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Material Mechanical Property Requirements
API Spec 6A and 16A specify four standard material property designations, identified by yield strengths. The following table lists the API Spec 6A material designations and the measured minimum mechanical property requirements.
Table 1 - Designated material property requirements for bodies,
bonnets and end and outlet connections Material Designation 0.2% Yield Strength Tensile Strength Elongation in 50 mm (2 in)
Reduction in Area
a 70,000 21 70,000 19 85,000 18 95,000 17b
0.2% Yield Strength
Elongation in 50 mm (2 in)
Reduction in Area
Although API Spec 6A exactly specifies minimum mechanical properties for end and outlet connections, it allows manufacturers to choose among 4 categories of material strength for bodies and bonnets based on calculated stress levels within the assembled equipment at test pressure. The manufacturer may join one strength of material to another by welding as determined by design requirements.
The table below indicates the common materials used by manufacturers in compliance with requirements.
Table 2 - Designated material requirements for bodies and bonnets
Equipment connections need not have any higher material strength than that of the lowest pressure connection. For example, manufacturers may make a 7-1/16 15M x 7-1/16 10M Flanged Adapter Spool entirely from 60K material and meet API Spec 6A requirements. This unit of equipment has a 10,000 psi working pressure, as determined by its' lowest pressure connection, and 60K material meets the minimum mechanical property requirements for 10,000 psi working pressure end connections.
The table below lists the material for integral end and outlet connections of pressure containing equipment.
Table 3 - Designated material requirements for integral end and outlet connections
The table below lists the material requirements for API 6A specified weld neck flanges.
Table 4 - Designated material requirements for weld neck flanges
Commonly, manufacturers use the commercial steels shown in the table below to make API pressure control equipment. NACE specifies all of these materials as satisfactory for Hydrogen Sulfide Service (H2S) per MR0175 provided the hardness does not exceed 22 Rockwell C (22 RC), equivalent to 237 Brinell Hardness (237 HBW) per ASTM E140.
Table 5 - Commercial steels used for pressure control equipment
API and NACE both specify material chemistry limitations; otherwise NACE specifies only upper hardness limits for specific materials. API additionally specifies: tensile strength, yield strength, elongation, and reduction of area; all confirmed by destructive testing of a specific test sample (referred to as a Qualification Test Coupon or Test Coupon) taken from the same heat of steel and processed in the same manner as the production part(s) it represents. The hardness test(s) taken on this sample provide(s) a reference to compare to production parts processed in the same way. The hardness test in this case provides a quality control measurement to give the manufacturer "confidence" that the "same processes" gave the same result.
Caution: API Spec 6A requires design stress limits that the manufacturer must consider when choosing the strength of material for bodies. Operators should consult with the equipment manufacturer when questions arise concerning justification of acceptance of the Brinell Hardness of a body that falls below that required for the lowest pressure connector integral to that body.
Brinell Hardness has no bearing on material suitability for "low temperature" service.
For more information about Brinell Hardness as related to API pressure control equipment, see Brinell Hardness Testing, What Can We Learn From It?
For a chart of Brinell hardness impression sizes, their respective Brinell hardness numbers, the approximate tensile strength corresponding to those numbers, and conversion between Brinell and Rockwell hardness numbers, see Hardness Number Conversion Chart.
For specific service temperatures or, as an additional quality control measure, API Spec 6A requires Charpy V-Notch impact tests. These test requirements vary by PSL level, as shown in the table below
Table 6 - Charpy V-Notch impact requirements ( 10 mm x 10 mm ) ASTM A370
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