2001 Volume 44 Issue 2 Pages 309-317
Crack tip opening displacement (CTOD, δ) tests were carried out for line pipe steels in buffer solutions, sand, and clay to evaluate initiation of hydrogen stress cracking (HSC) at surface defects in buried pipelines under cathodic protection. Four series of line pipe steels and two series of seam welds showed a similar tendency in cathodic current density (i) versus the critical CTOD (δc) curves, irrespective of types, pH and water content of the soils; δc showed a minimum (δHSC) when i>ith (ith=1mA/cm2) in all the testing conditions. δHSC increased with the increasing fracture toughness of the steel. Fluctuation of cathodic current density influenced δc when the maximum value of cathodic current density (imax) was larger than ith. HSC could be initiated at surface defects in pipelines only when imax>ith and δ≥δHSC.