API 5L Pipes for Pipelines Explained

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With this article, you learn about API 5L pipes. The API 5L specification covers seamless and welded pipes to convey oil, gas, water in the natural oil & gas and petrochemical industries. API 5L line pipes are available in multiple carbon steel grades, designated as Grade B, X42, X46, X52, X56, X60, X70, X80 and in PSL1 or PSL2 specification levels. 

API 5L SPECIFICATION

The API 5L specification covers pipes to conveying oil, gas, water in the petroleum, gas and water distribution industries. The API 5L specification latest edition can be read on the API website directly.
API 5L pipe
API 5L Pipes Tenaris

API 5L pipes may be classified according to the following criteria:

The main advantages of API 5L pipe are:

  • Resistance to cracking forces that may propagate in long pipelines
  • Sour service suitability
  • Rather inexpensive and long service life (at least grades B, X42)

Size Range

API 5L pipes are available in dimensions between from 2 to 28″  (seamless execution) and up to 80″ in welded execution (generally, LSAW i.e. longitudinal submerged arc welding).

The API 5L and ASME B36.10 pipe dimensions and weights are, in fact, identical.

API 5L PIPE CHEMICAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES

The yield strength of an API 5L pipe is specified with the number that follows the X in the material grade designation (in kilopounds per square inch – i.e. KSI). So, for instance, an API 5L X52 pipe has a minimum yield strength of 52 KSI.

The table shows the chemical composition of API 5L steel pipes PSL1 and PSL2 from Grade A to Grade X70, as well as their mechanical properties.
Source: API 5L specification

API 5L PIPE PSL1 Chemical and Mechanical Properties

API 5L PIPE PSL1

Chemical Composition

Mechanical Property

C (Max)

Mn (Max)

P (Max)

S (Max)

TENSILE ( Min )

YIELD ( Min )

Psi X 1000

Mpa

Psi X 1000

Mpa

Grade A25

CL I

0.21

0.60

0.030

0.030

45

310

25

172

CL II

0.21

0.60

0.030

0.030

Grade A

0.22

0.90

0.030

0.030

48

331

30

207

Grade B

0.26

1.20

0.030

0.030

60

414

35

241

Grade X42

0.26

1.30

0.030

0.030

60

414

42

290

Grade X46

0.26

1.40

0.030

0.030

63

434

46

317

Grade X52

0.26

1.40

0.030

0.030

66

455

52

359

Grade X56

0.26

1.40

0.030

0.030

71

490

56

386

Grade X60

0.26

1.40

0.030

0.030

75

517

60

414

Grade X65

0.26

1.45

0.030

0.030

77

531

65

448

Grade X70

0.26

1.65

0.030

0.030

82

565

70

483

 

API 5L PIPE PSL2 Chemical and Mechanical Properties

API 5L PIPE
PSL2

Chemical Composition

Mechanical Property

C
(Max)

Mn
(Max)

P
(Max)

S
(Max)

Tensile

Yield

C. E. IMPACT ENERGY

Psi x 1000

Mpa

Psi x 1000

Mpa

PCM

IIW

J

FT/LB

Grade B

0.22

1.20

0.025

0.015

60 – 110

414 – 758

35 – 65

241 – 448

0.25

0.43

T/L 27/41

T/L 20/30

Grade X42

0.22

1.30

0.025

0.015

60 – 110

414 – 758

42 – 72

290 – 496

0.25

0.43

T/L 27/41

T/L 20/30

Grade X46

0.22

1.40

0.025

0.015

63 – 110

434 – 758

46 – 76

317 – 524

0.25

0.43

T/L 27/41

T/L 20/30

Grade X52

0.22

1.40

0.025

0.015

66 – 110

455 – 758

52 – 77

359 – 531

0.25

0.43

T/L 27/41

T/L 20/30

Grade X56

0.22

1.40

0.025

0.015

71 – 110

490 – 758

56 – 79

386 – 544

0.25

0.43

T/L 27/41

T/L 20/30

Grade X60

0.22

1.40

0.025

0.015

75 – 110

517 – 758

60 – 82

414 – 565

0.25

0.43

T/L 27/41

T/L 20/30

Grade X65

0.22

1.45

0.025

0.015

77 – 110

531 – 758

65 – 82

448 – 565

0.25

0.43

T/L 27/41

T/L 20/30

Grade X70

0.22

1.65

0.025

0.015

82 – 110

565 – 758

70 – 82

483 – 565

0.25

0.43

T/L 27/41

T/L 20/30

Grade X80

0.22

1.90

0.025

0.015

90 – 120

621 – 827

80 – 102

552 – 705

0.25

0.43

T/L 27/41

T/L 20/30

API 5L Equivalent Grades (ASTM, EN, DIN)

Material grades A53 Gr. B and A106 Gr. B, and also API 5L Gr. X42, are API 5L Gr. B equivalent. It is actually quite common to find on the market pipes that comply, at the same time, with all these specifications (“quadri-norm” marked pipes). While this is true in terms of chemical and mechanical properties, note that the API 5L specification sets more severe requirements and tests than those set for the two equivalent ASTM specifications.

In terms of comparison with EN pipe standards, API 5L Gr. B equivalents are EN 10216-1 P265GH (seamless) and EN 10217-1 P265 (welded) – whereas EN 10216-2 P265 GH is the EN equivalent grade for ASTM A106 Gr. B pipes.

Line Pipe Materials: Werkstoff vs EN vs API
Werkstoff/DINENAPI
1.0486   StE 285API 5L Grade X42
1.0562   StE 355P355NAPI 5L Grade X52
1.8902   StE 420P420NAPI 5L Grade X60
1.8905   StE 460P460NAPI 5L Grade X70
High Yield Steel Pipes
1.0457   StE 240.7L245NBAPI 5L Grade B
1.0484   StE 290.7L290NBAPI 5L Grade X42
1.0582   StE 360.7L360NBAPI 5L Grade X52
1.8972   StE 415.7L415NBAPI 5L Grade X60
– –

API 5L PSL1 VS. API 5L PSL2

API 5L PSL1 and PSL2 are two specification levels that differ in terms of chemical composition and test requirements. The differences between PSL1 and PSL2 are outlined in the two tables below:

PSL GRADE

C, a

  Mn a

P

 S

 Si

V

Nb

Ti

Other

CEIIW

CEpcm

1

0.24

1.40

0.025

0.015

0.45

0.10

0.05

0.04

b,c

.043

0.025

2

0.28

1.40

0.03

0.03

b

b

b

 

Test RequirementAPI 5L PSL1API 5L PSL2
Charpy testNone requiredRequired for all grades
Seamless NDT testOnly if purchaser specifies SR4SR4 mandatory
CertificationCertificates when specified per SR15Certificates (SR 15.1) mandatory
TraceabilityTraceable only until all tests are passed, unless SR15 is specifiedTraceable after completion of tests (SR 15.2) mandatory
Hydrostatic TestRequiredRequired

API 5L PIPE SCHEDULE CHART

DIMENSIONAL RANGE

NPS
(in)
Outside Diameter
(in)
API 5l Pipe Schedule
SCH 10SCH 20SCH 30SCH STDSCH 40SCH 60SCH XSSCH 80SCH 100SCH 120SCH 140SCH 160SCH XXS
Wall Thickness (in)
1/80.4050.0680.0680.0950.095
1/40.5400.0880.0880.1190.119
3/80.6750.0910.0910.1260.126
1/20.8400.1090.1090.1470.1470.1870.294
3/41.0500.1130.1130.1540.1540.2190.308
11.3150.1330.1330.1790.1790.2500.358
1 1/41.6600.1400.1400.1910.1910.2500.382
1 1/21.9000.1450.1450.2000.2000.2810.400
22.3750.1540.1540.2180.2180.3440.436
2 1/22.8750.2030.2030.2760.2760.3750.552
33.5000.2160.2160.3000.3000.4380.600
3 1/24.0000.2260.2260.3180.318
44.5000.2370.2370.3370.3370.4380.5310.674
55.5630.2580.2580.3750.3750.5000.6250.750
66.6250.2800.2800.4320.4320.5620.7190.864
88.6250.2500.2770.3220.3220.4060.5000.5000.5940.7190.8120.9060.875
1010.7500.2500.3070.3650.3650.5000.5000.5940.7190.8441.0001.1251.000
1212.7500.2500.3300.3750.4060.5620.5000.6880.8441.0001.1251.3121.000
1414.0000.2500.3120.3750.3750.4380.5940.5000.7500.9381.0941.2501.406
1616.0000.2500.3120.3750.3750.5000.6560.5000.8441.0311.2191.4381.594
1818.0000.2500.3120.4380.3750.5620.7500.5000.9381.1561.3751.5621.781
2020.0000.2500.3750.5000.3750.5940.8120.5001.0311.2811.5001.7501.969
2222.0000.2500.3750.5000.3750.8750.5001.1251.3751.6251.8752.125
2424.0000.2500.3750.5620.3750.6880.9690.5001.2191.5311.8122.0622.344
3030.0000.3120.5000.6250.3750.500
3232.0000.3120.5000.6250.3750.688
3434.0000.3120.5000.6250.3750.688
3636.0000.3120.5000.6250.3750.750
4242.0000.5000.6250.3750.750

API 5L PIPE OUTSIDE DIAMETER TOLERANCE

Specified outside
diameter D mm (in) of API 5L Pipes

API 5L Diameter tolerances mm (in)

API 5L Out-of-roundness tolerances mm (in)

Pipe except at end a

Pipe end a,b,c

Pipe except at end a

Pipe end a,b,c

SMLS pipe

Welded pipe

SMLS pipe

Welded pipe

< 60.3 (2.375)

– 0.8 (0.031 ) to + 0.4 (0.016)

– 0.4 (0.016) to + 1.6 (0.063)

d

≥ 60.3 (2.375)
to
≤ 168.3 (6.625)

± 0.007 5 D

0.020 D

0.015 D

≥ 168.3 (6.625)
to
≤ 610 (24.00)

± 0.007 5 D

± 0.007 5 D

but maximum

of + 3.2 (0.125)

± 0.005 D,

but maximum of ± 1.6 (0.063)

> 610 (24.000)
to
≤ 1 422 (56.00)

± 0.01 D

± 0.005 D,

but maximum

of + 4.0 (0.160)

± 2.0 (0.079)

± 1.6 (0.063)

0.015 D

0.01 D,

but maximum of
15 (0.6),

but maximum of 13 (0.5),

for d / ts ≤ 75

for d / ts ≤ 75

by agreement

by agreement

for d / ts > 75

for d / ts > 75

> 1 422 (56 000)

as agreed

a — Pipe end includes a length of 100 mm (4.0 in) for each side
b — For SMLS pipe, the tolerances apply for 25.0 mm (0.984 in); tolerances for thicker pipes have to be as agreed.
c — For pipe with D219,1 mm (8.625 in) the diameter tolerance and the out-of-roundness tolerance may be determined by using the calculated inside diameter (the specified outside diameter minus two times the specified wall thickness) or measured inside diameter rather than the specified outside diameter
d — Included in the tolerance of the diameter

API 5L PIPE WALL THICKNESS TOLERANCE (WT)

API 5L wall thickness t
mm (in)

API 5L Pipes Tolerances a
mm (in) mm (in)

API 5L SMLS pipe b

≤ 4,0 ( 0.157)

+ 0,6 (0.024)
– 0,5 (0.020)

> 4,0 ( 0.157) to < 25,0 (0.984)

+ 0,150
– 0,125

≥ 25,0 (0.984)

+3,7 (0.146) or + 0,1 t whichever is the greater
– 3,0 (0.120) or – 0,1 t whichever is the greater

API 5L Welded pipe c, d

≤ 5,0 (0.197)

± 0,5 (0.020)

> 5,0 (0.197) to <15,0 (0.591 )

± 0, 1 t

 ≥ 15,0 (0.591)

±1,5 (0.060)

a — if the purchase order specifies a minus tolerance for wall thickness smaller than the applicable value given in this table, the plus tolerance for wall thickness shall be increased by an amount sufficient to maintain the applicable tolerance range.
b — for pipe with D ≥ 355,6 mm (14.000 in) and t ≥ 25,0 mm (0.984 in) the wall thickness tolerance locally may exceed the plus tolerance for wall thickness by an additional 0,05 t, provided that the plus tolerance for mass (see 9.14) is not exceeded.
c — The plus tolerance for wall thickness does not apply to the weld area.
d — See 9.13.2 for additional restrictions.

API 5L MONOGRAM

Manufacturers of steel pipes may request API an audit to assess their capabilities to comply with the API 5L standard.

Pipe mills that pass the API audit successfully are awarded an API monogram.

API lists in a composite index the names of the factories that have passed the audit successfully. The monogram has an expiration date.
The API monogram is therefore similar to franchising scheme, however, API does not have any financial benefit from the certification of pipe mills, nor does it take any liability and the performance of the certified mills and products.

Example of API 5L Monogram

HOW TO ORDER

ParameterAPI 5L Pipe Ordering Details
QtyFeet or lengths
SizeNPS (Outside Diameter) and Schedule Number (Average Wall Thickness)
PSLPSL 1 or PSL 2
Material GradeGrade A, Grade B, X42, X46, X52, X60, X70, X80, etc
ExecutionSeamless or Welded execution
Surface finishBare, Black, FBE, etc
Marking requirementsIf different from the API 5L Specification
Pipe coating or lining requirementsTo protect the pipe from erosion and corrosion, depending on the fluid to be conveyed
ManufacturerApproved Manufacturer List (AML), or Country of Origin restrictions
Sour serviceYes / No

We recommend purchasing the API5L specification from the API store to get a complete understanding of this topic.

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7 Responses

  1. Below could cover if pipe (SA-333 Gr.6) is UT tested in accordance with API 5L, N5, E/I and ISO10893-8

    “Seamless pipe shall be examined on their full length by ultrasonic testing, in accordance with ASTM E213, by pulse angle beam method.”

  2. Can pipes with OD >84″ be API monogrammed? As Table 9 limits OD to 84″ and Table 21 provides details for pipes with OD >84″. Please help me to understand.

  3. API 5L PSL1 VS. API 5L PSL2 : it seems the chemical grades are inverted i.e. against PSL1 the chemistry given pertains to PSL2 and vise versa, also footnotes marked a,b,c is not given.

  4. You are kindly requested to submit your complete technical offer and your rock bottom prices on CIF Alexandria Seaport Basis for supplying the attached items according to technical specifications including the best delivery schedule.
    on or before 6 January 2021
    4”PlPE API 5L GR.B SCH.40 BARE 50
    3”PlPE API 5L GR.B SCH.40 BARE 650
    I”PIPE API 5L GR.B SCH.40 BARE 70
    4”PlPE API 5L GR.B SCH.40 COATED 200
    3”PlPE API 5L GR.B SCH.40 COATED 2600
    I”PIPE API 5L GR.B SCH.40 COATED 70

  5. Dear Sir,
    We are extending this request to you.
    Kindly tender your best offer as soon as possible
    REQUEST FOR QUOTATION:- 5LPP INSULATION COATING PIPES AND BENDS
    S/N DESCRIPTION UOM QTY
    1 254mm ID x 24.7WT 90 degree bend, radius 1270mm c/w with 6000mm+4000mm mm tangents API5L X65 or API5L X52 or API5L X42, with 104mm 5LPP insulation coating EA 1
    2 End caps and Test port for above pipes and bends to withstand a test pressure of 330bar EA 3

    Test Bend:
    • Since this bend is a test bend which will be discarded after the FAT of the clamps, The idea is not to fabricate a new pipe using CPY specification which are very stringent. However what bidders needs to look for an existing mother pipe which will be bend to 90 degree to provide the above required bend. (There could also be welding required for adding the tangents).
    • The MTC of this pipe is to be submitted to the CPY prior to the order so that CPY can have a look and approve the same. That’s why CPY specifications are not important.
    • The MTC should be 3.1 or 3.2 certified by a recognized 3rd party.
    • The OD of bend is most important for us and The tolerance range for OD would be 301.1 – 305.7mm range. Outside this range the bend will be rejected. Weld seams, if any, to be machined or grinded.
    • The surface roughness of the end product need to be Sa 2.5 or finer.
    • Tensile strength and hardness also need to be maintained. A standard API 5L X52 or higher grade pipe can be provided.

    End caps with test port:
    • The cap can be of welded type which need to be welded to the ends of the bend or screw on type which can be screwed to the outside or inside of the bend ends (Bidder to make arrangement for the threads on the test bend to suit) or any other hydraulic or mechanical lock.
    • The end caps should have test port for pressurization and de-pressurization.
    • The end caps should be suitable for a 330 bar pressure.

    Instruction for Tender
    Your quote should contain the following below;
    1. Datasheet or Drawing
    2. Shipping cost
    3. Total shipping weight
    4. Delivery time
    5. Confirm you quoted without no deviation (If any, please indicate)
    6. Indicate our line/item number on your quote

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