A new approach to optimize the performance of linepipe steels using novel high temperature processing

Principal investigator: C. Isaac Garcia

University: University of Pittsburgh

Industry partners: United States Steel Corporation

The continuous demand by the oil and gas industries to use steels with superior and consistent mechanical properties in a wide range of wall thicknesses and diameters provides both exceptional opportunities and challenges to steel companies located in Pennsylvania. The opportunities originate from the prospect to form a unique working partnership between a world class local steel company-such as the United States Steel Corporation-and the University of Pittsburgh to develop high strength low alloyed (HSLA) steels for linepipe applications. This partnership will foster the education of current undergraduate and graduate students interested in the field of ferrous physical metallurgy. The challenges will derive from implementing ideas to the industrial validation stage. This research program aims to produce a technology transfer from concept to proof without capital investment; nevertheless, it will provide guidelines if any necessary investment is identified. To accomplish the project’s goals, it’s necessary to have a clear understanding and knowledge of the strengths and limitations between the industrial partner and the university research and development group. The group at the University of Pittsburgh has over 30 years of experience working with local, regional, national, and international steel companies. Project success depends on fundamental knowledge of the intrinsic relationship between the alloy design, thermomechanical processing (TMP), and the desired microstructure to attain the required mechanical properties of the HSLA steel system proposed in this project. Success will be also based on an approach called intense recrystallization control rolling (IRCR) applied to high temperature processing of steels for linepipe applications. The new approach will enhance performance, reduce microstructural variability, save energy due to fewer rejections, and develop a more robust processing-product route.