January 2011

Engineering Case Histories

Case 60: Socket-weld failures

A risk analysis can determine which critical welds to repair

Sofronas, T., Consulting Engineer

A new plant was constructed; it contained over 10,000 socket welds. Socket welding (Figs. 1 and 2) is one of a number of methods used for making piping connections; they are plain-fillet welds arranged for greater ease of alignment and welding. Used for nominal pipe sizes (NPSs) 4-in. and smaller, they are favored for new projects that make use of prefabricated piping.      Fig. 1. Socket-weld nomenclature.           Fig. 2. Dye-leak trace of a 2-in. socket-weld   connection.       However, there are some downside issues with socket welds. Having only about ⅓ the stre

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