What is Cladded Pipe?

Cladded Pipe is a steel pipe having a metallurgically bonded corrosion resistant alloy layer on its internal or external surface. The base material is carbon steel or low alloy steel. Clad pipes comply with the most stringent requirements of strength and corrosion resistance. The carbon steel outer pipe (backing steel or base metal) complies with the static requirements of strength and durability whereas the high alloyed inside pipe provides protection against corrosion. As more and more pipelines are operated under highly corrosive conditions, the use of CRA cladded pipe is increasing in the pipeline industry especially in offshore areas.

Applications of cladded Pipe

An internal layer of corrosion-resistant alloy material, known as a cladding material is economically suitable as the thinner layer enhances the corrosion-resistant abilities with increasing much cost. Because of this, Cladded Pipe is extensively used in subsea pipelines and natural gas industries for conveying sour oil and gas, saltwater pipelines, water reinjection systems, process pipes in the chemical industry, saltwater pipes, Water injection pipelines, Interfield pipelines, Riser pipelines, Flow-lines, power plants, and marine applications.

CRA Materials for Cladded Pipe

An extensive range of stainless steel and non-ferrous alloy materials to suit the temperature requirements can be used as cladded pipe material. In normal industrial applications the following materials are found suitable as cladding material:

  • Stainless Steel SS 304, SS 316, SS 317, SS410,
  • Duplex Stainless Steel,
  • Alloy Steel 254 SMO 904,
  • Incoloy alloy 825, Inconel alloy 59, Inconel alloy 625,
  • Hastelloy C-276,
  • Hastelloy C-22,
  • Hastelloy B3,
  • UNS N0 8825, UNS N06625, UNS N04400,
  • Alloy 31,
  • AL6NX,
  • Alloy 20,
  • Monel alloy 400,
  • Zirconium,
  • Titanium, and
  • some copper alloys

The cladding material shall conform to ASTM A265, B898, B424, B443, B619, A240, A263, A264, B622, B675, B265, B551, etc. The thickness of the CRA layer is normally 0.25 mm to 6 mm.

Cladding material types and thicknesses can be selected to meet the specified environment.

API 5LD provides basic requirements for CRA cladded line steel pipe.

Cladded Pipe
Fig. 1: Cladded Pipe

Manufacturing of CRA Cladded Steel Pipes

Two methods are available for bonding the CRA cladding pipe layer to the steel pipe:

Metallurgical bonding of cladding pipe:

The metallurgical bonding of the cladding can be achieved by various methods like WELD OVERLAY, explosion bonding, hot rolling, coextrusion, powder metallurgy, etc. Clad plates are utilized as raw materials. However, The main problem with metallurgical bonding is the high costs due to a limited number of suppliers for such a complex and demanding manufacturing process of metallurgical bonding the plates.

WELD OVERLAY is the most widely used metallurgical bonding process for pipe cladding. A Weld Overlay is also known as cladding, weld cladding, hard facing, or weld overlay cladding. In this process, one or more metals are joined together via welding to the surface of a base metal (backing steel) as a layer. Surfaces prepared by the weld overlay method can even be highly customized by layering and alloying multiple different materials together.

For manufacturing cladded pipe by explosion bonding, two dissimilar materials are bonded with the help of pressure and heat produced by explosion. The clad material is kept on top of the base material and then the explosive material is spread on it. Upon ignition of the explosive, resultant thrust bonds the clad plate on the base plate underneath. Depending on the job requirements, various combination of clad plate and base plate thickness can be bonded.

Mechanical bonding of Cladding Pipe:

Mechanical bonding of the CRA pipe and the base steel pipe is performed by using spring back variation using Hydroforming or full-length pipe expander. Hydroforming is more expensive than a full-length pipe expander.

Inspection of CRA Cladded Pipes are done using Ultrasonic Testing Methods.

Typical CRA clad pipe
Fig. 2: Typical CRA clad pipe

Difference between Clad and Lined Pipe

Few differences between cladded pipe and lined pipe is listed below:

Cladded PipeLined Pipe
Metallic material is used for cladding.For lining, non-metallic material is used.
Weld Overlay or explosion bonding process.Mechanical bonding process with adhesive
Suitable for high temperature and pressure applications.Normally used in low pressure and temperature applications
Complicated fabricationEasy fabrication because of flanged joints.
Economically CostlyComperatively cheaper.
Cladded Pipe vs Lined Pipe
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Anup Kumar Dey

I am a Mechanical Engineer turned into a Piping Engineer. Currently, I work in a reputed MNC as a Senior Piping Stress Engineer. I am very much passionate about blogging and always tried to do unique things. This website is my first venture into the world of blogging with the aim of connecting with other piping engineers around the world.

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