majority of commercial steels is based on well-established
principles : -

1. a relatively low carbon content for improved weldability


( 13 )
and notch toughness, Figures 6 and 7.

2. Grain refinement to improve toughness and increase yield


(141
strength, Figure 8.v '

3. Precipitation hardening using an alloy addition such as


vanadium that precipitates in ferrite during cooling from a
normalising temperature or alloy additions that precipitate
during aging of a quenched steel. Both events result in a
significant increase in strength.

4. Greatly reduced sulphur levels, coupled with inclusion


shape control to eliminate elongated Type II MnS inclusions
thereby improving through-thickness properties and eliminating
lamellar tearing.

5. Solid solution hardening, Figure 9, although this


17

technique is limited in that it results in impaired toughness.

When increasing the strength of a structural steel it is


most important to maintain the best toughness possible and as
a guide Figure 10 illustrates the variation in impact trans­
ition temperature relative to the strength increases due to
various techniques. As can be seen, and as is well known,
grain refinement is the prime mechanism for improving both
strength and toughness. It should be noted that progress
has been such that, depending on plate thickness, steels
with the yield strength levels under consideration here can
now be produced by normalising and normalising and tempering
in addition to thermo­mechanical controlled rolling (TMC R)
and accelerated cooling after controlled rolling (TMC P),
conventional reheating, quenching and tempering and direct
quenching (tempering). A schematic representation of the
conventional processes and the TMC P processes is shown in
Figure 11.

3.1 Plates

As indicated above, metallurgical advances have been such


that alloy design coupled with more refined steel processing
techniques has extended the range of strength/toughness
combinations possible within the various processing routes.
This has been achieved while reducing the carbon equivalent
value (C EV) thereby reducing the risk of hydrogen­induced
cold cracking. Over the years specifications have been
written, especially by the offshore industry, with increas­
ingly severe limitations on
the carbon equivalent value.
( 12 )
The most recent specification, for example, stipulates
a maximum C EV of 0.43 for plates or sections up to 75 mm
thick for higher strength Grades 450 EM and 450 EMZ.* As an

Grade 450 ­ Previous BS 4360 : Grade 55


Suffix E ­ Charpy test at ­40°C (as BS 4360)
Suffix M ­ Signifies substantial modification to the nomin­
ally equivalent BS 4360 grade
Suffix Ζ ­ Signifies material with guaranteed through­thick­
ness properties
18

example of what can now be achieved, Figure 12 illustrates


the range of yield strengths resulting from the various
processes of manufacturing thick plates at USINOR in
relation to the carbon equivalent.

3.1.1 Normalised Plates

The main aim of normalising (i.e. heating up to about 900-


950°C and air cooling) is to produce as fine a grain size as
possible. This is achieved by the addition of an alloying
element that will precipitate as a nitride or carbide (or
carbonitride) in the austenite phase and restrict austenite
grain growth. Transformation from a fine austenite grain
size ensures a fine ferrite grain size at room temperature,
provided that the austenite-to-ferrite transformation occurs
in the correct temperature range. The ideal normalised
microstructure is a uniform, fine-grained ferrite-pearlite
structure.

Normalised steels were first produced using aluminium as the


grain refining addition. Heating up to the normalising
temperature precipitates a fine dispersion of A1N particles
which effectively inhibit austenite grain growth. Improve-
ments in composition control have meant that a lower CEV
range can be guaranteed with a consequential improvement in
weldability and this has brought about even more demanding
specifications from the offshore industry. However, a problem
that has emerged for normalised steels is that when working
to a restricted CEV there is a danger of not meeting the
specified minimum tensile strength. The obvious procedure
to reduce CEV is to reduce carbon and manganese levels,
but this unfortunately raises the austenite-to-ferrite trans-
formation temperature resulting in a coarsening of the ferrite
grain size. One way to counteract this problem is to add
niobium since this element, in addition to grain refining
has the added advantage that it is not represented in the
carbon equivalent formula.* Another means of raising the

' CEV = C + Mn + Cr + Mo + V + Ni + Cu (1

6 5 15
19

tensile strength of C-Mn-Al-Nb steels is by making use of


high residual levels of nickel and copper. This would be
cost effective especially if electric-arc furnace melting
was employed. The yield strength level attainable by this
type of steel is limited and Figure 13 (BSC data) presents
typical chemical compositions and properties of plate supplied
to offshore contracts. For plate thicknesses up to 63 mm it
is possible to achieve yield strength levels of up to 420 N/mm2.
A Nb-steel with a higher CEV (0.49% max.) is produced by
Svenskt Stål (OX 542) which guarantees a minimum yield
strength of 390 N/mm2 in plate thicknesses up to 60 mm with a
minimum Charpy V-notch (CVN) impact value of 27 Joules at
-60°C. Other companies, such as USINOR and Thyssen Stahl AG,
produce similar Nb-containing steels and a representative
listing with compositions and properties is summarised in
Tables 1 and 2, together with other normalised steel grades.
Additions of up to 0.77oNi are made to the latter steels in
order to improve toughness.

Normalised steels with higher yield strength can be produced


by adding vanadium. Work by Mitchell et al has shown
that adding vanadium up to 0.107o produces a marked reduction
in ferrite grain size from 9.5 to 13.5 d with a resulting
2
increase in yield strength of 100 N/mm up to 450 N/mm2 ,
Figure 14. This increase in strength was accompanied by a
significant improvement in impact transition temperature
(ITT) from +20°C to -60°C. The precipitation of vanadium
nitride in the austenite is responsible for the grain refine-
ment although the precipitation characteristics are strongly
influenced by the aluminium level and the nitrogen content.
Precipitation of vanadium carbide occurs during transform-
ation to ferrite and the fineness of this strengthening
precipitate depends on the transformation temperature and
hence on the steel composition. This precipitation greatly
contributes to the strength of V-containing normalised steel,
and the highest strength structural steels produced contain
up to 0.157.V.

While normalised vanadium steels are commercially available


which will meet a minimum yield strength of 500 N/mm2 , the
­20

plate thickness is generally restricted to about 16 mm (e.g.


Thyssen grade FG 51 Τ to meet SEW 089 Specification TT St E51).
This steel also contains 0.4­0.77„Ni. Yield strength levels
greater than 480 N/mm2 are guaranteed in plate thicknesses
up to 35 mm in a V­Ni steel produced by Creusot­Loire (Grade
WSTE 500 to meet DIN 17102 Specification). At a plate thick­
ness of 100 mm the guaranteed yield strength remains high at
>430 N/mm2 . Several other companies produce V and V­Ni
steels, such as Dillinger and BSC , but to somewhat lower
yield strengths (see Tables 1 and 2).

The development of V + Nb normalised steels has been under­


taken in order to derive the individual benefits of both
alloy additions. Most European steel producers offer this
type of steel, but the guaranteed yield strength is heavily
dependent on the section thickness. For example, USITEN 460
will only meet Euronorm 113 Grade Fe E460 KT ' in plate
thicknesses up to 16 mm with the guaranteed minimum yield
strength falling to 420 N/mm2 at 80 mm thickness. Products
from other steel companies follow a similar pattern which
limits the use of normalised steels for higher strength off­
shore application since the most popular plate thickness used
is around 50 mm. Thyssen, however, produce a normalised and
tempered V­Nb­Ni­C u steel to meet St E460 requirements in
plate thickness up to 30 mm. It should be noted that in the
thinner sections of E460 Grade steel areas of bainite may be
present which can have a damaging effect on toughness.

In summary, for all practical purposes current technology


permits the commercial production of normalised steels with
a guaranteed minimum yield strength of 460 N/mm2 . This
high yield strength is obtained by the combined addition
of Nb, V, Ni and C u. Most European steel producers will
guarantee this strength level only in plate thicknesses up
to and including 16 mm, although Thyssen report that they
can produce E460 properties in 30 mm thick plate. It is
usual for this type of steel to exhibit a drop in yield
strength to about 420 N/mm2 as the plate thickness is
increased to 80 mm. The C VN impact values of these steels
are such that the demanding requirement of the offshore
-21

industry for a minimum CVN impact value of 60 J at -40°C in


75 mm thick plate, at a minimum yield strength of 415 N/mm2 ,
rules out normalised high strength steels for many offshore
applications.

Euronorm 25, ( 19 ) which covers steels for general construction,


does not extend to steels at the 460 N/mm2 yield strength
level which obviously restricts their use. This strength
level is, however, covered by Euronorm 113. Although this
was written mainly for boiler and pressure vessel steels,
some of the grades can be regarded as structural grades.
Such steels are Fe E420 and 460 KT, the specifications of
which are given in Table 3. These requirements are met by
many of the European higher strength normalised steels such
as USITEN 460-11, FG 47 CT, WSTE 500 and DILLINAL 58/47E(W).

Some measures have been taken recently to produce steels


according to a common specification but confusion is still
apparent since certain national grades fail to meet all
requirements of the Euronorm Specifications. Certainly as
a general construction specification Euronorm 25 needs to be
up-graded to include E460 Grade steels in the normalised
condition, if only at the thinner gauges. What is confusing,
and what also applies to steels that could meet the struc-
tural steel requirements of Euronorm 113, is that steel
producers persist in publishing CVN impact values at temper-
atures that are not standard in the European specifications.
This acts as a deterrent to designers and fabricators who
either become suspicious of the material properties being
claimed or cannot associate such properties with the service
conditions under consideration. Direct comparison between
national specifications is also difficult since somewhat
similar grades vary slightly in guaranteed strength or tough-
ness properties. A controversial solution, but one that
would consolidate and benefit European steelmakers, would be
to establish a unified specification for general construction
which would include higher strength structural steels and
which steel producers should be strongly urged to comply with
and not to produce steels that have different guaranteed
minimum strength and toughness levels. This specification
22

should then be incorporated into EUROCODE NO. 3 which,


although not binding, is a code relating 'Common Unified
Rules for Steel Structures' and provides the basis for the
design of steel structures.

3.1.2 Thermo-mechanical Controlled-rolled Plates

The good combinations of strength and toughness achievable in


normalised steels can be further improved by thermo-mechanical
controlled rolling (TMCR). Yield strengths up to 550 N/mm2
combined with good toughness can be obtained even at sub-zero
temperatures. By astute alloying coupled with low reheat
temperatures and low finish rolling temperatures these
attractive mechanical properties are achieved with steels of
low carbon and low alloy content. The resulting low CEV
makes these steels readily weldable and an important point
is that a given strength level can be obtained in TMCR steels
at a much lower CEV than that possible in normalised steels,
see Figure 12.

Within the scope of the strength levels under review, the


vast majority of controlled-rolled steel tonnage produced in
Europe is for pipeline application. Controlled-rolled pipe
skelp is produced to meet a minimum yield strength require-
ment of 484 N/mm2 in 19 mm thick plate. The majority of pipe
steels, however, are rolled to meet yield strength levels of
about 420 N/mm2 and 450 N/mm1 in plate up to about 30 mm
thick. Several European steel producers were instrumental
in developing high strength controlled-rolled linepipe steels
including Italsider, USINOR, Mannesmann, BSC and Dillinger.

The application of TMCR steels is obviously not limited to


pipelines and these steels are readily available for general
structural purposes, shipbuilding, process plant, mining
machinery, earthmoving equipment etc. It is true to say,
however, that it has been the stringent property demands of
the pipeline business that have spurred on the development
of controlled-rolled steels to the present sophisticated
stage.
23

The main objective of controlled rolling is to produce a fine


ferrite grain size giving improved strength and toughness
properties. Toughness levels can be such that some sacrifice
can be made in order to increase strength by precipitation
hardening, solid solution hardening or dislocation hardening
and still maintain a good combination of properties. The
principles involved in TMCR relative to rolling practice and
alloy design have been well documented and commercial pro-
f ? 1 — 7 fi )
gress well monitored over the past twenty years and it
is not intended here to discuss these in any detail. Briefly,
practical controlled rolling schedules involve the use of
low reheating temperatures and low finish rolling temper-
atures with usually a 70-807o reduction in thickness below
about 900°C. The final rolling passes are generally intro-
duced in the temperature range 850-700°C. Rolling can be
continued to below the Arß temperature whereby deformation of
ferrite occurs and strength is further enhanced by dis-
location hardening. Care has to be taken with a schedule
involving rolling into the two phase region since toughness
can be adversely affected, although rolling to just below the
(27 28 )
Ar3 temperature can improve toughness. ' Figure 11
illustrates schematically some of the TMCR schedules that are
practised by the major steel producers.

Niobium is the most common alloying addition made to TMCR


steels because of its strong influence on retarding austenite
recrystallisation and inhibiting subsequent grain growth by
the precipitation of Nb(C,N) particles in the austenite
phase. The result is that by lowering slab reheating temper-
ature, rolling is started from a finer-grained austenite
which is maintained throughout the rolling schedule to the
final plate and as the rolling temperature falls the austenite
grains become more elongated and internally deformed. The
increase in austenite grain boundary area plus the intro-
duction of deformation bands within the austenite result in
an increase in ferrite nucleation sites and a consequential
fine-grained ferrite structure. It is essential that TMCR
steels should be clean, low in sulphur content and inclusion
shape-controlled, otherwise the low temperature working
24-

gives rise to elongated MnS inclusions which have an adverse


effect on the transverse impact shelf energy. The strength-
ening mechanisms involved in TMCR steels are dependent upon
the steel composition and rolling schedule, but work at
( 29 )
BSC on a commercially rolled plate (0.137.C, 0.367oSi,
1.47oMn, 0.03%Nb steel) finish-rolled at 650°C estimated that
the yield strength of 550 N/mm* was attributed to the follow-
ing, in N/mm* :-

grain refinement 260


solid solution hardening 135
precipitation hardening 35
dislocations 43
texture 45
friction stress 32

Total Yield Strength 550

The large contribution from grain refinement should be noted.

Other elements such as vanadium, titanium and molybdenum are


also added to TMCR steels. Titanium behaves in much the same
way as niobium in that precipitation of TiN or TiC particles
(if low reheat temperatures are used) in the austenite is
highly effective for grain refinement. Vanadium, on the
other hand, is an effective precipitation strengthener pro-
vided the finish rolling temperature is not too low, say
800°C. The somewhat higher finishing temperature ensures
that some vanadium remains in solution in the austenite and
precipitates as V(C,N) during the austenite-to-ferrite trans-
formation thereby strengthening the subsequent room temper-
ature ferrite structure. Mitchell et al have shown that
a 0.077oV addition to a C-Mn-Nb steel controlled-rolled to
800°C resulted in a 60 N/mm' increase in yield strength and
tensile strength. This increase in strength from precipi-
tation hardening counteracts the loss in strength due to a
coarser grain size resulting from the higher finish rolling
temperature. The effect of finish rolling temperature on the
(29)
ferrite grain size of a Nb + V steel is shown in Figure 15.
25 -

From a commercial standpoint this effect of vanadium can be


used to advantage on some rolling mills since raising the
rolling temperature reduces the rolling loads and thus
permits faster rolling with less wear on the equipment. In
fact the majority, if not all, of the higher strength con-
trolled-rolled structural steels produced in Europe at the
present time contain Nb + V. Advantage is not always taken
of the possible use of a higher finish rolling temperature
and individual steel companies have developed their own steel
chemistries and rolling schedules to accommodate the plant
equipment available. One company in particular is USINOR,
Dunkerque, which over the years has formulated several roll-
ing procedures including 'three stage rolling', Figure 16,
(30 31 )
involving two holding stages. ' The effect of their
rolling schedules on strength and toughness is shown in
Figures 17 and 18. Yield strengths approaching 550 N/mm2
in 16 mm thick plates are possible in a Nb + V steel finish-
rolled at 710°C. This high strength level is coupled with a
fracture appearance transition temperature (FATT) of -80°C
in the transverse direction. USINOR produced over 300,000
tonnes of controlled-rolled Nb + V steel plate for the USSR
in 1986 to meet API X70 pipe specification. In addition,
100,000 tonnes of plate (again meeting a .minimum yield
2
strength requirement of 484 N/mm - X70) was sold directly
to the USSR for fabrication into pipe.

Dillinger Hüttenwerke have also developed a Nb + V steel


(DK 80) guaranteed to give a minimum yield strength of
2
550 N/mm in plate thicknesses up to and including 40 mm. It
2
is claimed that yield strengths up to 700 N/mm can be
obtained in plate thicknesses up to 30 mm. A maximum plate
thickness of 30 mm is determined by the fact that a rolling
reduction ratio of 10:1 is needed in order to achieve the
high strength level and the feedstock is concast slab of
2
300 mm thickness. Yield strengths of 480 N/mm can be
reached in plate thicknesses up to 60 mm. These high strength
levels are coupled with very good toughness, as shown in
( 32 )
Figure 19, with guaranteed CVN transverse impact values
of 27 J at -50°C. DK 80 is promoted for load-bearing com-
ponent parts fabricated by cold forming and welding and
26

wherever its high yield strength can be used to reduce weight.


That the parts are fabricated by cold forming is important
to note since because of the method of production, i.e.
controlled rolling, heating to high temperatures will nat-
urally destroy the mechanical properties obtained by hot
rolling to low temperatures. TMCR steels should not therefore
be considered where hot forming will be required.

A steel of similar composition to that produced by Dillinger


is produced by BSC and is marketed as CR550. A minimum yield
strength of 550 N/mm2 is guaranteed up to plate thicknesses
of 15 mm, although the majority of plate produced to this
specification is about 8 mm in thickness and mainly goes to
the earthmoving equipment industry and for the production of
safes (strong-boxes). A low sulphur content is specified
for improved formability. BSC have also developed a C-Mn-Nb
steel that exhibits a yield strength of around 400 N/mm2
in plate up to 23.5 mm in thickness with excellent toughness
down to -40°C in both the longitudinal and transverse direct-
ions, Figure 20.(2 ) This combination of properties has been
achieved by using a low reheat temperature and a rolling
schedule that avoids heavy drafting in the lower austenite
or austenite-ferrite ranges. It has also been achieved at a
notably low CEV of 0.35 indicating excellent weldability,
see Table 4. BSC consider that such a combination of proper-
ties makes the steel attractive for offshore structural
purposes in plate thicknesses up to 40-45 mm.

Italsider, who have successfully produced high strength


controlled-rolled C-Mn-Nb, C-Mn-Mo-Nb, C-Mn-Nb-Cr, C-Mn-Nb-Ti
and C-Mn-Nb-V steels over recent years are currently perform-
ing trials which have so far resulted in yield strengths over
400 N/mm' (480 N/mm2, UTS) in plates up to a thickness of
50 mm. The properties of TMCR plates decline as the thick-
ness is increased, basically because it becomes more difficult
to maintain a fine grain size and to accommodate a low finish
rolling temperature. The testing programme will not be
completed· until mid-1988.
27

The attempt to increase the m a x i m u m thickness at w h i c h TMCR


steels can be produced (i.e. up to 50 mm thickness) without
deterioration in mechanical properties is an important
project which, if successful, will obviously broaden the
range of potential applications. It would appear highly
unlikely that strength levels above 500 N/mm 2 could be
achieved in 50 mm plate using concast feedstock since the
maximum concast slab size produced in E u r o p e is a b o u t 300 mm
and it has already been stated that in order to obtain a
2
yield strength of 550 N/mm in TMCR plate Dillinger have to
restrict the maximum plate thickness to 30 m m since a 10:1
r e d u c t i o n r a t i o is n e e d e d . It s h o u l d be n o t e d that Dillinger
h a v e one of the m o s t p o w e r f u l r o l l i n g m i l l s in the w o r l d with
a 9,000 tonne rolling force 4-high mill. It w o u l d be i n t e r -
esting, however, if Italsider were to use feedstock from
their pressure casting unit at Campi Works which can produce
cast slabs up to 4 0 0 mm in thickness which could possibly
2
produce 500 N/mm yield strength in 50 mm thick plate.
The. o t h e r a l t e r n a t i v e , of course, is to u s e ingot feedstock.

( 33 )
A current development in alloy design underway at BSC
i n v o l v i n g the a d d i t i o n of s m a l l l e v e l s of t i t a n i u m (0.01-0.02%)
to niobium- and vanadium-containing steels could permit the
p r o d u c t i o n of t h i c k e r T M C R p l a t e s from c o n c a s t s l a b . Titanium
is added for g r a i n refinement and it h a s been found to work
b e t t e r in a V - s t e e l s i n c e in a N b - s t e e l a v e r y s t a b l e eutectic
of T i N b ( C , N ) is formed which is coarse and v e r y d i f f i c u l t to
break up on working. In a Ti-V steel it is e a s i e r to form
fine TiN p a r t i c l e s .

In a Nb-steel the eutectics are several microns in size


which, as well as being ineffective for grain size control,
also directly adversely affects the toughness. H o w e v e r , it
has b e e n found that p a r t i c l e s of a s u i t a b l e size ("500 Â ) and
composition can be formed if the cooling rate immediately
after solidification and the slab reheating temperature are
precisely controlled. The optimum range of cooling rates
was found to be somewhat faster than those normally possible
during continuous casting, which would suggest that some form
of water spray cooling system on the concaster would be
28

needed or, alternatively, concasting of thin slab. The


latter would not be practical if high rolling deformation is
required to produce a high strength product or if a thick
plate is required.

Data so far suggests that the optimum cooling rate of the


concast slab for effective grain size control should be
20-25°C/min. The slab reheat temperature should be 1200°C
and a minimum of 607o deformation should be introduced above
1100°C. The best results in plate have been produced by
holding at 850°C and finish rolling at 800°C. It is also
claimed that titanium helps to reduce cracking in concast
slabs of Nb-steel by 'gettering' nitrogen at high temper-
atures near the melting point so that the detrimental effect
associated with the formation of A1N is averted.

So far in this Section the range of different steels discuss-


ed all exhibit fine-grained ferrite-pearlite microstructures.
The. development of acicular ferrite steels in the late
1960 's, aimed primarily at the X70 pipeline market, was
widely exploited in Europe during the 1970's and early 1980's.
Acicular ferrite is formed by delaying transformation of
austenite to ferrite and pearlite and is promoted by the
addition of hardenability elements such as manganese (up to
1.8%) and molybdenum (0.20-0.30%). The acicular ferrite
steels were designed around a low carbon content (typically
0.067o) in order to reduce carbide aggregates and give improved
toughness and weldability.

The acicular ferrite type of steels were produced where


higher yield strength levels were required and/or where high
strength was required in thicker plates (^20 mm) and accom-
panied by high toughness. Other alloy additions were made
such as Cr, Cu and Ni to the acicular ferrite steels to
further enhance the strength and toughness. A comprehensive
account of the development of the Mo-containing Nb- and/or
V-steels has been reported. In the as-rolled (TMCR)
condition yield strength levels well above 500 N/mm* were
achieved in plate thicknesses of around 20 mm coupled with
% shear values in the Drop Weight Tear Test ( DWTT ) at -35°C
- 29 -

of greater than 80%. ' Further, tempering these Mn-Mo-Nb


acicular ferrite steels can result in an additional increase
of over 100 N/mm2 in yield strength up to a level exceeding
600 N/mm* . ( 1 7 )

European steelmakers USINOR and Italsider


success reported
(37 38 )
in commercialisation of such steels over 10 years ago. '
However, production of Mn-Mo-Nb acicular ferrite steels all
but ceased in Europe in the early 1980's due to a marked
increase in the price that steel producers were having to pay
for molybdenum. Market conditions have changed somewhat
recently and molybdenum is again an attractive alloying
addition. On this basis therefore consideration should be
given to the production of acicular ferrite type steels in
the as-rolled and tempered condition for general structural
use, possibly offshore, as the economics must be competitive
with roller quenched and tempered steels such as RQT601 and
OX 702 at the thinner gauges i.e. 4 30 mm thickness.

In summary, TMCR steels containing Nb + V have been developed


to the stage where yield strength levels around 550 N/mm2 can
be achieved in plate thicknesses up to 40 mm. These steels,
by virtue of desulphurisation, inclusion shape control and
vacuum degassing, are extremely clean and contain no detri-
mental elongated Type II MnS inclusions and hence exhibit
excellent transverse (and longitudinal) impact toughness.
A representative listing of some of the higher strength
TMCR steels currently available in Europe is presented in
Table 4. The level of mechanical properties attainable in
TMCR steels deteriorates as plate thickness increases, hence
there is a limitation on specific applications for these
steels. The limiting thickness for the production of TMCR
plates indicates that this route is best applied to relative-
ly thin plate orders that have a CEV limit. Normalising
would be the preferred route for thicker plates or where a
subsequent hot forming operation is planned. In a situation
where both routes are possible, consideration should be given
to the production rate. This strongly favours TMCR, since
the rate at which plates are produced is at least ten times
faster than by the normalising route. However, work in
30

Europe is in progress which could result in good combinations


of strength and toughness being extended to plate thicknesses
up to 50 mm. If successful, this will create a competitive
edge. Acicular ferrite steels should be reconsidered since
these steels could be competitive with the lower strength
range of quenched and tempered steels especially since
acicular ferrite steels would be tempered from the as-rolled
condition and therefore the cost of reheating would be elim-
inated.

3.1.3 Accelerated-cooled Plates

Accelerated cooling can be used for either (a) further


enhancing the strength and toughness properties of high
strength plate compared to TMCR plate at an equivalent CEV,
or (b) producing similar mechanical properties to TMCR plate
at a notably reduced CEV and hence superior weldability.
Accelerated cooling can raise the yield strength of controlled-
rolled plate by as much as 100 N/mm2 to about 600 N/mm2
at a given CEV, Figure 21. Figure 22 shows that the increase
in strength is also accompanied by an improvement in shelf
energy and ductility. This processing route is currently
being heavily promoted by the Japanese steel companies.

The benefits associated with accelerated cooling of plate


directly after controlled rolling (TMCP) were first reported
in Europe some 20 years ago. ~" However, TMCP has sub-
sequently been commercially developed by the Japanese over
(42 )
the last decade. The commercial process was first
commissioned by Nippon Kokan KK and tradenamed OLAC (On-
Line Accelerated Cooling). All major Japanese steelmakers
now have accelerated cooling facilities and each plant has
its own individual process and tradename. The TMCP routes
used by Japanese steel mills are schematically presented in
Figure 23.

In Europe, Mannesmann, Italsider and Forges de Clabecq have


installed accelerated cooling equipment and are producing
high strength plates using this processing route. Other
steel companies (USIN0R, Thyssen and Dillinger) will have
31

somewhat similar plant in production during 1988 while dis­


cussions are underway at BSC to decide whether investment in
this processing will be made in the UK.

Accelerated cooling is applied directly after controlled


rolling by water sprays to both top and bottom surfaces of
the steel plate. In most cases rolled plates are accelerated­
cooled through the austenite­to­ferrite transformation range,
800­500°C, and then air­cooled to room temperature. This
procedure enhances the ferrite grain refinement already
achieved by controlled rolling by suppressing the Arß temper­
ature. The combination of fine elongated austenite contain­
ing numerous deformation bands together with a depression of
the austenite­to­ferrite transformation strongly favours a
nucleation rather than growth situation. It has also been
suggested that the effectiveness of accelerated cooling is
further enhanced by the suppression of ferrite nucleation in
the temperature range just below the Ar3· The overall
effect is a significant reduction in ferrite grain size. The
ferrite grain size is dependent on cooling rate and decreases
as the cooling rate increases, Figure 24.

Associated with an increase in cooling rate is the appear­


ance of acicular ferrite, bainite, martensite­austenite (M­A)
islands and eventually martensite at the faster cooling
rates. The lower temperature transformation products are
more obvious at, or towards, the surface of the plate where
the initial cooling rate is fastest, while the centre of the
plate at moderate cooling rates still transforms to fine­
grained ferrite­pearlite. The transformation products
present, and the degree of gradation towards the centre,
depends largely on the cooling rate and the thickness of the
plate. This variation in microstructure creates a potential
limitation in that without careful control variation in
mechanical properties could result.

Collins et al have shown that for cooling rates between


10°C/s and 40°C /s the microstructure of a 0.077oC, Nb­Ti­V­Mo
steel is predominantly lower bainite with some M­Α islands
with the transformation temperature narrowing with increasing
­32

cooling rate thereby producing a more uniform microstructure.


Above a cooling rate of 40°C /s there is increasing trans­
formation to martensite with a widening of the transformation
temperature range with increasing cooling rate. With cooling
rates up to 10°C /s ferrite grain refinement occurs with
a gradual replacement of ferrite by bainite and possible
refinement of the precipitate distribution. The extent of
the effect that variation in microstructure may have on
mechanical properties is illustrated in Figure 25 which shows
the hardness distribution measured in the thickness direction
of a Nb­V steel cooled from 800°C to 610­630°C at different
cooling rates. It can be seen that the hardness differ­
ence between surface and centre increases with cooling rate
and is as high as 6OHV30 for a cooling rate of 80°C /s.
This hardness difference also depends on steel composition
and plate thickness.

The influence of cooling rate on the yield and tensile


strength of a Nb­V steel is shown by work performed by IRSID/
USINOR, Figure 26. It can be seen that both the yield
and the tensile strength are increased by about 100 N/mm2
when the cooling rate is increased from about l°C/s to 20°C/s.
The rate of increase over this cooling rate is significant
and could cause reproducibility problems. Above a cooling
rate of 20°C /s the rate of increase in strength was much
less pronounced with a further increase in yield strength of
only about 25 N/mm* being recorded as the cooling rate was
increased from 20°C/s to 60°C/s.

The introduction of bainite and M­Α into the microstructure


would suggest that although these constituents would con­
tribute to strength they would also impair toughness. Work
at Mannesmann, (47 ) presented in Figure 27, has shown that as
the yield strength of a microalloyed steel is increased
to over 600 N/mm2 this is accompanied by a decrease in 857»
shear drop weight tear test (DWTT) temperature of about 20°C.
However, the toughness level remains well below that of the
same steel not subjected to accelerated cooling.
33 -

In addition to the strengthening effect introduced by the


extra grain refinement and the presence of lower temperature
transformation products, accelerated cooling can also increase
the precipitation hardening effect when microalloy additions
such as Nb, V or Ti are present. Rapid cooling through the
lower region of the austenite range and the austenite-to-
ferrite transformation retains more alloying element in solid
solution prior to precipitation in the ferritic phase where
it becomes an effective strengthener.

The effect of niobium, vanadium and titanium on the mech-


anical properties of accelerated-cooled high strength steels
has been studied by Nippon Steel Corporation. The effect
of niobium on strength and toughness is shown in Figure 28.
An addition of 0.027oNb to an accelerated-cooled steel pro-
vides an increase in yield strength of about 50 N/mm2 above
that noted for a controlled-rolled only steel. A relative
improvement in CVN impact energy at -40°C was also recorded.
A similar trend was observed in the vanadium steel, although
the increase in yield strength with increasing vanadium
content was not as significant, Figure 29. The effect of a
titanium addition was only noticeable at levels below 0.10%Ti
and had most effect at around 0.057„Ti, Figure 30.

In addition to increasing precipitation strengthening, both


niobium and titanium increased the volume fraction of bainite
in the microstructure in spite of the austenite structures
being refined. It is the formation of this fine-grained
ferrite-bainite microstructure (self-tempered) that it is
claimed is responsible for the improvement in toughness.

From the foregoing it is obvious that whilst accelerated


cooling can produce improved mechanical properties compared
with controlled rolling, giving yield strength levels of
around 600 N/mm2 coupled with excellent toughness, serious
practical limitations exist. The interrelationship between
cooling rate, steel composition and plate thickness is of
prime importance. Possible cooling rates will depend on the
equipment used and the method of water application to the
-34-

steel surfaces. For example, the range of cooling rates


possible relative to plate thickness on the industrial plant
(49 )
at Italsider is illustrated in Figure 31 and it has been
shown that in order to obtain the desired product character-
istics a cooling rate of 5°C/s to 20°C/s is needed. This
therefore appears to limit the maximum plate thickness to
between 30 and 40 mm. It is not suggested, however, that a
yield strength of 600 N/mm2 can be obtained in 40 mm thick
plate. In fact it has been shown that in a 12 mm plate
of Nb-V steel a yield strength of only 550 N/mm2 was reached
using a cooling rate of 20°C/s. On the other hand,
results from the Mannesmann mill indicate that yield strength
values above 600 N/mm2 can be obtained in 15 mm plate in a
high Mn (1.857o) Nb-Ti steel. ' The maximum plate thickness
will also be dictated by the maximum CEV imposed by the
purchaser for any individual order.

Production of accelerated-cooled plates is also underway at


Forges de Clabecq in Belgium. ' The maximum thickness
of the plates processed in the equipment is 26 mm. The
length of the cooling system is 12 m, but with it being
a continuous rolling system a maximum plate length of 60 m
can be rolled and accelerated-cooled. The total water flow
rate can be adjusted to between 500 and 5000 mJ /h and the
effect of the water density on the temperature decrease in
10 mm thick plates travelling through the system at 3 m/s
is presented in Figure 32. The plate speed is adjusted down
to 2.2 m/s for 16 mm plate. After controlled rolling to
about 840°C it takes approximately 6 seconds to cool the
surface of the plate to about 640°C. Hendricks claims
that a fine-grained ferrite-pearlite microstructure is formed
at the surface of the plate and not martensite. The micro-
structure is also claimed to be uniform throughout the thick-
ness.

Forges de Clabecq mainly produce Nb-steels (0.067o max.)


together with some Nb + V (0.107„V max.) steels. Accelerated
cooling produces yield strength levels above 500 N/mm2 with
the increment due to accelerated cooling estimated at about
- 35

80 N/mm2 for a specific water flow rate of about 20 L/m' /s.


The main marketplace is linepipe where the carbon content is
limited to 0.107, max., but for structural steels the carbon
level is raised to a minimum of 0.157o in order to produce
high strength levels in thicker plates. A carbon range
between 0.10-0.157» is avoided because of slab cracking prob-
lems experienced on concasting (although this is dependent
on temperature). The annual tonnage of TMCP steels at Forges
de Clabecq having yield strengths of at least 550 N/mm1 is
500 tonnes. However, the market for higher strength steels
is claimed to be encouraging and this tonnage figure is
expected to increase, although potential customers are
requesting more data on the properties of accelerated-cooled
steels. Because accelerated cooling is not easy to control
some reluctance is being shown towards increasing their
production if the marketplace expands, as is expected.

Dillinger are currently installing accelerated cooling equip-


ment and the pilot plant operation has been sufficiently
encouraging to convince them to install a permanent unit
capable of quenching 30 m long plates. The planned system
will be enclosed using the same cooling technology as Forges
de Clabecq i.e. many water pipes with lamellar flow under low
pressure. A normal run-out table will be used, i.e. no top
rolls, and water will be introduced to both the top and
bottom of the plate. A large controlled variation in the
water supply is planned so that the same steel grade can be
successfully produced over a wide range of plate thicknesses.
Dillinger intend to produce TMCP plates in thicknesses rang-
ing from 8 mm to 100 mm with commercial production starting
in 1988.

Thyssen will install a cooling system on their heavy plate


mill at Duisburg which will be operational during 1988.
Continuous and interrupted accelerated cooling will be poss-
ible and the cooling equipment will be mounted close to the
rolling mill so as to minimise time delay between rolling
and quenching. The system will be able to accelerated-cool
plates up to 30 m long and a wide range of cooling rates will
be possible.
36-

USINOR believe that TMCP steels will become more widely


accepted and haveconsequently recently installed a pilot
( 52 )
plant at Dunkerque. Trials to date have not revealed
any major metallurgical problems. The main problem has been
one of 'flatness'. It is claimed that up to 30% of pro-
duction eventually needs cold flattening. Lower finish
cooling temperatures cause residual strain in the final plate
( 53 )
which affects the flatness. It has also been shown,
Figure 33, that the allowable temperature gradient in the
transverse direction of a 20 mm thick plate to avoid buckling
is about 5°C/m. Further, the allowable temperature drop
within 100 mm from the edge of a 20 mm plate in order to
avoid buckling is 50°C. In practice, therefore, a high
water flow rate is likely to be detrimental to flatness/
buckling which could limit the maximum cooling rate used.
Cold flattening is a possibility, but in addition to it
being an extra process it also results in a deterioration in
toughness. The Japanese have apparently solved the problem
of distortion by 'balance cooling'. The cooling rate is
limited to about 50°C/s which results in either ferrite plus
bainite or ferrite plus pearlite. The thickness limit using
this procedure was thought to be about 50-60 mm, although
the Japanese now claim to have extended the technique to
produce plates up to 80-100 mm thick.

In summary, while accelerated cooling can produce superior


mechanical properties (compared with TMCR steels) all the
problems associated with this practice are by no means solved.
Careful control is essential and the properties achieved are
dependent on the interrelationship between cooling rate,
plate thickness and steel composition. The start and finish
cooling temperatures also need to be optimised for each
steel grade and for each individual facility. Flatness/
buckling has to be avoided which again is dependent on cool-
ing rate and water flow rate on the top and bottom of the
plate. The Japanese technique of 'balance cooling' may have
solved this problem. Investment needed for accelerated
cooling plant is high and therefore a careful assessment of
the marketplace is required before a decision to install such
equipment is made. The process might lend itself more to
- 37 -

high tonnage linepipe production rather than the smaller


tonnage high strength structural steel market, although if
consistently good mechanical properties can be produced in
plate thicknesses up to 30-50 mm TMCP steels would be attract-
ive for more general structural applications. This does not
mean that thinner TMCP plates would not be competitive and
could not be produced economically.

As a final comment on TMCP steels, it should be noted that


as long ago as 1979-82 NKK produced over 200,000 tonnes of
linepipe steel in up to 20 mm plate and with yield strength
levels of 484 N/mmJ using their OLAC process. In 1982-83
some 30,000 tonnes were rolled for general structural pur-
poses. The Japanese steel companies are extremely active in
promoting TMCP steels since they have a competitive edge at
present and many thousands of tonnes of TMCP steels have been
marketed since the early 1980's. More recently some 40,000
tonnes of TMCP structural steel has been purchased from Japan
and is being used in the construction of the Oseberg platform
in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The steel, however,
was made to BS 4360 : 50D specification and therefore only
exhibited a minimum yield strength of 355 N/mm2 .

The potential market for TMCP steels has obviously stimulated


much interest in Europe with most major steel producers
opting to invest in accelerated cooling equipment. One word
of caution is that if the economics of the investment are
geared mainly to the pipeline market then this industry's
requirements over the next few decades should be thoroughly
studied in view of the recent decline in the large diameter
high strength pipeline market. However, the advantages
are leaner chemistry, lower CEV, better weldability and the
fact that TMCP steels are cheaper to produce. Accelerated
cooling is an important development in the field of high
strength steels and, in order to remain competitive with the
Japanese, European steel companies should invest in this
processing route.
38

3.1.4 Quenched and Tempered Steel Plates

The first quenched and tempered structural steels to be


developed contained high percentages of several expensive
hardenability elements such as nickel and molybdenum which
made them only economically acceptable for the production of
thick plates. A better knowledge of the metallurgy of these
steels, in particular the microstructural characteristics,
together with improved quenching procedures, has resulted in
the development of steels that exhibit equivalent strength
at lower alloy levels. In addition to being more economical,
these more recent steels have lower CEV and better weld-
ability. Quenched and tempered (QT) steels with yield
strengths in the range 450-1000 N/mm* and with excellent
toughness properties are available from European steelmakers.
In addition to their traditional uses such as for earthmoving
equipment, machinery, mining etc., the 'newer' QT steels are
finding increasing application in offshore structures, cranes,
bridges and other applications where weight saving is import-
ant .

3.1.4.1 Metallurgical Design

The design of QT steels is based on the results of much fund-


amental research which is beyond the scope of this review.
In essence, the primary aim is to produce as fine a micro-
structure as possible containing the maximum volume fraction
of low-carbon martensite possible with the remainder of the
microstructure being lower bainite. Higher temperature
transformation products are to be avoided as these are detri-
mental to both strength and toughness. The design for
commercial QT steels should follow several (or even all) of
the following procedures ί­
α. produce a refined austenite grain size by the addition
of microalloying elements (Nb, V and/or T i ) , and/or
controlled rolling;
b. maintain a low carbon content for good weldability,
toughness, ductility and formability;
c. add hardenability elements, such as Mo, Mn, Cr and Β for
39

transformation control (the synergistic effect of Mo + Β


is extremely powerful in this respect);
d. add Ni for improved toughness;
e. temper the microstructure to improve the strength/tough­
ness balance;
f. add secondary hardening elements such as Nb and V for
either precipitation strengthening on tempering or for
offsetting the decrease in strength typically observed
on tempering martensite due to recovery of the marten­
sitic matrix and over­aging of the iron carbides. Molyb­
denum also imparts significant resistance to softening
on tempering.

The metallurgical design of QT steels has been supplemented


by the development of improved quenching equipment. The
Drever roller quench unit, which is in operation at BSC and
Svenskt Stål (Oxelösund), was a major breakthrough in that it
allowed a much faster cooling rate relative to the older
'platten' quench unit. A variation of the Drever design
developed jointly by USINOR and BERTIN is in operation at
USINOR, Dunkerque, and Thyssen also operate a specially
designed 'pressure water quenching facility'. The quenching
operation at USINOR is carried out directly after rolling
and hence the normal reheating operation is eliminated.

Prior to roller quenching, the steel plates are typically


austenitised at 900­925°C (except in the case of USINOR) and
then passed into the quench unit where they are either
oscillated between rotating rolls or passed continuously
through the rolls whilst being water quenched. The rolls
hold the plate flat during quenching. High pressure water
sprays are applied to both the top and bottom surfaces of
the plate. C ooling rate is controlled by adjusting water
pressure and speed of entry into the unit. Water can be
delivered at very high pressure at the rate of 15,000 g/min.
A schematic representation of the process is shown in Figure
34. In addition to the process providing a much more effic­
ient quench than the 'platten' quenchers, allowing leaner
chemistries to be used, the hard or soft spots associated
with the older process are eliminated and a much more uniform
-40-

product is produced. After quenching the plates are tempered


usually in the temperature range 580-620°C.

3.1.4.2 Commercial Quenched and Tempered Steels

The development of commercial quenched and tempered steels


has taken two distinct paths: (a) steels containing austenite
grain refining and precipitation strengthening additions, and
(b) steels containing only elements added for hardenability.
It would be true to say that the former steels are generally
limited to plate thicknesses ¿50 mm because of the reduced
hardenability effect of a finer austenite grain size although
alloying to offset this reduction can raise the thickness to
80 mm. QT steels containing additions of Ni, Cr, Mo and
Mn can be designed to have sufficient hardenability to trans-
form to martensite and lower bainite in plate thicknesses up
to 150mm and above. The level of alloying for both routes depends
on the cooling rate and hence the quenching unit.

Microalloyed Steels

European steelmakers who have followed the microalloyed route


include Italsider, BSC, USINOR and Fabrique de Fer. In
certain grades, however, hardenability is increased by small
additions of Cr and/or Mo in order to ensure the specified
properties in thicker plates. The steel compositions of
the reheated, quenched and tempered microalloyed steel grades
produced in Europe are listed in Table 5 and their mechanical
properties in Table 6. Data from competitive grades produced
in Sweden are included for comparison.

Several important points should be noted. Firstly, the


maximum plate thickness that is produced using microalloyed
steels is 80 mm (by BSC). BSC state that they can supply
plate up to 100 mm thick and that this maximum is a limit-
ation of the roller quench unit. Secondly, the highest
minimum yield strength steel quoted is 690 N/mm' which is
available only from the two companies using the efficient
high cooling rate roller quench unit. These two companies
also supply the thicker plates. Finally, a small addition
-41

of boron is made to the higher strength steels to effect


through-hardenability.

Relating theory to practice, Figure 35 shows how the desired


microstructures and hence mechanical properties of BSC's RQT
steels are eventually achieved. The higher cooling
rates possible on the roller quench mean that a low temper-
ature transformation product is obtained even in plates
of leaner composition. The continuous cooling curves for
12.7, 25 and 38 mm thick plates of RQT501 and 701 show that
at all plate thicknesses the required microstructures can be
achieved. The steels exhibit a uniform microstructure, and
hence properties, throughout the plate thickness as ill-
ustrated by the hardness profiles in Figure 36. It is also
claimed that because the M s temperatures of the steels are
relatively high the martensitic structure experiences signif-
icant autotempering ensuring freedom from cracking during
quenching and heat-affected zone cracking during welding.

Typical strength property levels achieved in RQT501T* plate


are presented in Figure 37 and show the usual scatter in
values for plates up to 80 mm thick. Of particular note
is the high consistency of properties in the thicker (50-80mm)
material.

A particular concern to designers, however, is the high


YS/UTS ratios recorded for the steel. This is not peculiar
to the RQT steels, but to quenched amd tempered steels in
general. The ratios are mainly around 0.85 (UTS/YS ratio of
<"1.18) which is higher than that allowed in certain specif-
ications. The problem is that steels of high YS/UTS
ratio may not possess sufficient work-hardening capacity to
resist crack propagation. Such steels may be prone to rapid
ductile failure if localised stress concentrations around
discontinuities exceed the yield strength of the material.
The argument is valid; what is debatable is the maximum
YS/UTS ratio value that is acceptable. This point will be

*
The BSC proprietary steel RQT501T is an improved version of
BS 4360 Grade 55F offering enhanced yield strength and
transverse impact properties at -40°C.
42

discussed in more detail in the later Section on 'Standards


and Codes'. Meanwhile, it is worth noting the results of
parent plate CTOD (crack tip opening displacement) tests on
RQT501T as shown in Figure 38. Results show a very low
transition temperature for plates up to 50 mm thick and fully
ductile behaviour is obtained at temperatures down to -60°C.
The lower shelf energy of the 25 mm thick plate is reported
to be due to the effects of specimen shape. These results
are encouraging and should support the argument that the
maximum UTS/YS ratio of 1.2 as stipulated in the various
standards and codes appears to be on the conservative side.

More typical CVN impact test results (transverse) are pre-


sented in Figure 39 and show that the QT steels have very
high shelf energies of between 250-300 Joules due to the
combination of very low sulphur and low carbon contents. Low
impact transition temperatures of around -75°C were also
recorded.

The roller quench production capacity at BSC and Svenskt Stål


well outstrips current production rates. Capacity at Svenskt
Stål is around 100,000 tonnes per year. Although BSC can
produce QT steel at the rate of about 40,000 tonnes per year,
production could be increased if demand warranted it. The
restriction at BSC would not be the capacity of the roller
quench unit but rather the need to alter the reheating proc-
edure so as to be able to deliver the plates faster to the
quench unit.

Direct Quenched Steels

High strength microalloyed quenched and tempered steels are


also produced in Europe by USINOR. The quench unit used is
a modified roller quench using high pressure water sprays
aimed onto rotating rolls while the plate is oscillated
between the rolls. This action is designed to rapidly
remove the surface steam layer and effect more efficient
cooling. Very high cooling rates are reported:-

a. 30°C/s for 30 mm thick plate;


b. 100°C/s for 10 mm thick plate,
43

The unique part of the procedure is that the plates are


quenched directly from the rolling temperature. The benefits
ç A­ u­ u κ ι ç (39­41,57)
of direct quenching have been known for many years '
but USINOR is the first European steelmaker to have adopted
( 58 )
this processing route on a commercial basis. The maximum
plate thickness that can be produced on the DQ unit is between
40­50 mm. Some problem has been experienced in meeting
toughness specifications and this has been attributed to
the fact that the DQ unit is not in­line with the rolling
mill and there is a time delay of about 60 seconds between
finish rolling and start quenching. Data derived over recent
years indicates that the best position for a DQ unit is
immediately in­line with the plate rolling mill. USINOR are
considering moving their DQ unit since they have the avail­
able space; cost is the problem. The steel compositions and
mechanical properties of the direct quenched steels produced
by USINOR (USIRAC 420 to 500) are presented in Table 7. All
the steels are quenched to martensite.

Comparing the steel chemistries and properties of the DQ


steels with those of the reheated, QT steels (Tables 5, 6 and
7) it is apparent that the DQ steels are leaner in chemistry
than the corresponding reheated QT steels at a similar
strength level. Because of the different numerical notations
given to their own proprietary grades by the various steel­
makers it is impossible to produce an exact comparison. It
is unfortunate that other steel companies do not adopt the
procedure followed by USINOR where the figure following
the 'tradename' denotes the minimum yield strength level in
2
N/mm . This would, of course, also comply with the procedure
adopted for Euronorm Standards. As will be pointed out later,
the adoption of different numerical combinations by different
steel companies causes much confusion to the potential cust­
omer .

The fact that a given strength level can be produced in


a steel of leaner chemistry by direct quenching and temper­
ing, compared with that produced by the more conventional
reheat, quench and temper route, added to the fact that
the reheating procedure is eliminated, makes direct quenching
44­

an economically viable proposition. C ompanies investing in


accelerated cooling equipment should therefore carefully
consider constructing and installing equipment that would be
capable of undertaking both procedures.

Alloyed Steels

The more popular route to producing higher strength in thicker


plate structural steels, i.e. ^50 mm, is by increasing the
hardenability of the steel by alloying. The alloying tech­
nique is not limited to thicker plate and European steel­
makers who have chosen this route produce much thinner gauges
and are able to extend the maximum yield strength to up
to 1000 N/mm2 . For example, the N­A­XTRA steels made by
Thyssen have minimum yield strength levels ranging from 550
to 690 N/mm* in plate thicknesses down to 3 mm, while
their XABO 90 steel meets a minimum yield strength of 890 N/mm2
in 50 mm thick plate. C reusot­Marrel offer Superelso 702
in up to 100 mm thick plate with a guaranteed minimum yield
strength of 700 N/mm'. Obviously, therefore, the alloying
route to higher strength offers the possibility of achieving
a wider range and higher level of strength properties in a
wider range of plate thicknesses. The basic principle behind
production of these steels is that alloying elements are
added so that the hardenability of the steel is such that
martensite and/or lower bainite is formed throughout the
plate thickness (see Figure 35). The high strength levels
are achieved whilst maintaining excellent toughness. Typical
applications for these QT steels are racks for jack­ups,
penstocks, crane jibs, mining equipment etc.

Four European steelmakers offer alloyed QT steel grades:


Thyssen, C reusot­Marrel, Dillinger and Italsider. (BSC pro­
duce QT445A and Β grades when they need to extend the thick­
ness range of their RQT501 grade). The steel compositions
and mechanical properties of a representative listing of
alloyed QT steels produced in Europe are given in Tables 8
and 9, respectively. All the steels contain chromium and
molybdenum while most contain nickel. The steels used to
produce the thicker plates may also contain vanadium, boron
45

or copper. It is understood that Di-llinger now offer steels


DSE 890 and DSE 960 which exhibit minimum yield strength
levels of 890 N/mm2 (similar to XABO 90) and 960 N/mm2
(similar to XABO 96), respectively.

An example of the consistency in mechanical properties pro-


duced in alloyed QT steels is illustrated in Figure 40 and
is from data published by Creusot-Marrel for Superelso 702.
Creusot-Marrel also produce a high strength QT steel in
plate thicknesses up to 300 mm. The steel, designated
A517F-CR, is specifically aimed at the offshore industry
and is used for racks and chords in jack-up rigs. The steel
has a minimum yield strength of 685 N/mm2 and a CVN impact
energy of 45 J at -40°C (for plate thickness ¿150 mm). The
plates are austenitised between 900-950°C and tempered
between 550-650°C. The steel composition range and the
mechanical properties are given in Table 10. Nickel, chromium
and molybdenum are the main alloying additions with the
nickel content typically approaching 27».

To obtain the required or optimum combination of strength


and toughness in QT steels the correct tempering temperature
has to be determined for individual compositions. Typically
this temperature is around 600°C but for the steel with the
highest strength level listed in Table 9 (XABO 90) the tem-
pering temperature needs to be as high as 675°C in order to
combine a yield strength of 890 N/mm2 with a CVN impact
energy of 70 Joules at -60°C, Figure 41. Most of the
steels listed in Table 8 meet the requirements of Euronorm
137/83 and some are produced to ASTM 514 and ASTM 517 standard.

In summary, the only effective way to manufacture higher


strength structural steel plates with yield strengths of
550 N/mm and above, in thicknesses of 30 mm and above,
is by quenching and tempering. To produce steels of higher
strength (E620 Grade and above) with good toughness it is
necessary to quench and temper even in thinner gauges.
Different metallurgical techniques have been described for
QT steels and it is interesting to note the limitations of
the 'microalloyed' design. The maximum yield strength level
46

produced by a 'microalloyed ' QT steel and marketed by the


European steelmakers is 690 N/mml and this only in plate
thicknesses up to ^40 mm and using the most efficient roller
quench unit. The reduced hardenability brought about by a
reduced austenite grain size will obviously limit the thick-
ness of plate that can be through-hardened. The maximum
plate thickness possible for a given alloy composition will
be dependent on the cooling rate. Thickness levels can be
increased somewhat by the addition of elements such as Ni,
Cr, Mo etc. which increase the hardenability, but this tech-
nique is obviously limited and at some product stage a
decision has to be made to eliminate grain refining additions.

The approach adopted in order to produce yield strength


levels above 500 N/mm* in plate thicknesses of 50-150 mm is
therefore by alloying alone, which generally involves the
addition of Cr, Mo and Ni. In some cases boron is added to
ensure through-hardening. It is interesting to note that the
'alloyed' QT steels are produced by steel companies without a
roller quench unit. The use of a roller quench unit, with
its relatively faster cooling rate, would enable a reduction
in alloy content for a given strength and thickness which in
the long term would prove more economical.

Direct quenching results in the use of even leaner chemistries.


The problem is that quenching is carried out from a fine-
grained deformed austenite which again limits the hardenability
of the steel. Since the best combination of properties is in
this case achieved by direct quenching after controlled
rolling, the final thickness range would be limited by the
power of the rolling mill and the gap between the rolls in
the quench unit. The maximum plate thickness is likely to be
about 40 mm. Thicker plate could be produced by utilising a
'loose' controlled rolling schedule whereby finish rolling is
at a higher temperature. The problem then is the danger of
introducing higher temperature transformation products, such
as upper bainite, which would have a disastrous effect on
toughness. However, with the rapid development and attract-
iveness of accelerated cooling, serious thought should be
given to investing in equipment that can perform both oper-
ations with the unit obviously being in-line with the rolling
mill .
47

As a final point, it is again confusing (especially for the


customer) to be confronted with a multitude of company 'trade-
names' for steels, followed by a different numbering system.
Dillinger and USINOR are the only two steel producers that
follow the practice whereby the number following the steel
name denotes the minimum yield strength. It would greatly
assist all purchasers, designers and engineers if this system
were universally adopted or at least became standard through-
out Europe. It should also be common practice to present
impact toughness data at a number of specified temperatures.
Comparison between potential material performance is imposs-
ible when CVN impact energies are quoted at different temper-
atures by different steel companies and in some cases only
longitudinal values are listed. A unified approach would
assist the steel industry in its efforts in the competitive
marketplace.

3.2 Sections

As in the case of plates, the main impetus that has prompted


the development of higher strength sections with good tough-
ness properties has been the introduction over recent years
of more stringent specifications by the offshore industry.
Even so, the highest yield strength level currently specified
( 12 )
for structural sections is 355 N/mm2 . The only steel
specification in Europe that covers sections of higher yield
strength, i.e. 450 N/mm 2 , for general structural application
is the UK Specification BS 4360 : 1986, Grade 55C and E. A
CVN impact energy requirement of 27 J at 0°C is also speci-
fied. The sections can be produced in the as-rolled or
quenched and tempered condition.

German Specification DIN 21544 : Grade 31 Mn 4, which covers


steel sections for use in the mining industry, includes a
steel with a minimum yield strength of 520 N/mm2 but with a
somewhat relaxed toughness requirement of 48 J at +20°C (DVM).
These sections, mainly for use in telescopic arches, are
usually produced in the quenched and tempered condition,
although increasing tonnage is being produced by TMCR.
The tonnage per year consumed in West Germany is around
48

250,000 tonnes, making this application probably the largest


consumer of high strength structural steel sections in Europe.

Whereas in the recent past steel sections were simply pro-


duced by finish rolling at high temperatures (>1000°C) and
air cooling, followed possibly by normalising, transfer of
technology from developments aimed at plate production has
resulted in the successful application of controlled rolling
techniques to the manufacture of sections. This technique,
together with microalloying, has enabled sections to be
produced with improved combinations of strength and toughness
and has enlarged the potential marketplace. Developments
underway should result in the successful commercial product-
ion of economical, higher strength structural sections.

3.2.1 Current Status of Steel Section Production

Much of the basic metallurgical technology discussed in the


previous Section 3.1 Plates has also been applied to the
development of higher strength steel sections. In the desire
to develop higher yield strength steels to meet the grades
covered in Euronorm 113 and BS 4360 two options were con-
sidered - normalising and controlled rolling (TMCR). Briefly,
because TMCR eliminates the cost and time of a normalising
treatment and enables the design of a steel with lower carbon
and alloy content and therefore improved weldability, this
has been the route chosen. In the production of high tough-
ness sections of E355 steel for offshore application, such as
BSC's Arctic 3 5 5 ( 6 3 ) and ARBED's KRYTENAR 355 TZ, ( 6 4 ) carbon
content has been reduced to below 0.10% in order to reduce
the pearlite content. To compensate for the accompanying
loss in strength, microalloy additions of Nb or Nb+V have
been made and their effect with respect to grain refinement
and precipitation strengthening is similar to that described
in the previous Section. This grade has a minimum yield
2
strength of 355 N/mm . An example of the typical chemistry
and actual properties attainable in heavy sections produced
at BSC is given in Table 11 together with the chemistry
range and minimum mechanical properties attainable in similar
steels produced by ARBED. The CEV is below 0.40 which
49

greatly reduces the chances of hydrogen­induced cold cracking


on welding.

ARBED have extended the strength range of their high strength


steel sections to meet Euronorm 113 : Fe E460 KG, KW and KT
Grades (equivalent to BS 4360 : Grade 55C, DAST Richtlinie
Oil : St E460 and ASTM A572 : Grade 65). Sections with a
flange thickness of 40 mm can be supplied after TMCR. C on­
trolled rolling is carried out to within about 50°C of the
austenite­to­ferrite transformation temperature. The steel
composition and mechanical properties are given in Table 12.

The codes, including EUROCODE NO. 3, do not as yet condone


the use of such a high strength steel section, although it
has been certified for certain applications on an individual
basis such as masts, multi­storey parking buildings and
bridges. ARBED can in fact manufacture sections in Fe E460
in thicknesses up to 125 mm in the normalised condition, but
the limitation is the required toughness. TMC R sections are
produced up to 60 mm in thickness, but above this thickness
TMCR becomes less effective and sections are then generally
normalised in order to produce good sub­zero toughness prop­
erties. The thickness of the TMCR sections can be increased
to 100 mm by 'selective cooling' and this will be discussed
later.

TMCR steel sections are also produced by BSC, Krupp, Hoesch


and Kloeckner. BSC manufacture several thousand tonnes per
year of Grade 55C steel sections which are used in the con­
struction of transmission towers, Bailey bridges etc. The
C­Mn­Nb­V steel is produced to a minimum yield strength of
450 N/mm2 in sections up to 16 mm in thickness dropping to
415 N/mm' for sections over 25 mm up to and including 40 mm.
A higher strength section (C R550, with a minimum yield
strength of 550 N/mm2 ) is also produced in the as­rolled
condition for archway supports (mining, underground roadways).
The steel composition used is (all max. levels, wt.%):­
C Mn Si Ρ S Nb V
0.18 1.6 0.5 0.025 0.008 0.06 0.12
50

The steel is Al-treated and a Low sulphur level is maintained


for good formability. Grades 55C and CR550 are the highest
strength sections currently used in the UK except for defence
applications such as in submarines.

The biggest production of TMCR sections in Europe is by the


West German steel companies for use in telescopic arches in
the mining industry. The steels produced conform with German
Specification DIN 21544 and are Nb+V steels similar to
the BSC steel. The composition range is (in wt.70):-
C Si Mn P S Ν
0.12/0.21 0.2/0.6 1.2/1.7 έθ.035 ¿0.030 0.01/0.02

Nb V
0.08 max. 0.15 max.
The steel is thermo­mechanically controlled­rolled to produce
a minimum yield strength of 520 N/mm2 , minimum tensile
strength of 650 N/mm2 and El. >1870. Room temperature impact
resistance (DVM) is greater than 48 Joules. Details of the
development of this steel at Krupp have been published by
Heller and Flügge where the effect of alloying and mech­
anical processing on the properties of the steel are des­
cribed. This type of steel is also supplied by Hoesch in the
as­rolled condition. The Hoesch steel is produced to 17MnV7
requirements and contains vanadium only, i.e. no niobium. It
is believed, therefore, that the Hoesch steel is not severely
controlled­rolled. Production of TMC R steel sections in
West Germany is estimated at about 100,000 tonnes per year.
The production of high strength steel sections at Krupp,
other than that described above, has been halted because the
pricing policy has eroded profitability.

The West German steelmakers also supply QT high strength


sections to DIN 21544. The steel grade is 31 Mn 4 and is
basically a C­Mn steel with around 0.307»C and 1.07«Mn. These
sections are typically water­quenched from 850­900°C and
tempered at about 500°C . A minimum yield strength of 520 N/mm'
is obtained. At the present time the tonnage of QT sections
produced is somewhat similar to that of the TMC R sections
although the intention of some German steelmakers is to
- 51 -

increase the tonnage of TMCR at the expense of the QT steels.

3.2.2 New Developments in Steel Section Technology

The most interesting developments underway to produce high


strength steel sections involve the use of accelerated cool-
ing using water jets. The Centre de Recherches Métallur-
giques (CRM, Belgium) in collaboration with ARBED have
developed a 'selective water cooling system' (WSC) and a
'quench self temper' unit (QST). Both processes are
currently being developed using pilot plant equipment but no
WSC or QST sections have yet been sold commercially. The
processes, however, have been shown to work and when commer-
cialised will be a major breakthrough in the production of
higher strength sections.

The WSC system has been designed so as to reduce or eliminate


temperature differentials throughout the flange width and
between the flange and the web of heavier sections, thereby
producing uniform mechanical properties. In normal practice
the mid-flange area is typically 100°C hotter than the flange
ends. A schematic representation of the selective water
cooling system is shown in Figure 42. The system, devised
by CRM, involves the use of compressed air in order to atom-
ise water which is pressure-sprayed on the outside faces of
the section. This procedure is carried out in the roughing
stages where the idea is to selectively cool the thicker
areas of the section so that finish rolling is performed when
the section is of a uniform and lower temperature. In effect,
the sections are controlled-rolled with finishing temper-
atures in the region of 850°C. The usual advantages of
thermo-mechanical rolling are claimed (compared to normal-
ising) in that a given yield strength can be obtained at
lower carbon and alloy levels resulting in improved tough-
ness and better weldability.

As an 'in-line' process WSC requires less time, is more


cost effective and leads to shorter delivery times. ARBED
claim that the WSC-TMCR route reduces total production costs
by about 207o as compared with normalising. Productivity has
52 ­

increased because reduction in the waiting time necessary to


obtain a correct temperature Level for thermo­mechanical
rolling has reduced rolling time at the intermediate stand
between 10% and 45% depending on the product thickness. It
is claimed that the WSC process will be effective up to
section thicknesses of 100 mm.

The latest development underway at ARBED is incorporating


the WSC technology into a QST unit. The QST system has
been successfully applied to bar, strip and plate products
by C RM and is now under trial on the Η­beam mill at ARBED.
Figure 43 gives a schematic view of the water quenching
system.

the WSC ­QST process involves initially subjecting a section


to WSC as described above so that subsequent quenching is
carried out with a section of uniform temperature thereby
avoiding transformation to a variety of microstructures and
distortion. The section is then thermo­mechanically rolled
followed by interrupted accelerated cooling whereby the
section is quenched to an appropriate temperature (probably
to the top end of the ferrite range) and then allowed to air
cool, during which time it 'auto­tempers'. In steels con­
taining vanadium and/or niobium this technique provides for
precipitation strengthening of the ferrite and consequently
a marked increase in yield strength.

Preliminary results on a 125 mm thick section have shown over


a 607o increase in yield strength from about 300 N/mm2 to
2
500 N/mm (steel composition unknown). It is also under­
8 )
stood^ that ARBED have produced a WSC­QST steel containing
Nb+V with a yield strength of about 700 N/mm2 . The yield
strength of a simple 0.13%C , 1. 27„Μη steel rolled to an H­
profile with a flange thickness of 16.5 mm and subjected to
'selective cooling' can be increased by *Ί50 N/mm2 to "500 N/rmi2.
This increase in strength was achieved without much loss in
ductility (267.E1.). The CVN impact toughness improved as the
stop-quench temperature was decreased. In another trial an
8 mm thick section of 0.087.C, 1.0 57oMn steel exhibited a
2 2
yield strength of 550 N/mm coupled with a 41 j/cm CVN
53-

impact transition temperature of -100°C. A further increase


in yield strength of ^200 N/mm2 was obtained by the addition
of 0.127o vanadium. An improvement in impact toughness was
also noted in the QST steel when compared with the as-rolled
steel.

The WSC-QST process has been successful in producing high


strength structural steel beams with section thicknesses up
to 40 mm (HEM series). The production of higher strength
sections of thicknesses up to 125 mm looks encouraging.
It is considered that the process could be commercially
developed by 1990. In the meantime a strong marketing effort
is needed so as to inform and educate the marketplace.
Probably the first approach by ARBED will be to design a
leaner Grade 355 section with better weldability. This is
aimed at the offshore industry where the potential market
is about 30,000 tonnes per year. The next stage would be
to develop a leaner steel composition to meet Fe E460 KT
requirements and then to develop higher strength structural
steel sections. BSC are now working closely with ARBED
in the development of accelerated cooling for the production
of steel sections. The WSC-QST process would appear to
be an ideal route to economically produce structural steel
sections to meet higher strength requirements.

To conclude Section 3.2 it should be noted that while pro-


cessing technology and alloy design have progressed to the
stage where thick weldable structural steel sections with
good toughness can be produced with a guaranteed minimum
yield strength of 460 N/mm2 , only one specification in
Europe (BS 4360 : 1986) covers this steel grade. In order
to enable wider use of higher strength sections, efforts
must be made to ensure that these grades are accepted by
the specification/code bodies and included in a Euronorm
specification. There are obvious limitations to their use,
such as deflection problems when deploying thin sections,
but these should also be taken into account in any specifi-
cation .
54-

With the development of accelerated cooling techniques,


higher strength, lower alloyed structural steel sections are
an immediate possibility and production using WSC-QST is
expected at ARBED by 1990. To fully exploit this European
development it is necessary that this type of steel , together
with the higher strength levels attainable, be written into
an appropriate specification. However, it is understood that
much more detailed evaluation of such steels will be required,
which should be undertaken as soon as possible. Apart from
the benefits of WSC-QST already mentioned it should be appre-
ciated that processing conditions can be varied so that a
wide range of mechanical properties covering several property
grades could be produced from one steel composition. This
would help to reduce the current proliferation of steel
grades and steel compositions. The process offers low pro-
duction costs and hence the possibility of a competitive
selling price. If commercialised this process will be a
major breakthrough in the production of high strength struc-
tural steel sections.

A final point regarding the marketplace for higher strength


sections is that the steel companies feel that production of
Grade Fe E460 will increase in the future, probably at the
expense of Grade E355. The concensus of opinion is that the
offshore construction industry will consume more high strength
sections for topside applications, deck supports, structural
members etc.
55 -

4. WELDABILITY OF HIGH STRENGTH STRUCTURAL STEELS

The weldability of structural steels is an extensive subject


and will not be covered in great detail in the present report.
It is intended to briefly discuss the main problem areas and
the means of avoiding the pitfalls and then to present pro-
cedural and property data available from steelmakers that
confirm that higher strength steels can be successfully
welded.

Weldability is generally assessed by a steel's resistance to


cold cracking and by the toughness of the heat-affected
zone (HAZ). Both cold cracking, or hydrogen-induced cracking,
and toughness are dictated by the optical microstructure and
precipitation characteristics. Lamellar tearing, which
usually occurs in highly restrained regions of T-or corner
joints, is now considered to be no longer a problem. The
developments made in desulphurisation practices and inclusion
shape control have resulted in a reduction in the number of
non-metallic inclusions and elimination of elongated sulph-
ides, and have virtually made lamellar tearing a problem of
the past. Solidification cracking should also not present
any problems.

Cold cracking is of concern in both the weld metal and the


HAZ. It is also of greater concern in quenched and tempered
steels because their inherent higher strength gives rise to
easier crack propagation. QT steels possess higher harden-
ability than normalised or TMCR steels and therefore there
is an adverse microstructural influence such as the greater
likelihood of forming martensite and/or bainite. A similar
problem exists with respect to cold cracking in weld metal
because the electrodes needed to weld higher strength steels
are more highly alloyed than those used for welding lower
strength steels. This is necessary in order to achieve the
generally desired equality in strength.

The main factors influencing cold cracking are:-

a. parent steel chemistry;


56

b. chemistry of the weld metal;


c. hydrogen content of the weld metal;
d. heat input;
e. preheat and interpass temperature;
f. plate thickness;
g. restraint (internal stress level).

4.1 Effect of Steel Composition and Heat Input

The chemical composition and cooling rate between 800 and


500°C dictate the microstructures in the HAZ. This cooling
rate is usually characterised by the time taken to cool
from 800 to 500°C, t 8/5, which in turn is a function of the
heat input. The level of heat input is important since a
low heat input will produce a fast cooling rate i.e. a
decrease in t 8/5, which results in increased amounts of
martensite making the weld more susceptible to cold cracking.
In this case, however, toughness is not adversely affected
because of the autotempering effect of subsequent passes.
On the other hand, a high heat input when welding QT steels
results in 'over-tempering' in the subcriticai temperature
zone of the HAZ which reduces the yield strength and lowers
the hardness. If welding is carried out too rapidly, which
is always a great danger because of the costs involved, it
can result in too high a heat input giving a wider HAZ with
lower yield strength at the edges of the HAZ. There is
also a danger of extending the coarse-grained region of the
HAZ and, if microalloying elements such as Nb and/or V are
present, toughness can be further adversely affected by
precipitation of Nb(C,N) or V(C,N) particles. This is also
a critical situation when welding normalised or TMCR steels.

The toughness deterioration in weldments of steels containing


niobium or vanadium has been of concern for many years and
detailed evaluations are still being performed. The problem
is generally associated with welds prepared using high heat
input. Several mechanisms have been suggested including:-

a. secondary hardening due to the precipitation of carbides/


nitrides/carbonitrides ;(69,70)
57

b. promotion of coarse upper batnite by niobium replacing


a fine acicular ferrite structure. ' Later work
(73,74) has defined niobium as promoting a lath­type
microstructure (or sideplates) characterised by low
angle boundaries which would adversely affect toughness.
c. Promotion of increased amounts of M­Α islands. '

On the positive side, niobium has been shown to promote fine


acicular ferrite at the expense of detrimental upper hain­
ite. Vanadium, on the other hand, has been shown to
exert very little influence on weld metal microstructure, and
impact toughness of these welds was superior to those that
contained >0.027oNb. ( 7 3 }

Further data has recently been presented at a conference in


Luxembourg organised by the C ommission of the European
Communities. Results presented by Bufalini showed that
niobium levels below 0.057o had a negligible effect on cold
cracking but should be taken into account at a level of
around 0.107oNb. Devillers presented data which showed
that a niobium addition had an adverse effect on the tough­
ness of the HAZ, Figure 44. Vanadium was also detrimental,
Figure 45, although only noticeable at high vanadium levels
(>0.067oV) and only after slow cooling between 700 and 300°C
i.e. equivalent to high heat input. The detrimental effect
of both elements was attributed to precipitation of Nb(C ,N)
or V(C ,N). Vuik ( 7 9 ) showed that a niobium level of 0.037» in
the base metal did not affect the toughness of the weld
metal, although a higher content was detrimental. In fact,
niobium was shown to be beneficial in small amounts which
confirmed earlier work by Graville and Rothwell who
showed that this was true provided the cooling rate, t 8/5,
was less than 40 s.

The beneficial effect of Nb(C,N) precipitation on HAZ tough­


ness at low heat inputs may be due to the pinning action of
the particles thereby producing smaller sideplates and car­
bide aggregates. Although vanadium exerts little influence
on the HAZ toughness under normal welding conditions, the
combination of niobium and vanadium has been shown to have a
58 ­

( 81 )
detrimental effect, even in small concentrations. This has
caused much concern in some industries, especially the off­
shore industry, with some companies stipulating individual
additions only in their normalised steels.

Because high heat input extends the coarse­grained region


adjacent to the fusion line, attempts have been made to
maintain a fine austenite grain size in this region during
welding. An addition of titanium, which forms very stable
( R ? fi "\ )
TiN particles, has been found to be effective. ' ' This
technology has recently been developed in Europe ' '
and toughness improvements in the HAZ have been observed in
steels containing up to 0.03%Ti. Above 0.037.TÍ an impairment
in toughness has been noted which has been attributed to
precipitation strengthening due to TiC . The beneficial
effect of titanium in commercial plates is illustrated in
(78)
Figure 46.

( 85 )
The following steel composition has been developed by C RM
to enable high heat input welding of a Grade 355 steel (in
wt.%):­

C Si Μη Ρ S Nt Alt Ti
0.12 0.4 1.4 0.008 0.008 0.03 0.03 0.03

This steel meets the required strength properties in 27 mm


thick plate with a C VN impact energy value in the longitud­
inal direction of 50 J at ­70°C . After high heat input
welding industrial plate at 20kJ/mm the C VN impact energy in
the HAZ was recorded at 50 J at ­40°C proving the effective­
ness of a small titanium addition. The advantage of high
heat input welding was translated into a time saving factor
since a faster deposition rate would be possible. It was
estimated that a time saving of 0.2 hours/metre weld was
possible when welding 20 mm thick plate, rising to 2.2 hours/
metre weld when welding 50 mm thick plate.

The benefit of being able to use high heat input welding is


therefore obvious and further developments in Ti­containing
steels will undoubtedly be made. Work is progressing at BSC
on Ti­containing steels as previously described ( 33 ) w hich
- 59 -

involves optimising the cooling rate during solidification


so as to produce the optimum precipitate particle size and
distribution. Results are encouraging and titanium and
niobium are already added together to improve the HAZ prop-
erties of Grade 355. The effectiveness of a Ti addition
should be pursued in higher strength steels, although this
might require the addition of increased amounts of harden-
ability elements in order to ensure transformation to marten-
site/bainite.

4.2 Effect of Preheating

While the cooling rate between 800 and 500°C dictates the
microstructure, it is the subsequent cooling rate that
dictates the diffusion rate of hydrogen. Hydrogen diffuses
rapidly at temperatures above 100°C and t 3/1, i.e. the
time taken to cool from 300 to 100°C, is taken as a guide to
the amount of hydrogen removal from the structure. The
higher the value of t 3/1 the better the elimination of
hydrogen introduced by the electrode and during welding, and
consequently the higher the percentage of martensite that can
be tolerated in the microstructure of the weldment without
increasing the risk of cracking.

Two methods are available to reduce the cooling rate: (a) an


increase in heat input, and (b) a preheat treatment. Figures
f OC)

47 and 48 show the effect of heat input and preheating,


respectively, on the cooling rate. The detrimental effects
of a high heat input have already been described and hence
the most practical approach is to preheat. Preheating is a
normal procedure when welding high strength steels of greater
than 40 mm thickness and may be considered essential at
2
all thicknesses for yield strength levels of 690 N/mm and
above. The preheat temperature is typically in the range
100-150°C although in some cases, either where there is a
high restraint factor or in the case of very high strength
steels where the effect of hydrogen content is more critical,
the preheat temperature may be raised to about 200°C. Con-
trol of the maximum interpass temperature is more important
in quenched and tempered steels so that 'over-tempering' can
be avoided with its consequential loss in yield strength.
60 ­

It is essential that a minimum preheat temperature is chosen


whereby cold cracking does not occur. From a practical
standpoint, preheating may not be an easy procedure to con­
duct or control and is a costly operation, so the lower the
preheat temperature (or even the eliminating of preheating)
the bei­i;er. The problem is accentuated in modern­day higher
strength structural steels in that the microstructure can
vary either from ferrite plus pearlite (normalised or TMC R
steels) to martensite/bainite/acicular ferrite for QT steels.
Further, the microstructure can vary throughout a section
thickness or indeed vary from steelmaker to steelmaker for
an equivalent strength steel. Hence, if a microstructure is
1007ο martensite the hydrogen level is critical in order to
avoid cold cracking, and a high t 3/1 plus a stress relieving
treatment would probably be necessary. The higher the pre­
heat temperature the higher t 3/1.

Two important studies have produced methods for optimising


/ Q CO ] \ (87)

the preheat temperature. ' The C RM model links the


cooling time t 8/5 with t 3/1 and if the critical value of
this cooling time is tre, then the sensitivity of the couple
(steel plate­electrode) should be expressed by a relationship
of the form:­

trc = f (t 3/1) (2)

tre decreasing when t 3/1 increases. Examples of trc­t 3/1


(85 )
relationships are shown in Figure 49. The tre value corres­
ponds to the point where the implant test cracking curve
reaches the base metal yield strength.

( 87 )
Bragard et al go on to show that if the heat flow in the
joint during welding is characterised by the particular
values Θ8/5 and Θ3/1 of t 8/5 and 3/1, the risk of cold
cracking is avoided when the following conditions are met:­

Θ8/5 > tre (3)

where tre = f(Θ3/1) .


61 -

By plotting a diagram of t 8/5 and tre as a function of


the preheat temperature, with the heat input being fixed,
the point where the curves intersect gives the minimum pre-
heat temperature. To be able to use this model, however, it
is necessary to characterise the couple steel plate-electrode
in order to establish the relationship tre = f(t 3/1) and to
be able to forecast the cooling times t 8/5 and t 3/1 what-
ever the welded joint, provided heat input and preheat temper-
atures are known.

(OC)

The second method, proposed by Institut de Soudure is


based on the determination of critical postheat temperature
deduced from postheating diagrams established using the
implant test so as to determine the minimum preheat temper-
ature as well as the minimum interpass temperature. Several
tests are performed in order to be able to construct a time-
temperature diagram as shown in Figure 50 which separates a
safe area and a zone where cracking will occur after a post-
heat treatment and during cooling. By decreasing the temper-
ature while increasing the time of postheating a critical
postheating temperature, Tcp, can be defined below which
cracking actually takes place during the postheating. The
Tcp temperature can therefore be used to specify the minimum
preheat temperature as well as the minimum interpass temper-
ature. An example of such a preheating diagram for Grade
E690 steel is shown in Figure 51 based on the cracking
propensity observed during postheating.

Both of the methods described above allow the optimisation


of welding conditions so that cold cracking can be avoided.
The preheat temperature chosen should be the minimum possible
from a safety viewpoint as this will reduce the cost of
fabrication. The interpass temperature must be sufficiently
low as to allow austenite transformation but must be main-
tained at a sufficiently high temperature to prevent the weld
cooling into the zone of maximum embrittlement.

4.3 Welding Electrodes

The obvious source of hydrogen is from the welding electrodes


themselves. Hydrogen originates from moisture in the coatings
62

and flux or from dirt and grease on the joint to be welded.


Several measures can be taken so as to reduce hydrogen up-
take : -

a. use low hydrogen processes such as gas-shielded pro-


cesses like MIG and TIG. The comparative hydrogen
levels of the various processes are shown in Figure
52> (88)

b. Use low hydrogen electrodes;


c. dry the electrodes or fluxes at temperatures of about
350-400°C and then store them at a temperature of above
100°C until used;
d. ensure that preparation of the weld joint is such that
all extraneous matter is removed.

Whilst following the above procedures does not necessarily


ensure freedom from hydrogen up-take, they do dramatically
reduce the tendency to cold cracking.

Welding electrodes are readily available for welding higher


strength structural steels and as an example Table 13, pub-
lished by BSC, is a representative listing of electrodes
suitable for welding the RQT series. Much work has gone into
designing the best chemical composition for appropriate
electrodes, and electrodes based on nickel, molybdenum and
manganese combinations are popular. While it is usual to
match the strength of the filler wire with that of the parent
plate, especially if the joint will be load-carrying, under-
matching, i.e. using an electrode of lower strength, will
reduce the tendency to cold cracking. This procedure is only
recommended for non-load-bearing welds.

4.4 Carbon Equivalent Formulae

Although not discussed so far in the report, the use of the


carbon equivalent formulae should be briefly mentioned. The
generally accepted equation in Europe is the IIW formula,
after Dearden and 0 ' Neil1 (89) : -

CEV = C + M n + C r + Mo + V + Ni + C u (1)
6 5 15
63 ­

while in Japan the formula used is that derived by Ito and


(90)
Bessyo :­

Prm = C + Mn + Cr + Cu + Si + V + Mo + Ni + 5(B) (4)


cm
20 30 10 15 60

The equations were originally derived to give an indication


of a steel's susceptibility to cold cracking and relate
the effect of alloying additions on hardenability relative
to the effect of carbon, i.e. increasing C EV or P c m values
indicate an increase in the volume fraction of martensite in
the HAZ.

The IIW formula was, however, derived many years ago using
steels of higher carbon content than those now produced.
Advances in steelmaking technology and alloy design since
that time have resulted in high strength structural steels
being developed with a significant reduction in carbon con­
tent, and hence C EV. The most recent offshore specifi­
( 12 )
cation, for example, stipulates a maximum C EV of 0.437«

for Grade 450, using the IIW formula. Two arguments exist ί­

α. that the IIW formula is now outdated and in steels of


low carbon content then the carbon content itself is the
predominant addition;
b. that the use of the IIW formula with low carbon steels
is not a safe procedure and therefore it has been
recommended that where the IIW value is less than 0.407,,
a value of 0.407., should be assumed.
It is not proposed to develop this argument here, but only
to suggest that the current popular European formula could be
very conservative and that these lower carbon, higher strength
steels actually possess better resistance to cold cracking
than the IIW equation predicts.

In summary, much progress has been made in developing the


correct welding procedures and steel and electrode compos­
itions to combat cold cracking and HAZ toughness problems in
high strength structural steels. It has resulted in rec­
ommendations for heat input of between 2.0­3.5 kJ/mm, minimum
64-

preheat temperatures depending on the plate thickness and


steel composition, and maximum interpass temperatures to
prevent loss in strength. Restrictions in the levels of Nb
and V have been proposed and extreme care should be taken
when both elements are added together. The developments
made with steels containing a small Ti addition are encourag-
ing in that improved HAZ toughness levels are possible which
could be adapted to higher strength steels. Higher heat
inputs are also possible with such steels, which are more
cost-effective. Low hydrogen electrodes should be used which
should be baked at about 350-400°C and then stored at temper-
atures above 100°C.

The IIW carbon equivalent formula gives a conservative


assessment of the susceptibility of the modern-day higher
strength steels relative to cold cracking. The Japanese make
much wider use of high strength structural steels based
on their P c m formula derived from lower carbon steels. While
the use of the IIW formula is a more safe procedure, consid-
eration should be given to deriving, or adopting, a formula
more amenable to the steel compositions being currently
produced.

Whilst it is appreciated that the responsibility for imple-


menting most of the recommendations will rest with the
fabricator/welder it should be realised that these measures
need to be adopted in order to eliminate cold cracking and
produce the required combination of properties in a high
strength steel weldment. The implementation of these measures
will require careful supervision and will obviously result
in higher cost fabrication. To construct a secure and safe
structure in high strength structural steel, these modifi-
cations are necessary and have to be accepted.

4.5 Commercial Data and Procedures

End-users continue to place pressure on steelmakers to pro-


vide them with more information about the weldability of the
steels that they market. This is understandable since the
design codes and specifications that end-users work to,
65

especially in the offshore construction industry, require


not only more demanding properties such as CVN impact energy
values in the HAZ equivalent to that of the parent metal,
but also more detailed CTOD tests on full-thickness specimens
to ensure that
the material complies with the Department of
( 91 )
Energy Guidance Notes. Bead-on-plate tests are usually
performed in order to determine the hardness levels arising
from low heat input fillet welds. Maximum hardness values
( 12 )
of 325 HV10 are typically specified.

Steelmakers are now used to supplying operational data for


the various steel grades that they produce such as recommend-
ed preheat/interpass temperatures for various plate thick-
nesses, heat input ranges, post-weld heat treatment temper-
atures and times, even to the extent of recommending the
welding electrodes. The data available to potential cust-
omers is therefore extensive and detailed. It is the intent-
ion here to give examples of this commercial data and to show
that the higher strength structural steels now available can
be readily welded following the procedures laid down by the
steelmaker, and that the weldments exhibit good combinations
of strength and toughness. In practically all cases the
weld heat input should be within the range 2.0-3.5 kJ/mm
to ensure adequate strength and toughness in the H A Z . Below
this range there is a danger of exceeding the maximum per-
mitted hardness level.

( 92 )
Data produced by Thyssen for welding their N-A-XTRA
steels includes the preheat temperature to be used as a
function of the plate thickness, Figure 53. It can be seen
that for a plate of 50 mm thick under high restraint con-
ditions a preheat temperature of 150°C is recommended. The
influence of heat input, as related to cooling time t 8/5,
on the toughness of the HAZ is presented in Figure 54.
Thyssen recommend that t 8/5 should not exceed 10 seconds
which would ensure a 27 J impact transition temperature of
-60°C.

The recommended minimum preheat and interpass temperatures


for welding BSC's RQT501, 601 and 701 are presented in
66

Table 14. Plates up to 16 mm thick can generally be


welded without preheat, but a preheat temperature of up to
125°C should be used when welding thicker plates (40-50 m m ) .
Maximum interpass temperatures have also been determined
above which loss in strength is a possibility, Table 14. It
is also recommended that basic-coated, low-hydrogen elec-
trodes should be used and these should be carefully dried at
350°C immediately prior to welding.

The effect of heat input on HAZ hardness in bead-on-plate


welds of RQT501T is shown in Figure 55. As can be seen,
a minimum heat input of 2.0 kJ/mm safely ensures that the
weldment is within a maximum hardness level of 325 HV10.
CTOD data published by BSC shows that in 40 mm plate of
2
RQT501 (505 N/mm yield strength) without preheat, using an
interpass temperature of 50°C and a heat input of 3 kJ/mm ,
a CTOD value of 0.25 mm in the HAZ is achieved at -40°C,
Figure 56. This is an acceptable high value since BP deter-
mined that a CTOD of 0.25 mm at -10°C would be sufficient to
( 93 )
ensure the safety of their offshore structures. However,
work is still in progress in the preparation of a CTOD weld-
ment specification although the method is now standardised
for base material. More fracture toughness data is
needed to be able to draw up a meaningful specification and
in particular there is a need to decide upon the procedure
for determining HAZ toughness. In addition to work being
undertaken by the steelmakers, studies are also being per-
(95)
formed at SINTEF, The Welding Institute (96) and Inst, de Soud-
ure .
Similar types of data are also available from Creusot-
( f>7 ) ( 58 )
Loire, USINOR etc. For example, weldments of Super-
elso 500 exhibit CTOD values in the HAZ of 0.58-0.60 mm at
-20°C for manual welded joints and 0.39-0.47 mm at -20°C for
SAW joints. The HAZ in as-welded joints of Superelso 702
gave a CTOD of 0.25 mm at -40°C which improved to 0.30 mm
after a post-weld heat treatment at 590°C for 2 hours.
Corresponding CVN impact energy values were over 100 Joules
at -40°C. Full details of the welding procedures were
reported.
- 67 -

The limited data presented in this Section has shown that


higher strength structural steels can be successfully welded
and that the steelmakers provide recommended procedures.
Mechanical property data is also made available to prove
that high strength steels can meet stringent toughness spec-
ifications in the HAZ and weld metal. Weldability should not
deter the end-user from constructing using higher strength
structural steels.
68 -

5. FATIGUE OF HIGH STRENGTH STRUCTURAL STEELS

The previous Section has shown that provided certain pre-


cautions are followed and welding practices adhered to,
higher strength structural steels can be successfully welded
to produce good combinations of properties throughout the
weldment. Welding per se should not therefore be a limit-
ation to the use of higher strength steels. The main limit-
ation to their wider implementation considered by most
industries is failure due to fatigue of weldments.

Fatigue can be defined as the damage to a structural part by


gradual crack propagation caused by repeated stress and can
occur far below the static ultimate tensile strength of the
material. High strength structural steels were developed to
( 97 )
withstand static loads and it is known that their resist-
ance to cyclic loads does not increase at the same rate as
the yield strength, Figure 57. In unwelded steels the fat-
igue strength increases as the tensile strength of a steel
increases and this is because fatigue crack initiation takes
longer in higher strength steels. Crack propagation, however,
is independent of the mechanical properties and microstruc-
tures of the steel, and consequently using a higher strength
structural steel rather than a more conventional steel will
not improve the fatigue life of a structure unless weld
defects can be eliminated. The elimination of weld defects
will give a long crack initiation period which will extend
the fatigue life. Hence combining a high strength structural
steel with a post-weld treatment would enable these steels to
be used to advantage.

Fatigue of welded joints is a problem in both onshore and


offshore constructions and the effect of differences in
service conditions relative to these two locations will
be highlighted where appropriate. However, many aspects of
the fatigue problem are similar irrespective of where the
structure is located, particularly data related to improving
fatigue life. Work on fatigue of structural steels has been
performed over the last decade by many workers within the
Member States of the European Economic Community, in Norway
69

and in Canada with offshore structures as the main appli-


cation. Their work has been reported at two major confer-
(98,99) .„ „. ç , .. . D . (98) „
enees. ' At the conférence held in Paris Haagensen
surveyed the research work being carried out within the ECSC
and in Norway and compared fatigue results with existing
weld design codes. Data presented at the most recent
( 99 )
conference extended the knowledge on fatigue performance
to higher strength structural steels with yield strength
values of interest to the current review, and is discussed
in some detail later in this Section.

Although EUROCODE NO. 3(20) only covers steels up to Fe 510


(355 N/mm' yield strength) for the construction of buildings
and bridges (some types of bridges are excluded, as well as
marine structures), the European Convention for Constructional
Steelwork (ECCS) has recently published recommendations for
the fatigue design of steel structures which include higher
2
strength steels up to a yield strength of 700 N/mm .
The recommendations provide a model code for the assessment,
fabrication, inspection and maintenance of steel structures
subjected to fatigue loading. The procedures assume, however,
that the structure has been designed in accordance with the
other limit state requirements, but it is interesting to
note the acknowledgement of the potential use of higher
strength structural steels.

The structures which come within the scope of the ECCS


recommendations are fabricated steel structures such as rail-
way bridges, highway bridges, buildings (crane runway girders
and machinery support structures), cranes and other similar
structures. Fatigue strength curves are presented, see for
example Figure 58, which are applicable to structural steel
2
grades up to a specified yield strength of 700 N/mm .

No fatigue assessment is required if all nominal stress


ranges are less than 26 N/mm' , which means that a fatigue
assessment is not necessary for general building structures.
Other problems such as deflection and buckling dictate the
use of higher strength steel for buildings. In some other
constructions, such as mobile cranes, no fatigue problems
have been experienced with higher strength steels (RQT701,
70

OX 812) and these steels are now becoming increasingly used


for this application.

Fatigue cracking rarely occurs in parent material remote from


welded connections. Cracks generally occur in or adjacent to
welds, at sudden changes of cross-section or at locations of
joint eccentricity. Even if the static strength of a conn-
ection is superior to the static strength of the elements
joined, the connection remains the most critical location
for fatigue failure. In order to minimise discontinuities
such as cracks, lack of penetration, slag inclusions, poro-
sity, undercut etc. from which fatigue failure could initiate,
it is necessary to ensure that all welded connections are
fabricated according to the highest quality and undergo
thorough inspection.

A point raised by companies within various industries is that


fabricators claim that more costly and stringent requirements
are necessary for welding and inspecting higher strength
steel connections. Whilst it is agreed that this is the
case, including the probable need to preheat together with
the use of more restrictive ranges in procedural techniques,
it is just as important to produce a defect-free weldment in
lower strength steels as in higher strength steels with
respect to avoiding failure due to fatigue.

The ECCS publication comprehensively documents the


minimum weld quality levels necessary to reduce potential
failure due to fatigue. Such a condition as 'overlap' is
unacceptable because it is generally accompanied by lack of
fusion, 'underfill' is not permitted for butt welds and only
a certain level of 'undercut' is permissible. It is now
widely accepted that the weld geometry at the transition
between parent metal and weld metal, i.e. the weld toe,
is a prime factor that determines the fatigue strength of
the weld. The weld toe invariably contains microcracks due
to cold flows or hydrogen and subcutaneous non-metallic
inclusions. Thus fatigue crack initiation sites already
exist and the extent of these sites is determined by the
welder. It cannot be over emphasised that welders should be
71

made aware of these problems and more careful supervision


and quality assurance should be instigated.

5.1 Weldi ng Techni ques to Improve Fati gue

It has been shown that several advantages can be gained by


ensuring that the overall shape of the weld is as smooth as
possible and by making a weld toe pass just after the root
passes. This enables accurate positioning of the weld
toe, which gives improved stress distribution and reduces the
overall stress concentration factor. The filler passes lead
to a reduction in hardness under the bead and also eliminate
residual stresses at the bead toe. Figure 59 compares the
fatigue data using
the improved procedure with those after
, , (103)
using a conventional procedure.

Using electrodes with improved fluidity is another method of


increasing fatigue life. Kobayashi et al have shown
that for high strength steels with yield strengths of 400,
2
600 and 800 N /mm fatigue strength improvements of 48, 85 and
757o, respectively, can be achieved by using electrodes with
improved fluidity. The improvement was due to reduced stress
concentrations at the weld toe. Extending this technique by
introducing an additional pass in order to improve the shape
of the connection between the weld bead and the parent metal
has resulted in marked improvements in weld joint fatigue
strength. Using a low hydrogen electrode an improvement
in fatigue strength of 607= was noted, while an additional
pass using a titanium oxide based electrode coating improved
the fatigue strength by an impressive 1607,.

5.2 Post-weld Techni ques to Improve Fati gue

Various post-weld methods can be used to improve the fatigue


ru F κ· κ ^ m h , ,A (97,106-115) c ,
strength or high strength steel weldments. ' Such
methods include the machining or grinding of weld toes,
remelting weld toes using TIG or laser processes, peening and
post-weld heat treatment.
72

5.2.1 Weld Toe Grinding

Grinding removes metal from the weld toe, eliminating defects


and hence crack initiation. This technique also enables the
weld toe profile to be improved thus reducing the local
stress concentration coefficient. Bignonnet has report­
ed improvement in fatigue life over 2 χ 10 cycles varying
from 307, to 100% after weld toe grinding. The design rules
for weld toe grinding ' allow for a 307­ improvement.
A 40­507, improvement in fatigue life has been noted by
Haagensen et al who also observed an extremely large
increase in fatigue strength of 1567, by combining shot peen­
ing with weld toe grinding. In practice, grinding imposes
high demands on the operator and much care is needed to
ensure elimination of defects and slag inclusions and to
produce a smooth weld toe geometry with a large radius.

5.2.2 Peening

Peening by either shot or hammer is performed in order to


create compressive prestressing in the surface layer thereby
delaying crack, initiation. Peening is a method that can
be reasonably well controlled, especially needle or hammer
peening as compared with ball peening. However, it is
necessary to use the correct needle or shot size and to
ensure that the whole joint and surrounding area is subjected
to the correct peening intensity. French workers have
shown that shot peening of welded E460 steel improved the
fc
fatigue strength at 2 χ 10 cycles by 707,, Figure 60. Other
work indicates that an improvement of about 807, in
the fatigue strength is possible in weldments of E460 and
E550 steel, Figures 61 and 62. For a nominal stress of
200 N/mm' no crack initiation was found after 10 cycles.
The time required for crack initiation after shot peening
both steels was generally greater than 507, of the total
life.

Data produced at Thyssen Stahl AG ' on several higher


strength structural steels also confirms the beneficial
effect on fatigue life of shot peening. It was shown on
- 73

welded joints of E690 steel that the fatigue strength could


2
be increased by about 807, to over 300 N/mm through the
introduction of compressive stresses by shot peening.
This improvement is illustrated in Figure 63. Muesgen and
( 97 )
Hoffman have also published results related to optimising
shot peening conditions to give the best improvement in
fatigue strength and this later work, presented in Figure 6 4 ,
showed that the fatigue strength of E690 could be increased
2
to about 350 N/mm and that of E890 to over 250 N/mm 2 , from
less than 200 N/mm2 in both cases.

Maddox recently studied the effect of shot peening on


welds in quenched and tempered steels having yield strengths
2
as high as 730 and 820 N/mm and found that peening improved
the fatigue life by 707». Most other recently reported
. (106,107,112,114) ., . .. , . ^ _. . ,. .
work ' ' provides similar data to that discussed
above, although a cautionary note is sounded by the results
of German work by Grimme et al whereby the improvement
in fatigue strength of steel E690 by shot peening was not as
impressive as that reported in earlier work.

5.2.3 TIG-dressing

TIG-dressing involves using a TIG torch to remelt the weld


metal in the weld toe without the use of a filler metal.
This produces a very smooth and fine transition between the
weld metal and the parent metal. The entrapped slag inclus-
ions are also released and can float up to the surface.
TIG-dressing has been shown to give very reliable results
with respect to improving the fatigue strength of welds and
is about three times faster than grinding.

Lachmann et al have shown that the fatigue life of weld-


ments in E355, E460 and E690 high strength steels was increa-
sed by a factor of 10 by TIG-dressing. In comparison, the
factor was reduced to 5 in seawater (shot peening did not
result in such a drop going from air to seawater). TIG-
dressing of fillet welds in steels with yield strengths
>500 N/mm2 has been reported
to give a fatigue strength
(118 119)
improvement of approximately 1107o. ' Work by Bignonnet
74

et al has also shown a marked improvement in fatigue


strength of TIG­dressed joints at 2 χ 10 cycles of about 457,,
especially under high cycle fatigue conditions, see Figure 65.
( 97 )
Muesgen and Hoffman reported an even greater increase of
707o in the fatigue strength of E690 steel after TIG­dressing,
as compared with as­welded E690. The fatigue strength was
increased to about 300 N/mm' .
Other work, also reported at
( 99 )
the recent EC SC conference at Delft confirms the advantage
of TIG­dressing for improving the fatigue performance of high
strength structural steels.

Since the wider application of higher strength structural


steels is, in many cases, dependent on the fatigue life of
welded connections it would appear essential that close con­
sideration should be given to the degree of improvement in
fatigue life attainable by the methods described above. This
is particularly true for higher strength steels, ^ 4 6 0 N/mm 2
yield strength, since it would appear that weld improvement
methods provide increasing fatigue performance as yield
strength is increased. All techniques discussed result in
good fatigue strength improvements ranging from 207, to more
than 1007o in air and would be best employed in structural
joints that experience higher loading where fatigue is most
likely to occur. These m e t h o d s , however, require more care­
ful supervision and more intense quality control and quality
assurance procedures. Inevitably this has produced negative
comments from the fabricators, especially with respect to the
additional time needed for fabrication and the increased costs
involved. However, it should be noted that the extra costs
involved in deploying the improvement procedures are minimal
when compared with the cost of welding a structure, and cannot
be compared to the cost of on­site repairs. This is certainly
true for offshore installations, but could be a point of con­
jecture for some onshore structures such as railway bridges
where fabrication costs are generally kept to a minimum.
Efforts should be made to incorporate weld preparation tech­
niques into existing codes of practice and positive moves
should be made to convince insurance companies of their bene­
ficial effects.

As already stated, welded joints of different grades of steel


show no difference in fatigue behaviour when subjected to
constant amplitude loading. Fatigue cracks propagate at
75 ­

about the same rate in all steels, and since the life of
welded joints is dependent upon crack propagation, welded
high strength steels exhibit similar fatigue strength at
around 2 χ 10 load cycles to the more conventional structur­
al steels. The main reason for using higher strength steels
is that they allow a reduction in plate or section thickness
and hence a reduction in weight. With a thinner section size
both the static and fatigue stresses increase for a given
load case. Therefore design against fatigue is more import­
ant for welded structures in higher strength steels since
fatigue strength does not increase at the same rate as static
strength. The effect of section size is clearly important
when considering the fatigue performance of high strength
structural steels.

5.3 Effect of Plate/Section Thickness

Increasing the plate thickness of structural steels has been


shown to result in a marked reduction in the fatigue strength
of.welded joints. ~ Also, the fatigue threshold value
reduces with increasing thickness and becomes effective at
>2 χ 10 cycles. As pointed out by Berge and Webster,
since the majority of cycles in practice for offshore struc­
tures, for example, are at stress ranges relevant to this or
longer lives, then the overall effect of thickness is very
important. The paper by Berge and Webster is a compre­
hensive review on the effect of plate thickness on fatigue
test data reported since 1981 within the EC SC and assoc­
iated national programmes and contains the most up­to­date
information on the subject. These authors also go on to
state that the detrimental effect of plate thickness on
fatigue strength is primarily due to effects of geometry
which act independently of any other effect of plate thick­
ness. The cause of the geometric effect of thickness is the
stress gradient in the through thickness direction due to the
stress concentration at the weld toe. Minimising the local
stress concentration should therefore lead to a smaller
thickness effect.

The reduction in fatigue strength with increasing thickness


is well illustrated by the work of Booth'^^5) (Figures 66 and
- 76 -

(10 7)
67) and Overbeeke
and Wildschut (Figure 6 8 ) . The
(91 132 133)
fatigue design rules ' ' assume that fatigue strength
is proportional to thickness and the' Figures include the line
corresponding to that relationship. The work by Booth
suggests that fatigue strength may decrease more rapidly as
thickness increases than predicted by the equation in the
design rules. This relationship is also used in EUROCODE
NO. 3 and is based on work by Gurney which showed
that the strength reduction can be empirically related to the
fourth root of plate thickness regardless of loading type
and joint geometry.

Results by Eide and Berge on large scale girders with


plate thicknesses of 20, 40
agree closely with and 60 mm
( 123 )
those published by Overbeeke and Wildschut and show that
increasing plate thickness from 20 mm to 60 mm results in a
reduction in fatigue life of a factor of about 2. Booth
further showed that even after welded joints had been sub-
jected to various fatigue life improvement techniques a
decrease in fatigue life was still noted at increasing plate
thickness and was of the order of that observed for the a s -
welded joints.

The highest strength steel studied in the above work had a


2
minimum specified yield strength of 355 N/mm . It might
therefore be argued that if a higher strength steel is used
permitting the use of a thinner section this could, in fact,
give a similar or even better fatigue life than that of
a thicker section, lower strength steel while providing a
significant weight saving and saving in welding costs.
Coupled with weld improvement techniques, which have been
shown to be more effective on higher strength steel joints,
the fatigue performance could be further enhanced. The cost-
effectiveness of this hypothesis warrants further consider-
ation.

5.4 Fatigue in Offshore Structures

While all the data so far discussed is applicable to both


onshore and offshore construction, there are certain points
and data which are essentially related more to offshore
77

structures. These include fatigue testing in seawater


environments and testing under variable amplitude loading.
The latter is, of course, important in other applications.
It is intended only to present limited recent data in order
to illustrate how high strength steels behave under the
above conditions and this should be considered in conjunction
with a review of earlier work on this subject by Walker.

Work by Bignonnet et al on the fatigue performance of


E460 steel welded joints in seawater with cathodic protection
(­950 mv/Ag/Ag C I) showed that for high stress ranges cathod­
ic protection does not improve fatigue life. It was sugg­
ested that this was because local hydrogen embrittlement may
occur and favour crack initiation at the weld toe. On the
other hand, at low stress ranges hydrogen embrittlement did
not occur and it was suggested that in this case calcareous
deposits may delay the early stages of crack growth thus
showing a benefit of cathodic protection in fatigue. At a
frequency of 1 Hz, lifetimes comparable to those in air were
achieved. Over 2 χ 10 b cycles, tests in seawater showed a
45­50% improvement in fatigue strength in relation to as­
welded improved profile assemblies (TIG­dressed) tested in
air, Figure 69. It has now been shown that a higher cathodic
voltage may increase the crack propagation rate.

The results of earlier work on TIG­dressed and shot­


peened welds in E355, E460 and E690 steels tested in air and
seawater are presented in Figure 70. Under variable ampli­
tude loading of 10 Hz, an improvement in fatigue strength
of over 100% was noted with steels E460 and E690 after shot
peening, while the TIG­dressed welds exhibited a somewhat
lower fatigue strength improvement of between 507o and 757».
The shot­peened welds in the higher strength grades gave a
similar fatigue performance irrespective of whether they were
tested in air or seawater.

More recent results by Thyssen as illustrated in Figure


71, also showed that under seawater corrosion conditions
the fatigue life of E460 and E690 grades can be improved
considerably by shot peening or TIG­dressing. These tests
were performed under free corrosion conditions in artificial
78

seawater and using randomly changing cyclic loads based on


the actual spectrum determined by Germanischer Lloyd for
North Sea conditions. The results in seawater were not much
inferior to those recorded in air, as obtained in later
Thyssen work published by Hoffman and Muesgen. This
work confirms that shot­peened welded specimens of E690
steel, when subjected to variable amplitude tests in air and
in seawater, have considerably improved fatigue strength when
compared with corresponding untreated specimens. The enhance­
ment factors in air and seawater were around 26 and 33,
respectively, compared with the life expectancy in the as­
welded condition. Their results showed that the life expect­
ancy of the shot­peened specimens in air is almost reached
by the shot­peened specimens in seawater, Figure 72. Booth
has conducted seawater tests on weld toe ground specimens at
a frequency of 0.2 Hz. Over 2 χ 10 cycles, and compared
with non­ground specimens, the fatigue strength was improved
by 20­307o for 40 mm thick joints.

Other work ' ' which included variable amplitude


testing of E355 KT, E460 Ν and E690 V steels has shown that,
despite the variation in yield strength values of the various
steels, little difference was observed in fatigue performance.
As noted in constant amplitude tests, thinner sections exhib­
ited an increased endurance of about 3 times compared with
thicker sections (20 mm thickness compared with 50 mm thick­
ness). Tests in seawater reduced the life by half compared
with that exhibited by the specimens tested in air. However,
specimens that had been subjected to weld improvement tech­
niques such as shot peening and TIG­dressing gave a sub­
stantial improvement in fatigue life in seawater, especially
for steel E460 KT. Zwaans et al also showed that under
variable amplitude loading the fatigue life in seawater is
reduced by a factor of 2 compared with that noted after
testing in air. This reduction was similar to that observed
after constant amplitude testing.

One of the main problems to date when assessing the fatigue


of steel weldments for offshore service is the different
methods available for performing variable amplitude tests.
79 -

Work by the ECSC is underway to rectify this situation and


to decide upon a standard variable amplitude sequence which
will allow results obtained by various laboratories to be
directly compared. What may arise is a test sequence which
does not take account of the full potential of higher strength
steels. In order to speed up testing, stress levels that do
not exceed 157» of the maximum stress level of the design
conditions do not have any effect on fatigue and are therefore
omitted. However, at the opposite end of the spectrum, any
stress levels that cause failure at a low number of cycles
(say 10 cycles, as might be associated with high wave
levels) would probably cause the specimen to yield locally.
To avoid this problem these 'high peak' stress levels are
also eliminated. If, however, a higher yield strength steel
was employed then the steel would be able to accommodate
these high stress ranges in the variable amplitude spectrum.
Higher strength structural steels would therefore be bene-
ficial under these circumstances.

It is suggested that the influence of a random loading spec-


trum on higher strength steels be examined with the idea of
determining the maximum benefits that these steel grades
could provide in offshore structures. It is well known that
if an overload is applied during constant amplitude fatigue
loading, crack propagation is halted for an extensive period
(about 1 million cycles, which is about one year in terms of
conditions experienced by an offshore structure). If, in
practice, an overload situation such as that caused by a
90-100 ft wave were to occur reasonably frequently it is
conceivable that a crack may never propagate. A higher
strength steel under these circumstances has a better chance
of accommodating these higher peak strains which, in terms
of a local situation, could cause localised plastic deform-
ation and crack arrest.

5.5 Summary

To summarise the fatigue performance of higher strength


steels the following points should be considered:-
80

1. Structural stability is dependent on the fatigue of the


welded joint. Because welds invariably contain micro defects
which are crack initiation sites, and because it is generally
agreed that the strength and microstructure of a steel does
not influence the crack propagation rate, higher strength
steels are regarded as providing no benefit in as-welded
structures. However, it should be noted here that contrary
to most previous work, Callister et al report that the
crack propagation rate of higher strength N-A-XTRA 70 quench-
ed and tempered steel is slower than that observed for con-
ventional ferrite-pearlite steels. Fatigue threshold effects
were noted in both the quenched and tempered steel and its
HAZ at a stress intensity value of 11 N/mm'/m offering sub-
stantial advantage over conventional steels in fatigue
service conditions where small cracks exist in either of these
regions. It was argued that at least part of the reason
for the improved fatigue performance was extensive branching
of the fatigue cracks. In contrast to much of the previously
reported work in this area their metallographic examination
revealed that the fracture path was predominantly along the
inclusion/matrix interface which, the authors claimed,
strongly suggested that the microstructure was playing a
significant role in controlling fatigue crack growth. The
better fatigue performance of the higher strength steel was
more marked at higher stress intensity ranges and at very low
stress intensity ranges (£>k = 15 N/mm 2 ym).

2. The use of welding electrodes with improved fluidity has


given a notable increase in fatigue life of higher strength
structural steels.

3. Weld improvement techniques, such as peening, TIG-


dressing and grinding, together with improvement in weld
geometry, greatly reduce or eliminate defects, or in the case
of peening introduce a surface layer of compressive stresses
which dramatically reduce crack propagation and significantly
improve the fatigue life of higher strength steel joints.
It should be noted that these techniques are also necessary
in order to increase the fatigue performance of lower strength
steels. The cost of these techniques is minimal when com-
pared with the overall fabrication costs and future weld
- 81 -

repair costs.

4. The improvement in fatigue performance by the techniques


mentioned in Point 3 can be greater than 1007o and the degree
of improvement increases as the yield strength of the steel
increases: therefore higher strength steels benefit most.
This is because the removal of weld toe microcracks by the
above technique means that new cracks have to initiate and
this is a function of the applied stress and yield strength
of the steel for a given surface condition. Using higher
strength steels in conjunction with an appropriate weld
improvement technique allows the designer/structural engineer/
fabricator to take advantage of higher strength steels with
the knowledge that the welded joints will perform better
than the welded joints of currently used lower strength
steels .

5. Overwhelming evidence is available to show the detri-


mental effect of increasing section thickness on fatigue
performance. The fact that the main reason for using high
strength structural steels is to allow a reduction in section
size could, as discussed, be used to advantage, especially
if weld improvement techniques are employed.

6. With specific reference to offshore structures, it


should be noted that variable amplitude tests in seawater
generally result in half the fatigue life of that noted
after testing in air and also half that observed after con-
stant amplitude testing. However, weld improvement tech-
niques greatly improve the fatigue life after variable ampli-
tude testing in seawater to a level approaching the fatigue
life in air. The testing spectrum used for testing steels
for use in offshore structures should be reconsidered on the
grounds that high stress situations do occur with offshore
structures (such as 90-100 ft waves) and under these circum-
stances higher strength steels are more beneficial in that a
crack arrest situation can arise.

Finally, it should be stated that the potential fatigue


life of welded joints in high strength structural steels
82 -

should not be a deterrent to their implementation since by


combining welding electrodes with improved fluidity with
appropriate weld improvement techniques, thinner section
higher strength steels can be used to advantage and can
produce improved fatigue performances compared with the more
conventional lower strength steels.
83

6. THE MARKETPLACE FOR HIGH STRENGTH STRUCTURAL STEELS

Higher strength structural steels are generally used where


weight saving provides either a cost advantage or a compet-
itive edge. The cost savings do not arise simply from the
purchase of less steel for a given structure but also from
less welding (time and consumables), a potential saving in
space, reduced handling and transportation costs and reduced
erection costs.

As already shown, the available range of such steels spans


yield strength levels of 420-960 N/mm* combined with good
toughness. Some of the major areas of application for higher
strength structural steels are reviewed in this Section
where the current status and future potential are discussed
together with the main restrictions to their wider use. Some
of the major limitations on the use of higher strength steels
are a result of the requirements listed in the various spec-
ifications, standards and codes. Some of these will be
discussed as they arise in the present Section, whilst
Section 7 presents further arguments.

6.1 Buildings

The use of high strength steels in building construction in


Europe is very limited. EUROCODE NO. 3 ( 2 0 ) covers steels
for buildings and the highest strength steel included in the
code is Grade Fe 510. This steel has a minimum yield strength
of 355 N/mm2 and is equivalent to BS 4360 : Grade 50, DIN
17100 : St 52, NFA 35-501 : A70-2 and UNI 7070 : Fe 70. Even
so, most of the steel used in buildings has a lower yield
strength of about 240-260 N/mm*, while it is estimated that
perhaps 107o of the total steel consumed is Grade Fe 510. In
the UK there is a move towards higher strength steels and
about 507o of new buildings use Grade Fe 510. This offers
some scope for higher strength steels and should be consid-
ered in relation to the annual consumption of 1.0 M tonnes
of steel sections for buildings in the UK. Over recent years
the percentage of steel used relative to concrete has sub-
stantially changed in favour of steel in the UK which could
84-

stimulate a move towards higher strength steel. Concrete,


on the other hand, is more popular in Continental Europe.

The British Standard BS 4360 : 1986 is the only standard in


Europe that extends to include weldable structural steel
sections with a minimum yield strength as high as 450 N/mm'
and which is acceptable to the industry. Steel sections to
this specification are produced by BSC for transmission
towers, Bailey bridges etc., although the total tonnage is
only several thousand tonnes per year and none as yet has
been used in general building construction. However, high
strength steel sections are produced by several other European
steelmakers specifically for buildings. ARBED, for example,
manufacture sections to Fe E460 Grade (Euronorm 113), but for
special orders only. Their market analysis suggests that
demand will increase, although indications are that a deter-
mined market development effort will be necessary in order
to present the end-user with all available data and encourage
their use. This data would not only have to include infor-
mation on the steel itself but would also have to identify
and explain the advantages of a high strength steel for the
particular application under review. BSC agree with this
philosophy and claim that there is a need to 'publicise' the
availability and potential of these steels.

It is interesting to note that in West Germany there are at


least two high-rise buildings where steels with a yield
strength of 460 N/mm* have been used. It is also claimed
that Fe E690 Grade steel has been, and is being, used in
building construction in Germany. The same authors
report that steels with yield strength levels of 880 N/mm2
are used for 'special purposes'. However, it is believed
that the overall market for high strength steels in buildings
in West Germany will not change greatly in the near future
and will remain at a low level.

The main reasons why high strength structural steels are not
more extensively used in buildings are :-

a. deflection/buckling problems;
b. the prevailing standards and codes.
85

The weight savings gained by using high strength steels


inevitably involve constructing with thinner sections.
Unless the span of such sections is decreased accordingly,
the slenderness ratio, λ , increases and because the Modulus
of Elasticity, E, does not alter with strength this means
that elastic deflection is an increasing possibility which
could result in plastic deformation and buckling. The use
of shorter spans defeats the objective of weight saving since
extra columns would be needed. To take advantage of higher
strength sections the span would either have to remain the
same or, preferably, be increased. There is in fact a move
towards longer spans, from 5­6 m in length up to approaching
15 m, but the main concern here would be vibration and hence
thinner sections could be more prone to failure.

Columns under compressive loading can also fail by buckling


for the same reasons as already described. However, higher
strength steels have a better chance of being used in columns
since strength and not stiffness is the main design criterion.
Columns could be designed smaller, which would be of benefit,
but there is no strong motivation to do this. Buildings
could be designed with bolted columns which could also
encourage higher strength steel usage because the problem of
fatigue of welded joints would obviously not exist.

Because of the danger of buckling, the permissible loading


on a section is reduced and hence the full strength of a
steel cannot be utilised. As an example, Figure 73 (after
Muesgen et al ) illustrates the permissible stresses for
a range of high strength steels, up to a yield strength
of 890 N/mm* , as a function of the slenderness of the section
according to the regulations laid down in the German Stan­
dards DIN 4114 and DAST Ri Oil. The Thyssen work has shown
that the high strength steels can be used to advantage below
the limiting value λο even under buckling stresses.

What, therefore, is the future for high strength steels in


buildings? Firstly, it would be possible for beams and
columns to be designed separately into a building and there­
fore steels of different strength could be used for each
- 86 -

product. For example, higher strength steels could be sub-


stituted solely into columns. This approach would need
a careful design study. It would be more appropriate to
undertake a complete redesign and to 'design out' the deflect-
ion problem.

Secondly, the use of stiffeners could be considered and


would be of benefit provided that the increase in weight,
coupled with the added cost of welding, did not offset the
advantages of using higher strength steels. Thirdly, more
data of the type reported by ARBED should be generated.
Their tests involved lateral torsional buckling, simple
bending and the 'sway' test and it was shown that steels up
2
to 520 N/mm yield strength performed satisfactorily.

Fourthly, appropriate bodies should be convinced that a major


rethink with respect to the governing standards and codes
should be undertaken with a view to reassessing certain
factors which restrict or prohibit the use of higher strength
steels. For example, the rule that deflection should not be
more than /360th of the span (or 0.003% as in EUROCODE NO. 3)
should be reconsidered. This rule was questioned some 20
years ago in a paper by Haines who pointed out that this
value was about one-third of the movement required to crack
plaster. While it is agreed that conditions vary according
to the superloading on a structure, a better criterion should
be established, possibly a range of maximum deflection values
for a range of loading. Other points covering steel char-
acteristics such as minimum yield point elongation and TS/YS
ratio specifications will be discussed in the next Section.

As an indication of the potential benefits that higher


strength steels offer, ARBED have prepared three case studies
substituting a 460 N/mm2 yield strength steel for a lower
strength steel for the construction of (a) an industrial hall
(b) a multi-storey office building, and (c) a multi-storey
car park.

Case Study (a)

In a simple rigid frame design for two different sized


87

industrial halls the following weight savings were calculated


when (for a given specification) 240 N/mm1 yield strength
steel was replaced by a steel of 460 N/mm2 yield strength:-

Span Height Roof Slope Bay Spacing Weight Saving


(m) (m) (deg.) (m) (7c)

15 3.5 5 6 34.6
25 4.0 5 6 29.4

As can be seen, a weight saving of around 307o is possible by


using higher strength steel.

Case Study (b)

A similar exercise was carried out for a multi-storey office


building where the columns (normally made in 240 N/mm2 yield
strength steel) were substituted by 355 N/mm2 and 460 N/mm2
yield strength steel. The results are given below for (a)
columns on the second floor of a four storey building and
(b) columns on the ground floor:-

Steel Basic Global Weight(1) Space (1)(2)


Grade Section Section Savings Savings

( 355 HEA 180 52" 167. 197.


a ( 460 HEA 160 52'" 287. 367.

( 355 HEA 200 52" 267. 317.


b
( 460 HEA 180 52 ' " 387. 447.

(1)
with respect to 240 N/mm2 yield strength steel, HEA 200
section for (a) and HEA 240 section for (b)
( 2)
space savings refer to global c o l u m n sections 5 2 ' and
52* ' c o m p a r e d to 52 " '

In a d d i t i o n to the significant saving in w e i g h t , an extremely


high increase in usable space is also achieved, both con-
tributing greatly to the improved economics o£ using higher
strength steel .
­ 88 ­

Case Study (c)

The weight and space savings possible when constructing a


multi­storey car park using Grade Fe E460 and Grade Fe 510
to replace Grade Fe 360 in (a) columns on the second floor
and (b) columns on the ground floor are presented below:­

Steel Basic Global Weight Space


Grade Section Section Savings Savings

( 355 HEA 200 52' ' 16% 187o


a ( 460 HEA 180 52' » ■ 307o 337o

( 355 HD 210 χ 71 52' ' 297c 77o


b ( 460 HD 210 χ 59 52' ' ' 417, 117.

These three case studies illustrate quite clearly that sub­


stantial benefits in both weight and space savings are
possible by substituting higher strength structural steel
for the typically used 240 N/mm 2 yield strength steel. The
h i g h e r the s t r e n g t h of the steel then the g r e a t e r the potential
savings. The type of data produced by ARBED is typical of
that needed to encourage designers to use higher strength
steels and also to stimulate the specification bodies to
reassess the characteristics of these steels in relation to
the limitations imposed in the current building standards
and c o d e s .

6.2 Bridges

As in the case of buildings the current usage of higher


strength structural steels in bridges is low. Steels with
2
about 260 N/mm yield strength (Fe 4 3 0 ) are generally used,
a l t h o u g h r e c e n t l y an i n c r e a s i n g tonnage of steel w i t h a yield
strength around 350 N/mm 2 (Fe 510) has been used. Higher
2
yield strength steels (460­700 N/mm ) have been used for
decks, box girders and pylons in Europe, but on a very
limited basis. Many highway bridges have been constructed
in concrete because the local authorities have experience in
concrete construction. There is therefore a concensus of
opinion in the steel industry that a concerted effort should
be made to promote the advantages of steel over concrete.
89 -

The problems associated with wider use of high strength


steels in bridges are not dissimilar to those discussed in
the previous Section on buildings, although greater emphasis
is placed on weldability and on the fatigue properties of
welded joints. Compressive stability remains a problem and,
again, while the use of stiffeners can be considered, concern
has been expressed about the extra weight and welding invol-
ved. As a comparison, substituting a lower strength 25 mm
thick plate by a 12 mm thick higher strength plate would need
stiffeners which would increase the weight by about 207o.
However, a significant weight saving would still be achieved
and, even after including the extra welding, a cost advantage
would still be obtained. There is, of course, no stability
problem in a tension zone except where structural members
may be subjected to external loading.

The weldability of higher strength steels has been regarded


as a major drawback by the bridge industry ever since the
failures observed in the Niterói Bridge in the 1970's.
This bridge was constructed using BS 4360 : Grade 55 steel
which contained Nb + V and which had a minimum yield strength
of 420 N/mm2 with a minimum CVN impact energy of 27-41 J at
-20°C, according to plate thickness. Over 8,000 tonnes of
this steel was used. Fractures were observed in weldments
soon after construction and it is believed that as a result
of this experience it is now difficult to encourage people
to consider higher strength steels for bridges, especially
in the UK. What is of paramount importance is that the
steel used was a relatively high carbon (0.227oC) Nb + V
normalised steel. This type of steel is no longer produced
and, as described earlier in the report, technological ad-
vances have resulted in similar, or even superior, properties
being achieved in steel of much lower CEV and hence better
weldability.

Nevertheless, opinions suggest ' that weldability


remains a major drawback because bridge construction compan-
ies not only want a steel with excellent weldability but also
one that is 'forgiving to poor workmanship'. It is not an
uncommon practice to sub-contract the welding of bridge
- 90

structures to small companies who are not necessarily exper-


ienced in, or capable of producing, high quality welds.
There is no doubt that extra care is needed when welding
higher strength steels, typically involving more preheating,
more expensive consumables and more expensive non-destructive
testing which all counteract the fact that fabricators want
simpler steels which do not need preheating. It should be
remembered that a bridge structure is only as good as the
fatigue strength of the welded joints. An orthotropic deck
is fatigue-dependent on each welded joint and this type
of construction has many welds.

A further concern expressed is that crack propagation is


relatively slow with current lower strength steels and can
be identified in plenty of time to repair before failure,
whilst in higher strength steels the fear is that crack
propagation would be rapid and could result in catastrophic
failure. This problem is related to the work hardening
capability of a steel; the higher this is then the higher the
TS/YS ratio. Higher strength steels tend to have low TS/YS
ratios.

High strength steel could be used where a bridge is highly


stressed and where there are no fluctuating stresses and no
potential buckling problems. High strength steel would
also be of benefit in a tension member connected by means
other than welding, e.g. riveting (friction grip bolting -
using a very high strength bolt tightened to a predetermined
torque strength beyond the yield point). This method of
connection is used throughout Europe for both road and rail
bridges and minimises fatigue problems. Railroad bridges
are less likely to be constructed of welded high strength
steel because they are subjected to higher fatigue stresses.
Steels used in railroad bridges have to meet separate and
more stringent fatigue requirements and a EUROCODE is curr-
ently being prepared which will cover steels for this appli-
cation.

The recent development of 'tapered plates' by Dillinger^ 1


and USINOR could result in a greater use of higher
91 -

strength plates in the construction of bridges. Designated


LP plates (Longitudinally Profiled) by Dillinger, the thick-
ness changes continuously along the length thus offering
great advantage wherever plates of different thicknesses are
welded together to form a structure (not necessarily just for
bridges). Because there is no welding of different sized
plates required there is therefore little or no problem
related to the restraint of welded joints.

LP plates can be rolled at Dillinger with a slope or taper


of up to 35 mm from one end to the other. The differences
between the two thicknesses can now span 15-50 mm (one plate -
variable profile) while the maximum taper is 5 mm/m length.
The minimum thickness of plate that can be rolled is 6 mm
and the maximum plate thickness is 200 mm. The major advant-
ages of tapered plates are : -

a. savings in weight;
b. reduction in weld seams and therefore welding costs;
c. matching of the cross-section to the actual stress;
d. relief of stress peaks in weld seam areas;
e. transfer of weld seams to lesser stressed areas - a
great advantage with alternating loads.

An example of the savings in weight and welding costs is


shown in Figure 74. In this case study Figure 74a
represents the tapered plate profile necessary to meet the
design stress in a structure. The alternatives using con-
ventionally produced plates are shown in Figures 74b-d and,
as can be seen, the required profile is more closely reached
the greater the number of smaller plates used. However, this
greatly increases the amount of welding required and hence
the welding costs. The increase in the amount of welded
seams also increases the danger of fatigue failure. Figure 74e
illustrates the plate and fabrication costs when welding
conventional plates of three different thicknesses as com-
pared with the required equivalent tapered (LP) plate. At
the same price/ton ($350/ton) and estimating the cost of a
transverse weld seam at $245 the total cost of producing
three welded conventional plates is a minimum of $3780. At
92

the same price per ton the costs with LP plate would only
amount to $2730, a cost saving of 28%.

Dillinger have already supplied LP plates for the construct-


ion of five bridges. The total steel needed for the con-
struction of each bridge ranged between 5-15,000 tonnes and
tapered plates accounted for about 10% of the total steel
consumed for each bridge i.e. 500-1,500 tonnes of LP plates
per bridge. It is considered that the percentage of tapered
plates could be increased to about 20%. Some 400 tonnes
of tapered plates were used in the construction of a bridge
across the Sûre Valley linking Germany to Luxembourg and gave
a weight saving of 12%, a simplification of construction and
an important reduction in welding costs.

LP plates, which are conventionally rolled and normalised,


are currently supplied to a minimum yield strength of
355 N/mm2 (supplied to BS 4360 : Grade 50D) and Dillinger
are anxious for the concept of tapered plates to be more
widely accepted by designers/fabricators and incorporated
into the specifications and standards. Most of the designers
interviewed for the present review were unaware of this
development and of the advantages offered by tapered plates.
Dillinger could, and would like to, produce higher strength
tapered plates up to a yield strength level of about 500N/mm2.

The advantages of tapered plate in bridge construction are


many and the concept offers an opportunity to use even higher
strength steels. This is considered an important development
not just for the potential application of steels ^ Fe E460
Grade but for bridge construction in general. It should be
realised, of course, that other applications such as storage
tanks of variable thickness, ship plate, piling and runner
tracks for large mobile cranes are ideal opportunities for
high strength tapered plate. Their increased application
could, however, be seriously hindered if they are not accept-
ed by the specification bodies.

The development of accelerated-cooled steels is of interest


to bridge designers and constructors because of the reported
93 -

better weldability of these steels. It is also considered


that these steels might be more 'forgiving' with respect to
welding. However, accelerated-cooled steels would have to
offer an economic advantage, especially after having allowed
for the possible use of stiffeners.

Designers claim that higher strength steels would be of more


interest to the building fraternity if convincing evidence
was provided to show that they could be welded and would be
free from subsequent fatigue problems. The overall product
would also have to be cost-effective. Evidence has been
presented in this review to show that these steels can be
welded, together with procedures that can be adopted to
greatly improve their fatigue performance. It is obviously
necessary to communicate these data more thoroughly.

The first approach may be to fully evaluate the developments


that have taken place in Japan where higher strength QT
steels have been extensively used in bridges (also in other
constructions such as storage tanks, shipbuilding, industrial
machinery etc.). It is claimed that this has been
brought about by closer collaboration between designers and
fabricators. The high strength quenched and tempered steels
used in construction are the Grades HT60, HT70 and HT80. The
nominal steel compositions and mechanical properties are
given in Table 15.

The standards for the design and fabrication of bridges in


Japan are defined in the Welded Road Bridge Specification
(152 153)
' established by the Japan Road Society and the
Welded Railroad Bridge Specification established by
Japanese National Railways. However, because of the fatigue
loading on welded rail bridges, high strength steels are not
used in large quantities. For welded road bridges where
fatigue is not a problem extensive use is made of HT60 (JIS
2
G 3106 : Grade SM58 : 460 N/mm yield strength). In order to
use higher strength steels HT70 (620 N/mm* yield strength)
2
or HT80 (690 N/mm yield strength) special approval from the
government is required.
- 94

The first bridge in Japan to use HT70 and HT80 was the Minato
Ohashi Bridge in Osaka. Of the 35,000 tonnes of steel re-
quired for construction, nearly half was high strength QT
steel: 9,000 tonnes of HT60, 1,000 tonnes of HT70 and 4,000
tonnes of HT80. The bridge is a cantilever-truss bridge
and boxes made from HT80 were used for the chord members.

The critical welding operation was "performed with utmost


care and supervision" with a maximum CEV of 0.537o being
specified for thicknesses up to 50 mm and 0.577o for greater
thickness levels. Preheat was used (100°C for 450 mm and
150°C for ^ 5 0 mm) and the maximum heat input was set at
5.0 kJ/mm in order to meet the specified toughness of 35 J
at -15°C. It should be noted, however, that the welding of
HT70 and HT80 steel plates (but excluding plate-to-plate
butt welds) was carried out using HT60 welding materials.
This technique of 'undermatching ' was used to avoid the
possibility of cold cracking.

It is apparent, therefore, that higher strength structural


steels can be used to great advantage in the construction
of bridges. Since the Osaka Bridge, which was completed in
1974, HT60-HT80 steels have been used extensively in other
bridges in Japan. For example, two other bridges linking
the Japanese islands consumed 105,000 tonnes of HT60, 30,000
tonnes of HT70 and 15,000 tonnes of HT80 out of a total
steel consumption of some 660,000 tonnes. The potential for
higher strength structural steel in bridge construction is
obviously substantial. It should also be noted that HT80 is
also used in bridges in the USA.

Since in long span bridges dead weight should be reduced as


much as possible, higher strength steels (as noted above)
are advantageous in reducing weight and enabling longer spans
to be constructed with simpler section design. Stress
distribution also becomes more uniform. The more general
use of higher strength steel in bridges would probably necess-
itate redesign in order to take full advantage of the higher
strength with respect to the problems associated with Modulus
of Elasticity.
- 95 -

6.3 O f f - h i g h w a y V e h i c l e s and Equipment

The market for higher strength structural steels in appli-


cations such as e a r t h m o v i n g equipment, excavators, industrial
machinery, cranes etc. is strongly dependent on the design
criteria of individual companies and the size of equipment
2
manufactured. Most companies use a 355 N/mm yield strength
steel as their main high strength steel for such parts as
booms, dippers and chassis. The major limitation to using
higher strength steel is again the fact that full advantage
cannot be taken of the yield strength of the steel because
the design is dictated by the fatigue of the welded joint.
A second factor is that a high percentage of steel products
used is relatively thin-walled (415 m m ) and the scope for
weight reduction is small because of buckling and handling
problems.

6.3.1 Earthmoving Equipment etc.

J. C. Bamford ( U K ) , probably Europe's leading producer of


earthmoving equipment and excavators with 12-14,000 vehicles
per year, currently use only a very small tonnage of high
strength steel. This amounts to about 2.5 kg/vehicle,
w h i c h is an a n n u a l c o n s u m p t i o n of about 30 t o n n e s . The steel
used is a roller quenched and tempered steel with a yield
strength of 690 N/mm 2 (RQT701 - OX 8 1 2 ) and it is used in
vulnerable 'collision' areas such as corners of b u c k e t s . If
no problems are experienced with these steels than the
requirement will probably increase to about 120 tonnes per
year. The thickness of the plate currently being used is
25 m m . Since JCB produce about 2570 of e a r t h m o v i n g equipment
in Europe the potential total European consumption for this
very small strengthening plate application is around 500
tonnes per y e a r .

In a d d i t i o n , JCB are currently undertaking a study to d e t e r -


mine if the use of QT steels in their smaller machines, which
in m a n y cases are experiencing short l i v e s , would be econom-
ically viable. This could result in a notable increase in
the u s a g e of Q T steel since it would be i n c o r p o r a t e d into the
main product line.
96

In companies which consider fatigue failure at welded joints


to be a problem there has been no move to incorporate any
post-weld treatment to improve fatigue performance. The
mechanical methods of weld dressing are considered to be too
expensive, whilst any heat treatment of welds is not only
considered prohibitively expensive but very difficult to
control. It is believed that rigorous quality control would
be needed to ensure that any treatment had been properly
performed. It was also stated that most of the welds are not
of very high quality anyhow and that any move to introduce
high strength steels in any quantity would automatically
require an improvement in standards. Non-destructive testing
would also be needed, all of which adversely affects the
economics.

Caterpillar, however, report no welding problems with higher


strength structural steels and no problems w:\th respect to
fatigue performance of welded joints. It is claimed that
this is because care is taken to produce high quality welds
and there is a rigorous inspection system. High strength
steel (RQT601) is used mainly for the cutting edges on the
backhoe and front loader buckets and amounts to about 50 kg
per vehicle. The total tonnage used per annum amounts to
about 2,600 tonnes and is delivered as plate and subsequently
manufactured into a cutting edge section. Apparently only
the price of higher strength structural steels will hinder
their increasing usage at Caterpillar.

Caterpillar command over 507« of the market in Europe for


heavy earthmoving equipment, producing over 5,000 vehicles
per annum. If it is assumed that other companies in Europe
produce about 4,000 vehicles, the potential market for high
strength quenched and tempered steels is a further 2,000
tonnes per annum. The total market in Europe for this appli-
cation, therefore, is approaching 5,000 tonnes per year.

Caterpillar are currently evaluating the possible manufacture


of a 'rock bucket' in quenched and tempered steel. If given
the go-ahead, production could begin as early as Spring 1988.
The potential tonnage of QT steel is not known at present.
- 97

6.3.2 Forklift Trucks

The market for forklift trucks has improved considerably


since 1980 and sales in the UK reached 3,000 units in 1986.
The mast sections of the truck are now being produced from
460 N/mm2 yield strength steel. The steel sections are
rolled from steel with the following composition (wt.7„):-

C Si Mn V
0.23/0.30 0.15/0.30 1.0/1.3 0.05/0.08

The rough terrain forklift truck has a strong future in


Europe because of its versatility in application, performing
tasks which would normally be undertaken by self-erecting
tower cranes.

6.3.3 Cranes

Although high strength steels are well established in crane


manufacture, their application is strongly dependent on
(a) the type of crane and (b) the design philosophy. Com-
panies such as Stothert and Pitt design for a long-life
structure (20-25 years) and therefore fatigue of welded
joints is important. On this basis the highest yield strength
steel they use is 355 N/mm2 . The advantages of post-weld
treatments are appreciated but, as in other industries, are
considered difficult to implement and control. The only
likely application in the near future (using this design
criterion) would be on a jib. This application could consume
some 10-20 tonnes of steel depending on the size of the crane.

In areas such as mobile cranes and lifting-gear on offshore


platforms and barges etc., where weight saving coupled with
strength is important, higher strength steels are finding
increasing application. The move towards higher strength
steels is particularly strong in the mobile crane market and
steels with yield strength levels up to 690 N/mm2 are rapidly
2
replacing the lower yield strength, 355 N/mm , steels for
most of the structural parts. Blohm and Voss have used 50 mm
thick plate of normalised 460 N/mm2 yield strength steel for
crane booms and have used this steel for heavy derricks for
- 98

a number of years. Gusto Engineering have also used higher


strength steels in their crane production. The more popular
grades used on the Continent have yield strength levels
2
between 700-960 N/mm . In general the crane industry is very
receptive to higher strength steels because in many cases
they are forced into saving weight.

Grove Coles Ltd., who make mobile telescopic cranes from


6 tonnes up to 300 tonnes, now use roller quenched and
tempered steels for practically all; applications including
booms and chassis sections. This is an important market
for high strength steels since Grove Coles command over 70%
of 'he market in Europe. Their annual consumption of steels
with yield strength levels 490-890 N/mm2 is around 10,000
tonnes and their intention is to continue to replace lower
strength steels. This move towards QT steels is being
prompted by the customer who is now requesting low temper-
ature toughness properties coupled with a lighter-weight
structure. The latter is very important to Grove Coles
because export to certain countries is banned if they cannot
meet certain axle weights and the market is very competitive.
All the crane booms are now produced using 690 N/mm2 yield
strength steel and this steel is purchased up to 30 mm thick.
Thicker plates up to 65 mm are supplied in QT445 steel.

It is claimed that no problems have been experienced with


welding or fatigue and only a few structural parts are
actually preheated. It should be noted that mobile cranes
are generally designed for static loading conditions and so
no fatigue conditions are experienced. Also, the practice
is to 'undermatch' the strength of the weld and high strength
electrodes are only used if absolutely necessary. The only
difficulties that have arisen on welding have been with
steels of the Ni-Cr-Mo chemistry and not the RQT precipi-
tation strengthening type. Problems were related to excess-
ive hardenability due to the alloying level required to
achieve the base plate properties.

For the future, the requirement is for a steel with a yield


strength of 890-960 N/mm2 with 14% minimum elongation. Such
- 99 -

steels aready exist e.g. OX 1002 (Svenskt Stål) and XABO 90


(Thyssen) and are In fact being used on Continental Europe
for heavy duty cranes with a load capacity of 1,000 tonnes.
The next step is to produce a steel of 960 N/mm2 yield
strength that does not require preheating.

To conclude, the construction equipment market in Europe is


worth around $5 Bn and the prospects in most market sectors
are good. Higher strength steels have established themselves
strongly in some areas while making some in-roads into others
and the future looks promising for further growth.

6.4 Mining Equipment

Traditional applications of high strength steels in the


mining industry include lift arms, buckets, skips, mining
cages, roof support arches etc. More recently they have
found application in hydraulic roof support systems which
are now used in all major coal producing countries. High
strength steels are used for the base, the canopy, tops
and cantilever sections. The use of high strength steels
maximises the height between the base and the canopy by
allowing a reduction in their section thickness thereby
maximising the automatic cutter depth and permitting a
greater amount of coal to be cut from the seam. This is
important in shallow seams where only a small increase in
blade depth can increase the amount of coal extracted and
make the operation much more efficient. The extra space also
allows for better ventilation and easier access. Components
were redesigned to incorporate high strength steels and parts
are designed up to the yield strength in order to obtain the
best possible weight advantage and reduction in section
thickness.

The total market in Europe is not known, although Thyssen


claim that it is a market with good potential. Thyssen
supply QT steels with yield strength levels of 900 and 960
2 2
N/mm , and in some cases up to 1100 N/mm ; tonnage figures
were not available.
100

The UK market for roof support systems is dominated by two


companies - Dowty Mining Equipment and Guilick Dobson. Both
companies are making increasing use of quenched and tempered
steels. The main supplier is BSC for section sizes up to
40 mm thickness, while above this thickness level OX 812
(Svenskt Stål) is used. The most popular section size is
40 mm t, followed by 20-25 mm t. In some specialised appli-
cations OX 1002 has been used but not in welded structures.

The use of higher strength structural steel for the product-


ion of roof support systems began in the UK in 1983 and
has since increased dramatically. Production for this
application at BSC was about 11,000 tonnes in 1986. The
majority of steel provided is from the concast route. BSC
supply all three of their RQT grades (501, 601 and 701) for
this application and the tonnage production figures over
the last three years are:-

1984 1985 1986


RQT501 5264 3900 1230
RQT601 2748 1774 630
RQT701 241 0 7850

There is an obvious shift to the use of RQT701 in 1986 rela-


tive to the other two grades and this, according to one
company, is because they found the price differential between
701 and the other grades sufficiently narrow as to warrant
its use.

Problems encountered in the industry have been associated


with weldability, springback and fatigue. Weldability prob-
lems have been more or less overcome and plates are preheated
and welded with low hydrogen, bare wire electrodes. Spring-
back is solved by 'over-forming' and the first plate of a
batch is typically used as a gauge to estimate how much the
rest of the batch should be strained. Any inconsistency in
plate properties within a batch results in a variation in
the percentage overstrain and obvious production problems.
It is the responsibility of the steelmaker to produce uniform
and consistent mechanical properties for any particular grade
of high strength steel.
101 -

The potential market for high strength steels in roof support


systems is very promising. Considering current production in
the UK at around 7,000 units per year and just two components
(a) canopies at around 2.5 tonnes and (b) tops at 1 tonne,
then the potential tonnage of steel would be about 25,000
tonnes per year, double the present consumption. Further,
these roof support systems are currently only being used in
coal mining. Effort is now being put into extending their
use to the mining of other minerals and deposits. The
potential is therefore extremely promising.

Production of high strength steel sections for mining roof


arch supports involves both quenched and tempered sections
and more recently there has been a move towards producing
the required properties in the as-rolled condition. The
technology involved has been described earlier (Section 3.2)
and only certain market pointers will be briefly discussed
here. Traditionally these high strength sections have been
produced in the quenched and tempered condition using rela-
tively high carbon (0.28-0.377oC ) steels to meet a minimum
yield strength of 520 N/mm2 . The mining industry in general
became concerned with the inconsistency in mechanical prop-
erties, formability and the presence of surface defects and
cracks exhibited by the QT steels. The problem stemmed from
the fact that most QT operations were sub-contracted to many
smaller companies and the treatment obviously varied markedly
between the different companies. This situation prompted
the mining industry in Europe to request that the steel
companies develop the required properties in as-rolled
sections.

As-rolled sections for this application are now produced by


the major steelmakers in West Germany and by BSC. The
biggest mining company in West Germany, Ruhrköhl AG, prefer
as-rolled sections and consequently production is increasing.
Thyssen and Hoesch produce vanadium-containing steel sections
to 17Mn V7 grade, Krupp have developed a Nb-V steel and
Kloeckner also roll these sections. BSC produce a small
tonnage of as-rolled CR550 (a Nb+V steel with 550 N/mm1 yield
strength) for mining arch supports and underground roadway
supports.
-102-

Mining arch supports is probably the largest application for


high strength sections in Europe. It is estimated that
the total consumption in West Germany alone is about 250,000
tonnes. Of this figure, some 100,000 tonnes is estimated to
be as-rolled high strength steel while the remainder is QT
C-Mn steel sections made to DIN 21544 : 31Mn 4. The German
steel industry also supplied these high strength sections to
South America for use in phosphate mines as well as in coal
mines. It is understood that the most serious competition
could be from the Polish steel producers who undercut the
current Western European prices as a means of obtaining hard
currency.

The market in Western Europe, however, could decline. Coal


production in several countries is forecast to decrease
within the next few years due to an increase in the use of
nuclear energy and also because of a decrease in steel pro-
duction. For example, it is expected that in Germany coal
production will fall from 80 M tonnes/year to 50-60 M tonnes/
year by 1990. It might be that to increase present levels
of production of high strength sections for the mining
industry, or even to maintain current levels, an increase in
exports will be necessary.

6.5 Air and Gas Handling Equipment

High strength steels are finding increasing use for impellers


and structural parts of fans, blowers and ventilation equip-
ment. The main application is in fans, simply as a means of
saving weight. Higher strength steel in critically high
stressed components allows rotating equipment to be made
lighter so that rotation is easier and the overall efficiency
of the structure significantly increased. From a different
aspect, a larger rotor system could be assembled with a
similar weight to that of a smaller rotor assembly con-
structed from lower strength steel and would give a better
performance as a result of its increased size. The diameter
of such rotors is 2.0-4.5 m and the thickness of the plates
used is 10-60 mm.
-.103

The major manufacturers in the UK consume about 300 tonnes


of high strength, quenched and tempered steel per year.
The tonnage consumed in Continental Europe is not known.
Thyssen, however, are finding increasing usage of XABO 90 for
rotors. James Howden & Co., probably the world's largest fan
producer, are now using RQT501 and RQT701. Mild steel
(BS 1501-161.430B ) is also being used for impellers and
is a ready candidate for substitution by the RQT steels or
other QT grades. In addition to economic reasons, the high
strength steels used need to maintain good mechanical proper-
ties up to 400°C. The RQT steels comply with the require-
ments :-

RQT501: 360 N/mm2 YS at 400°C and CVN 41 J at -40°C


RQT701: 610 N/mm2 YS at 400°C and CVN 27 J at -45°C.

Plate thicknesses range from 6 mm to 30 mm with a small


percentage up to 60 mm (for RQT501).

Aerofoil blades are also moving over to RQT701. These blades


are 20 mm thick when made with mild steel. When RQT701 is
used the blade thickness can be dramatically reduced to
6-8 mm offering a significant weight saving.

Problems experienced in the industry with the implementation


of higher strength steels included the need for new weld
approval procedures, springback and customer education. The
springback weldability problem has been solved by experience.
Plates are 'over-formed' so that the plate edges return
to a position that facilitates welding, the extent of over-
forming being determined by trial and error. Difficulties
also initially occurred in trying to persuade customers of
the quality and applicability of the higher strength RQT
steels because no relevant international specification was
immediately apparent. The steels were finally approved under
Euronorm 137-83 Grades Fe E460 VKT and Fe E690 VKT, respect-
ively .

No appreciable increase in the market for fans etc. is seen


in the immediate future and any major increase in consumption
-104

of higher strength steels will be at the expense of mild


steel or lower strength steel. Even so, there is scope for
high strength steels and it appears that only price will
restrict their use. In the UK steels of higher strength than
RQT701 (i.e. >690 N/mm2 YS ) are unlikely to be used unless
good availability, good weldability and good fracture tough-
ness can be guaranteed - for the same price.

6.6 Shipbuilding

Shipbuilding in the EEC is considered a low tonnage market


with less than 1.0 M tonnes of steel consumed in 1986. Of
this tonnage, 667o was mild steel with 507o of the total (i.e.
0.5 M tonnes) having a yield strength between 245-350 N/mm2 .
In general shipbuilding no steel with a yield strength
greater than 400 N/mm1 was used. The design rules do not
allow increased stresses and hence the yield strength is
limited to:-

k (high tensile steel factor) = 245 (assumed YS of mild steel)


6
0 SMYS
or = 0.72, whichever is the
greatest (5)

This formula limits the maximum yield strength allowed to


340 N/mm2 . Where stress is the limiting factor there is no
leeway for increasing yield strength and reducing section
thickness. It has been shown that in this case it is more
economical to use thicker, lower strength plate with less
stiffeners. ( 1 5 7 )

Where buckling is the limiting factor, higher strength steel


can be used to advantage, for example it could be designed-
into the side panels of the hull. However, this would
require a change in the basic rules and would undoubtedly
take some years. The main certification bodies - Lloyds
Register of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, Det Norske Veritas,
Germanischer Lloyd and American Bureau of Shipping - would
have to sanction such a move.
105

It is considered that the first application of higher strength


steel in European shipbuilding could be in container ships,
particularly sections for the partitioning and anchorage of
the containers. In the USA high strength, quenched and
tempered steels have already been used in the box girder
section of a container ship. The steels have shown
satisfactory service. The use of higher strength steels
would also allow a reduction in scantlings thus resulting in a
lighter-weight ship with increased deadweight capacity.
However, the full use of the higher strength may still be
restricted by buckling criteria, but it is on the topside
that high strength steels would be competitive and where
a reduction in weight would also be an aid to stability.

As long ago as 1979 the Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Japan Register


of Shipping) established a new specification for high strength
weldable structural steels. This included steel grades HT70
and HT80 for use up to a thickness of 40 mm. Since this time
these QT steels have found increasing application in LPG
tankers and ships carrying other types of pressure vessels.

The design approach in warships, however, is different and


higher strength steels are used, although the market is
limited. The main application is in submarine construction
where HY80 is widely used for hulls. In France Superelso 702
is used, while in the UK high strength QT sections are pro-
duced for submarine hull construction. Indications are that
the French will use steel of 1000 N/mm* in the near future.
Available data on this market are obviously limited but it
is clear that warships are the only ship application for
high strength steels in Europe at the present time. The
potential in container ships and for topside structures
should, however, be noted as should potential applications
such as (a) car decks and ramps, (b) hull reinforcements,
especially in ice-breakers, and (c) shell plating of areas
subject to impact loads. The latter group of applications
would, however, only consume limited steel tonnage.
106-

6.7 Offshore Platforms and Rigs

6.7.1 Operators' Viewpoint

The offshore construction industry probably offers the best


opportunities for higher strength structural steels. Weight
saving is of paramount importance on all parts of a structure:
topside, jacket and foundations. Some high strength grades
have already been used, e.g. BS 4360 : Grade 55 (Grade 4 5 0 ) ,
but on a very limited basis. Steels of this strength level
have been supplied by BSC for various applications and by
Thyssen (St E460 : normalised) for a jack-up rig and the
derrick 'StUicken-Mast'. Thyssen expect that their
production of N-A-XTRA 70 (690 N/mm* yield strength) will
increase, especially for deck construction and will supple-
ment their normalised E460 grade for the same application.
The latter grade is being supplied in plate thicknesses up
to 150 mm. The direct quenched USIRAC steels have also found
application for decking, jack houses and cantilever beams.
However, no production of these direct quenched steels
(USIRAC 420-690) occurred in 1986, although the French market
is estimated at 15,000 tonnes/year. At the present time,
however, the highest strength steel most widely used is
BS 4360 : Grade 50D (Grade 3 5 5 ) .

Higher strength QT steels are being promoted for offshore


application, such as RQT501T and OX 602, but one of the main
reasons for the oil companies' hesitation in using them is
because no comprehensive specification exists for the use of
these steels offshore. Design codes, such as API RP2A,
allow their use provided that data related to weldability,
fatigue and fracture toughness properties are well detailed.
One of the problems that exists is that platform operators
develop their own material specifications based around
national or international standards which causes confusion
and difficulties for both steelmakers and oil companies.
This practice has been calculated to increase the cost of
platform construction by some 15% and hasrecently caused
( 12 )
EEMUA to rationalise the various specifications. The
resulting steel specification has been adapted for offshore
107

from BS 4360 : 1986. The specification, however, only


extends to steels of 450 N/mm2 minimum yield strength (depend-
ing on thickness) which automatically makes it difficult for
grades such as RQT501T and OX 602, with 490 N/mm* minimum
yield strengths, to be qualified. Nevertheless, steel com-
panies such as BSC and Svenskt Stål are very active in pro-
moting their higher strength roller quenched and tempered
s t e e l s . ( 5 4 ' 5 5 ' 1 6 1 ) The American Specification ASTM A514/A514M
covers weldable quenched and tempered structural steels with
a minimum yield strength of 620 N/mm2 and could be used to
qualify some of the higher strength steels. Alternately,
a new API Specification, API 2W, is currently being
drafted which includes steels with yield strength up to
620 N/mm2 ($25 mm thick plate) and 586 N/mm2 (>25 mm ^100 mm
thick plate). Following the Recommended Practice for use in
tubular joint design (API RP2A), the effective yield strength
should be taken as 345 N/mm2 .

Construction of offshore platforms, rigs etc. is based very


much on an engineering approach. Certification of all struc-
tures is required and this is based on data provided by the
operators to the certification bodies. These bodies were
listed in the previous Section but also include the Offshore
Certification Bureau'. Lloyds Register have certified about
907« of the platforms and rigs currently in operation in the
North Sea. Their role is to survey and review designs for
the operators. There are no basic rules as yet (but could
be in 1988) and the base used is the Department of Energy
publication which offers 'guidance' on design and construct-
(91 )
ion. The key word is 'guidance' since the publication
allows Lloyds and the designers far greater scope than exists
in shipbuilding for example. At the present time, provided
acceptable strength and toughness properties and weldability
and fatigue data can be presented, some oil companies will
accept higher strength steels for certain statically-loaded
structures.

The most progressive company in implementing the use of


higher strength steels is BP. BP first used quenched and
tempered steel (BS 4360 : Grade 55F) in 1980 on the topside
108

of the Magnus platform; some 1,600 tonnes was used. More


recently a similar tonnage has been used on the topside of
the Ula platform and BP are currently negotiating construct-
ion contracts for the Gyda platform (Norwegian waters) which
should consume 1,500-2,000 tonnes of Grade 55F (Grade 450). ( 1 6 4 )
In addition to topside application, several hundred tonnes
of Grade 55F have been used by BP for piling (70 mm thick)
and QT steel has good potential for piling for future pro-
jects. The higher strength steel was chosen after shear
problems were experienced with lower strength steel, which
would have meant excessive plate thickness if Grade 50D had
been used. The QT steel for the piling was supplied from
Japan. The use of QT steel allowed the number of piles to
be reduced by about half. Although the tonnage of steel
saved by using high strength steel is unknown, if it is con-
sidered that piling can constitute 30-507o of the total plat-
form weight then the saving could be up to 10,000 tonnes
per platform.

It' is interesting that BP state that no problems were exper-


ienced with welding the higher strength steel provided proper
care was taken. The QT steel was regarded as only slightly
more difficult to weld than Grade 50D. The welding proced-
ures were developed by BP when welding on the Magnus plat-
form in 1980.

BP will continue to use QT steels for general structural


purposes such as beams, columns and deck plates. The
major shortcoming is that higher strength sections are not
as yet available and beams and columns have to be fabricated.
The development underway at ARBED of the WSC-QST process for
sections could find immediate application for structural
sections in offshore structures if it proves commercially
viable. It is estimated that the offshore market for higher
strength steel sections could be about 30,000 tonnes/year.

The use of steel with even higher yield strength seems


unlikely in the immediate future because of the need to use
stiffeners which, in addition to increasing weight and weld-
ing, also increase time and cost. However, RQT501T (490 N/mm'
109

yield strength) has been supplied to BP by BSC for deck plate


on the Ula platform, therefore steels of this strength level
are acceptable. The higher strength level allowed a reduct-
ion of 20-307o in section thickness, and hence weight, com-
pared with normalised Grade 50 steels. RQT501T has also been
supplied for storage tanks (1,600 tonnes) to steel Specifi-
cation ASTM A738, Grade B, and to BS 4360 : Grade 55F for an
offshore heavy lifting barge (1,500 tonnes).

In the longer term the use of even higher strength steel


could be a possibility. BRITOIL are currently evaluating
the use of RQT501/601 and 701 for various applications and
RQT701 is under trial. 1 6 5 ) BRITOIL would prefer to use
RQT701 because they feel that the lower strength RQT steels
do not offer sufficient weight saving and hence there is
little economic justification for simply moving from 50D to
RQT501. They do, however, acknowledge that care is needed
when welding RQT701 (690 N/mm* yield strength). BRITOIL,
like BP, also consider piling to be a good application for
QT' steels since there are no buckling or fatigue problems.

Most of the other major oil companies are evaluating the


potential of higher strength steels and some test results
are giving cause for concern. Indications from work at
Shell are that CTOD values in the coarse-grained region
of the HAZ are inferior to those obtainable in the HAZ of
Grade 50 steels. The possibility of not being able to
guarantee the required minimum CTOD properties is of concern
to oil companies and steel producers alike. Wide plate
tests are being carried out in an effort to determine whether
these low toughness zones are critical to the integrity of
the whole weldment. There is no doubt that not only is
great care needed in determining the toughness properties of
the HAZ, but also in assessing what toughness levels are
acceptable. The future of the QT steels for certain critical
applications is therefore suspect unless this problem can be
resolved.

Other problems associated with the use of higher strength


steels for offshore platforms are somewhat similar to those
already discussed for onshore structures (fatigue of welded
110

joints, and deflection and buckling) and they will not be


discussed again. A major complaint from the oil companies,
however, concerns the lack of available welding and fatigue
data. As a consequence, designers are only moving slowly
towards incorporating QT steels. However, the designers
complain that steel grades to be used in construction are
determined by the operators and hence little freedom is
given for them to use higher strength steel.

6.7.2 Designers' Viewpoint

The conceptual design of an offshore platform is provided by


the oil companies who also generally suggest the type of
steel to be used. However, designers have carried out their
own design studies using high strength steels. For example,
John Brown (Engineers and Constructors Ltd.) conclude that
high strength steel could be substituted into 307« of the
platform jacket to replace Grade 50D. They claim that
the structure needs to be redesigned from the beginning and
should not be designed by merely substituting high strength
steels for various parts. Computer-aided design (CAD) is
used so the whole programme has to be re-run in any case
using a complex structural analysis via a 2-D model followed
by a 3-D model with dynamic loading. In contrast, some
designers consider that high strength steel can be introduced
into a structure by 'trimming' i.e. by substituting individ-
ual parts.

Brown and Root Vickers Ltd. consider that the jacket is


unlikely to go to high strength steel because the design is
fatigue dependent, with the fatigue of the welded joints
dictating the design. Denney, however, stated that
the fatigue problem only exists over 50% of the jacket.

Designers are in agreement that the use of high strength


steels, apart from piling, will be confined to the topside
in the immediate future. The use will extend to any struc-
tural part that is statically loaded, i.e. not subjected to
wave motion. The greatest effect of weight saving on the
topside is the substantial weight reduction possibilities
that it allows on the jacket (and piling) - the so-called
111

'knock­on' effect. This is where C he largest potential cost


saving lies. It is generally considered that a 1 tonne
weight saving on the topside is equivalent to about a 2 tonne
saving on the jacket. C onsequently, designers are keen to
use higher strength steels on the topside not just to be able
to reduce the total tonnage of steel consumed per platform,
but to be able to reduce ί­
α. transportation costs;
b. fabrication costs, in that a reduction in section size
to below 50 mm means that preheating is not mandatory
and a thinner section also requires less welding time
and less consumables;
c. lifting costs, since operators can use a smaller crane
barge which, in addition to being cheaper to hire, also
gives a wider choice of crane hire.

A possible application for higher strength steel suggested


by designers is for buoyancy tanks which are needed in cases
where the jacket is floated out to its station. The auxill­
iary buoyancy tanks required for the Clyde Β platform (BRITOIL
Ltd.) weighed 1,500 tonnes, thus a worthwhile saving in
steel tonnage is possible. Any weight saved would translate
into a direct cost saving.

Problems raised by the designers include the variable, and


sometimes low, fracture toughness properties of the HAZ.
There is also some concern that the CTOD test may not be the
correct test since it is not necessarily the case that fat­
igue cracks initiate in the coarse­grained region of the HAZ.
Good CTOD in the HAZ is required and more consistent fracture
toughness data is requested. C oncern has also been expressed
about the potential welding problems associated with the
higher hardenability QT steels. This has prompted John Brown
to reject boron­treated steels and they now insist on a
0.00057oB maximum. Restriction is also placed on high molyb­
denum in chromium­containing steels. The fatigue problems
of weldments and the potential improvements of post­weld
treatments are fully appreciated. The control and inspection
needed to effect proper treatment is of great concern to the
112

designers. The worry is that there is no guarantee that


post-weld preparation would even be carried out.

6.7.3 Substituting Higher Strength Steel - Case Study

In order to assess the real value of 'designing-in' higher


strength structural steels for offshore platforms it is
necessary to carry out a substitution exercise. Such a study
has been published, and is the result of a collaborative
project between Allmänna Ingenjorsbyran AB, Gotaverken
Arendai AB and Svenskt Stål. Parts of the topside structure
of the Statoil Gullfaks A gravity base platform were studied
with the primary aim of reducing the weight of the module
support frame, wellhead module, living quarters module,
shaft transition and module support stools.

The study showed that it is possible to significantly reduce


weight by (a) using steel with increased yield strength,
(b) improved stiffener arrangements, and (c) utilising corr-
ugated plates. The steel used in the study was OX 602 with a
yield strength of 500 N/mm* . The weights of the original
parts have been compared with the weights of alternative
designs. The governing regulations for the design were
those issued by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
The structural steel properties for the original design and
for the alternative design using OX 602 are given in Tables
16 and 17, respectively. For some applications OX 812, with
a yield strength of 690 N/mm* , was used. Precise details of
the parts considered are presented in the report.

Module Support Frame (MSF)

The total weight of the MSF was 8,900 tonnes, of which the
parts considered in the analysis totalled 3,800 tonnes or 43%
of the total. The weight of the primary structure was 3,600
tonnes and by using a different stiffening arrangement a
weight reduction of 127, or 420 tonnes was obtained. By sub-
stituting higher strength steel a further weight reduction of
197o (605 tonnes) was achieved. For the deck plate a theoret-
ical weight reduction of 177>, amounting to 27 tonnes, res-
ulted.
113

In all, by using QT steel a weight saving on the MSF of 1,052


tonnes of steel was attainable, amounting to 287. of the
total steel used in the parts considered and 127» of the
total weight of the module.

Wellhead Module

The original structural weight of the module was about 1,000


tonnes, of which 407. was included in the study. By using
OX 602 for the framework, skid beams and deck plate it was
possible to achieve a weight reduction of 177> (67 tonnes).

Living Quarters Module

The total steel weight of the original module was about


900 tonnes. It was found that in large areas of the walls
the 8 mm stiffened plate could be replaced by an alternative
design using 6 mm corrugated plates giving a weight reduction
of about 257o (55 tonnes).

Shaft Transition Areas

The shaft transition areas form the transition between the


top of the gravity base structure and the underside of the
module support frame. A total weight reduction of 64 tonnes
(187.) was obtained by using OX 602.

Module Support Stools

Module support stools are placed on top of the MSF to support


the modules and to distribute the loads into the MSF. The
scantlings of the stools are determined by the yield and
buckling criteria. An alternative design using higher
strength structural steel resulted in a structure 72 tonnes
(297.) lighter than the original structure.

The Scandinavian study considered only a limited number of


structural parts on the topside that could be changed to
higher strength steel. The total weight of steel on the
topside was 11,450 tonnes, while only parts totalling 5,750
tonnes were considered for substitution by the QT steels.
114­

Out of this total It was determined that a weight saving of


1,310 tonnes was possible by using higher strength steel i.e.
over 22%. It was concluded that by considering parts not
covered in the study weight savings of a similar order of
magnitude would be possible. The advantages of using higher
strength steel are therefore obvious.

It should be pointed out that not all operators or designers


agree with the potential savings figure recorded by the
Scandinavians. Marathon Oil, for example, report that their
evaluation showed only about an 8%, weight saving, but no
further details were given and so it is not known what
structural parts were included in the study. It is
thought, however, that this figure could be increased to a
maximum of 15%.

6.7.4 Jack­up Rigs

Over recent years the construction of jack­up rigs has con­


sumed many thousands of tonnes of high strength QT steels.
The main application has been for the leg racks and chords,
jack houses, decks, cantilever beams etc. At the present
time the marketplace is very depressed and the likelihood of
any improvement in the construction market in the near future
is small. With some 625 jack­up rigs in existence worldwide,
only around 40% are actually in use and it is believed that
only one or two jack­up rigs will be built in Europe over
the next five years. Although the outlook is bleak for
the drilling rig market it is worth noting the applications
where higher strength steel is used and the problems encoun­
tered.

The higher alloyed, higher strength QT steels up to 150 mm


in thickness are used for the racks. A typical example is
Supereiso 700C R, a high Ni­C r­Mo grade (ASTM A517F) with a
guaranteed minimum yield strength of 700 N/mm* (C VN trans­
verse average >45 J at ­40°C ). This grade has been
qualified by the American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske
Veritas. Another steel produced to ASTM A517/A514 is the
Thyssen St E690 grade. This grade contains Ni, C r, Mo, Β
(Α517) or C r Mo Zr (A514) and has a guaranteed minimum yield
115

strength of 690 N/mml . This steel has been supplied to


IHC Gusto for drilling platform construction including racks.
It is possible that up to 1,500 tonnes of this grade of steel
can be consumed just in the racks of a jack­up rig, although
there are other applications such as lifting­gear.

Weldability of these higher strength steels has caused some


concern and procedures have to be qualified for each individ­
ual job. Preheating between 100­150°C and using low hydrogen
basic electrodes prebaked at 350°C is the standard welding
procedure. A maximum heat input of 2.5 kJ/mm and a maximum
interpass temperature of 250°C are recommended. One worrying
factor reported by some fabricators is the difficulty of
obtaining high strength electrodes to produce matching
strength weld metal. It has been suggested that any steel
development should be undertaken concurrently with develop­
ment of suitable welding electrodes. Weldability is consid­
ered of great importance in the construction of jack­up rigs
with the cost of welding being as high as £2,500 per tonne
of steel to fabricate a jacket.

It is considered impossible to design a jack­up rig and


guarantee no fatigue cracks and there are indications that
some of the materials are susceptible to brittle fracture.
It is therefore imperative that good fracture toughness data
be made available for steels for jack­up rigs. Superelso
700CR, for example, has a guaranteed Kjc value of ^110 Ν /mm2 /m
at ­40°C and a Pellini test, nil­ductility temperature (NDT)
4­50°C. The NDT temperature is the critical temperature
below which a brittle fracture is no longer arrested by the
material.

Other high strength steels produced in Europe are utilised


in drilling rig construction such as the direct quenched
USINOR steels USIRAC 460 and 500, RQT501T (BSC ) and Thyssen's
St E460 grade. These steels find application in jack houses,
spud cans, cantilever beams, decks and derricks. Several
thousand tonnes of USIRAC steel have been used by the French
rig builders, while some 2,000 tonnes of RQT501T have also
been utilised in drilling rig construction. Blohm and Voss
-116

have consumed many tonnes of normalised St E460 steel pro-


duced by Thyssen, with over 800 tonnes having been used for
the construction of a derrick.

6.7.5 Accelerated-cooled Steels

The next major development that will affect the use of higher
strength steels for offshore construction is that of steels
accelerated-cooled directly after rolling i.e. the TMCP
steels. This development is creating mixed feelings in
the industry. On the positive side, Lloyds have approved
their use for structures in the North Sea on the basis that
the processing route is capable of providing the desired
properties, and consistency in properties, considered necess-
ary for North Sea structures. The steel has already been
accepted and utilised for specific individual applications
including a 36-inch diameter pipeline recently laid by BP.

The Norwegians have more readily accepted accelerated-cooled


steels and Kvaerner have used some 40,000 tonnes to build
the Oseberg platform. No problems were reported and little
or no preheat was required prior to welding. The advantage
of TMCP steels is that for a given strength level the CEV is
lower, indicating better weldability. Some weldability
trials, however, suggest a possible degradation in toughness
in the HAZ due to a more extensive coarse-grained region
because of the lower carbon and alloy content. Weldability
remains a prime concern and operators are reluctant to use
TMCP steel because of the lack of data. More weldability
data could soon be made available since a co-operative pro-
gramme between the Japanese (NKK), Highland Fabricators and
OilFab is underway and results so far are encouraging.

Designers consider that because they design using plates up


to 100 mm in thickness the process conditions necessary to
produce the properties in TMCP steels will limit plate thick-
ness to a much lower level. It should be realised, of course,
that for a given steel chemistry accelerated cooling allows
a reduction in plate thickness because of an increase in
strength. Consistency and uniformity of properties have also
been cited as potential problem areas, although it is claimed
-117 -

that some variation in mechanical properties can be allowed


for in the design.

The concensus of opinion in the offshore industry is that


accelerated-cooled steels will find increasing usage and
that experience so far has been reasonably satisfactory.
However, even though they are relatively cheaper than curr-
ently used steels, much more data is required (weldability,
toughness, fatigue etc.) before they will be widely accepted.
As pointed out earlier in this report, only the Japanese
steelmakers are currently supplying accelerated-cooled steels
into this marketplace.

6.7.6 Summary

Whilst higher strength steels are well established in the


construction of drilling rigs with a potential of over 2,000
tonnes per jack-up rig, the marketplace is poor and prospects
are not favourable for an up-turn in demand. Prospects in
thè platform construction market look promising with at
least one oil company having used over 3,000 tonnes of
Grade 55 steel on topside and planning to use more. Most
other companies are optimistic about using higher strength
steel in future, although there is a strong need for more
data. The comprehensive case study undertaken by the Scan-
dinavian group showed that a 25% weight saving was
possible by substituting a 500 N/mm* yield strength steel for
Grade 50D (355 N/mm* yield strength) into the design of
certain parts of the topside. Some 5,750 tonnes of structure
were redesigned to incorporate the higher strength steel
which resulted in a significant weight saving of about 1,400
tonnes. The 'knock-on' effect of this weight saving also
leads to a substantial saving in the jacket weight.

High strength steel has also been used for piling and it is
generally considered that this application provides a good
opportunity for these steels with a potential for replacing
more than 10,000 tonnes of lower strength steel per platform.
A further application for high strength steel, which would
offer a direct cost saving, would be in the construction of
-118

buoyancy tanks. Higher strength steels have also been used


for derricks and other lifting-gear, and the desire to lift
ever increasing loads would seem to guarantee a secure
market for these steels. An example of the steel tonnages
and dimensions involved in the construction of an offshore
platform is given in Table 18 for the Magnus platform (BP).
The platform was constructed by John Brown and the figures
give some idea of the potential for higher strength steels.

Designers are showing great interest in using high strength


steels, but request closer contact with steel producers and
more property data. More fracture toughness data for the HAZ
is needed. Most designers (and operators) consider that it
would be more logical, practical and desirable to redesign a
complete structure in higher strength steel from basics. Now
that most designers use CAD, this approach is a less daunting
prospect than previously. Weight saving is also important
for future deepwater platforms including the floating and
tethered platforms (TLP's) and higher strength steels will
be'considered for topside and tethers.

A final point to be emphasised is that no European specif-


ication or standard is available that covers weldable higher
strength QT structural steels for offshore application. Only
a lower yield strength steel (Grade 55, 450 N/mm* ) is in-
cluded in BS 4360 : 1986 and the most recent EEMUA specif-
ication (1987). At the present time steels are being qual-
ified to ASTM specifications. It would obviously assist all
concerned if steels up to 690 N/mm2 yield strength were
included in the relevant specifications in Europe, although
it is appreciated that much property and weldability data
would first be required.
­119 -

7. ..ΓINDARDS, SPECIFICATIONS AND CODES

The general idea of EUROC ODES is to simplify the existing


Complicated procedure of having to comply with different
regulations in force in the individual Member States of the
EEC, and to remove any obstacles. The scope of the steel
(20)
code, EUROCODE NO. 3 , includes both buildings and bridges
(other than box girder and plate girder bridges with web
stiffeners). Excluded are offshore structures, nuclear
plants, and transmission towers and masts. Rules are pro­
vided for the design, fabrication and erection of steel
structures to produce safe and economical structures for
the use and life for which they are intended.

EUROCODE NO. 3 as it currently stands does not allow the use


of steel with a yield strength ^­450 N/mm2 , which in fact
limits the maximum grade of steel to Fe 510. For section
thickness up to 40 mm the following yield strength values are
specified :­

Steel Grade Yie ld Strength, fy


(Euronorm 25) (Ν/mm')

Fe 360 235
Fe 430 275
Fe 510 355

For steels greater than 40 mm and less than 100 mm the values
of fy should be reduced by 107o or, alternatively, fy may be
taken as the specified value.

While the above permissible strength levels comply with the


majority of individual Member State codes, notable exceptions
are the British Standards, BS 5950 (Buildings) ( 1 7 3 } and
BS 5400 (Bridges) which allow steel complying with
BS 4360 : 1986 to be used. BS 4360 includes Grade 55, which
has a guaranteed minimum yield strength of up to 450 N/mm2
(depending on thickness) i.e. much greater than the maximum
grade (Grade Fe 510 : 355 N/mm2 minimum yield strength)
allowed in EUROC ODE NO. 3. In Germany, Grades St E460 and
St E690 have been used in steel buildings typically in
columns of the bottom storeys of high­rise buildings.
-120-

It should be noted though that these steels are not covered


by the National German Standard for structural steels, DIN
17100. DIN 17100 covers steel ranging in yield strength from
175 N/mm' (St 33) to 355 N/mm1 (St 70). The French Specif-
ication NFA 35-501 and the Italian Specification UNI 7070
also only cover steels with yield strengths up to 355 N/mm2 ,
although NFA 36-201 (France) and SEW 089-70 (Germany) have
equivalent grades, E460 FP and Ste 51, respectively, to the
BS 4360, 55E grade. However, these grades are special
quality weldable structural steels used primarily for boiler
and pressure vessel applications and covered by Euronorm 113.
It should also be noted that ARBED offer steel sections to
Euronorm 113, Fe E460 (460 N/mm* yield strength).

EUROCODE NO. 3, therefore, clearly limits the use of high


strength structural steels which prompts two major questions:-

1. Why does EUROCODE NO. 3 not allow for a steel grade


complying with. Fe E420 (equivalent to BS 4360 : Grade 55),
or indeed higher strength steels? This is a question that
has to be referred back to the committee that prepared EURO-
CODE NO. 3. One could assume that sufficient data is not
readily available in order to judge the performance of higher
strength steels, although Grade 55 has been used for many
applications. It might be concluded that critical assess-
ment of new data with respect to higher strength steels needs
to be undertaken as soon as possible.

2. What factors in the code dominate the restrictive use of


higher strength structural steels?

The development of high strength steels has resulted in two


types of steel exhibiting different stress-strain character-
istics. The first type, typical of a controlled-rolled or
a heat-treated steel, has a distinct yield point, usually
with an extended yield point elongation and a low ultimate
tensile strength (TS)/yield strength (YS) ratio. The second
type of high strength steel has a continuous yielding charac-
teristic with a high TS/YS ratio and would be typical of a
higher alloyed steel or a rapidly cooled steel (untempered)
which contained a certain percentage of low temperature
transformation products in the microstructure. It should be
121

noted, however, that depending on chemistry and cooling rate


a distinct yield point can be obtained in accelerated­cooled
steels.

The general procedure throughout Europe is to design up to


the yield strength and indeed this is the procedure laid down
in .EUROCODE NO. 3. This design criterion does not therefore
take into account any strain hardening capability of the
steel component. Designing up to the yield point will invar­
iably involve the development of small areas of plastic
deformation i.e. plastic hinges. For example, this situation
could occur in a weldment where the yield strength can be
exceeded and local plastic deformation takes place. Some
small plastic deformation is thus allowed by the code and in
certain cases (not defined) it is permissible to adopt a
strain hardening modulus of E/50.

There appears to be little argument about designing to the


yield point. The arguments are aimed at the limiting TS/YS
ratio of 1.2 and the fact that the relationship between
stress and strain is taken as elastic ­ perfectly plastic.
In BS 5950, for example, higher strength steels may be used
provided that "the stress­strain diagram has a plateau at
the yield stress extending for at least six times the yield
„■ < u (173)
strain".

(144 )
Work performed by ARBEDV ' in the 1970's investigated the
influence of the stress­strain characteristics of four steel
types (yield strengths up to 520 N/mm* ) on the redistribution
capacity of bending stresses at plastic hinges. The TS/YS
ratios varied from 1.16 to 1.53 and yield point elongation
values extended between 5.4 and 21.9 times the yield strain.
Rolled sections were tested under buckling, local buckling
and lateral buckling conditions in addition to the study of
structural ductility up to collapse. It was concluded that
designs with standards based only on yield strength give
ample protection against plastic collapse. This was true
even for the steel with a low TS/YS ratio of 1.16.

Recently published work by C RM carried out under the


sponsorship of the EC SC and IRSIA (Belgian Institute for
Research in Industry) has also shown that high strength
122

steels with a TS/YS ratio of as low as 1.1 can be used with


safety provided the steel has good toughness. Their work
showed that a relationship existed between the toughness of
a steel and its TS/YS ratio to the extent that a steel having
a high ratio (1.5) but low toughness was more prone to
failure than a steel with a ratio of 1.1 with high toughness.
Conclusions drawn by Defourny and Bragard are very
well illustrated in Figures 75 and 76 where their model is
presented with respect to EUROCODE NO. 3 specifications. It
is evident that a safe fracture behaviour is ensured with
currently available high strength, high toughness structural
steels having low TS/YS ratios, but not with steels having
a high TS/YS ratio if they do not possess good toughness.
Similar results have also been obtained by Dahl and Hesse
with steels up to 690 N/mm* yield strength.

Having presented the above argument, a cautionary point


should be made. The data was based on experimental work
involving rolled sections or connections, or specimens con-
taining notch but not crack-like defects. The tests were
also performed at relatively low strain rates and mainly on
parent plate rather than weldments. It is known that where
high stress concentrations surround a sharp defect such as a
fatigue crack, a material with a very low work-hardening rate,
i.e. low TS/YS ratio, is likely to tear at a lower overall
plastic strain as compared with a steel of more conventional
work-hardening capability. This situation could be more
critical in the more recently developed steels that contain
small areas or islands of martensite or other low temperature
transformation products i.e. the accelerated-cooled or direct
quenched steels. The plastic strain associated with these
areas could decrease the critical strain rate at a crack tip
to the point at which cleavage fracture could occur. The
extent to which a steel having inherently high toughness
could adjust to this and produce a crack-arrest situation is
not yet fully known.

There is therefore sufficient doubt regarding the validity of


a minimum TS/YS ratio of 1.2, as required in EUROCODE NO. 3,
to warrant reconsideration of the minimum level that should
be specified. Developments in processing and chemistry
123

modifications of structurai steels in recent years have


resulted in significant improvements in toughness at high
strength levels which could increase the level of plastic
strain required to produce tearing. If so, then this would
provide an argument for lowering the ratio. A lowering of
the acceptable TS/YS ratio would allow higher strength steels
to be considered for many more applications.

The requirement for steel having a yield point elongation


value of at least six times the yield strain is a further
point of conjecture. An extended yield point elongation is
simply delaying the onset of work-hardening which itself
effectively strengthens the steel. Of importance also is
that a small amount of plastic deformation is necessary to
relieve residual stresses in local highly stressed areas
thereby improving fracture toughness and reducing failure due
to fatigue. The sooner small amounts of plastic deformation
exist, the sooner residual stresses are relieved.

Thè argument for an 'adequate plastic plateau' is to ensure


that local yielding spreads to become general yielding over
the component cross-section in order to avoid a hardened zone
which could initiate fracture. A yield point elongation
plateau would allow a warning period of failure. Continuous
yielding, however, while more rapidly producing general
yielding and plastic deformation, would not give an adequate
warning period before failure.

Work has shown, however, that a steel with a yield point


elongation less than six times the yield strain performs
quite satisfactorily under buckling, local buckling and
lateral buckling conditions. The whole concept of
designing to the elastic-perfectly plastic criterion or the
demand for a steel with an extended yield point elongation
should be re-evaluated as again these specification require-
ments serve to restrict the wider use of higher strength
structural steels. Developments such as accelerated cooling
tend to reduce yield point elongation even to the extent of
producing a continuous yielding behaviour and it would seem
appropriate to initiate a programme of work to study the
effect of various loading conditions on a series of higher
124

strength steels having different stress-strain character-


istics. The results could lead to an adjustment in the
design rules in the EUROCODE so as to accommodate higher
strength steels.

As an incentive towards the adoption of higher strength


steels in structural codes it is worth noting developments in
Japan, where as long ago as the I960's steel with yield
strength of 460 N/mm* was being used in buildings. Several
hundred thousand tonnes of even higher yield strength steels,
^690 N/mm2 (HT80), have been employed in the construction of
several long span bridges, as described earlier in the
report. Care was taken over the welding and the bridges were
successfully constructed. In addition to the Japanese stand-
ards already referred to, ' the Japanese Welding
Engineering Society Standard (WES 3001-1983 - Weldable High
Strength Steel Plates) covers steels ranging in yield
2
strength from 350 N/mm (HW36) up to 900 N/mm' (HW90) with
minimum specified Charpy V-notch impact values of 27.5 Joules
at -30°C for the highest strength grade at plate thicknesses
above 32 mm. A closer evaluation of Japanese codes and
standards might well be justified in that information gained
might result in modifications to structural specifications
and the adoption of higher strength steels into the EUROCODES.
125-

8. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Detailed summaries have been made at stages throughout this


review. This Section includes brief statements on each
subject area (in the order followed in the review) together
with conclusions. The areas reviewed have included
recent developments in steelmaking technology and steel
design and processing with respect to the quality of higher
strength structural steels and their mechanical properties.
The major limitations to their wider implementation such as
weldability and fatigue have been discussed and it is sugg-
ested that by following recommended procedures these limit-
ations can be overcome. Whilst it is realised that the
recommended procedures require both additional practices and
extra care, the cost benefit should still favour the higher
strength steels in most cases. Probably the most serious
limitation to the wider use of higher strength structural
steels is the various standards, specifications and codes in
Europe which incorporate material restrictions or design
rules that automatically eliminate or restrict the use of
higher strength steel on a wide scale. In fact, certain
steels are marketed using ASTM specifications, and others
have to- be qualified on an individual basis.

The recent advances in steelmaking technology such as desul-


phurisation, inclusion shape control, vacuum degassing and
continuous casting have enabled the melting and casting of
an exceptionally high quality product. Lamellar tearing and
hydrogen-cracking can be eliminated or greatly reduced and
low levels of harmful residuals minimised. Tight chemistry
control is possible with concasting providing improved prod-
uct yield, cost savings and other benefits. All of these
processing routes greatly contribute towards the economic
production of high quality, high strength structural steel
and in some cases are considered necessary procedures for
steelmakers to employ in order to confidently provide steels
to meet the increasingly stringent property demands from
customers, especially the offshore industry. Based on infor-
mation gathered from the steelmaking review the following
recommendations are presented:-
126

Conclusion 1

Any proposed move by steelmakers Coward increasing continuous


casting facilities or efficiency should be implemented as
quickly as possible. Europe already lags behind its main
competitor, Japan. Japan is forecast to increase concast
steel production to 95.57o of total crude steel production
over the next 10 years, thereby benefiting from a 57„ better
yield and producing better quality and cheaper higher strength
structural steels.

Conclusion 2

Some ingot casting capability must be retained in order to


meet demand for higher strength steel in thick plate product
produced by either controlled rolling (TMCR) or normalising.

Conclusion 3

Concern is being expressed regarding the behaviour of high


strength ultra-clean steels with respect to hydrogen-induced
cracking. Studies should be initiated to clarify the effect
of a reduced percentage of second-phase particles on trans-
formation kinetics and hydrogen accumulation points.

Conclusion 4

There is a need for steelmakers to educate designers and


fabricators more extensively and thoroughly on the specific
advantages of the more recent advances in steelmaking tech-
nology. A gap in communication exists which will hinder the
future of higher strength steels.

The combination of strength and toughness properties in


a steel depends on steel composition and processing route.
Developments in normalised steels for higher strength have
resulted in a combined addition of Nb + V. The strength and
toughness levels attainable obviously depend on the section
thickness, but for all practical purposes current technology
confines the yield strength level to a guaranteed minimum of
460 N/mm2 . To obtain this higher strength it is the usual
127-

pracCice to add small additions of Ni and Cu, although in


some steels the nickel level can be as high as 0.77.. The
carbon level obviously has to be restricted because of its
direct adverse effect on CEV. For demanding applications
(such as offshore) the toughness requirements in thick plate
are so high as to rule out the possible application of norm-
alised steel. In this case controlled-rolled or quenched and
tempered steels have to be considered.

Controlled-rolled (TMCR) steels have also followed the Nb + V


technology. TMCR can extend the strength level up to around
550 N/mm* in plate thicknesses up to 30 mm, coupled with
excellent toughness. Compared with normalising, correspond-
ing strength levels in TMCR steels are obtained at lower
carbon and alloy content and hence at a lower CEV, thus
giving better weldability. The level of mechanical proper-
ties attainable in TMCR steels deteriorates as thickness
increases. The maximum strength properties obtainable in
plate from concast feedstock are consequently strongly
dependent on initial slab thickness which at 300 mm would
appear to limit the final plate thickness to about 40 mm.
However, work within the EEC is in progress which could
extend the thickness range up to about 50 mm and, if success-
ful, would create a competitive edge.

Small additions of titanium (0.01-0.027«,) have been shown to


be extremely effective for grain size control, and current
work is showing that this can be translated to concast
product provided some form of accelerated cooling during
casting is possible. If it can be shown to be commercially
viable, the addition of titanium will improve toughness not
only of the parent plate but also in the HAZ of weldments.

The development of continuous yielding acicular ferrite


steels has provided a steel with high TS/YS ratio with a
yield strength above 500 N/mm2 . The low carbon, fine-grained
structure also ensures good toughness. In the tempered
condition these steels can produce a minimum yield strength
of over 600 N/mm', which would be competitive with the lower
range of quenched and tempered steels. The cost of reheating
-128-

and quenching would be eliminated, making the steels very


cost-effective.

A most significant development has been that of accelerated


cooling directly after controlled rolling (TMCP). This
has recently been commercialised by the Japanese who are very
active in the marketplace and have already sold many thousand
tonnes into the European marketplace. The importance of
European steelmakers developing this technology in order to
remain competitive cannot be over-stressed. Accelerated
cooling further enhances the strength and toughness proper-
ties of controlled-rolled steels at an equivalent CEV or can
be used to produce a similar strength level to TMCR plates
but at a greatly reduced CEV and hence superior weldability.
The process has been shown to produce yield strength levels
above 600 N/mm2 at a CEV of 0.40%. Careful control of the
cooling process is essential in order to limit the variation
in microstructure from surface to centre and hence limit any
wide variation in mechanical properties. The regular pro-
duction of uniform and consistent mechanical properties
is a potential major limitation to the wide acceptance of
these steels and will be dependent on individual plant
quality and technology input. The interrelationship between
the temperature range of cooling, cooling rate, steel compo-
sition and plate thickness is of prime importance in deter-
mining mechanical properties and plate flatness. The advant-
ages of accelerated cooling are leaner chemistry, lower
CEV and better weldability compared with controllèd-rolled
steels of similar mechanical properties; the process is also
cheaper.

Conclusion 5

Accelerated cooling equipment should be installed on the


run-out table of the hot plate mills at major European steel-
making plants. The plant should be located as close to the
rolling mill as possible and should be capable of producing
a wide range of cooling rates. The facility should also be
capable of direct quenching to room temperature. Accelerated
cooling is a most important development and it is considered
-129

essential that European steel producers invest in the equip-


ment, otherwise the marketplace will be dominated by the
Japanese.

Conclusion 6

Steel companies and R & D establishments should be encouraged


to undertake studies aimed at evaluating accelerated-cooled
steels for various applications. Much more data is needed
in order to successfully market TMCP steels and detailed
information is already being requested by potential customers.
Problems or areas that should be investigated include:-

a. optimum steel design for various plate thicknesses (and


cooling rate) to meet required specifications;
b. factors controlling the production of uniform and con-
sistent mechanical properties;
c. weldability, especially the toughness properties of the
HAZ;
d. 'balanced cooling' as a means of producing flat plates.

Conclusion 7

Extend work to produce higher strength, good toughness prop-


erties in TMCR steels at plate thicknesses up to 50 mm. It
is suggested that the high quality feedstock from a pressure
casting system (Italsider, Creusot-Loire) be used since
thicker slabs (400 mm) can be cast compared with the contin-
uous casting route (300 m m ) .

Conclusion 8

Further work should be encouraged to evaluate the highly


beneficial effect of small (0.01-0.02%) additions of titanium
on parent plate and HAZ toughness. The effect should be
monitored from the casting stage through to the final product
which should include normalised, TMCR and TMCP plates.

Quenching and tempering is the only effective way to produce


higher strength structural plates with yield strengths of
130

550 N/mm* and above in thicknesses of 30 mm and above. Two


metallurgical approaches are used: (a) microalloying and
(b) alloying for hardenability. Microalloyed QT steels are
produced to meet E690 specification maximum and only in plate
thicknesses up to 40 mm, even after using the highly efficient
roller quench unit. Plate thickness can be increased somewhat
by the addition of elements such as Ni, Cr, Mo etc. The
limiting factor is reduced hardenability brought about by
grain refinement. Lower strength steels can be produced up
to 80 mm thick. The 'alloy' approach, based on increased
hardenability, is used to produce higher strength steel
(up to 1000 N/mm*) and/or thicker plate. This technique
allows for the production of a wider range of strength prop-
erties in a. wider range of plate thicknesses. It would
appear that the companies with a roller quench type unit are
able to adopt the 'microalloyed' approach because of the
greater quenching efficiency of the plant which allows the
use of a leaner chemistry steel. Higher alloyed QT struc-
tural steel plate is produced in plate thickness up to 300 mm
with a guaranteed minimum yield strength of 690 N/mm2 , but
not by using a roller quench.

Direct quenching results in the use of even leaner chem-


istries to produce a given strength. Alternatively it can be
used to obtain even higher strength values at lower CEV
levels. The best combination of mechanical properties is
achieved by quenching directly after controlled rolling,
which is likely to limit plate thickness to about 40 mm.
The only unit in Europe is operated by USINOR, Dunkerque,
but is situated 'off-line'. It is known that better prop-
erties are achieved by having a quench unit 'in-line' with
the rolling mill so as to reduce the time delay between
finish rolling and quenching. Direct quenching is an ideal
method of producing greatly improved strength and toughness
properties and is more economical than a conventional treat-
ment in that the reheating process is eliminated. It is an
opportune time to combine this operation with that of accel-
erated cooling and it is recommended that any investment by
European steel mills should be in plant capable of carrying
out both accelerated cooling and direct quenching (see
Conclusion 5).
131

Developments in structural steel sections over recent years


have been based on technology derived from plate metallurgy.
The stage has now been reached where sections with a guaran-
teed minimum yield strength of 460 N/mm* and with good tough-
ness can be produced at thicknesses up to 40 mm. The sections
are produced using TMCR and meet Fe E460 (Euronorm 113) and
BS 4360 : Grade 55 specifications. The offshore market
offers good opportunities for these sections with a potential
consumption of about 30,000 tonnes per year. Higher strength
sections (^520 N/mm2 ) are manufactured for mining arch
supports which currently constitute the major market for
high strength sections. The trend in this industry is toward
as-rolled sections rather than QT sections and several German
steelmakers have developed appropriate steel compositions and
processing procedures. Currently some 100,000 tonnes per
year of TMCR sections and about 150,000 tonnes per year of
QT sections are consumed by this market.

The most promising development in steel section production


is the WSC-QST process by ARBED/CRM. The accelerated cooling,
auto-tempering process allows higher strength structural
steel sections to be produced using lower alloyed steel
compositions. The process, which is still in the experiment-
al stage, has been shown to be cost-effective and gives
a reduction in processing costs of about 207» relative to
normalising. Preliminary trials have given a yield strength
increase of 607» (300 N/mm* to 500 N/mm* ) compared with a
normalised steel of similar composition. If further trials
are successful, the WSC-QST process could be in commercial
production by 1990. If commercialised this process will be
a major breakthrough in the production of high strength
structural steel sections, offering a product unavailable
elsewhere and at a competitive price.

Conclusion 9

Every effort should be made to commercialise the WSC-QST


process as soon as possible. This process will undoubtedly
give European steelmakers a significant lead in the product-
ion of higher strength structural steel sections. To fully
-132

exploit this European development it is necessary for this


type of steel, together with the higher strength levels
attainable, to be covered by an appropriate specification.
It is recommended that concurrent R&D effort should be
supported to assess the properties attainable and produce
weldability and fatigue data for a range of steel composit-
ions and processing variables.

Conclusion 10

A strong market development effort is needed prior to comm-


ercialisation of the WSC-QST process so as to inform and
educate potential end-users of the benefits of the process
and the level of properties attainable. Lack of communication
at this stage will hinder acceptance of steel sections pro-
duced by this technique.

Conclusion 11

Steelmakers should be strongly encouraged towards a uniform


notation for the steel grades (plates and sections) produced.
Designers, fabricators and end-users are confused by the
variety of letters and figures that denote a similar grade
of steel produced by different steelmakers. This tends to
act as a barrier against the use of higher strength steels.
It is recommended that the figure used after the company
tradename should denote the guaranteed minimum yield strength
of the steel as, for example, in USIRAC 460. It is also
recommended that steel companies should produce toughness
data at specifically agreed temperatures. Standardisation
will, permit a direct comparison between different steels and
will greatly assist the marketing of higher strength steels.

Although the weldability of higher strength structural steels


remains of concern, advances made in steelmaking technology
have all but eliminated such problems as lamellar tearing.
Progress has also been made towards minimising cold cracking
and poor toughness in the HAZ. Welding procedures have
been developed that ensure the successful welding of higher
strength steel. These procedures are generally available
and published by the steelmaker. There is little doubt that
-133

welding of high strength steel involves higher costs, but the


recommended procedures should be carefully followed.

Recommended practice includes the use of low-hydrogen, basic-


coated electrodes baked at 350-400°C and stored prior to use
at temperatures above 100°C. The availability of high
strength electrodes, although cited as a problem, should not
actually present any problem. Heat input should be between
2.0 and 3.5 kJ/mm, while at thicknesses above 40 mm it is
usual to preheat. The degree of preheating varies from
zero in thinner sections to >100°C for sections of 40 mm and
above. Work has also been carried out to determine the
minimum and maximum interpass temperatures for most, if not
all, of the commercially available steels.

The effect of steel chemistry on weldability has been well


researched and, because of their effect on HAZ toughness,
restrictions in the levels of niobium and vanadium have
been proposed, especially when added in combination and
especially when steels containing these elements are used in
demanding conditions such as offshore. Encouraging results
have been obtained with small additions of titanium in that
high toughness in the HAZ can be maintained. High strength
steel compositions containing titanium have been proposed
and it has been shown that these can also be welded using
high heat input, making them more economically attractive.

Conclusion 12

Pursue the development of titanium-containing steels with


respect to optimising toughness in the HAZ's. Positive
results could solve the problems that exist with a Nb + V
addition since Ti could be substituted for one of these
elements, or even both in some cases. As previously noted,
welding at a more rapid rate may also be possible, thereby
reducing the overall cost of fabrication.

Conclusion 13

Continue studies aimed at producing more fracture toughness


data for HAZ's and determine the minimum CTOD values necessary
134-

for particular applications. The lack of CTOD data, the in-


consistency in CTOD data and the meaningfulness of CTOD data
have all been cited by end-users as areas requiring immediate
attention. Misgivings about the use of the CTOD test could
instigate additional work to evaluate the potential for
gaining any further significant data from the simpler, con-
ventional Charpy V-notch test.

The fatigue performance of welded joints is the critical


limitation to the use of higher strength steels. Micro-
defects are invariably present in weldments and act as crack
initiation sites. Although there is recent evidence to
the contrary, it is generally agreed that the strength and
microstructure of a steel do not influence the crack propa-
gation rate and higher strength steels are regarded as provid-
ing no benefit in as-welded structures. The elimination of
weld defects, however, will extend the crack initiation period,
which is dependent on yield strength, and consequently extend
the fatigue life. Various modifications to welding practice
and post-weld preparation techniques have been shown to
improve fatigue strength, which would make the use of higher
strength steels more attractive. Weld improvement methods
provide increasing fatigue performance as yield strength is
increased and therefore give a significant increase in
fatigue life for the higher strength structural steels.

Fatigue strength improvements ranging from 207o to more than


1007c have been recorded by (a) improvement in weld geometry,
(b) using electrodes with improved fluidity, (c) peening,
(d) TIG-dressing, (e) grinding and (f) post-weld heat treat-
ment. Although using these techniques involves extra care,
time and expense they are essential if higher strength steels
are to be effectively used in load-bearing and cyclic situa-
tions. The cost of implementing these techniques is low when
compared with the overall fabrication costs and possible future
on-site weld repair costs of offshore structures for example.

Increasing plate thickness significantly reduces fatigue


life. Higher strength steels could therefore be used to
advantage by permitting the use of thinner sections. Weld
improvement techniques, shown to be more effective on higher
-135-

strength steel joints, would further enhance fatigue perform-


ance. The cost-effectiveness of this hypothesis warrants
further consideration.

Conclusion 14

A concerted effort should be made to optimise the beneficial


effects of weld improvement methods on the fatigue perform-
ance of high strength (>460 N/mm2 yield strength) structural
steel welds. There is a need for these results to be well
documented and publicised and presented to designers, struc-
tural engineers, fabricators and end-users since this data
would encourage the wider use of high strength steels.
Studies should compare thinner section, high strength welds
with thicker section, lower strength welds for the same
design loading. A study should also be undertaken to deter-
mine if there is any cost advantage in using thinner section,
high strength steel with respect to weight-saving and welding
costs bearing in mind that the fatigue life might be the same
as that of a lower strength, thicker section.

Conclusion 15

The effect of microstructure on the fatigue crack propagation


rate should be further investigated since recent work has
shown that higher strength steels may possess better resist-
ance to crack propagation than lower strength steels and that
microstructural· components play a role.

Conclusion 16

The fatigue testing spectrum used for testing steels for


use in offshore structures should be reconsidered since high
stress situations do occasionally occur (such as 30-40 m
waves) and under these conditions a crack arrest situation
can arise. A higher strength steel would be better able to
accommodate these higher peak strains and could therefore be
used to advantage.
136

The problems that limit the wider use of high strength struc-
tural steels have either been discussed earlier in this
Section or in the relyant part of Section 6.with respect to
individual applications. It is .intended here to summarise
only the important points.

Firstly, there is a need to establish high strength steels


(^.460 N/mm2 yield strength) in the various specifications,
standards and codes. The fact that they are not represented
is a great deterrent to their wider use. Restrictions exist
in such documents that limit the use of high strength steels
e.g. a maximum TS/YS ratio of 1.2 and yield point elongation
requirements. Arguments have been presented which should
prompt a reassessment of these requirements. The develop-
ments in steel design and processing over recent years have
resulted in significant improvements in toughness at high
strength levels which could increase the level of plastic
strain required to produce tearing and which could therefore
allow a reduction in the TS/YS ratio requirement and permit
a wider use of higher strength structural steels. Steels
having yield point elongation values of less than six times
the yield strain have performed satisfactorily under various
buckling conditions, which indicates that this limitation
should also be re-examined. A deflection requirement of
not greater than 0.0037» of the span is considered outdated
and very conservative and should be re-evaluated.

Conclusion 17

As a matter of priority, work should be initiated which would


lead to the inclusion of higher strength structural steels
into the relevant European specifications, standards and
codes. It is suggested that this should include a study of
the effect of various loading conditions on a series of high
strength steels having different stress-strain character-
istics. Accelerated-cooled and direct quenched steels should
be investigated in addition to the more conventional con-
trolled-rolled and reheated3 quenched and tempered steels.
Studies should include both plate and section products.
137

Conclusion 18

Evaluate Japanese standards and codes since higher strength


steel has been widely adopted in Japan for structural pur-
poses. An understanding of their procedures and philosophy
could assist in the wider adoption of such steels in Europe.

The use of high strength structural steels in buildings


and bridges in Europe is low. Technical problems such as
deflection, buckling and fatigue are cited as major restrict-
ions. It is also claimed that higher strength steels would
command greater attention if convincing evidence was provided
to show that they could be readily welded and were free
from subsequent fatigue problems. There is no doubt that a
comprehensive market development activity is necessary in
order to present all relevant data and convince the approp-
riate people that high strength steel can be used to advant-
age. Data prepared by ARBED showing the potential weight
savings and saving in space achievable by designing only
part of structures in higher yield strength steel (460 N/mm* )
is typical of the data needed. Weight savings of 30-407»
coupled with space savings of up to 407o are possible, depend-
ing on the structure and the positioning of the higher
strength steel. Beams and columns could be designed separ-
ately into a building whereby columns, for example, can be
designed in higher strength steel. However, a complete
re-design would be more appropriate in order to realise the
full benefits of higher strength steel.

Higher strength steel usage in railroad bridges seems limited


because of the fatigue stresses experienced, but the develop-
ment of tapered plates could change this situation. Tapered
plates would certainly appear to have a promising future in
the construction of road bridges. Some 5,000 tonnes of
tapered plates have already been used in the construction of
five bridges and constituted about 107» of the total steel
used. In addition to a significant weight saving, a cost
saving of 287o was achieved by a reduction in welding costs.
The greatly reduced weld seams when using tapered plates also
reduces any potential fatigue problems. These plates can be
138-

produced with a yield strength up to 500 N/mm2 . This product


needs to be incorporated into the various design codes,
specifications etc. in order to establish its wider use.
Also, more data on tapered plates needs to be circulated in
the marketplace since many end-users, designers etc. are not
aware of this development.

The offshore market offers the greatest opportunity for the


consumption of 'new' high strength steel tonnage. Steel-
makers expect to sell an increasing amount of high strength
steel into this marketplace and are actively promoting their
steels. High strength steel has already been used for decks
on platforms (>3,000 tonnes) and for piling. Piling is
an application that is considered to have good potential for
high strength steel and could replace up to 10,000 tonnes
of lower strength steel per platform. Buoyancy tanks are
also an obvious application for high strength steel since the
reduction in weight would result in a direct cost saving.

In the near future higher strength steels are expected to


find increasing usage topside. Any weight reduction topside
has a 'knock-on' effect with greater weight saving in lower
strength steel in the jacket. The result of a design study
has shown that by substituting a 500 N/mm2 yield strength
steel for Grade 50D into, certain parts of a topside, a 257„
weight saving was possible which amounted to 1,400 tonnes of
steel. Only parts constituting about half of the weight
of the topside were substituted and it was considered that a
further 257» weight saving was possible if the complete top-
side were to be redesigned. With the 'knock-on' effect this
weight reduction topside would permit a marked reduction of
over 5,000 tonnes in the weight of the jacket. The benefits
of higher strength steel in this application are obvious and
substantial.

Similar problems that exist with general onshore construct-


ions are also present offshore, i.e. buckling, deflection,
fatigue of welded joints etc. The fact that the most recent
( 12 )
offshore steel specification does not extend to steels
above 450 N/mm2 yield strength is also a limitation. Comments
139

related Co the above points have already been covered earlier,


but it should be emphasised that variable and poor HAZ tough-
ness, as measured by the CTOD test (see Conclusion 13 ) ,
and fatigue life of welded joints (see Conclusions 13 -15)
are two problems of major concern to the offshore industry.
Oil companies, designers and fabricators all complained
about the lack of weldability and fatigue data. This was
claimed to be a major reason for the slow acceptance of QT
steels by the offshore industry.

Higher strength structural steel is well established in


the drilling rig market with up to 1,500 tonnes of high-
alloyed QT plate consumed in the racks and chords of jack-up
rigs. Other high strength steels, including the direct
quenched steels from USINOR, have been used for jack houses,
spud cans, cantilever beams, decks etc. The market forecast
for jack-up rig construction is not encouraging and it is
probable that much less QT steel will be consumed than in the
past.

The introduction of accelerated-cooled steels into the off-


shore construction business has created another opportunity
for high strength steels. Their reputed better weldability
and good combination of strength and toughness have aroused
much interest. Before these steels are widely accepted,
however, much more data is required, especially toughness
properties of HAZ and fatigue data (see Conclusion 6 )·
It is also necessary to produce convincing information with
respect to the consistency and uniformity of properties. The
general concensus of opinion is that TMCP steels will find
increasing usage in offshore construction.

No high strength steel is used in general shipbuilding


because of restrictive design rules with respect to buckling.
Container ships offer an opportunity for the use of high
strength steels in Europe based on satisfactory service in
US-built ships. Some high strength steel such as HY80, HY100
and SUPERELSO 702 is used in the construction of submarines.
Other areas which should be developed include car decks
and ramps, hull reinforcements and potential impact or coll-
ision plates. Higher strength steels are used for ship-
building in Japan where their specification includes Grade
140-

HT70 up to 40 mm thickness.

The mobile crane industry has almost been converted to high


strength steel. QT steels (490-890 N/mm2 yield strength)
are rapidly replacing lower strength steel because of the
important weight saving they provide. In the UK some 10,000
tonnes/year of QT steels are consumed with the estimated
European market being over 14,000 tonnes/year. The next
requirement is for an 890-960 N/mm* yield strength steel with
147o elongation that does not require preheating prior to
welding.

In the earthmoving equipment market there is some move


towards the use of higher strength steel. This is being led
by Caterpillar who currently consume about 2,600 tonnes/year
for cutting edges. The potential European market for this
application is about 5,000 tonnes/year. Other applications
are being considered and only price will hinder further use
of QT steel. There are small tonnage applications such as
impact plates (European potential ^500 tonnes/year) which
could find increasing use. The off-highway industry consider
weld fatigue as their main limitation to the use of high
strength steels but feel that post-weld improvement treat-
ments are too expensive and require rigorous quality control.
Consequently, where design is fatigue-controlled, high
strength steels will find difficulty in breaking into this
market.

A relatively new use of high strength steel in the mining


industry is in the manufacture of hydraulic roof support
systems. These systems are produced in Germany and the
UK. In 1986 some 11,000 tonnes of QT steel were consumed
in the UK, which could be increased to 25,000 tonnes if all
units produced used the higher strength steel for just the
canopy and the top. The prospects for greatly increased
usage are extremely promising since the systems have only
been used in coal mining so far and it is now intended to
sell them to other mining industries.

The mining industry is the largest consumer of higher strength


steel sections (^520 N/mm2 yield strength). More than
-141-

0.25 M tonnes of structural sections are produced in Europe


for roof support arches. The future, however, is somewhat
uncertain since the forecast over the coming years is for
reduced coal production in Europe. Developments are result-
ing in microalloyed as-rolled sections replacing C-Mn QT
sections.

A new area of application which consumes about 1,000 tonnes


of QT steel per year in Europe is for impellers and structur-
al parts of fans, blowers and ventilation equipment. The
weight saving involved provides for a more efficient system
with either increased capacity for the same equipment weight
or similar capacity at greatly reduced weight. Aerofoil
blades are also moving towards QT steel. This industry
experienced problems associated with new welding approval
procedures, springback and customer education. Trying to
convince customers that the higher strength QT steels would
perform satisfactorily proved a difficult experience,
especially since there was no obvious specification for
them to work with.

Conclusion 19

Case studies should be undertaken whereby structures, both


onshore and offshore, are. redesigned from basics in order to
incorporate higher strength structural steels. It is con-
sidered that complete redesign is the most effective way of
utilising high strength steels to their full advantage. The
use of CAD to redesign already existing structures in various
grades of high strength steel would be an obvious starting
point. Partial redesign, i.e. substitution, is also to be
encouraged since this less radical method might be more
acceptable to the end-user.

Conclusion 20

Develop the market for tapered plates and design steel chem-
istries and processing routes for the production of higher
strength (^·460 N/mm2 yield strength) plate with good tough-
ness. The cost and weight savings obtained by using tapered
plates, together with the technical advantages of a greatly
-142-

reduced number of weld seams, make this product ideal for


many applications including bridges, storage tanks etc.
Prepare and present the data needed to incorporate tapered
plates into the appropriate specifications and codes. Failure
to have the product represented in the specifications will
seriously restrict its wide acceptance.

Conclusion 21

With the offshore market offering the best potential for


'new' applications for higher strength steels, a significant
effort should be made to extend the strength levels of the
steel specifications used by the offshore industry to include
steel plates. with >460 N/mm2 yield strength and steel sect-
ions ^.460 N/mm2 yield strength. This will involve producing
more fracture toughness data, especially for HAZ's, and
more fatigue performance data. It will be necessary also to
prove a uniformity and consistency in product properties.
Cost-effectiveness studies should also be undertaken (see
Conclusion 19).

Conclusion 22

Steelmakers should initiate a strong market development


effort to ensure the future market for higher strength steels.
This should include not only a comprehensive presentation of
production and property data, but also closer customer con-
tact. The lack of contact between steelmaker and end-user,
designer, fabricator etc. has been cited as a major limit-
ation to the implementation of high strength structural
steels. Data on weight saving and cost advantages may also
be required if customers are to be persuaded to use high
strength steel.
143-

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The author would like to acknowledge and thank the many


people who contributed information which made this review
possible. The following companies provided invaluable data:-

Aker Engineering UK Ltd., London, UK


ARBED Recherches, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
Atkins Oil and Gas Engineering, Epsom, UK
BP Petroleum Development Ltd., London, UK
British Steel Corporation, Glasgow, Scunthorpe and Rotherham,
UK
Britoil PLC, Glasgow, Scotland
Brown & Root Vickers Ltd., Colliers Wood, UK
Caterpillar Tractor Co. Ltd., Leicester, UK
Centre Belgo-Luxembourgeois d'Information de l'Acier (CBLIA),
Brussels, Belgium
Centre de Recherches Métallurgiques (CRM), Liège, Belgium
Compagnie Française d'Entreprises Métalliques (CFEM), London,
UK, and Paris, France
Conoco (UK) Ltd., London, UK
Cranfield Institute of Technology, Cranfield, UK
Creusot-Loire Industrie, Le Creusot, France
AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke, Dillingen, W. Germany
Dowty Mining Equipment Ltd., Tewkesbury, UK
European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS),
Brussels, Belgium
Forges de Clabecq, Clabecq, Belgium
Freeman Fox & Partners, London, UK
Grove Coles Ltd., Sunderland, UK
Gusto Engineering c.v., The Netherlands
Institut de Soudure, Paris, France
Italsider/CSM, Genoa, Italy
James Howden & Co. Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland
JCB Excavators Ltd., Uttoxeter, UK
John Brown Engineers and Constructors Ltd., London, UK
Krupp Stahl AG, Bochum, W. Germany
Lloyds Register of Shipping, London, UK
Marathon Oil UK Ltd., London, UK
Massey Ferguson (GB) Ltd., Manchester, UK
Matthew Hall Engineering Ltd., London, UK
Niobium Products Company GmbH, Dusseldorf, W. Germany
-144-

Shell UK Exploration and Production, London, UK


The Steel Construction Institute, Ascot, UK
Stothert & Pitt Ltd., Bath, UK
Swedish Steel Ltd., Lye, UK
Thyssen Stahl AG, Duisburg, W. Germany
Transport and Road Research Laboratory, Crowthorne, UK
UIE Scotland Ltd., Clydebank, Scotland
USINOR, Dunkerque, France
Verein Deutscher Eisenhtlttenleute (VdeH), Düsseldorf,
W. Germany
The Welding Institute, Abington, UK
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TÃBtB 1

GHÉMlGÄk CöMPÖStfT-f IN OF Ã R Ë P R Ë B E H T A T Ï V 1 Î Â H f f c ï ÖF HIGHER STRENGTH

NÕRÍÍ Â L Í Í E B STKEtS ρρ,οηππκπ TRI EiTunPF:

Siêêi G s m p s s i t - ï ö n ; V?Ï = ?È
S"tëël Ψνθΰ\Ϊ'0£Γ η Mñ Si ψ Β Nb ν NI E? MÌ-Ì ñii GEV
mas. ínás s mav τ ma Χ; mg*;
max.

ülïfKN ¿|§=ϊϊ UBI NÖP. Ö;22 ï.öA.ë e.11 g, g i l θ = Θ3Θ - - 0,l/õ,f g=3 H=1 Ö.li
ina*. max.
USiTËN 460-Ì USINOR g, Ig îaè/îiT QÏBÖ Ö;Ö35 Ö;Ö3Ö Q,Qïl/Q,Q4l g,g?l/g,ì3S 4ö,i è = É 0=1 Ö;3 õ, lo
max ι mãM.
US ï TE Ν 4 6 Ö - Ü USINOR Θ, Ü i,§/i,? 0 = 40 Ö ; Ö 3 5 Ö;Ö3Ö Õ.QÍ1/Õ.Õ41 g,g§/§5ig Ö;5/Ö;7 Ö.2 õ. i g, I 9 = B2
rtläX ; mãXi
UI
FG 4 3 Τ THYSSEN 0.18 1.2/1.7 0.1/0.5 0.030 0.030 - 0.10/0.18 0.7 - - - -
max.
FG 4 7 CT THYSSEN 0.15 1.1/1.5 0.1/0.5 0.030 0.030 - 0.08/0.18 0.5/0.7 - — _
0.5/0.7
FG 5 1 Τ THYSSEN 0.21 1.3/1.7 0.1/0.5 0.030 0.030 - 0.10/0.20 0.4/0.7 — _ _ _
DILLINAL 5 5 / 4 3 E DILLINGER 0.18 1.0/1.7 0.1/0.5 0.025 0.015 - 0.10/0.18 0.7 - - - -
max.
DILLINAL 5 8 / 4 7 E DILLINGER 0.20 1.0/1.7 0.1/0.5 0.025 0.015 - 0.10/0.20 0.7 - - - -
max.
HYPLUS 2 9 BSC 0.22 1.6 0.15/0.5 0.05 0.03 - 0 . 2 0 max. - - - - 0.45
max.
BS 4 3 6 0 : 55E BSC 0.22 1.6 0.1/0.6 0.04 0.04 0.003/0.10 0.003/0.20 - - - - -
max.
WSTE 5 0 0 CREUSOT-LOIRE 0.18 1.6 0.015 0.010 — 0 . 1 0 max. 0.3/0.7 - - - 0.54
max.
TABLE .2
MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF A REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE OF HIGHER STRENGTH
NORMALISED STEELS PRODUCED IN EUROPE

Minimum Yield Minimum Ultimate Minimum C harpy V­Notch


Strength (N/mm* ) Tensile Strength Impact Energy (Joules)
Steel (N/mm* )

Plate Thickness Plate Thickness 0°C ­50°C


^16mm 50 <t ^80.mm <16mm 50<t <80 mm Long. Trans. Long. Trans.

USITEN 420­11 420 550 56 44 28 21 en


USITEN 460­1 460 590 48 36 — —
USITEN 460­11 420 570 48 36 28 16
FG 43 Τ 420 530 ­ ­ 27 27a
FG 47 CT 460 560 ­ ­ 27 27a
FG 51 Τ 500 610 31 27 b ­
DILLINAL 55/43E 420 380 530 530 90 70 30 27
DILLINAL 58/47E 460 420 560 560 90 70 30 27
HYPLUS 29 d C
450 400 570 570 54 27
\iS 4360 : 5SE 450 415 d
550 550 61 a
27
WSTE 500 480 450 610 610 >44 a
­

­20°C ­40° C ­30°C >40 ¿ 63 mm


TABLE 3
EURONORM 113 (18) - GRADES AND GUARANTEED MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
OF THE HIGHER STRENGTH STEELS

Minimum Yield S t r e n g t h
(N/mm* ) for Various Minimum Charpy V-Notch Impact Energy (Joules)
Tensile
Thicknesses (in mm) El.
Steel Quality Strength
% min.
(N/mm* )
>16 > 3 5 > 50 >70 Direction +20°C +10°C 0°C -10°C -20°C -30°C -40°C -50°C
¿16 < 3 5 < 50 £ 70 iSlOO

KG Long. 56 52 48 44 40
KW Trans. 32 32 28
Fe E420 420 410 400 380 * 540-680 19 24 16
en
co
KT Long. 56 52 48 40 32 28
Trans. 32 32 28 24 20 16

KG Long. 52 48 44 40 40
KW Trans. 32 32 28 24
Fe E460 460 450 440 420 * 570-720 17 16

KT Long. 48 44 40 36 32 28
Trans. 32 32 28 24 20 16

* For thicknesses of 70-100 mm the values are specified at the time of ordering

KG denotes steels mainly for use at ambient temperatures


KW denotes steels with specified elevated temperature properties
KT denotes steels with specified low temperature impact properties guaranteed down to -50°C
COMPOSITIONS ÀHD MËGHÂNlnaT, ΡΙΠΡΡΙΤΤΡ^ fw ÍPPÍÍÜHTATÍVE

ŢHCft STIELS F&ÖEUËËÖ IU ËURPPË

GYN t m p â ë Î
^ " b ^ ë l Dí3ÍÍ1tí?5í3!L"bií5rÍ * W"b : ?åi à) ïiaia 'í'snRilfi EÌ ?έ SñÉfgy ( J )
>",fse1 Pf-'rSHi ir^üf^ §^? s n e l l ì af- - 4 Ö ä G
m i n : Cfe?
s li Hñ g Ρ f'ffî V f H/min* Ρ ? (N/mm* 3 f - ^
lions s TFgñg ¿

riK g n DiLLiNüËR Ö:l5 0:6 1:6 0:ÖË5 0:040 Q: 0 5 Q: l g g gg GÖD íã iáfi iifi
GR5SQ Isa Q, 1 8 y>s i.ë fi. ÖÖ8 fi = figa fi, fig fi?lg §§§ = IB - -
MB—§ÎPPÎ SSS R= l l ñ,?s t , 33 π, ππ? il-fil £¡ ñ - Π?? = áññ 144 õ^7 í'añ igi
CO
Fe E460 ARBED 0.20 0.55 1.70 0.025 0.035 0.05 0.10 460 560 17 28(°) 28(d)
Nb+V S t e e l I* USINOR 0.11 0.25 1.42 0.003 - - 0.03 515 600 - 147(d)
Nb+V S t e e l II* USINOR 0.11 0.35 1.55 0.007 0.025 0.07 0.10 550 700 - (e)

The USINOR steels are marketed as linepipe steels and are included simply to represent all European steels produced
for this application but which could be adopted for more general structural application. Such steels are produced
by Italsider, Mannesmann, Dillinger etc.

(a)
DK 80, CR550 and Fe E460 are maximum values, Nb and Nb+V Steel I are actual values. All steels Al deoxidised.
(b)
DK 80, CR550 and Fe E460 are minimum values for plates ^19 mm thick, remainder are actual values with the
Nb­steel from 4­23.5 mm thick plate.
(c)
­50°C.
(d)
­20°C.
(e)
Transverse FATT of ­100°C.
ÍñBLE S
6 0 M F 0 § l Ţ i o H g P F MIORÖÄLLÖYEB REHËATKD âT STEKT- ?■*

Ş%csşl ppsãuõsF S í e s l EMittgHsltisfii WtiSj mne+muţ«


g ŞÎ Mn s Ψ
- ÖF ΜΗ Ni V m 5u ïi u
A3 A. i 4 ï ífALãÍDIP. ê:W Q; 5 ö i,I ë:Ö3b 5:033 ö.fiö n-iş Sião αΛη
ASA PM 1' TTÃLSIUÍttí Q i SÖ 1:5 QSQ5S â,õãõ Ö:SÖ QçIg Õ.^H Β : IO -
RŞÎ§§1 BSõ
Θ: 5Q li S ş^âiş Ö:S3l·
= = =
HgTëSÏT São Ö:i§ SiãQ I-I ÌÌ-BSCCÌ
BãU Q,§§ θ:·50 ï;3 (§) ξ? 5 CëJ 8: ÖS Q.ñá
Ô.2Õ Ö.5Ü Ì.5 Ö.Ö15 Õ.Õ35 O
(e) (e) (e) - 0.06 0.04 0.003 I

S h o r a l i s m 450 FABRIQUE D E FERÍg) 0.10 0.50 1.6 0.005 0.015 0.15 - 0.50 0.03 0.35
ΟΧ 6 0 2 SVENSKT STÅL 0.20 0.55 1.7 0.030 0.030 0.10 (f)
ΟΧ 7 0 2 SVENSKT STÅL 0.20 0.70 1.7 0.030 0.030 - 0.005
ΟΧ 8 1 2 SVENSKT STÅL 0.20 0.70 1.7 0.010 0.030 0.70 0.005
(a)
May be added to 0.20%Mo max. and in plate thickness up to 50 mm.
(b)
Added to 0.08%V max. in plate thickness up to 50 mm.
(c)
Not added in plate thicknesses below 15 mm.
(d)
Only added in plate thicknesses between 50­80 mm.
(e)
Not normally used, but may be added up to 0.20% max.
(f)
Added, but quantity unknown.
Data from Reference (59).
ÏÂSLË.δ

H E C H Ä M I C A L PMÖPEftTtE§ öf? MIGgöALLÖYEti Β Ε Η Ε & Τ Ε Π Ö T STEELS

föl tí} mum fíVH


fiaï4gp f mm ì Η+π+ttmm TPHRÍ+P ïïr.DSct
Sï?êi Fr^ãy^çí* mõs= öf
mi« ; m at
C Ν/mm* )~ ξ Ν/mm* ì
fesñg. f F­ññi ?

ASA 84 Τ ÎÏAfcSÎSSS §S ñññ = = ||(ã) =

ågà gg Ţ TTaT:^tñtrií 3Ö 54Ö ­ ­ ­ ­


ΗΘ­Ì'SSÌ lig gg 37Q gêQ=7lQ Si À\ (ε)
il 5BÕ­'7ÍÕ — 70
rtêSTsöiï ρ BSö 16=39' 45Ö δ6δ=7ίδ ?δ σι
50­80 430 530­700 20 ­ 70
RQT601 BSC 40 620 690­850 19 27(b) ­
RQT701 BSC 40 690 790­930 19 27(b) ­

Shoralism 450 FABRIQUE DE FER 30 450 >550 20 ­ 35


50 500 610­770 20 40
ΟΧ 602 I SVENSKT STÅL
20 _ 40
64 480 610­770
ΟΧ 702 SVENSKT STÅL 25 600 700­850 18 ­ 40
64 690 780­930 20 40
ΟΧ 812 > SVENSKT STÅL
75 620 690­930 20 ­ 40

(a)
­20°C
(b)
­45°C
(c)
By special arrangement, 70 J/­40°C.
T Ä R T JK" ;?

êöMpagtTtöMs km mmmmàL P R Ö F Ë Ë I ì i g ¡HF B Õ S S Ü I Í S

(UP TD 35 mm PLATE THIJOIÜSS Í¡ JFB ÖDTJCËD i ¥ IfSîHffîi

Stesi

rd LiSïHAO 42Q ö.lS Ş-15/0550 Q.YQ/î.ëQ 5,030 O.QSi =


CG

USïRAe 460 päig Q,iŞ/Ş.|â 0 = ?g/iä5Q Q.6ŞŞ Õ.ÕSffi lELQô

ySIHÂG 5QQ Ş-ϋ Β,15/0s50 Q.?ö/i,|a O 5 030 04ΰ3ΰ ffi¡„oi

ia} _ _____ _ .
ysu,_S£ mas. fep guarantepá imgaeţ gpBgsFties at ­Hitare,
TABLE i

GOMAOSìTlQNg y F ALLOYED QŢ HIGH STRENGTH

STRUCTURAL 1Î I E L Ş PRODUC ID IN EUROPE

r?ţ^s-î- ypínp o s j - ţ i c r i . w t . % ( IHöiS , S S C s s f í t Wtîss^e t-tmge i s g i v e n ) ί ^5


feţeei PPsáuêêF
e li Mñ F D Ni Gr Mo g V ßthsp

N=Â=XŢRA 5 6 ife 3 THYSSEN Ori? 8, S 0,8 g = 0 2 5 Q 5 Q25 - Q.7 0.2 = — 0=12Zr


N-Ä-XTHÄ 53
§3 Γ ? ?H¥II1N Θ = 20 0=6 û.ê Q. Ö2§ D. 0 2 § - θ.§ Ş:l = — O.lgZr
N-A=XÎ'Râ ?Θ C ö ) THYSSEN Q. 2 0 Q,S θ.§ §fÖ|| θ-su = Ş;8 0=3 - — Q.ìggp
XåBO |gţi5 THYSSEN Φ?ΐ| θ-I 1-3 0 = 025 0 = 020 2=0 Q58 Q.6 - —
ŞtÎŞ
ΦΙ ÎHïlllN 0510/0=20 0 = 35 0 , 6 / 1 . 0 Q.025. 0*025. 0.7/1,Q 0 . â/Q, SS Q.â/Ş.g ^S.ÖOOS 0 03/0=08 0=15/0=50
eu
SypIRELSO 5GQÎŞÎ GREÜSOT- S.ÌS Ö.iB i:Ö/'l;6 0; 015 Q , 008 θ; §5 0 = 85 0 = 35 - a. ea Q.âŞeu fcH
MARREL
ω1
SUPERELSO 6 0 0 ( d ) CREUSOT- 0.14 0.40 1.0/1.6 0.015 0.008 0.75 1.05 0.35 - 0.09 -
MARREL

SUPERELSO 7 0 2 ( c ) CREUSOT- 0.14 0.30 0.9 0.010 0.004 1.5 0.7 0.55 0.003 0.05 -
MARRELL
DSE 5 0 0 DILLINGER
DSE 5 5 0 DILLINGER
> 0.18 0.2/0.6 0.6/1.6 0.025 0.025 0.6 1.0 0.6 0.003(e) 0.06(e) -
DSE 6 2 0 DILLINGER
DSE 6 9 0 DILLINGER
ASA 7 5 T ITALSIDER 0.20 0.8 1.5 0.030 0.035 0.5 0.75 0.30 - - 0.15Zr
QT445B BSC 0.15/0.21 0.9 0.8/1.1 0.030 0.030 - 0.5/0.8 0.25/0.60 0.0025 - 0.15ΖΓ

(a)
The N­A­XTRA analyses except for %C are typical values. For plate thicknesses up to 50 mm.
(c)
For plate thicknesses up to 100 mm. For plate thicknesses up to 80 mm.
(e)
Added when required.
TAILI i

MMÍGHÂNÍGAL pg Ö F E B T X ' I I OF ALLöYgö (yr uigu gŢKEHyŢH

STRUüTtjRAL SÏ ËELi PRODUCED IH EUROPE

EVH tftigae-fc
Minimum Ţşnsiia
§^ssx tipöäysBf-· \ min Ì ÍBÍH -
iïiSS. : ÍN/mm­ ) CN/HUH* 5 ( § a mm)
Long , Tf'èflË Ξ
ffcÃ^SÍHA Dg ÎHVŞŞIN so §§§ 67õ-§2G il «Q 31
N-A=sfBå iâ ?H¥Ş8IN SS SlQ ?ás=|9Õ 17 áu ãi
f'J-â-XŢRâ ?Q THYSSEN Bö êSQ ?8Õ=BAG iê ⧠şi
sABG S õ ïwréèm So §ŞŞ 34Q-I1ÖU ͧ 31 17
Ti ΤΗΪϋ-şiN |i g ŞO 7sû=8ô8 le 27 göje?
SUPERELSO 5ÕÕ GREÜ'SÖÏ-MARREL 1Θ0 5ÛÛ 600-750 18 50 45
■Ρ*
SUPERELSO 6 0 0 CREUSOT-MARREL 80 600 700-850 17 50 ( c )
SUPERELSO 7 0 2 CREUSOT-MARREL 100 700 820-940 16 6θ(°)
DSE 5 0 0 DILLINGER 60 500 600-770 17 40 30
DSE 5 5 0 DILLINGER 60 550 650-820 16 40 30
DSE 6 2 0 DILLINGER 60 620 720-890 15 40 30
DSE 6 9 0 DILLINGER 60 690 770-940 14 40 30
ASA 7 5 Τ ITALSIDER 30 620 - _ 35(c)
QT445B\ BSC 51 695 800 18 20(b) 27(d)
63 618 730
J 18 - -

(a)
Minimum values, average of 3 specimens.
(b)
­46°C.
(c)
­20°C.
(d)
­15°C.
165

TABLE 10
COMPOSITION AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF
CREUSOT-MARREL STEEL A517F-CR(a)

S t e e l Composition, vit.%
Si Μη Ρ S Ni Cr Mo

0.10/0.17 0.15/0.35 0.80/1.2 ^0.012 ^0.007 0.85/2.05 0.40/0.65 0.40/0.60

Mechanical Properties

CVN Impact
Minimum Minimum Energy (J)
El. %
Yield Strength Tensile Strength at -40°C
min.
(N/mm* ) (N/mm* )
Long. Trans.

685 785-930 16 50(b) 45(°)


40(c) 27(c)

(a)
Available in plate thicknesses up to 300 mm.
(b)
Average of 3 specimens for plate thickness 4150 mm.
(c)
For plate thicknesses 150-300 mm.
ÏABLK í í

ËS.AMPLËS av B TEfiti B OMpgglTIHHg ¿HO M E Ç R A H I G A L · FKOFEftTtfiS PF

BI55 GRADI ilÊTíÕííS FSQB UGED lì\ lüRÕPE

OVN ïmEaSt
S ' E g l i SHttlgHşîţlHff ¡ «Ϊ£?Ε l ä } TcMöllg
■■■hü B l Ρ χ-- S 3 l i o ε χ~- stï­pingtfi St =3§*Ş
i mm i (M/mm­ 3
pjh y
feçHÉ: ïran§;

ãtlflTTP ~sB.Ç. H.ÌH H?ñ8 i­ ŞŞ Ö:Q13 8.002 Ö;Ö3 SÖS fsì

o 30 355
CD
FRITENAR 355 TZK ARBED 0.12 0.50 1.60 0.030 0.008 0.04 0.06 >30­40 345 470­600 >.70 ^­47 Oi
>40­50

^30
335

355
J
KRYTENAR 355 TZ ARBED 0.08 0.50 1.60 0.030 0.008 0.04 0.06 >30­40 345 430­550 ^47(c) ^32(c)
>40­50 335

(a)
Composition and mechanical properties for ARCTIC 355 are actual values for 36 inch section of up to 40 mm thickness,
for the ARBED grades the maximum chemistry and minimum property values are given.

50 J at ­100°C.
(c)
­50°C.
167

TABLE 12

COMPOSITION AND M ECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF

Fe E460 GRADE SECTIONS PRODUCED BY ARBED

S t e e l Composition, wt.%
(max. except where range i s given)
Si Mn Ni Nb V

0.20 0.10/0.55 1.1/1.7 0.035 0.025^) 0.7 0.02/0.08 0.10

Mechanical Properties

CVN Impact
Section Minimum Tensile
El.% Energy (J)
Thickness Yield Strength Strength
min. at -20°C
(mm) (N/mm' ) (N/mm* )
Long.(b)

416 460 560-730 17 40

16 < t ίζ 35 450 560-730 17 40

35 < t ^ 40 440 560-730 17 40

(a)
Lower sulphur levels can be produced.
(b)
Average of 3 specimens.
ŢAELE i3
lïfÎÇaL· EXAMPLES OF gUlŢAgLg CONSUMABLES FOK WELBIMS m
7Τ___Τ55Τ
IF MATL­HING {STRENGTH tS­BEQUIRED
BQŢşOI Β θ Τ 6S1 HÛ+ f ø l
Miji C*. Ferex?ö]S MUFBS: FSFÍFES 90 í 6 Murex: FSfiFss î íQiñ
Heţaj PSFiFSS 6Q1B : Gì tortrexNüi
«FS rV.zUSZ BLHÖSj
Eääö: u i s i s n s i i F s a e SOLU Eşab; ÕK tönsjïFöd.ö ÌQQ1S r D2­ E sa fer UK +6nsiïrod6 ?5.?å (A Wj
U K 53.0a BK TãfiSiirsáE i?QiB iSR¡
usriiKsn' isnacilG bö üeFJjkG.H; Tenaglie 75 ueriikon feflaeiiã öö
Ί Β Π α ΰ Ι ΐ Ο ?Θ
f niiifis: öitö ^MÜipã; i GÌ F^ Fillips: i îô
eaas
Μ6ΪΓΟ0Θ! :
. ! Nie MsirñFÍs l î i yIS ­ M MpîFâyë: E i i 0i8 : M
3 FJi Β
fiflSäSSBF: GFIÊSR ^3 MeSSer­ SiidüCi 1 MESSSF: Griduci 17
ijrissnsíín: uriauc! i s GFIÖSHP!F+H: Lãriesheirn:
a f l y U e i 1§
bOüOOmeíãi! Sor+iei J5§ EUH BBLiäamsiai; Carnei J66 ELH SouuôFHèíãi: Csmei JT­6 ELH
W c j O î p y MGÇjS: Κ­Typ 1 ïïsiaiHg usas; u a n a r e ÍUSJ WêlF^ÍHFJ H ö a s : Csnare. 66
Kff­ş 3 wBllölSM WfB11816M
íjonarc ϋ ϋ ϋ
s,
ëjy 3 LJHÇUÏR: UriBQÎBrEi a ? Linşşin: L H r 11 GM Big 3 Lmesiñ; LH . HOM
ŞubîţîefCjed MUFP5; WB3 : BÏ3QQ Mure*: t a ä rsi¡ M O ­ a s s e s —
SFS b J 640 ­ ÖS3ÜÜ Sg 3 Ni Μ Η : B*ãQG
Esab: OKAutrodS3Mo­1062 Esab: OK A utrod S3 ­ 1NiMo ­ 10.62 Esab: OK A utrod S2­1NI Cr Mo ­1052 Oí
OK A utrod S2 Ni ­ 10.62
Oerlikon: . OE­SD31 Νί'ΛΜοΟΡ121ΤΤ Oerlikon: OE­SD31 Ν ί ' Λ Μ ο ­ OP121TT Oerlikon: Fluxocord 42­OP 121 TT
ω
O E ­ S 3 N Í M 0 1 ­OP121TT OE­SD21 NiCrMo­OP121TT
Metrode: 1 Ni Metrode: ER110S Metrode: ER110S
M esse r­ S2 ­ LW 330· Messer­ S3 Ni Mo ­ LW 330* Messer­ S1NiCrMo2.5­LW330·
Griesheim: S3 ­ LW 330· Griesheim: Gnesheim:
S2 Ni 1 ­ LW330*
Big 3 Lincoln: LA100 + 880M (A W) Big 3 Lincoln: LACM2 ­ 880M
LACB2 + 880M ¡SR)
Soudomelal: Soudor D ­ Record SB Soudomelal: Soudor D Mo ­ Record SB Soudomelal: Soudor S3NiMoCr ­ Record SB
Welding Rods: SW62 + P230 Welding Rods: SW64 + P240 Welding Rods: SW66 ­ P240
SW62 + P240
SW33 + P240

MIG Murex: Boslrand 20 ­ CO*


Solid Wire Esab: OK A utrod A 31 ­ Ar 2 0 % CO* Esab: OK A utrod NiMo Esab: OK A ulrod 13.25­ 20 Ar
Oerlikon: Carbolil Mo Oerlikon: Carbolil HT
Philips: PZ 6041 Philps PZ6047
Metrode: 1 Ni Metrode: ER110S Metrode: ER110S
MIG Murex: Corofil B55 ­ CO* Murex: Corolil N 0 1 Murex: Coromig Ni Mo
Flux­cored Esab: O K T u b e r o d 15.17
Oerlikon: Fluxofil41 ­ C O * Oerlikon: Fluxolil 42 Oerlikon: Fluxolil 42
Philips: PZ 6 1 4 5 ­ C O * Philips: PZ6132
Welding Rods. Dual Shield 11­80 Ni 1 + C O J Welding Rods: Dual Shield II 90 K2 Welding Rods: Dual Shield II 110
Dual Shield II 100
'Low ­ Hydrogen variety (SR) Stress­relieved condition (AW) Welded condition.
169-

TABLE 14
RECOMMENDED PREHEAT AND INTERPASS TEMPERATURES
FOR WELDING BSC ' S RQT GRADES (55)

Preheat/lnterpass Temperature (°C)

Grade RQT 501 RQT 601 RQT 701

Gauge mm

$25 ( $ 1 6 ) - -

>25 $ 4 0 ( > 16 ^32) 100 100

>40 $50 ( > 3 2 $ 4 0 ) 50 125 125

(>40) 100 N-A N-A

Values in brackets refer to fillet welds

Interpass Temperature Control


To prevent the possibility of reductions in weld metal and heat
affected zone strength levels, the following maximum interpass
temperatures are recommended.

M aximum Interp ass Temperature (°C)

Plate Gauge mm RQT 501 RQT 601 RQT 701

6 $16 125 125 125

>16 $ 3 0 150 150 150

>30 $40 175 175 175

>40 $50 200 - -


Mlfel_M
fiSMFÔE-ITíRM &8G MISHÃSIfiÀi FSŞFIRTIB S ùf JÃJÂWE3E

WlLBABLE QŢ STR'LjGŢUftAL· §TgIL§

lai
: !
i hiSÍiH§§ã g t s e J · UëmgHöit-ÏBn t W Ç É ^ J WHS - ' siv. Vişţă lSuSiiô BVPÍ îmgasţ.
õBSçl Rangs £; SţifBRgBR StpPHgţn Eîî£Fg3f lì} t
ξ Biffi ì tí ei Mñ ¥ g mas­ (fi/mm- j {Îi Mm' ) si -ì§56

SMãS g=4ö S,ÎÈ G = 5S i i S Û. 6 ã ã S = Ö3Ö 6.44 -^•460 5?d­9ê.ö 47


(HT60) 50-75 0.18 0.55 1.5 0.030 0.030 0.47 ^430 550-700 47

o
6-50 0.14 0.55 1.5 0.030 0.030 0.49 ^620 686-834 47
HT70
50-100 0.17 0.55 1.5 0.030 0.030 0.53 >590 667-716 47

6-50 0.14 0.55 1.5 0.030 0.030 0.53 ^690 785-932 47


HT80
50-100 0.17 0.55 1.5 0.030 0.030 0.57 ^670 765-932 47

(a) Cu, Ni, Cr, Mo, V, B can be added if necessary; steel producers have their own choice.
-171

TABLE 16
STRUCTURAL STEEL PROPERTIES FOR
ORIGINAL DESIGN OF GULLFAKS A (161)
Statoil Reference Specified Minimum Upper Y Leid Ttensile Minimum
Grade grades in Strength (MPa) strength elongation
ISO 630 -
1980 Thickness, t (mm)

t<16 16<t<40 40<t<63 63<t<100 MPa %

I Fe 510 340 340 325 310 460-600 20


II Fe 510 340 340 325 310 460-600 20
III Fe 510 340 340 325 460-600 20
IV Fe 360 235 225 215 400-460 20

TABLE 17
STRUCTURAL STEEL PROPERTIES FOR ALTERNATIVE DESIGNS
OF GULLFAKS A USING HIGHER STRENGTH STEELS (161)

Grade Plate thickness Yield stress Tensile Elongation


strength min. %
A A
5 50
mm MPa MPa (1^=5 χ d) (1^-50 mm)

CX 602 6-50 500 610-770 16 20


(50)- 64 480 610-770 16 20

OX 812 6-50 690 770-940 16 20


(50)- 70 670 770-940 16 20
(70)- 77 620 690-940 16 20
172

TABLE 18

Magnus P latform British Petroleum (BP)

Responsibility
The Company performed the conceptual study and detailed engineering design for the self-
floating towerwith integral modu le support truss system A technical support team was provided
through the fabrication and installation ph ases of the work.

Structure Data
Max. 100 year wave height 30.3m
Max. 100 year wind speed 44m/sec
Weight of tower 31,350t
Weight of piles 14,800t
Dimensions of tower at base 85m χ 85m
Dimensions of tower at top 56m χ 62m
Height of tower 210m
Deck area 5,700mJ
Design operating deck load 30,000t
Water depth (LAT) 186m
Diameter of main flotation legs 10.5m
Total number of piles 36
Diameter of piles 2.134m
Maximum pile penetration 85m
Number of well conductors 20m
Size of well conductors 0.762m

Description
The Magnus tower is situated in Block 211/11 in the UK Sector of the North Sea. The structure was
floated out from the fabrication yard on 27th March 1982, to the installation site and safely
upended in April 1982.

Courtesy of John Brown Offshore Structures Limited (167)


173

500 f

25O .

E-<

200 .

s
15O -

100

50

_L ! _L J_ X
0.002 0.004 0.006 0.008 0.010 0.012 0.014

SULPHUH LEVEL (%)

Figure 1 - Effect of sulphur level on transverse


impact p r o p e r t i e s at -40°C(2)

0010 0020 0030 0-040 0050


SULPHUR CONTENT. ·/.

Figure 2 - Effect of sulphur content on through-


thickness ductility(3)
Ca-treated (TN-process)

2 IO5
Cycles to failure Ν

Figure 3 - Fatigue behaviour of TN-treated steel(4)


RHQB PESA SSIMO
PROCESS

9 1 P ÖM
Ui tite+nBö

ïaftHHM kfific; ω * * *

r^
rw^ SL
Ul

Figure 4 ­ Schematic representation of the


Rheinstahl Heraus Oxygen Blowing
process(6)
-176

4 .

3 .

Degas

Before Slab
Degassing Tundish Mould Centreline
I _J
Process Route

Figure 5 - Effect of liquid s t e e l degassing on


hydrogen l e v e l s ( 2 )

200 r O.llwt.ZC

-> 150 0.20wt.%C

oi

S loo 0.3lwt.%C
H
υ
< 0.41wt.%C
PM

Χ O,49wt.%C
H 0.60wt.ZC
0.69wt.%C
0.80wt.%C

-100 100 150 2 00


TEST TEM PERATURE, C

Figure 6 - The effect of carbon content on impact


t r a n s i t i o n temperature curves of
f e r r i t e - p e a r l i t e steels(13)
177

1000

ω
ω wo
Ό
ο

ra

ω
E
016

c%
Figure 7 ­ Stout diagram: the effect of carbon
content on the time taken for cold
cracking to occur

­^ — d(/*m)
jnn '.() I'D io ·> ι
η ι I 1 1 1 1 ■ ~T
Rs(Nmm­2) I

5fcn
¿>
<s*^*&d ^
42(1

281)
♦ 0.005% C
o 0.05% C
* 0.09%C
un 01_.
Λ& O.iJ
■^

• 0.15°OC
o 0.20°Ό C
I
Η Γ.' 24
d­1'2(mm­i'2)

Figure 8 ­ Relation between mean ferrite grain


size and yield strength (Rs) for
various low carbon steels(14)
178

carbon and nitrogen

S. +300

manganese

0,5 1,0 1,5 2,0 2,5


elements content in weight %

Figure 9 - Influence of various elements


on the solid solution hardening
of ferrite(15)

carbon
+ 6,5'Cfor10MPa
silicon
+ 5,2*Cfor10MPa

precipitation hardening
+ 2,7*Cfor10MPa

mit of elasticity

nickel
—2,96'CfoMOMPa
manganese
—3,25'CfoMOMPa

grain refining
—6,5'CfoMOMPa

Figure 10 - Variation in impact transition


temperature (ITT) of ferrite-pearli te
steels relative to the strength
increase obtained through various
processes
Ι ΞΓΠρ£Γ3ϊï­i
bïryGîurç v s n x S n t i M i ιαΙ pTOCcSScS ÎHSfwSHHSSRaR!Sai £SRÍpã!Ígí3 FsijJRŞ pFBEÊSS&S (TMCf' : )

­erLíTÍJ tyŞrşe iţ

tí £ C ry 5 ΐ 311 i S 6 3
*|ãb fiseîmg
?!yPy å!§5 îţ î

iSCFVSî. ¡vi

!c>MHe!­äiuf(!
£ISrìQ3t£0
= 5 nGR'FêGfv^i· ÍVÍ
AU5ÎeRJÎêTÏepF!ie

ΑΠ

Fcfflîé + pcafilÎB

Ferrite+bainite

As rolled Normalised Type I


Conventionally ■Rolling
rolled operation

Figure 11 ­ Conventional and thermomechanical controlled rolling


processes for steel plate
180-

900 plate thickness


15 to 20 mm
quenched and
800 tempered
accelerated
700 ooled
J3
u
to
C 600 controlled
ω rolled
u
jj
in
500 -
0)
•r-l
400 - normalised

300
0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45
Carbon Equivalent Value, % (CEV)

CEV = C + _Mn + Cr + Mo + V
+
N_ i + —Cu
T I

Figure 12 - The effect of CEV on the yield


strength of various grades of
structural steels after different
processing routes(16)
181­

t — ei
50

40
ttu
40 S
ί ÌA
υ
$< Ψ
afe

ϊ 30 ili* 30 Ζ 30
S mf 20
g
ï 20
5%τ ζ*

10 10 i^ "" 't' ^
10

Ι ψ* iş%li r—_ ,.ΤΦ 'fé v« | • -^\


.09 11 ÌJO 1.40 1.50 1.60 .001 .003 .006

CARBON % MANGANESE % SULPHUR %

Ε^ 63
err; 56
SO
— 45<ti63mm
40
• 40 40
­ ­ 63<t4l20mm
?
* I
S 3° 30 >■ 30
2 ζ ­—!
2D 3 ™ ,­­­­
10 "■ 10
­*
■ **
.020 .025 .030 .036 .040 .36 .37 J6 je .40 .41 .42 320 340 360 380 400 420

NIOBIUM % C EV YIELD STRENGTH Ν/m m"

— 454tC63mm
­ ­ 63 < t C 120mm
OTHER A DDITIONS

Cu% 0 . 1 3 ­ 0 . 2 0
íM
a.
Ni % 0 . 0 9 ­ 0 . 2 6
"" 10
H 0
4S0 4M 600 110 520 630 640 40 60 120 160 200 240 2B0

TENSILE STRENGTH N/mm 2 TRANS Cv ­50°C (J)


MID THICKNESS

Figure 13 ­ Typical composition and properties of plate supplied


to offshore contracts by BSC (BS 4360 Grade 50E,
Modified)
782

'550 o laboratory
results
χ commercial
500 results

450 _L
0 0-1 0-2 0-3 0-1 02
VANADIUM, %
a grain size ; b yield strength ; c UTS ; d 54 J impact transition temperatute

Figure 14 - Effect of vanadium on ferrite grain


size and mechanical properties of 25 mm
thick plates of normalised C-Mn-Al-V
steel (after Mitchell et al)(17)

C Si S Ρ Μη V Nb Λ1
0.11 0.30 0.015 0.015 1.40 0.06 0.04 0.03

I5

700 800 900


finish-rolling tcmpcraturc/°C

Figure 15 - Influence of finish-rolling temperature


on ferrite grain size of a microalloyed
steel(29)
183

H=holding time

700 720 7¿0 760


time
FRT, °C

Figure 16 ­ Schematic representation Figure 17 ­ Yield strength as a


of 2 stage or multistage function of finish­
rolling(31) rolling temperature
for Mo­Nb and Nb­V
steels(31)

! I
1
! ι
ι I ' I
Ι ι \( ¡number o/ plates
•¿o
o : | ι
, 2 0 rolling
(i)' i
Η (5) \ ;
Η •60
< :
U-, i
d) M)
en
U "SO
ÍS) / (5)
O) Vo
> 3 fï rolling
C
2 ·ιοο
Η Nb.V 16mm

700 720 7£0 760 7Θ0


FRT, °C

Figure 18 ­ Change in fracture appearance


transition temperature (FATT)
as a function of finish­rolling
temperature(31)
184

Γ­ 200 /
Fv 1

-180

;?r^: + S. 0.006

f inclusion shape
control
ι—ι

o ­160

M ­140
U
Q)
C
ω 120
4_»
υ
co
α 100
ε
s:υ ­ 80
4J
ο
C
ι ­ 60
>
α
U ­ 40
cd
χ:
υ
­ 20

*- 0

­120 ­100 ­80 ­60 ­40 ­20 20 40 60


I L _ _L I _l
Temperature, °C

Figure 19 ­ CVN Impact Transition Curves for DK 80,


Nb­V Steel(32)
185

300
Γ
250

^200
3
O

ë 150
ω
J­)
υ LONGITUDINAL
α,
Ε
ι—ι
ζ 100
>
TRANSVERSE

50

± JL ±
­60 ­40 ­20 Ο +20 +40
Temperature, °C

Figure 20 ­ Longitudinal and transverse C harpy V­notch


impact transitions on controlled­rolled
plate steel 20.5 mm and 23.5 mm thick(2)
­186­

I too
>■

50 ­

Accelerated
^^600 cooling
ΐ
*—
Σ 550
■Τ­

Ο» 500
G<
L- As roll
~­* 450
■D

Οι

>■ 4 0 0
0.32 0.34 0.36 038 040 042
CEV* ("/.)

Figure 21 ­ Relationship between carbon equivalent


(CEV) and yield strength for controlled­
rolled and accelerated­cooled steels(42)
*IIW formula

74
open A s rolled
solid A ccelerated
cooling
? 70

r. 66

62
160

■S 120
■ ^ ^

_ 80

40
500 550 600 · 650 700 750
Tensile strength (MN/m')

Figure 22 ­ Relationship between tensile strength


and shelf energy or reduction of area(42)
187­

■ Rolling operation
1600

HOO MACS KONTCOOL DAC CIC OLAC

1200

1000

80C ­ A / 3

600

too

200 rapid slow

O
Kawasaki Steel Kobe Steel Sumitomo Nippon Nippon
Metal Ind. Steel Kokan KK

Figure 23 ­ Thermo­mechanical controlled rolling


processes (TMC P) used by Japanese
steel mills

O R E C R Y S T A L L I Z E D A U S T E N I T E (S ­ 180 mm" 1 )
v
E 10
a. • D E F O R M E D A U S T E N I T E (S » 7 6 0 mm" 1 )
LU
M
CO

<
OC

o
cc
cc
LU

_L JL
5 10 15 20
COOLING RA TE. "C/sec

Figure 24 ­ Effect of cooling rate on ferrite grain


size
(Reference Cuddy, L. J., Proc. Symp. on Accelerated
? S ^ Ì n g l ^ e e l ' TMS­AIME, Pittsburgh, USA, August
lyöj, p. 238)
188

300

250 —

>

200

150
2 3 ¿ 5
distance f r o m surface ( m m )

Figure 25 - Vickers hardness d i s t r i b u t i o n for various


cooling r a t e s in 12 mm thick plates(46)

700

650

ε
ε 600
ζ

550

>
finishing rolling: 820°C

500 start: S00°C


cooling
* stop? 620°C

¿50
20 ¿.0 60 80 100
cooling rote ( ° C / s )

Figure 26 ­ Influence of cooling rate on yield and


tensile strength of a Nb­V steel (plate
thickness : 12 mm)(46)
189

Transition temperature D W T 85 % SA [ °C |
0 ­j
15 m m
1.60 Mn

1.85 Mn
­20

Increasing
slab reheating
temperature
­40 ­

T M — treated 1.85 Mn

­60 ­

­ 8 0 ­" — ι —
450 500 550 600 650
Yield strength N/mr

Figure 27 ­ Relationship between yield strength and


DWT­transition temperature for TMCR and
accelerated­cooled Mn­Nb­Ti steels(47)

14 "

12 §
.— υ Ol ·—.
« ra Bainite fraction
♦­__­· ·­­­.»­
io.fi
t IO
" <
700 ­I 1 1 L 8 " ­ ­ 400 ­40

600

•ζ.
— 500

400

300
0.02 0.04 0.06 0.02 Q04 0.06
Nb(%) Nb (%)
Reheating temp.: 1150°C χ 1 hr
Reduction below 850°C: 74%
Finish rolling temp.: 750°C
Cooling rate of A CC: 22°C/s
Stop temp, of A CC: 450°C

Figure 28 ­ Effect of niobium content on the micro­


structure and properties of plate(48)
­190

14
£ 20 Grain ιίζβ

•11 10
η 2 Bairute fraction
0
700 _l I [_

I 600

&500

400
ο Δ : Ace
• Α. : CR
300
0.02 0.04 0.06 0.02 0.04 α06
V(%) V(%)

Figure 29 ­ Effect of vanadium content on the micro­


structure and properties of plate(48)

14-
Ν
£20| •Λ
c Grain size ecţr. 12·Ι
S o
10 σ» ·—·
c o
"S C Bainite fraction ­ 1 0 ;fi 2
m— " ■ * ■ t
í5
o­ ι ­40
1 í 400
700
'TS
J*—
¡ 600 f^ s 60 „u
­­·­

υ
^
S ' cr
• y*
'^ y
s Ο
m =
­W­ > " <
500 - j . ' / * YS

/ /
// o
400 _ // Ο Δ ACC -100 m
2
CR >

r I ι J­120
300
0 0.05 0.10 0.15 aos QIO
Ti (%) Ti(%)

Figure 30 ­ Effect of titanium content on the micro­


structure and properties of p l a t e ^ S )
­191

¿O

"30
cu
4­1

C
10
o
o
υ
20 30 AO
Plate thickness (mm)

Figure 31 ­ Range of cooling rates possible on the


industrial plant at Italsider(49 )

T3­ T5
CO Number ofsections i 2 j i
300

5000

ZOO
otal water amount
3000 m 3 / h

100 thickness : lOmm


Piale speed: 3m/s
C e q : 0 . l 6 ­ 0 . l 8 V.
I3 : 855 ­ 875 "C

JL
10 20 30 40
Specific water flowrate
( l/m2s )

Figure 32 ­ Temperature decrease as a function of


the water flow rateul)
­192­

Edge Center Edge


Plate Width

IO 20 30

Plate thickness (mm)

Figure 33 - B uckling tendency with respect to


temperature v a r i a t i o n 53)

INITIAL
'CURTAIN
HEADER"
SPRAY
*

PASS LINE ■ ©fM


O îfl©©
ROLLER
QUENCH

HIGH PRESSURE SPRA YS

Reheating ­3.SM­
furnace

Figure 34 ­ Schematic Representation of a Drever


Roller Quench Unit(54)
193

AO
­ 800
BOO

700
g^P SML Auslernte
:
700 ¿s*0*'■
Auslenile
600 >·&:<?ν ρ 600

Jt
ρ Ferrile o ­ Ferme
α> 500 3 500 /\
MS
3 re
S. 400

ν 300 ^BT^IiU^^^^B^IZdUr

200
m
nm
Bainiie
E
>- 3 0 0
&
..
Bainiie
200
100
Martensile 100 > Martensile
w 100 1 10 100
Time (secs) Time (secs)
Analysis % C Mn Si Nb Analysis % C Mn Si Nb V
0.14 1.35 0.35 0.035 15 1.35 .38 .04 .05
Prior A uslenite grain size ASTM 8­9 Prior A uslenile grain size A STM 9

(a) RQT501

­ .
800
eoo
:
700 Auslernte 700 ­ ^^V Auslernte

o 6U0 Γ***­Α'
îAraRKi
mm
c
ralure °C

­ Ferrite ­ Ferrite
£ SOO V^UBSS ^
o

3 MS

I400 S. «00
E
\mv30mral
a 300 _ H
01
300 ^^BSzèsas .

200
200
Bainiie

100
Martensile
100 ­SEHE}
Martensile
1 10 100
1 10 100
Time (secs) Time (secs)
Analysis % C Μη Si Nb Mo Nb Mo B
0.30 0.04 0.14 Analysis % C Mn Si
0.155 1.35 .15 1.30 .35 .04 .15 .0015
Prior A uslenile grain size ASTM 9 Prior A uslernte grain size A STM 9

(b) RQT701
Figure 35 ­ Continuous Cooling Transformation (C C T)
curves for (a) RQT501 and (b) RQT701Í55)
194­

300 Analysis %
C .16
Μη 1.35
Si .35
250
Nb .035

200

Analysis %
C .15
Μη 1.37
.V3s8 fre»...!*' Ws*?- Stirpi. ■*· ■". Si .32
250 ■.' "»tf f ÎSïsiri η'Ίί.'ΐν ¡făfSfh· 'Λ"­' Nb .03
;
* 3 4 vŞN Ρ?? «$£ '< ' V .05
* ■- · V-v ,V ι <&r·.. Λ'. VU-I - J O
~.rr
. 4 * 38 mm
200

^i^.*M^^^:
15 10 5 0 5 10 15
Distance from plate midthickness (mm)

( a ) RQT501

Analysis %
C .15
Μη 1.35
Si .36
Nb .04
Mo .14

Analysis %
C .16
Μη 1.40
Si .32
Nb .03
Mo .15
Β .0015
200

I-v : . g y . ­¿κ» »·ι -■■ i «.^i--.v

15 10 5 0 5 10 15
Distance from plate midthickness (mm)

(b) RQT701

Figure 36 ­ Typical through­hardening performance


of (a) RQT501 and (b) RQT701 (tempered
condition)(55)
­195­

Yield Streu
Frequency
t 20-50 an >50 S BO ηπι

«O

30

20

O
425 465 505 545 565 625 425 465 505 545 5B5 625
N/mm' H/am'

40

20

10

Ol
510 550 590 6 30 670 710 510 OSS 590 630 670 710
U/mm' N/mm'

0 ι—r
0.73 0.77 0.β 1 0.85 0.89 0.93 0.73 0.77 0.81 0.85 0.89 0.9Í
YS/irrs YS/UTS

Figure 37 ­ Typical properties of RQT501T in the stress


relieved condition over the thickness ranee
20­80 mm(54)
196­

® 25 mm

χ 50 mm

• 80 mm

CTOD, mm
2.Or

1.5­

1.0­

0.5 ­

­100 ­60 ­40 20


Temperature, 'C

(NB 25 and 50 mm plates made by continuous cast route


whilst 80 mm made by ingot cast route)

Figure 38 ­ Crack Tip Opening Displacement (C TOD) for


RQT501T steel at three thicknesses(54)
-197

Energy, J
300
'/ - κ
250
I
200

150

100

50

0 V f U
•100 -75 -50 •25
Temperature, "C

Energy, J
JUU - • • ··
/
ττ^-
s · ·
250 - • • •· •
/ ' • \
• •
200
• V ··

• • • •
• •


150
·/ •
100

• •
1 T h i c kn e s s
50 • •

0 X/
-100
··
' ' >
•75 -50 -25
T e m p e r a t u r e , °C

Energy , J
300

250

200

1 50

100 -

50

100 •75 -50 -25


Temperature, 'C

Figure 39 - Typical CVN impact transition data


for RQT501T plate(54)
198

loo · lOO
Y. s. U.T.S.

50 50

π
730 750 770 790 8I0 830 N/mm 2 830 850 870 890 9I0 930 N/mm 2

100
100·
A"/. I(CV Ţ -20°C

50·· 50 ..

ι ' ι ' ι ' ι ■ ι ' ι I ' I ' I ' t ι ι ι ι ι ι ι ι Ι ι 1ι ' I


16 18 20 100 120 140 160 180 200 Joules

Figure 40 - Mechanical property ranges for SUPERELSO 702(62)


­199­

1200

Qj
r­4 CO
c- CO
aj OJ
ι .
σι co
o ΤΊ
(11
CU

800 number of casts piale thickness.

—, 100 'Wärmebehandlung: 920 'C/Wasser·A nlassen (30 min)


tz
heat treatment: 920 'C/water quenching·tempering (30 min)
(_)
o
co
OJ
CD <~ι
U_>
F
σ
Ol
co 80
­CD CL)
co
t
Οι
(~
ru
J3 >
co
o cz
ι
σ
(~ 60
1 ι
n
OJ. I C_)
-} > ■ o
r~Ί I

>­, C D
CX UD
> ι 1
σ
CD
C/O ­ C "Ξ 40
CD

_, . >^
QJ en
­O (Χ>
σ
CTI
o
Ol
?n

Χ­
Ι­)
(_)
σ
CO CX
­CD

600 625 650 675 700


Anlafìlemperalur in °C
Tempering lemperalure in °C

Figure 41 ­ Tempering behaviour of ΧΑΒΟ 90 sCeel


200

Normal
t hermomechanlcal
rolling

CfS-

Temperature

Thermomechanical
Misting jets rolling + s e l o c t i v e
cooling

Figure 42 - Schematic representation of the selective


water cooling (WSC) system for rapidly
cooling sections(67)

Water-

Figure 43 - Schematic representation of the 'quench self


temper' (QST) unit for rapidly cooling
sections(67 )
- 201

♦ 50 TK28J

·­ .035 Nb

0. O Nb

­50.
7 0 0
10 100 300 1000 At (s)
[s
300 '
—Γ­
ΙΟ 100 Aü t 8 0 0 (<s ),
500

F i g u r e 44 ­ Influence of n i o b i u m on the impact toughness


of the H A Z of m i c r o a l l o y e d s t e e l ( 7 8 )

K
+ 50­

o- .- ­•Οι

—ι—
100 300 1000 At 700 s)
300

20 100 Am t 8500
00

Figure 45 ­ Influence of v a n a d i u m on the toughness of


the HAZ of m i c r o a l l o y e d steel(787
202 ­

% c Mn Si S Ρ Al Ν Nb Τι Ni Cu
o 116 U21 380 1 6 29 6 36 ­ ¿31 ­
• 112 1361 318 L 9 17 7 2¿ 11 245 340

τκ 2 8 (°C)
20

E 355 N i

­20

­4 0
détensionné
E 355 Νι.Τι
­60

­80 brut

­100

­120

10 100 At300(s)

Figure 46 - Toughness of the HAZ of commercially


produced s t e e l p l a t e s with and without
t i t a n i u m ( 7 8)
203 -

Bead on plate ( 20mm thick )

Figure 47 - Influence of heat input on cooling rate ( 8 5 )

Bead on plate (20mm thick)

10 kJ/cm, T Q = 20°C
10 kJ/cm, T Q = 150°C
t 3/1 : 1200 s

T 0 =150^ /

t (s)
—*-
100 200

Figure 48 - Influence of preheating (T^) on decreasing


the cooling rate(85)
204-

= critical cooling time

48 Rs = C02 N/mm2
Y=Q00
\Ϋ=500
Ceq.= 0.40 Re =371 N/mm2
13/1 (S)
ol0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000

Figure 49 - Examples of tre - t 3/1 relationships(85}


- 205

4\

No crocking

j-.
D Cracking during
υ
CO
cooling
t-.
d)
D.
E
ω T.cp
Η

Cracking during pos theating

">
time

Figure 50 - Postheating diagram: time-temperature relationship


to determine the critical postheating temperature
(T.cp) for avoiding cracking(85)

t 8/5 Τ ΗΥ5
R: Rupture
11 ϊ 200' R MC 447
12kJ/ccm C:Cracking

R 447 NC.No Crocking


9,2 s 175' C NC

8 s ISO' C NC 450
CT: 6 0 0 N/mm'
ι
7 s 125' Crac Kina during pc sthe a t i n g 449
I ι ι ι
15 30 45 60 90 120 minutes t

Figure 51 - Example of preheating diagram for a low alloy,


high strength E690 steel(°5)
­ 206 ­

*
»■"ífí&'tjaíAfcS^

y^.\^~iû^
> ca

41
[A >
/

o
■Ό

t '0$'
Ζ. mu»·00' «.—""
« \ .¿__ f'""
ν
*■< ^ ~»
CL XI
''.*>■

J ■ · V v° ι /

&ys •

Very
Low Medium High
Low

Weld hydrogen level .

Figure 52 ­ Potential hydrogen levels for various


welding processes(88)

200
­

­
h'iq*1
õ 150 sues*
■,n«'oa(
­

­
rneöiujl.
~~£^η»1'" β "
100
y

I ess

50
­

­
0
0 10 Z0 30 40 50 60
Plate thickness | mm ]

t δ/5 >10 s

Figure 53 ­ Preheating temperature as a function


of plate thickness for N­A­XTRA steels 1 '
207

1
20 noten p o t i t i o n : WEZ < 0.5 m m f r o m the fusion line

■Ί
o —T^
o \\\V I
OJ
U
0 /
\
(
^
y 1 , ^ ^ ­ · ■ " " " '

o •

20
OJ QJ


" 2 ­40 o • o
o ——■V""
o „

"i
1

60 / O·

• l· o* *
«m
H 80 O
• = welded c o n d i t i o n

• s S ^ O í stress releived

CM 100 • ^
l i l i 1 1 1 1 ι ι 1 1 l i l i Ι ι I

C
) 10 23 33 40 50
Cooling time t 8/5 (s)

Figure 54 ­ Influence of welding conditions on impact energy


in the heat affected zone of N­A­XTRA steels(92)

H i x l a u a ΗΛΖ
h e r d n a u , HV10
100

190

)I0

370

3(0

ISO

340

330

330

310

100

290

ISO

370

2(0

250

240

Í 10

50 75 100
Preh»*t tciipciiturr,

Figure 55 ­ Maximum HAZ hardness for 30 mm bead on plate


welds in RQT501TÍ54)
­208 ­

[ Fully duclile

] Fully cleavage

-**ΐι»*.*ΐ5
Parent plate

Heal A llected Zone

ε
ε

­120 ­100 ­80 ­60 ­40 ­20 O 20

Test temperature °C

Figure 56 ­ COD fracture toughness properties of


RQT501 full thickness specimens
(longitudinal)(55)

Tensit/tiil Foligu* Irsi

■ Ν ¿M ν Si E 690

­­.­ NN
­v.'—'
~~τ·­~«
SlE3SS ­~«. oo
% «
• R« 0

5 10 ÍS 5 IO5 2 5 IO6 2 5 β'


Elongolion C 7. J Cyctti lo failuit Ν

Figure 57 ­ Tensile and fatigue data for high strength


steels(97)
209 -

STRESS RANGE Δθ π [N/mm ]


Π
1000-

500 etail Category

constant amplitude
fatigue limit

cut-off
limit
100-

NUMBER OF STRESS CYCLES Ν

Figure 58 - Fatigue strength curves for normal


stress rangesT101)

ACT (N/mm* )
<t00.'

200

100

N(cyd2)

Figure 59 - Effect of improvement techniques on


the fatigue characteristics of T-joint
in E460 or E550 steel(103)
210­

210
ΙΌ
CL ?«o
31
700
ω
ISO

IMO

CC 1Î0
CC
SHOT PEENED
100

ir
ΚOmm eila¿h.20mn\
in BO ­ R.0.1
ÜJ
cr 70
Inlt. fn.il urt Ηχ
to
AIR α 20
$0
350nvVA5/A 3 d *
J — I I I I 1111 Ι ι ι ι m i J Ι. Ι H i l l ■ ■ I I I n J
«o „ 2 ) «SCI c 2 1 H S 6 I . Ζ ) «SI t 7 ; usi) .
IO IO IO IO IO
CYCLES Ν

Figure 60 ­ Improvement in fatigue strength of


cathodically protected joints of E460
steel after shot peening(Hl)

400 I I I I 1 Mil 1 1 M 1 1 III 1 I I I Mill 1 1 1 1 1 1II


320 ­ ­
O ·
280
a. 2U0
ι
\ ° ·>
200 α ^ ­
m D ­ x
160
o mo
cc 120 ­ Ε1+60 AIR ­
cc a "^
100 ­ D """~­v^
en Ι I 30 mm
σι Θ0 Δ ■" ' Δ ­
R.0.1 10­20 Ht
az 70
ι— lait. failure.
(Π Ε0 ­
AS WELDED ü ■
S0
SHOT PEENEC (; •
I I I I M III m 1 1 1 1 INI 1 1
2 3 H 56 θ 2 3 1S6 8 2 3 t 56 β 2 3 156
10 10 10 IO­
CTCLES Ν

Figure 61 ­ Fatigue strength of welded joints in


steel E460 in the as­welded and the
shot­peened conditions(108)
­ 211 ­

MOO

ΙΌ
CL
Σ
Ι­
οί

UJ
2:
Œ
OC

to
tr>
LU
ÛC
t—
en

. 2 3M56B 7 2 3 1SGa ,
10 10 10
CYCLES Ν

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steel E550, in the as­welded and
shot­peened conditions(108)

500

­ ¿00
E
E
ζ 300

σι untreated <\°\.° ^v^0


c
Ol
k_
t/1
200 >αςο^4—-— o -j —
Ol

σι
O
li­

R = 0)

100
10' 10: 2 5 10e
Cycles

Figure 63 - Improvement of fatigue strength of welded


joints of St E690 by shot peening(H 5)
212 ­

Tíojil» strength
o í b a s « m í l Q l : 710 U/mm1 860 N / m m ' 1005 N/mm2

κ
¿\ àvsT ^
x ^
- Ν \\
\ Ν
' I
\ V—-—­­
\o
V oo
O
O00
0
O
0
0
-

W5 2 5 )0 6 2 IO5 2 5 IO6 2 5 IO5 2 5 Κ)6 2


Cyclfs lofalturt Ν

Figure 64 ­ Improvement of fatigue behaviour by


shot peening(97)

400
ι ι 1 1 1 III I I I 1 lili ι ι I I I III 1 1 1 1 1 III

320
260
2U0 a* welA*¿ - ¿y>-^ w* -
200 ' \ '■ \ * «-
mo­
160
UJ
HO IF-
Π120

az ι oo - r· ι. /■« *-t *
co 3 ÜfVLjjiNu
co 60 . 1 1 40 mm attach. 3f) mm
LU Δ " ' Δ
oc 70 R.0.1
(— EO InLt [aitare til
co
AIR Ü ■
50 ­
950mVAq/AgcL * 20
1 1 1 1 1 II.
HO ι
2
ι ι ι ι Γ Ι 11 · "
3 M 56 2
I I I I I I 11
3 1566 2 3
1
1566 2 3 156 β
1 Mill
io" 10" 10 10
CYCLES Ν

Figure 65 ­ Improvement in fatigue strength of welded


joints of E460 steel after TIG­dressing(HI
213

¿O 60

Plate thickness,Τ, mm

Figure 66 ­ Influence of plate thickness on fatigue strength


(normalised to a thickness of 38 mm)Tl25)

i 5 6 7 8 9m7

Cyclei

Figure 67 ­ Fatigue test results showing the effect of plate


thickness on the endurance of PWHT joints(125)
­ 214

\\ ν \
V) ν
<
R - 0.1
-

\
­Jo

\
Ί 7Π
ν W
\ \

100
10 10
~^" Ν (cycles)

Figure 68 ­ Effect of plate thickness on the AS­N


fatigue curves(123)

( estimated)

M00 "1 I I M 111 Τ I I I I I II ~l I I I I I II

320
ε
ε 2B0

ζ 2M0 αϊ wtlAed.
200
en
160
LU
o IMO

CC 120
oc 100 E460 TIG DRE55ING
to
to βο ­Γ ] WO mm attoxH.20mm
LU T—2 R.0.1
70
cc
h— 60
tnit failiue Hz
CD
AIR
50 ­
350mVAq/A g d * * 1
MO I I I I I I I I I 111 I I I I I I II Ι ι Ι Ι Ι Ι ι iJ
2 3 M 56 β 2 3 M 56 β 2 3MS6 8 τ 2 3 M S 6 Í ,
10 10 10 10 10
CYCLES Ν

Figure 69 ­ Influence of TIG­dressing on the fatigue


performance of EA60 steel in air and sea
waterdU )
215

Ld­
Improvement
tø) I sea wafer aur I tea water
m | (free corrojwn) I (free corrotion)
1 "t ■
■ "·

TIG dressing shot penning

Figure 70 - ImprovemenC of f a t i g u e Life i n a i r and


sea water (10 Hz) f o r TIG-dressed and
shot-peened welded j o i n t s of high s t r e n g t h
steelU36)

300
250

ε 200

o 150
b

TD

Ξ 100
Q. R= ­1
ε « = ΙΟΗζ
variable amplitude lests
o
i/i
post­weld
SIEÍ60 St E 690
treatment
TIG­dressing Δ Λ
50
shot­peening O • constant amplitude tesis

10 IO6 10B
Cycles to failure Ν

Figure 71 ­ Improvement in fatigue strength of welded


joints in artificial sea water after TIG­
dressing and shot peening(H5)
216

700 ­Τ 1 Ι Ι MIM Ι Ι Ι Ι Ι Ι ΙII I IVJ Ι Ι Ι Ι Μ Γ™~~\ ΓΤΤΤΤ

600 t = 50 m m ν Ν shot peened


ττρτττ τ
500
.specimen
400
Õ variable
? 300 ^fcV \ amplitude tests ~
Ζ

w S
St E 690 as welded
ω 200
2
<
f =10 HZ
ΙΛ
(Λ Ps=907.
ω R =­1. Kt<5
£ 100 f­ vair constant
in
τ seawater amplitude tests
I Ill ' ι ι ι I I III I I I I I I II
70 Í 6
L 6 2 4 6
IO8
4 5 Í 6 5 7
10 10 10 10
CYCLES Nf

Figure 72 ­ Fatigue strength of welded joints of


E690 steel in sea water(109)

500

E
E

­o
ö
UI
CO
dl

>
'l/l
in
&>
k.
Q.

ε
o
o
X)
σ
o

40 80 120
Slenderness λ

Figure 73 ­ Buckling behaviour of high strength


steels(115 )
217

E Stress­related ideal (a)


° longitudinal profile
20.000 mm

SS^Sl
Conventional fabrication (b )
from 1 plate

Conventional fabrication IC
from 2 plates

Conventional fabrication (d )
from 4 plates

fabric ation :osts f£ibr ca ion (e)


($) Cost s Cy»)

1 /
5.250 l _ 190 %
1
_
4.900 ^
­
4.550
Χ/­
4.200 t r^ _ 150 %
^ s
3.850 JÄV Filate and wel ding COS

3.500
­
3.150 Ρlate cost s

2 800 _100%
(
2 450

'
2 100 *f
A #
1 750

1 400
S
s >^
\s

4¿ weld ¡ng (:ost 5


1.050

700
¿β>
A
χ*/
1/
0 ^ ff­ >z
1 2 3 4 5 5 7 0 9 10 1
ι_P piale
Ζ ­ η urnbe r of ρ ates νvith c Dnven tiona fabric :ation ( Tap e r e d Plate

Figure 74 (a­e) ­ Case study showing the design, material


savings and fabrication cost savings
for tapered plates versus conventional
plates(148)
­ 218

muniti lllltl ¡til


dna
Re

^1.2
sr '­«■A
'«te!..
IO
>
'fc­ • ^ -

as

Hole
diameter

50 100 150 mm 150 mm


Steel: Μ «1,2 Sies!; M . 1,5
Re ' Re

Figure 75 ­ Design stresses allowed by EUROCODE NO. 3 ­ example


of two steels with different Rm/Re (TS/YS) ratios(175)

llllllllll t n n n i t t

50 100 150 mm 100 120 150 mm

Steel: 1^.1,2 (150J/cm'.at-20'C] Steel--I13· «1,5 (50J/cm'at-20·:)


Re

Figure 76 ­ The effect of toughness and Rm/Re (TS/YS) ratio on


fracture behaviour showing the superiority of a
low ratio­high toughness steel compared with a
high ratio­low toughness steel(1751