Full-encirclement split tee fittings for hot tapping and plugging (HT&P) wrap completely around the pipeline and are welded in place. The welded joint provides mechanical reinforcement of the pipe and branch. When full-encirclement hot tap tees are welded to pipelines 24 inches in diameter or larger, the header must often be at least 1.25 inches thick to pass the required calculations for reinforcement. This means the joint will require post weld heat treatment (PWHT) according to ASME B31.8 and CSA Z662. However, PWHT can be extremely dangerous and impractical, potentially elevating temperature to the point where material strength of the pressurized pipeline is compromised. An engineering critical assessment per ASME FFS-1/API 579 indicated PWHT may not be required for a full-encirclement hot tap tee over 1.25 inches thick. Specifically, research showed that the residual stresses developed during the welding process may not limit the design of a full-encirclement tee or lead to shorter pipeline design life. This paper illustrates how a “more rigorous analysis” per paragraph 802.2.2[b] of ASME B31.8 and paragraph of CSA Z662 may help operators avoid the PWHT requirement. It discusses the finite element analysis (FEA) simulations researchers used to induce residual stresses in a carbon steel fitting. The residual stresses induced in the fitting were used as initial condition for plastic collapse and fatigue evaluations.

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