Quality Assurance of Pipeline Fittings
Pipeline fittings (principally elbows, tees, and reducers) made from high strength steel and heat treated by Quenching and Tempering require careful process control. For example, furnace temperature, placement of the fittings in the furnace, transfer time to quenching tank, adequacy of quench or tempering time can all impact the fittings’ mechanical properties if not done properly.
In recent years, the NEB became aware of instances of pipe and fittings having mechanical properties that did not meet Canadian Standards Association or similar standards, being installed on pipeline systems under NEB and other regulatory bodies’ jurisdiction.
In 2013 a pipeline rupture occurred on an NEB-regulated pipeline. The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) issued its report in 2015. During the investigation the TSB noted that some fittings in the pipeline system did not meet appropriate mechanical properties specifications. While the TSB concluded that this was not the cause of the incident, the NEB undertook further investigations to determine if this issue might indicate a systemic problem.
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