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Information on API 5L SEAMLESS For Gas and Oil Industry Operators

January 24, 2021

Specifications, Classifications and Properties of API 5L SEAMLESS Pipe

The API 5L SEAMLESS pipe is a pipeline standard in most (if not all) oil and gas industries. We also find essential applications in water distribution systems. These pipes are prevalent in these industries because they perform exceptionally well under the rough operating conditions of the oil and gas sector.

Its respective authority often updates the API 5L specifications. Thus, gas and oil operators need to be aware of the API 5L SEAMLESS pipes' specifications and properties. So that they can work to mitigate problems beforehand. You can troubleshoot pipeline-related issues and commission the best lines for a new oil and gas distribution project.

You May Also Read: Steel Iron: Difference between Steel and Iron

Considering the importance of understanding the API 5L specifications, we have dedicated this article to explain the API 5L standard. We will also talk about its classification and properties. So, let's begin.

API 5L SEAMLESS

API 5L SEAMLESS Pipe: An Overview

API stands for American Petroleum Institute that defines and sets standards for the international oil and gas industries. The API 5L is another specification developed by the AP institute.

The API 5L specification covers pipes for transporting oil, gas, and water in the oil, gas, and water distribution systems. And this specification also features consistency with the international standards organization ISO 3183.

The API 5L standard encompasses welded and seamless pipes. Since this article is dedicated to API 5L SEAMLESS pipes so we will keep our discussions restricted to just seamless pipelines.

Seamless pipes differ from welded pipes in that they are 'seamless.' This Means, these pipes are constructed as a whole, in one piece and not by welding together two sides of the metal sheets like in welded pipes.

Steel billets are what contribute to the manufacture of API 5L SEAMLESS pipes. These billets are heated and perforated using a solid, tapered cylinder or cast over a solid tubular cylinder which creates the pipe's hollow interior.

These pipes find applications in upstream, midstream, and downstream applications in the oil and gas sectors. And may also be used in general process plumbing.

As far as API 5L SEAMLESS pipes' price is concerned, these pipes are more expensive than standard ERW pipes because of their meticulous manufacturing process. Therefore, one can not estimate the cost of a seamless pipe based on the generic price per ton of Carbon Steel or Stainless Steel.

Classification of API 5L SEAMLESS Pipe

All API 5L SEAMLESS pipes are classified based on three characteristics. These are specification level, surface finish, and end type. Below we will briefly discuss each of these classifying factors.

Product Specification Level

Regarding the product specifications level, API 5L SEAMLESS pipe manufacturers classify these pipes into two categories: PSL 1 and PSL 2.

The PSL 1 carries the standard quality specifications for these pipes. On the other hand, PSL 2 has more stringent testing procedures and maintains tighter chemical and mechanical property specifications.

Surface Finish

The surface finish of the seamless pipe is another classifying factor. There is a black surface finish with seamless pipes, varnish painted surface, anti-rust oil coating for protection against rust, galvanized pipes for added strength, and external or internal coating.

External coating is critical to protect against erosion, wear, corrosion and adds mechanical strength. It involves the application of metallic or non-metallic material on the pipe exterior.

The engineers responsible for commissioning pipes need to consider the operating conditions before settling on a surface finish type.

End Type

The end type of a pipe defines how a pipe appears to be at its ends and how it will join with other fixtures. Seamless pipes may have plain ends for fittings with smaller diameters. However bevelled ends are more common. They may also have threaded ends for smaller lines and grooved ends for non-critical, quick connections.

Properties of API 5L Pipes

The properties of API 5L pipes are categorized according to their product specification level and grades. Each PSL and grade has unique properties, as you will see in the following headings.

Below, we will highlight the chemical composition, tensile, and yield strength of each grade of the API 5L SEAMLESS pipe according to the product specification level. The Grades are classified as A, B, and X, and the number as the suffix of X represents minimum yield strength in 1000s of PSI.

The chemical composition of API 5L SEAMLESS pipes includes four elements. These are Carbon, Manganese, Phosphorus, and Sulphur. API 5L steel pipes are most commonly made of Carbon steel, which reinforces their strength.

Manganese in steel minimizes the brittleness inherent to the alloy and gives it strength. Phosphorus in Carbon steel improves the steel's machinability, strengthens it to some degree, and enhances its resistance against corrosion. While Sulphur too enhances the machinability of steel to some extent.

The tensile strength of the material put is its ability to withstand tension without breaking apart of fracturing. While yield strength is the maximum amount of force that material will tolerate before it deforms permanently.

Properties of API 5L PSL 1

Grade A:

Grade A of the API 5L SEAMLESS pipe with PSL 1 has a chemical composition of 0.22% Carbon, 0.9% Manganese, 0.03% Phosphorus, and 0.03% Sulphur. This grade's tensile strength is 48 Kilopound per square inch (KSI), and yield strength is 30 KSI.

Grade B:

The Grade B pipe's chemical composition has 0.26% carbon, 1.20% Manganese, 0.03% Phosphorus, and 0.03% Sulphur. The Tensile Strength and Yield Strength are 60 KSI and 35 KSI, respectively.

Grade X42

Grade X42 has a chemical composition of 0.26% C, 1.30% Manganese, 0.03% Phosphorus, and 0.03% Sulphur. The tensile strength is 60 KSI, and Yield Strength is 42 KSI.

Grade X46

The chemical composition of Grade X46 of the API 5L SEAMLESS pipe contains 0.26% Carbon, 1.40% Manganese, 0.03% Phosphorous, and 0.03% Sulphur. The tensile strength and yield strengths are 63 KSI and 46 KSI, respectively.

Grade X52

The chemical composition of API 5L SEAMLESS pipe Grade X52 is 0.26% carbon, 1.40% Manganese, and 0.03% Phosphorus and Sulphur. The tensile and yield strengths are given as 66 KSI and 52 KSI, respectively.

Grade X56

Grade X56 carries 0.26% Carbon, 1.40% Manganese, 0.03% Phosphorus and 0.03% Sulphur. The tensile strength is 71 KSI, and Yield Strength is 56 KSI.

Grade X60

Grade X60 of the API 5L SEAMLESS pipe contains 0.26% Carbon, 1.40% Manganese, 0.03% Phosphorus, and 0.03% Sulphur. The tensile and yield strength are 75 and 60 KSI, respectively.

Grade X65

The chemical composition of Grade X65 is 0.26% Carbon, 1.45% Manganese, 0.03% Phosphorus, and 0.03% Sulphur. The tensile strength is 77 KSI, and Yield Strength is 65 KSI.

Grade X70

Grade X70 of the API 5L SEAMLESS steel pipe contains 0.26% Carbon, 1.65% Manganese 0.03% Phosphorus, and 0.03% Sulphur.

Properties of API 5L PSL 2

Grade B

Grade b of the API 5L SEAMLESS pipe with PSL 2 has 0.22% Carbon, 1.20% Manganese, 0.025% Phosphorus, and 0.015% Sulphur. The Tensile and Yield Strengths range from 60-110 KSI and 35-65 KSI, respectively.

Grade X42

Grade X42 of API Seamless 5L PSL 2 has 0.22% Carbon, 1,30% Manganese, 0.025% Phosphorus and 0.015% Sulphur. The Tensile strength and yield strengths are 60-110 KSI and 42-72 KSI, respectively.

Grade X46

The chemical composition of Grade X46 of API 5L SEAMLESS pipe contains approximately 0.22% Carbon, 1.40% Manganese, 0.025% Phosphorus, 0.015% Sulphur. The tensile strength is 63-110 KSI, and yield strength is 46-76 KSI.

Grade X52

Grade X52 of API 5L SEAMLESS PSL 2 has a composition of 0.22% Carbon, 1.40% Manganese, 0.025% Phosphorus and 0.15% Sulphur. The Tensile and Yield strength falls between 66-110 KSI and 52-77 KSI respectively.

Grade X56

The chemical composition of grade X56 is 0.22% Carbon, 1.40% Manganese, 0.025% Phosphorus and 0.015% Sulphur. The tensile strength is 71-110 KSI, and the Yield strength is 56-79 KSI.

Grade X60

The grade X60 of the API 5L SEAMLESS pipe of PSL 2 has 0.22% Carbon, 1.40% Manganese, and 0.025% and 0.015% Phosphorus and Sulphur. The tensile and yield strengths are 75-110 KSI and 60-82 KSI, respectively.

Grade X65

Grade X65 contains 0.22% Carbon. It has 1,45% Manganese, 0.025% Phosphorus and 0.015% Sulphur. It features a Tensile Strength of 77-110 KSI and a yield strength of 65-82KSI.

Grade X70

This grade of API 5L SEAMLESS pipes contain 0.22% Carbon, 1.65% Manganese, 0.025% Phosphorus, and 0.015% Sulphur. The increase in Manganese reflects increased tensile strength, ranging between 82-110 KSI and Yield strength ranging between 70-82 KSI.

Grade X80

The chemical composition of Grade X80 of the API 5L SEAMLESS steel pipes contains 0.22% Carbon, 1,90% Manganese, 0.025% Phosphorus, and 0.015% Sulphur. The Tensile and yield strengths are given as 90-120 KSI and 80-102 KSI.

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Conclusion

The API 5L is the standard specification for pipelines in the oil and gas sector set by the American Petroleum Institute. API 5L SEAMLESS pipes depict excellent resistance against crack propagation and also are suitable for sour services. Therefore, they are preferred in the oil and gas industry.

The API 5L SEAMLESS steel pipes have two different product specification levels. Each level has grades of steel with each grade having unique properties that we have outlined above.

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