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Title:
METHOD OF FORMING A COLLAR ON A TUBULAR COMPONENT THROUGH DEPOSITING OF WELD METAL AND MACHINING THIS DEPOSIT INTO A COLLAR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2009/106789
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method of forming a collar on a tubular component (2) is described, wherein said method comprising the steps of depositing a weld metal (6) onto the surface of the tubular component (2) and machining the collar into the weld material (6), and machining a support shoulder (9) into the collar to facilitate suspension of the tubular component (2).

Inventors:
HUTT, Graham (8 Chemin des Chataigniers, Nizas, France, 34320, FR)
Application Number:
GB2008/051229
Publication Date:
September 03, 2009
Filing Date:
December 23, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PIPELINE TECHNIQUE LIMITED (The Welding Centre, Smithy Road, Rothienorman Aberdeenshire AB51 8ZE, GB)
HUTT, Graham (8 Chemin des Chataigniers, Nizas, France, 34320, FR)
International Classes:
B23K9/04; B23K10/02; B23K15/00; B23K26/34; B23K31/00; F16L1/19; F16L1/20
Foreign References:
US4857693A1989-08-15
US6179523B12001-01-30
US5837960A1998-11-17
US2491878A1949-12-20
US20010033773A12001-10-25
Other References:
DATABASE WPI Week 200671, Derwent World Patents Index; AN 2006-680953, XP002522256
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MURGITROYD & COMPANY (Scotland House, 165-169 Scotland StreetGlasgow, Strathclyde G5 8PL, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. A method of forming a collar on a tubular component, said method comprising the steps of depositing a weld metal onto the surface of the tubular component and machining the collar into the weld material and machining a support shoulder into the collar to facilitate suspension of the tubular component.

2. A method according to claims 1 , wherein the weld metal is deposited onto the surface of the tubular component by a direct deposition operation.

3. A method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the weld metal is deposited onto the pipe in a specified deposition sequence.

4. A method according to claim 3, wherein the deposited weld metal and sequence is selected to give specified technological properties in the deposit without causing unacceptable degradation of the parent material.

5. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the method further includes the step of rotating or translating the tubular component past a welding head.

6. A method according to any of claims 1 -4, wherein the method further includes the step of rotating or translating a welding head past the tubular component.

7. A method of forming a collar on a tubular component substantially as hereinbefore described.

Description:

METHOD OF FORMING A COLLAR ON A TUBULAR COMPONENT

THROUGH DEPOSITING OF WELD METAL AND

MACHINING THIS DEPOSIT INTO A COLLAR

The present invention relates to a method of forming a collar on a tubular component. More specifically, the invention relates to a method of forming a collar on a pipe to assist in supporting the pipe during installation. The present invention finds particular application in relation to collars provided on pipes for use in supporting the pipe from a floating vessel or platform when the pipe is being laid on the seabed.

Fluids are commonly transported across large distances through pipelines formed of discrete pipe sections connected together end to end. In the transportation of hydrocarbons between off-shore facilities and on-shore processing plats, the pipelines can extend for many hundreds or in some cases thousands of miles. Before any fluids can be transported, the pipeline must be laid across the seabed.

One known system of pipe laying which is commonly employed in the construction of deepwater pipelines or riser systems is a J-laying method. Lengths of pipe are stored on a floating vessel. The pipeline is supported in a vertical or near vertical orientation on the vessel and extends from the vessel to the seafloor where it rests on the seabed. Each new pipe is transferred into a vertical orientation where it is welded onto the top-most pipe and the pipe string is lowered to bring the top of the new pipe into position for connection of a further pipe. In this system a mechanical device is incorporated for restraining the tension in the pipe catenary between the lay ship and the seabed.

Due to the very high tensions encountered in deepwater pipe laying, it is often necessary to provide a raised shoulder on the pipe end to be supported by the restraining device to prevent slippage. It is customary to

use so-called J-lay collars for this purpose and typically these are machined from a forging or heavy wall section of pipe and then welded to the pipe to be supported.

Since the J-lay collars remain as permanent items on the completed pipeline, they must conform to specified metallurgical, mechanical and structural integrity requirements that are similar or exceed to the pipeline material itself.

Attainment of these desired properties can be problematic and particularly when very heavy wall thickness, high strength and/or special corrosion resistant alloy materials are needed.

The present invention aims to provide a method of forming a surface profile on a tubular component which addresses this problem.

In other situations, a carbon steel pipe material may be metallurgically or mechanically lined with a corrosion resistant alloy (CRA) to provide protection against the fluids in the pipeline. In such cases, the J-lay collars need to be similarly protected by applying a compatible CRA material to the inside surface in the form of a welded overlay. The irregular penetration and fusion profile of the overlay can give rise to difficulties when performing non-destructive testing of the circumferential weld used to connect the j-lay collar and the pipe.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a method of forming a surface profile on a tubular component which also addresses this problem.

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of forming a collar on a tubular component, said method comprising the steps of depositing a weld metal onto the surface of the tubular component and machining the collar into the weld material and machining a support shoulder into the collar to facilitate suspension of the tubular component.

By machining the collar directly into weld material deposited onto the surface of the tubular component, a separate J-Lay collar is not required. Such a collar would normally be welded onto the end of a pipe and therefore this can reduce the equipment which is needed on board a pipe laying vessel which represents a significant cost, time and weight saving.

Preferably the weld metal is deposited onto the surface of the pipe by a direct deposition operation.

Advantageously, the weld metal is deposited onto the pipe in a specified deposition sequence.

This allows the characteristics of the surface profile to be closely controlled by the user and means that different J-Lay collars having different material characteristics need not be carried on board the pipe laying vessel.

The deposit weld metal and welding method can be selected to give specified technological properties in the deposit without causing unacceptable degradation of the parent material.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the deposit is made by rotation or translation of the tubular component past a welding head.

Alternatively the deposit is made by rotation or translation of a welding head past the tubular component.

In some embodiments a combination of rotation or lateral translation of the tubular component and/or the welding head may be used.

One embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to the attached drawings in which:-

Fig. 1 is a schematic side view of a typical J-Lay collar welded to the end of a pipe, and

Fig. 2 is a schematic side view of a profile to be machined on a tubular component in accordance with one aspect of the method of the present invention.

Turning now to the drawings, Fig. 1 shows a schematic side view of a typical J-Lay collar 1 which is welded to the free end of a pipe 2. The collar 1 generally comprises a section of pipe having substantially the same diameter as the pipeline to which it is to be welded but having a shorter length.

In the example illustrated, two profiles 3 are provided on the collar. Each profile comprises an outwardly flared flange 4 which terminates in a shoulder 5 via which the collar can be supported in a vertical position.

The present invention provides a means of developing the required geometric profile to enable a pipe to be supported in a vertical or near vertical position during a laying operation. This is achieved by direct

deposition of weld metal onto the surface of the pipe in a specified location and deposition sequence.

The position of the profile is selected and weld material is deposited circumferentially around the surface of the pipe. The amount of material deposited is selected to ensure that the resulting deposition has sufficient dimensions as to fully encapsulate the desired profile on the pipe.

The deposit may be made by any combination of rotation or lateral translation of the pipe or welding equipment to develop the desired deposition pattern. For example, in one embodiment, a pipe may be rotated and/or translated past a static welding head. In an alternative embodiment, the pipe may be held static and the welding head may be translated and/or rotated past the static pipe. As a further alternative, both the pipe and the welding head may be translated and/or rotated with respect to one another.

The welding equipment may comprise one or more welding heads operating simultaneously or in a synchronised pattern to increase the rate of deposition.

An expandable and/or water cooled mandrel may be located in the bore of the tubular component to increase the rate of heat abstraction. This may assist to prevent overheating of the tubular component and allow for continuous welding to be carried out. Such an expanding mandrel may also be adapted to apply a radial force internally of the tubular component in order to resist distortion and shrinkage of the bore of the tubular component.

The location in which weld material is deposited onto the pipe will be a factor in determining which embodiment is preferred. For example, on a pipe laying vessel where space may be at a premium, the most compact deposition operation will be used. Alternatively, in an on-shore facility where additional space is available, different considerations will affect the selection of deposition method.

Once the deposition is complete, the required profile is machined out of the deposited material using a known process. Machining may for example include any metal removing or shaping technique or any grinding technique for forming the profile on the surface of the tubular component.

Fig. 2 is a schematic cross-sectional view of a length of pipe 2 upon which weld material 6 has been deposited to a sufficient depth around the outer surface of the pipe to encapsulate the desired profile 7 which forms a collar 1 ' shown on the pipe in broken lines. In this embodiment, the collar comprises an outwardly flared flange 8 which terminates in a shoulder 9 via which the resulting profile can be used to support the pipe in a vertical or near vertical position.

The so produced geometric form may be machined (from the near net shape) to a more precise profile if required.

Preferably the collar is formed directly on the end of the pipe to be installed in the pipeline thus eliminating the need for a separate j-lay collar having the appropriate profile formed thereon to be welded onto the end of the pipe before installation. However, the method may also be applied to sub-components such as for example pipe fittings or forgings to be subsequently attached to the pipe.

Fig.2 shows a pipe with a single profile formed on the outer surface thereof. It will of course be appreciated that as the method of the present invention does not require casting of the profile onto the surface of the pipe, any number of profiles may be provided on a pipe. In some embodiments, different profiles may be machined onto a length of pipe to perform different functions or to provide different properties to the pipe.

The method can be applied to any suitable substrate material including but not limited to carbon steel or CRA in wrought, forged, extruded or cast form.

The deposit can be applied to a pipe or sub-component that already has an internal CRA layer or lining thus avoiding the need to overlay the inner surface as a separate operation. The characteristics of such existing layers or linings may be selected to be more favourable for inspection of subsequent circumferential welds.

The deposit may be made using any weldable pipe or sub-component materials in wrought, cast, forged, seam welded or seamless tubular form. Such materials may be in solid or have an internal layer or lining of CRA.

The deposit may be made by any suitable means of fusion and weld metal deposition process

The deposit may be made using any suitable welding consumable(s) deposited in individual weld runs or layers with a single type/classification of consumable per run or layer or a mixture of consumables to develop specific technological properties.

It is envisaged that the method of the present invention may be operated on a pipe laying vessel wherein lengths of pipe are transported to the

appropriate position for connection into an existing pipeline and the require profile is formed onto the surface of the pipe on board the vessel. In this case the vessel would carry both the weld deposition apparatus and also the machining apparatus for form the required profile on the surface of the pipe locally.

The deposit can be applied to the plain surface of a pipe or tubular component or to modify any features pre-formed by forging and/or machining of the pipe. Therefore the present invention also enables the existing profile of a tubular member to be modified so that if the requirements of the profile change at different times during the pipe laying procedure, the profile of subsequent tubular components can be modified on board a pipe laying vessel to accommodate the changing requirements of the profile.

Alternatively, the method of the present invention may be operated in an on-shore facility such that the required profile is formed onto the surface of the pipe before the pipe is transported onto the pipe laying vessel. In this case, additional machining apparatus may be carried on the vessel such that fine adjustment of the profile can be made at the point of installation.

The present invention finds particular application in the field of pipeline laying and particularly in J-Lay operations where a pipeline is suspended in the water from a surface vessel or platform and extends to the sea bed where it is laid along a selected route. However, it will be appreciated that the invention may also be applicable in any field where a surface profile is desired.

Further applications of the method include other pipeline components that require locally increased wall thickness or specific geometric forms such as for example buckle arrestors or hang-off collars.

The invention may also be used to form surface features on a tubular component. For example, the surface of the tubular component may be textured or serrated to enhance gripping in a restraining device or bonding of protective paint and coatings to the outer surface of the tubular component.




 
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