(19)
(11)EP 3 778 956 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
17.02.2021 Bulletin 2021/07

(21)Application number: 19775690.1

(22)Date of filing:  22.03.2019
(51)Int. Cl.: 
C22C 38/00  (2006.01)
C22C 38/54  (2006.01)
C21D 8/10  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2019/011962
(87)International publication number:
WO 2019/188740 (03.10.2019 Gazette  2019/40)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 26.03.2018 JP 2018058443

(71)Applicant: NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION
Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8071 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • YOSHIDA, Shinji
    Tokyo 100-8071 (JP)
  • ARAI, Yuji
    Tokyo 100-8071 (JP)
  • SOMA, Atsushi
    Tokyo 100-8071 (JP)
  • KAMITANI, Hiroki
    Tokyo 100-8071 (JP)

(74)Representative: Zimmermann & Partner Patentanwälte mbB 
Postfach 330 920
80069 München
80069 München (DE)

  


(54)STEEL MATERIAL SUITABLE FOR USE IN ACIDIC ENVIRONMENTS


(57) A steel material that has a yield strength in a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade) and also have excellent SSC resistance are provided. The steel material according to the present disclosure contains a chemical composition consisting of, in mass%, C: 0.20 to 0.50%, Si: 0.05 to 1.00%, Mn: 0.05 to 1.00%, P: 0.025% or less, S: 0.0100% or less, Al: 0.005 to 0.100%, Cr: 0.20 to 1.50%, Mo: 0.25 to 1.50%, Ti: 0.002 to 0.050%, B: 0.0001 to 0.0050%, N: 0.0100% or less and O: 0.0100% or less, with the balance being Fe and impurities. The steel material contains an amount of dissolved C within a range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%. The steel material also has a yield strength within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa, and a yield ratio of the steel material is 90% or more.




Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] The present invention relates to a steel material, and more particularly relates to a steel material suitable for use in a sour environment.

BACKGROUND ART



[0002] Due to the deepening of oil wells and gas wells (hereunder, oil wells and gas wells are collectively referred to as "oil wells"), there is a demand to enhance the strength of oil-well steel materials represented by oil-well steel pipes. Specifically, 80 ksi grade (yield strength is 80 to less than 95 ksi, that is, 552 to less than 655 MPa) and 95 ksi grade (yield strength is 95 to less than 110 ksi, that is, 655 to less than 758 MPa) oil-well steel pipes are being widely utilized, and recently requests are also starting to be made for 110 ksi grade (yield strength is 110 to less than 125 ksi, that is, 758 to less than 862 MPa), 125 ksi grade (yield strength is 125 ksi to less than 140 ksi, that is, 862 to less than 965 MPa) and 140 ksi grade (yield strength is 140 ksi to less than 155 ksi, that is, 965 to less than 1069 MPa) oil-well steel pipes.

[0003] Most deep wells are in a sour environment containing corrosive hydrogen sulfide. In the present description, the term "sour environment" means an acidified environment containing hydrogen sulfide. Note that, in some cases a sour environment may also contain carbon dioxide. Oil-well steel pipes for use in such sour environments are required to have not only high strength, but to also have sulfide stress cracking resistance (hereunder, referred to as "SSC resistance").

[0004] Technology for enhancing the SSC resistance of steel materials as typified by oil-well steel pipes is disclosed in Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 62-253720 (Patent Literature 1), Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 59-232220 (Patent Literature 2), Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 6-322478 (Patent Literature 3), Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 8-311551 (Patent Literature 4), Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2000-256783 (Patent Literature 5), Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2000-297344 (Patent Literature 6), Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2005-350754 (Patent Literature 7), National Publication of International Patent Application No. 2012-519238 (Patent Literature 8) and Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2012-26030 (Patent Literature 9).

[0005] Patent Literature 1 proposes a method for improving the SSC resistance of steel for oil wells by reducing impurities such as Mn and P. Patent Literature 2 proposes a method for improving the SSC resistance of steel by performing quenching twice to refine the grains.

[0006] Patent Literature 3 proposes a method for improving the SSC resistance of a 125 ksi grade steel material by refining the steel microstructure by a heat treatment using induction heating. Patent Literature 4 proposes a method for improving the SSC resistance of steel pipes of 110 to 140 ksi grade by enhancing the hardenability of the steel by utilizing a direct quenching process and also increasing the tempering temperature.

[0007] Patent Literature 5 and Patent Literature 6 each propose a method for improving the SSC resistance of a steel for low-alloy oil country tubular goods of 110 to 140 ksi grade by controlling the shapes of carbides. Patent Literature 7 proposes a method for improving the SSC resistance of steel material of 125 ksi grade or higher by controlling the dislocation density and the hydrogen diffusion coefficient to desired values. Patent Literature 8 proposes a method for improving the SSC resistance of steel of 125 ksi grade by subjecting a low-alloy steel containing 0.3 to 0.5% of C to quenching multiple times. Patent Literature 9 proposes a method for controlling the shapes or number of carbides by employing a tempering process composed of a two-stage heat treatment. More specifically, in Patent Literature 9, a method is proposed that enhances the SSC resistance of 125 ksi grade steel by suppressing the number density of large M3C particles or M2C particles.

CITATION LIST


PATENT LITERATURE



[0008] 

Patent Literature 1: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 62-253720

Patent Literature 2: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 59-232220

Patent Literature 3: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 6-322478

Patent Literature 4: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 8-311551

Patent Literature 5: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2000-256783

Patent Literature 6: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2000-297344

Patent Literature 7: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2005-350754

Patent Literature 8: National Publication of International Patent Application No. 2012-519238

Patent Literature 9: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2012-26030


SUMMARY OF INVENTION


TECHNICAL PROBLEM



[0009] As described above, accompanying the increasing severity of oil well environments in recent years, there is a demand for oil-well steel pipes that are more excellent in SSC resistance than the conventional oil-well steel pipes. Therefore, steel materials (for example, oil-well steel pipes) having a yield strength of 140 ksi grade (965 to 1069 MPa) and excellent SSC resistance may be obtained by using techniques other than the techniques disclosed in the aforementioned Patent Literatures 1 to 9.

[0010] An objective of the present disclosure is to provide a steel material that has a yield strength within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 to 155 ksi; 140 ksi grade) and that also has excellent SSC resistance.

SOLUTION TO PROBLEM



[0011] A steel material according to the present disclosure contains a chemical composition consisting of, in mass%, C: 0.20 to 0.50%, Si: 0.05 to 1.00%, Mn: 0.05 to 1.00%, P: 0.025% or less, S: 0.0100% or less, Al: 0.005 to 0.100%, Cr: 0.20 to 1.50%, Mo: 0.25 to 1.50%, Ti: 0.002 to 0.050%, B: 0.0001 to 0.0050%, N: 0.0100% or less, O: 0.0100% or less, V: 0 to 0.60%, Nb: 0 to 0.030%, Ca: 0 to 0.0100%, Mg: 0 to 0.0100%, Zr: 0 to 0.0100%, Co: 0 to 0.50%, W: 0 to 0.50%, Ni: 0 to 0.50%, Cu: 0 to 0.50% and rare earth metal: 0 to 0.0100%, with the balance being Fe and impurities. The steel material according to the present disclosure also contains an amount of dissolved C within a range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%. The steel material according to the present disclosure also has a yield strength within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa, and a yield ratio of the steel material is 90% or more.

ADVANTAGEOUS EFFECTS OF INVENTION



[0012] The steel material according to the present disclosure has a yield strength within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade), and also has excellent SSC resistance.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS



[0013] 

[FIG. 1] FIG. 1 is a view illustrating the relation between the amount of dissolved C and a fracture toughness value Kissc for respective test numbers of the examples.

[FIG. 2A] FIG. 2A shows a side view and a cross-sectional view of a DCB test specimen that is used in a DCB test in the present embodiment.

[FIG. 2B] FIG. 2B is a perspective view of a wedge that is used in the DCB test in the present embodiment.


DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



[0014]  The present inventors conducted investigations and studies regarding a method for obtaining both a yield strength in a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade) and excellent SSC resistance in a steel material that it is assumed will be used in a sour environment, and obtained the following findings.

[0015] If the dislocation density in the steel material is increased, the yield strength of the steel material will increase. On the other hand, there is a possibility that dislocations will occlude hydrogen. Therefore, if the dislocation density of the steel material increases, there is a possibility that the amount of hydrogen that the steel material occludes will also increase. If the hydrogen concentration in the steel material increases as a result of increasing the dislocation density, even if high strength is obtained, the SSC resistance of the steel material will decrease. Accordingly, at first glance it seems that, in order to obtain both a yield strength of 140 ksi grade (965 to 1069 MPa) and SSC resistance, utilizing the dislocation density to enhance the strength is not preferable.

[0016] However, the present inventors discovered that by adjusting the amount of dissolved C in a steel material, excellent SSC resistance can also be obtained while at the same time raising the yield strength to 140 ksi grade by utilizing the dislocation density. Although the reason is not certain, it is considered that the reason may be as follows.

[0017] Dislocations include mobile dislocations and sessile dislocations, and it is considered that dissolved C in a steel material immobilizes mobile dislocations to thereby form sessile dislocations. When mobile dislocations are immobilized by dissolved C, the disappearance of dislocations can be inhibited, and thus a decrease in the dislocation density can be suppressed. In this case, the yield strength of the steel material can be maintained.

[0018] In addition, it is considered that the sessile dislocations that are formed by dissolved C reduce the amount of hydrogen that is occluded in the steel material more than mobile dislocations. Therefore, it is considered that by increasing the density of sessile dislocations that are formed by dissolved C, the amount of hydrogen that is occluded in the steel material is reduced. As a result, the SSC resistance of the steel material can be increased. It is considered that because of this mechanism, excellent SSC resistance is obtained even when the steel material has the yield strength of 140 ksi grade.

[0019] As described above, the present inventors considered that by appropriately adjusting the amount of dissolved C in a steel material, the SSC resistance of the steel material can be increased while maintaining a yield strength of 140 ksi grade. Therefore, using a steel material containing chemical composition consisting of, in mass%, C: 0.20 to 0.50%, Si: 0.05 to 1.00%, Mn: 0.05 to 1.00%, P: 0.025% or less, S: 0.0100% or less, Al: 0.005 to 0.100%, Cr: 0.20 to 1.50%, Mo: 0.25 to 1.50%, Ti: 0.002 to 0.050%, B: 0.0001 to 0.0050%, N: 0.0100% or less, O: 0.0100% or less, V: 0 to 0.60%, Nb: 0 to 0.030%, Ca: 0 to 0.0100%, Mg: 0 to 0.0100%, Zr: 0 to 0.0100%, Co: 0 to 0.50%, W: 0 to 0.50%, Ni: 0 to 0.50%, Cu: 0 to 0.50% and rare earth metal: 0 to 0.0100%, with the balance being Fe and impurities, the present inventors investigated the relation between the amount of dissolved C, the yield strength, and a fracture toughness value Kissc that is an index of SSC resistance.

[Relation between amount of dissolved C and SSC resistance]



[0020] FIG. 1 is a view illustrating the relation between the amount of dissolved C and a fracture toughness value Kissc for respective test numbers of the examples. FIG. 1 was obtained by the following method. FIG. 1 was created using the amount of dissolved C (mass%) and the fracture toughness value Kissc (MPa √/m) obtained with respect to steel materials for which, among the steel materials of the examples that are described later, conditions other than the amount of dissolved C satisfied the range of the present embodiment.

[0021] The yield strength of each of the steel materials shown in FIG. 1 was within the range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade). Adjustment of the yield strength was performed by adjusting the tempering temperature. Further, with respect to the SSC resistance, if the fracture toughness value Kissc obtained by a DCB test that is described later was 28.0 MPa√m or more, it was determined that the SSC resistance was good.

[0022] Referring to FIG. 1, in a steel material in which the conditions of the aforementioned chemical composition are satisfied, when the amount of dissolved C was 0.010 mass% or more, the fracture toughness value K1SSC became 28.0 MPa√m or more, indicating excellent SSC resistance. On the other hand, in a steel material in which the conditions of the aforementioned chemical composition are satisfied, when the amount of dissolved C was more than 0.050 mass%, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m. In other words, it was clarified that when the amount of dissolved C is too high, conversely, the SSC resistance decreases.

[0023] The reason the SSC resistance decreases when the amount of dissolved C is too high as described above has not been clarified. However, with respect to the range of the chemical composition and yield strength (140 ksi grade) of the present embodiment, excellent SSC resistance can be obtained if the amount of dissolved C is made 0.050 mass% or less.

[0024] Therefore, by adjusting the chemical composition and tempering conditions to obtain a yield strength within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade) and also making the amount of dissolved C 0.010 to 0.050 mass%, the fracture toughness value K1SSC becomes 28.0 MPa√m or more and excellent SSC resistance can be obtained. Accordingly, in the present embodiment, the amount of dissolved C of the steel material is set within the range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%.

[0025] Note that, the microstructure of the steel material according to the present embodiment is made a microstructure that is principally composed of tempered martensite and tempered bainite. The term "principally composed of tempered martensite and tempered bainite" means that the volume ratio of tempered martensite and tempered bainite is 90% or more. When the microstructure of the steel material is principally composed of tempered martensite and tempered bainite, in the steel material according to the present embodiment, the yield strength is in a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade), and a yield ratio (ratio of the yield strength to the tensile strength; in other words, yield ratio (YR) = yield strength (YS)/tensile strength (TS)) is 90% or more.

[0026] A steel material according to the present embodiment that was completed based on the above findings contains a chemical composition consisting of, in mass%, C: 0.20 to 0.50%, Si: 0.05 to 1.00%, Mn: 0.05 to 1.00%, P: 0.025% or less, S: 0.0100% or less, Al: 0.005 to 0.100%, Cr: 0.20 to 1.50%, Mo: 0.25 to 1.50%, Ti: 0.002 to 0.050%, B: 0.0001 to 0.0050%, N: 0.0100% or less, O: 0.0100% or less, V: 0 to 0.60%, Nb: 0 to 0.030%, Ca: 0 to 0.0100%, Mg: 0 to 0.0100%, Zr: 0 to 0.0100%, Co: 0 to 0.50%, W: 0 to 0.50%, Ni: 0 to 0.50%, Cu: 0 to 0.50% and rare earth metal: 0 to 0.0100%, with the balance being Fe and impurities. The steel material according to the present embodiment contains an amount of dissolved C within a range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%. In the steel material according to the present embodiment, the yield strength is within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa, and the yield ratio is 90% or more.

[0027] In the present description, although not particularly limited, the steel material is, for example, a steel pipe or a steel plate. Preferably, the steel material is an oil-well steel material that is used for oil wells, further preferably is an oil-well steel pipe. In the present description, as described above, the term "oil wells" is generic name of oil wells and gas wells.

[0028] The aforementioned chemical composition may contain one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of V: 0.01 to 0.60% and Nb: 0.002 to 0.030%.

[0029] The aforementioned chemical composition may contain one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of Ca: 0.0001 to 0.0100%, Mg: 0.0001 to 0.0100% and Zr: 0.0001 to 0.0100%.

[0030]  The aforementioned chemical composition may contain one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of Co: 0.02 to 0.50% and W: 0.02 to 0.50%.

[0031] The aforementioned chemical composition may contain one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of Ni: 0.01 to 0.50% and Cu: 0.01 to 0.50%.

[0032] The aforementioned chemical composition may contain a rare earth metal in an amount of 0.0001 to 0.0100%.

[0033] The aforementioned steel material may be an oil-well steel pipe.

[0034] In the present description, the oil-well steel pipe may be a steel pipe that is used for a line pipe or may be a steel pipe used for oil country tubular goods (OCTG). The oil-well steel pipe may be a seamless steel pipe, or may be a welded steel pipe. The oil country tubular goods are, for example, steel pipes that are used as casing pipes or tubing pipes.

[0035] Preferably, an oil-well steel pipe according to the present embodiment is a seamless steel pipe. If the oil-well steel pipe according to the present embodiment is a seamless steel pipe, even if the wall thickness is 15 mm or more, the oil-well steel pipe will have a yield strength within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade) and will also have excellent SSC resistance.

[0036] The term "excellent SSC resistance" mentioned above can be evaluated by a DCB test performed in accordance with "Method D" described in NACE TM0177-2005. Specifically, a mixed aqueous solution containing 5.0 mass% of sodium chloride and 0.4 mass% of sodium acetate that is adjusted to pH 3.5 using acetic acid (NACE solution B) is employed as the test solution. A wedge that is taken from the steel material is driven in a test specimen that is taken from the steel material, the test specimen into which the wedge was driven is then enclosed inside a test vessel. The test solution is poured into the test vessel so as to leave a vapor phase portion, and is adopted as the test bath.

[0037] After the test bath is degassed, a gaseous mixture consisting of 0.1 atm H2S and 0.9 atm CO2 is blown into the test vessel to make the test bath a corrosive environment. After the test bath that is immersing the test specimen being held at a temperature of 24°C for three weeks (504 hours) while stirring the test bath, the fracture toughness value K1SSC is obtained from the test specimen being taken out from the test vessel. In the steel material according to the present embodiment, the fracture toughness value K1SSC of determined under the foregoing DCB test is 28.0 MPa√m or more.

[0038] The term "amount of dissolved C" mentioned above means the difference between the amount of C (mass%) in carbides in the steel material and the C content of the chemical composition of the steel material. The amount of C in carbides in the steel material is determined by Formula (1) to Formula (5) using an Fe concentration <Fe>a, a Cr concentration <Cr>a, an Mn concentration <Mn>a, an Mo concentration <Mo>a, a V concentration <V>a and an Nb concentration <Nb>a in carbides (cementite and MC-type carbides) obtained as residue when extraction residue analysis is performed on the steel material, and an Fe concentration <Fe>b, a Cr concentration <Cr>b, an Mn concentration <Mn>b and an Mo concentration <Mo>b in cementite obtained by performing point analysis by energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (hereunder, referred to as "EDS") with respect to cementite identified by performing a transmission electron microscope (hereunder, referred to as "TEM") observation of a replica film obtained by an extraction replica method.











[0039] Note that, in the present description, the term "cementite" means carbides containing an Fe content of 50 mass% or more.

[0040] Hereunder, the steel material according to the present embodiment is described in detail. The symbol"%" in relation to an element means "mass percent" unless specifically stated otherwise.

[Chemical Composition]



[0041] The steel material according to the present embodiment is suitable for using in the sour environment. The chemical composition of the steel material according to the present embodiment contains the following elements.

C: 0.20 to 0.50%



[0042] Carbon (C) enhances the hardenability and increases the strength of the steel material. C also promotes spheroidization of carbides during tempering in the production process, and increases the SSC resistance of the steel material. If the carbides are dispersed, the strength of the steel material increases further. These effects will not be obtained if the C content is too low. On the other hand, if the C content is too high, the toughness of the steel material will decrease and quench cracking is liable to occur. Therefore, the C content is within the range of 0.20 to 0.50%. A preferable lower limit of the C content is 0.24%, and more preferably is 0.25%. A preferable upper limit of the C content is 0.48%.

Si: 0.05 to 1.00%



[0043] Silicon (Si) deoxidizes the steel. If the Si content is too low, this effect is not obtained. On the other hand, if the Si content is too high, the SSC resistance of the steel material decreases. Therefore, the Si content is within the range of 0.05 to 1.00%. A preferable lower limit of the Si content is 0.15%, and more preferably is 0.20%. A preferable upper limit of the Si content is 0.80%, and more preferably is 0.50%.

Mn: 0.05 to 1.00%



[0044] Manganese (Mn) deoxidizes the steel material. Mn also enhances the hardenability of the steel material. If the Mn content is too low, these effects are not obtained. On the other hand, if the Mn content is too high, Mn segregates at grain boundaries together with impurities such as P and S. In such a case, the SSC resistance of the steel material will decrease. Therefore, the Mn content is within a range of 0.05 to 1.00%. A preferable lower limit of the Mn content is 0.25%, and more preferably is 0.30%. A preferable upper limit of the Mn content is 0.90%, and more preferably is 0.80%.

P: 0.025% or less



[0045] Phosphorous (P) is an impurity. In other words, the P content is more than 0%. P segregates at the grain boundaries and decreases the SSC resistance of the steel material. Therefore, the P content is 0.025% or less. A preferable upper limit of the P content is 0.020%, and more preferably is 0.015%. Preferably, the P content is as low as possible. However, if the P content is excessively reduced, the production cost increases significantly. Therefore, when taking industrial production into consideration, a preferable lower limit of the P content is 0.0001%, more preferably is 0.0003%, and further preferably is 0.001%.

S: 0.0100% or less



[0046] Sulfur (S) is an impurity. In other words, the S content is more than 0%. S segregates at the grain boundaries and decreases the SSC resistance of the steel material. Therefore, the S content is 0.0100% or less. A preferable upper limit of the S content is 0.0050%, and more preferably is 0.0030%. Preferably, the S content is as low as possible. However, if the S content is excessively reduced, the production cost increases significantly. Therefore, when taking industrial production into consideration, a preferable lower limit of the S content is 0.0001%, more preferably is 0.0002%, and further preferably is 0.0003%.

Al: 0.005 to 0.100%



[0047] Aluminum (Al) deoxidizes the steel material. If the Al content is too low, this effect is not obtained and the SSC resistance of the steel material decreases. On the other hand, if the Al content is too high, coarse oxide-based inclusions are formed and the SSC resistance of the steel material decreases. Therefore, the Al content is within a range of 0.005 to 0.100%. A preferable lower limit of the Al content is 0.015%, and more preferably is 0.020%. A preferable upper limit of the Al content is 0.080%, and more preferably is 0.060%. In the present description, the "Al" content means "acid-soluble Al", that is, the content of "sol. Al".

Cr: 0.20 to 1.50%



[0048] Chromium (Cr) enhances the hardenability of the steel material. Cr also increases temper softening resistance of the steel material and enables high-temperature tempering. As a result, the SSC resistance of the steel material increases. If the Cr content is too low, these effects are not obtained. On the other hand, if the Cr content is too high, the toughness and SSC resistance of the steel material decreases. Therefore, the Cr content is within a range of 0.20 to 1.50%. A preferable lower limit of the Cr content is 0.25%, and more preferably is 0.30%. A preferable upper limit of the Cr content is 1.30%.

Mo: 0.25 to 1.50%



[0049] Molybdenum (Mo) enhances the hardenability of the steel material. Mo also forms fine carbides and increases the temper softening resistance of the steel material. As a result, Mo increases the SSC resistance of the steel material by high temperature tempering. If the Mo content is too low, these effects are not obtained. On the other hand, if the Mo content is too high, the aforementioned effects are saturated. Therefore, the Mo content is within a range of 0.25 to 1.50%. A preferable lower limit of the Mo content is 0.50%, and more preferably is 0.60%. A preferable upper limit of the Mo content is 1.30%, more preferably is 1.20%, and further preferably is 1.15%.

Ti: 0.002 to 0.050%



[0050] Titanium (Ti) forms nitrides, and refines crystal grains by the pinning effect. As a result, the strength of the steel material increases. If the Ti content is too low, this effect is not obtained. On the other hand, if the Ti content is too high, Ti nitrides coarsen and the SSC resistance of the steel material decreases. Therefore, the Ti content is within a range of 0.002 to 0.050%. A preferable lower limit of the Ti content is 0.003%, and more preferably is 0.005%. A preferable upper limit of the Ti content is 0.030%, and more preferably is 0.020%.

B: 0.0001 to 0.0050%



[0051] Boron (B) dissolves in the steel, enhances the hardenability of the steel material and increases the steel material strength. This effect is not obtained if the B content is too low. On the other hand, if the B content is too high, coarse nitrides form and the SSC resistance of the steel material decreases. Therefore, the B content is within a range of 0.0001 to 0.0050%. A preferable lower limit of the B content is 0.0003%, and more preferably is 0.0007%. A preferable upper limit of the B content is 0.0030%, and more preferably is 0.0015%.

N: 0.0100% or less



[0052] Nitrogen (N) is unavoidably contained. In other words, the N content is more than 0%. N combines with Ti to form fine nitrides, and refines crystal grains of the steel material by the pinning effect. However, if the N content is too high, N will form coarse nitrides and the SSC resistance of the steel material will decrease. Therefore, the N content is 0.0100% or less. A preferable upper limit of the N content is 0.0055%, and more preferably is 0.0050%. To obtain the above effect more effectively, a preferable lower limit of the N content is 0.0005%, more preferably is 0.0010%, further preferably is 0.0015%, and further preferably is 0.0020%.

O: 0.0100% or less



[0053] Oxygen (O) is an impurity. In other words, the O content is more than 0%. O forms coarse oxides and reduces the corrosion resistance of the steel material. Therefore, the O content is 0.0100% or less. A preferable upper limit of the O content is 0.0050%, and more preferably is 0.0020%. Preferably, the O content is as low as possible. However, if the O content is excessively reduced, the production cost increases significantly. Therefore, when taking industrial production into consideration, a preferable lower limit of the O content is 0.0001%, more preferably is 0.0002%, and further preferably is 0.0003%.

[0054] The balance of the chemical composition of the steel material according to the present embodiment is Fe and impurities. Here, the term "impurities" refers to elements which, during industrial production of the steel material, are mixed in from ore or scrap that is used as a raw material of the steel material, or from the production environment or the like, and which are allowed within a range that does not adversely affect the steel material according to the present embodiment.

[Regarding optional elements]



[0055] The chemical composition of the steel material described above may further contain one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of V and Nb in lieu of a part of Fe. Each of these elements is an optional element, and increases the SSC resistance of the steel material.

V: 0 to 0.60%



[0056] Vanadium (V) is an optional element, and need not be contained. In other words, the V content may be 0%. If contained, V combines with C or N to form carbides, nitrides or carbo-nitrides and the like (hereinafter, referred to as "carbo-nitrides and the like"). These carbo-nitrides and the like refine the substructure of the steel material by the pinning effect, and improve the SSC resistance of the steel. V also forms fine carbides during tempering. The fine carbides increase the temper softening resistance of the steel material, and increase the strength of the steel material. In addition, because V also forms spherical MC-type carbides, V suppresses the formation of acicular M2C-type carbides and thereby increases the SSC resistance of the steel material. If even a small amount of V is contained, these effects are obtained to a certain extent. However, if the V content is too high, the toughness of the steel material decreases. Therefore, the V content is within the range of 0 to 0.60%. A preferable lower limit of the V content is more than 0%, more preferably is 0.01%, and further preferably is 0.02%. A preferable upper limit of the V content is 0.40%, and more preferably is 0.20%.

Nb: 0 to 0.030%



[0057] Niobium (Nb) is an optional element, and need not be contained. In other words, the Nb content may be 0%. If contained, Nb forms carbo-nitrides and the like. These carbo-nitrides and the like refine the substructure of the steel material by the pinning effect, and increase the SSC resistance of the steel material. In addition, because Nb also forms spherical MC-type carbides, Nb suppresses the formation of acicular M2C-type carbides and thereby increases the SSC resistance of the steel material. If even a small amount of Nb is contained, these effects are obtained to a certain extent. However, if the Nb content is too high, carbo-nitrides and the like are excessively formed and the SSC resistance of the steel material decreases. Therefore, the Nb content is within the range of 0 to 0.030%. A preferable lower limit of the Nb content is more than 0%, more preferably is 0.002%, further preferably is 0.003%, and further preferably is 0.007%. A preferable upper limit of the Nb content is 0.025%, and more preferably is 0.020%.

[0058] The chemical composition of the steel material described above may further contain one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of Ca, Mg and Zr in lieu of a part of Fe. Each of these elements is an optional element, and increases the SSC resistance of the steel material.

Ca: 0 to 0.0100%



[0059] Calcium (Ca) is an optional element, and need not be contained. In other words, the Ca content may be 0%. If contained, Ca renders S in the steel material harmless by forming sulfides, and thereby increases the SSC resistance of the steel material. If even a small amount of Ca is contained, this effect is obtained to a certain extent. However, if the Ca content is too high, oxides in the steel material coarsen and the SSC resistance of the steel material decreases. Therefore, the Ca content is within the range of 0 to 0.0100%. A preferable lower limit of the Ca content is more than 0%, more preferably is 0.0001%, further preferably is 0.0003%, and further preferably is 0.0006%, and even further preferably is 0.0010%. A preferable upper limit of the Ca content is 0.0040%, and more preferably is 0.0025%.

Mg: 0 to 0.0100%



[0060] Magnesium (Mg) is an optional element, and need not be contained. In other words, the Mg content may be 0%. If contained, Mg renders S in the steel material harmless by forming sulfides, and thereby increases the SSC resistance of the steel material. If even a small amount of Mg is contained, this effect is obtained to a certain extent. However, if the Mg content is too high, oxides in the steel material coarsen and decrease the SSC resistance of the steel material. Therefore, the Mg content is within the range of 0 to 0.0100%. A preferable lower limit of the Mg content is more than 0%, more preferably is 0.0001%, further preferably is 0.0003%, and further preferably is 0.0006%, and even further preferably is 0.0010%. A preferable upper limit of the Mg content is 0.0040%, and more preferably is 0.0025%.

Zr: 0 to 0.0100%



[0061] Zirconium (Zr) is an optional element, and need not be contained. In other words, the Zr content may be 0%. If contained, Zr renders S in the steel material harmless by forming sulfides, and thereby increases the SSC resistance of the steel material. If even a small amount of Zr is contained, this effect is obtained to a certain extent. However, if the Zr content is too high, oxides in the steel material coarsen, and decreases the SSC resistance of the steel material. Therefore, the Zr content is within the range of 0 to 0.0100%. A preferable lower limit of the Zr content is more than 0%, more preferably is 0.0001%, further preferably is 0.0003%, and further preferably is 0.0006%, and even further preferably is 0.0010%. A preferable upper limit of the Zr content is 0.0025%, and more preferably is 0.0020%.

[0062] In a case where two or more types of element selected from the aforementioned group containing Ca, Mg and Zr are contained in combination, the total of the contents of these elements is preferably 0.0100% or less, and more preferably is 0.0050% or less.

[0063] The chemical composition of the steel material described above may further contain one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of Co and W in lieu of a part of Fe. Each of these elements is an optional element that forms a protective corrosion coating in the sour environment and suppresses hydrogen penetration to the steel material. By this means, each of these elements increases the SSC resistance of the steel material.

Co: 0 to 0.50%



[0064] Cobalt (Co) is an optional element, and need not be contained. In other words, the Co content may be 0%. If contained, Co forms a protective corrosion coating in the sour environment and suppresses hydrogen penetration to the steel material. By this means, Co increases the SSC resistance of the steel material. If even a small amount of Co is contained, this effect is obtained to a certain extent. However, if the Co content is too high, the hardenability of the steel material will decrease, and the steel material strength will decrease. Therefore, the Co content is within the range of 0 to 0.50%. A preferable lower limit of the Co content is more than 0%, more preferably is 0.02%, and further preferably is 0.05%. A preferable upper limit of the Co content is 0.45%, and more preferably is 0.40%.

W: 0 to 0.50%



[0065] Tungsten (W) is an optional element, and need not be contained. In other words, the W content may be 0%. If contained, W forms a protective corrosion coating in the sour environment and suppresses hydrogen penetration to the steel material. By this means, W increases the SSC resistance of the steel material. If even a small amount of W is contained, this effect is obtained to a certain extent. However, if the W content is too high, coarse carbides form in the steel material and the SSC resistance of the steel material decreases. Therefore, the W content is within the range of 0 to 0.50%. A preferable lower limit of the W content is more than 0%, more preferably is 0.02%, further preferably is 0.03%, and further preferably is 0.05%. A preferable upper limit of the W content is 0.45%, and more preferably is 0.40%.

[0066] The chemical composition of the steel material described above may further contain one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of Ni and Cu in lieu of a part of Fe. Each of these elements is an optional element, and increases the hardenability of the steel material.

Ni: 0 to 0.50%



[0067] Nickel (Ni) is an optional element, and need not be contained. In other words, the Ni content may be 0%. If contained, Ni enhances the hardenability of the steel material and increases the steel material strength. If even a small amount of Ni is contained, this effect is obtained to a certain extent. However, if the Ni content is too high, the Ni will promote local corrosion, and the SSC resistance of the steel material will decrease. Therefore, the Ni content is within the range of 0 to 0.50%. A preferable lower limit of the Ni content is more than 0%, more preferably is 0.01%, and further preferably is 0.02%. A preferable upper limit of the Ni content is 0.20%, more preferably is 0.10%, and further preferably is 0.09%.

Cu: 0 to 0.50%



[0068] Copper (Cu) is an optional element, and need not be contained. In other words, the Cu content may be 0%. If contained, Cu enhances the hardenability of the steel material and increases the steel material strength. If even a small amount of Cu is contained, this effect is obtained to a certain extent. However, if the Cu content is too high, the hardenability of the steel material will be too high, and the SSC resistance of the steel material will decrease. Therefore, the Cu content is within the range of 0 to 0.50%. A preferable lower limit of the Cu content is more than 0%, more preferably is 0.01%, further preferably is 0.02%, and further preferably is 0.05%. A preferable upper limit of the Cu content is 0.35%, and more preferably is 0.25%.

[0069] The chemical composition of the aforementioned steel material may also contain a rare earth metal in lieu of a part of Fe.

Rare earth metal (REM): 0 to 0.0100%



[0070] Rare earth metal (REM) is an optional element, and need not be contained. In other words, the REM content may be 0%. If contained, REM renders S in the steel material harmless by forming sulfides, and thereby increases the SSC resistance of the steel material. REM also combines with P in the steel material and suppresses segregation of P at the crystal grain boundaries. Therefore, a decrease in the SSC resistance of the steel material that is attributable to segregation of P is suppressed. If even a small amount of REM is contained, these effects are obtained to a certain extent. However, if the REM content is too high, oxides coarsen and the SSC resistance of the steel material decrease. Therefore, the REM content is within the range of 0 to 0.0100%. A preferable lower limit of the REM content is more than 0%, more preferably is 0.0001%, further preferably is 0.0003%, and further preferably is 0.0006%. A preferable upper limit of the REM content is 0.0040%, and more preferably is 0.0025%.

[0071] Note that, in the present description the term "REM" refers to one or more types of element selected from a group consisting of scandium (Sc) which is the element with atomic number 21, yttrium (Y) which is the element with atomic number 39, and the elements from lanthanum (La) with atomic number 57 to lutetium (Lu) with atomic number 71 that are lanthanoids. Further, in the present description the term "REM content" refers to the total content of these elements.

[Amount of dissolved C]



[0072] The steel material according to the present embodiment contains an amount of dissolved C which is within the range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%. If the amount of dissolved C is less than 0.010 mass%, the immobilization of dislocations in the steel material will be insufficient and excellent SSC resistance will not be obtained. On the other hand, if the amount of dissolved C is more than 0.050 mass%, conversely, the SSC resistance of the steel material will decrease. Therefore, the amount of dissolved C is within the range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%. A preferable lower limit of the amount of dissolved C is 0.015 mass% and more preferably is 0.020 mass%.

[0073] An amount of dissolved C within the aforementioned range is obtained by, for example, controlling the holding time in the tempering process and controlling the cooling rate in the tempering process. The reason is as described hereunder.

[0074]  The amount of dissolved C is highest immediately after quenching. Immediately after quenching, C is dissolved except for a small amount thereof that precipitated as carbides during quenching. In the tempering process thereafter, some of the C precipitates as carbides as a result of being held for tempering. As a result, the amount of dissolved C decreases toward the thermal equilibrium concentration with respect to the tempering temperature. If the holding time for tempering is too short, this effect will not be obtained and the amount of dissolved C will be too high. On the other hand, if the holding time for tempering is too long, the amount of dissolved C will approach the aforementioned thermal equilibrium concentration, and will hardly change. Therefore, in the present embodiment, the holding time during tempering is within the range of 10 to 180 minutes.

[0075] If the cooling rate during cooling after tempering in the tempering process is slow, the dissolved C will reprecipitate while the temperature is decreasing. In the conventional methods for producing steel material, because cooling after tempering has been performed by allowing the steel material to cool, the cooling rate has been slow. Consequently, the amount of dissolved C has been almost 0 mass%. Therefore, in the present embodiment, the cooling rate after tempering is raised, and a dissolved C amount within the range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass% is obtained.

[0076] The cooling method is, for example, a method that performs forced cooling of the steel material continuously from the tempering temperature to thereby continuously decrease the surface temperature of the steel material. Examples of this kind of continuous cooling treatment include a method that cools the steel material by immersion in a water bath, and a method that cools the steel material in an accelerated manner by shower water cooling, mist cooling or forced air cooling.

[0077] The cooling rate after tempering is measured at a region that is most slowly cooled within a cross-section of the steel material that is tempered (for example, in the case of forcedly cooling both surfaces, the cooling rate is measured at the center portion of the steel material thickness). Specifically, in a case where the steel material is a steel plate, the cooling rate after tempering can be determined based on a temperature measured by a sheath-type thermocouple that is inserted into the center portion of the thickness of the steel plate. In a case where the steel material is a steel pipe, the cooling rate after tempering can be determined based on a temperature measured by a sheath-type thermocouple that is inserted into the center portion of the wall thickness of the steel pipe. Further, in a case of forcedly cooling only a surface on one side of the steel material, the cooling rate after tempering can be determined based on the surface temperature on the non-forcedly cooled side of the steel material that is measured by means of a non-contact type infrared thermometer.

[0078] The temperature region from 600°C to 200°C is a temperature region in which diffusion of C is comparatively fast. On the other hand, if the cooling rate after tempering is too fast, very little of the C that had dissolved after being held during tempering precipitates. Consequently, in some cases the amount of dissolved C is excessive. Therefore, in the present embodiment, the average cooling rate in the temperature region from 600°C to 200°C is made 4 to 100°C/sec.

[0079] According to this method, in the steel material according to the present embodiment, the amount of dissolved C can be made to fall within the range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%. However, the amount of dissolved C in the steel material may be adjusted to within the range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass% by another method.

[Method for calculating amount of dissolved C]



[0080] The term "amount of dissolved C" means the difference between the amount of C (mass%) in carbides in the steel material and the C content of the chemical composition of the steel material. The amount of C in carbides in the steel material is determined by Formula (1) to Formula (5) using an Fe concentration <Fe>a, a Cr concentration <Cr>a, an Mn concentration <Mn>a, an Mo concentration <Mo>a, a V concentration <V>a and an Nb concentration <Nb>a in carbides (cementite and MC-type carbides) obtained as residue when extraction residue analysis is performed on the steel material, and an Fe concentration <Fe>b, a Cr concentration <Cr>b, an Mn concentration <Mn>b and an Mo concentration <Mo>b in cementite obtained by performing point analysis by EDS with respect to cementite identified by performing TEM observation of a replica film obtained by an extraction replica method.











[0081] Note that, in the present description, the term "cementite" means carbides containing an Fe content of 50 mass% or more. Hereunder, the method for calculating the amount of dissolved C is described in detail.

[Determination of C content of steel material]



[0082] An analysis sample having the shape of a machined chip is taken from the steel material. In a case where the steel material is a steel plate, an analysis sample is taken from a center portion of the thickness. In a case where the steel material is a steel pipe, an analysis sample is taken from a center portion of the wall thickness. The C content (mass%) is analyzed by an oxygen-stream combustion-infrared absorption method. The resulting value was taken to be the C content (<C>) of the steel material.

[Calculation of C amount that precipitates as carbides (precipitated C amount)]



[0083] The precipitated C amount is calculated by the following procedures 1 to 4. Specifically, in procedure 1 an extraction residue analysis is performed. In procedure 2, an extraction replica method using a TEM, and an element concentration analysis (hereunder, referred to as "EDS analysis") of elements in cementite is performed by EDS. In procedure 3, the Mo content is adjusted. In procedure 4, the precipitated C amount is calculated.

[Procedure 1. Determination of residual amounts of Fe, Cr, Mn, Mo, V and Nb by extraction residue analysis]



[0084] In procedure 1, carbides in the steel material are captured as residue, and the contents of Fe, Cr, Mn, Mo, V and Nb in the residue are determined. Here, the term "carbides" is a generic term for cementite (M3C-type carbides) and MC-type carbides. The specific procedure is as follows. A cylindrical test specimen having a diameter of 6 mm and a length of 50 mm is extracted from the steel material. In a case where the steel material is a steel plate, the cylindrical test specimen is extracted from a center portion of the thickness in a manner so that the center of the thickness becomes the center of the cross-section. In a case where the steel material is a steel pipe, the cylindrical test specimen is extracted from a center portion of the wall thickness of the steel pipe in a manner so that the center of the wall thickness becomes the center of the cross-section. The surface of the cylindrical test specimen is polished to remove about 50 µm by preliminary electropolishing to obtain a newly formed surface. The electropolished test specimen is subjected to electrolysis in an electrolyte solution (10% acetylacetone + 1% tetra-ammonium + methanol). The electrolyte solution after electrolysis is passed through a 0.2-µm filter to capture residue. The obtained residue is subjected to acid decomposition, and the concentrations of Fe, Cr, Mn, Mo, V and Nb are determined in units of mass percent by ICP (inductively coupled plasma) optical emission spectrometry. The concentrations are defined as <Fe>a, <Cr>a, <Mn>a, <Mo>a, <V>a and <Nb>a, respectively.

[Procedure 2. Determination of content of Fe, Cr, Mn and Mo in cementite by extraction replica method and EDS]



[0085] In procedure 2, the content of each of Fe, Cr, Mn and Mo in cementite is determined. The specific procedure is as follows. A micro test specimen is cut out from the steel material. In a case where the steel material is a steel plate, the micro test specimen is cut out from a center portion of the thickness. In a case where the steel material is a steel pipe, the micro test specimen is cut out from a center portion of the wall thickness of the steel pipe. The surface of the micro test specimen is finished by mirror polishing. The test specimen is immersed for 10 minutes in a 3% nital etching reagent to etch the surface. The corroded surface is covered with a carbon deposited film. The test specimen whose surface is covered with the deposited film is immersed in a 5% nital etching reagent, and held therein for 20 minutes to cause the deposited film to peel off. The deposited film that peeled off is cleaned with ethanol, and thereafter is scooped up with a sheet mesh and dried. The deposited film (replica film) is observed using a TEM, and point analysis by EDS is performed with respect to 20 particles of cementite. The concentration of each of Fe, Cr, Mn and Mo is determined in units of mass percent when taking the total of the alloying elements excluding carbon in the cementite as 100%. The concentrations are determined for 20 particles of cementite, and the arithmetic average values for the respective elements are defined as <Fe>b, <Cr>b, <Mn>b and <Mo>b.

[Procedure 3. Adjustment of Mo amount]



[0086] Next, the Mo concentration in the carbides is determined. In this case, Fe, Cr, Mn and Mo concentrate in cementite. On the other hand, V, Nb and Mo concentrate in MC-type carbides. In other words, Mo is caused to concentrate in both cementite and MC-type carbides by tempering. Therefore, the Mo amount is calculated separately for cementite and for MC-type carbides. Note that, in some cases a part of V also concentrates in cementite. However, the amount of V that concentrates in cementite is negligibly small in comparison to the amount of V that concentrates in MC-type carbides. Therefore, when determining the amount of dissolved C, V is regarded as concentrating only in MC-type carbides.

[0087] Specifically, the amount of Mo precipitating as cementite (<Mo>c) is calculated by Formula (1).



[0088] On the other hand, the amount of Mo precipitating as MC-type carbides (<Mo>d) is calculated in units of mass percent by Formula (2).


[Procedure 4. Calculation of precipitated C amount]



[0089] The precipitated C amount is calculated as the total of the C amount precipitating as cementite (<C>a) and the C amount precipitating as MC-type carbides (<C>b). <C>a and <C>b are calculated in units of mass percent by Formula (3) and Formula (4), respectively. Note that, Formula (3) is a formula that is derived from the fact that the structure of cementite is a M3C type structure (M include Fe, Cr, Mn and Mo).





[0090] Thus, the precipitated C amount is <C>a+<C>b.

[Calculation of amount of dissolved C]



[0091] The amount of dissolved C (hereunder, also referred to as "<C>c") is calculated in units of mass percent by Formula (5) as a difference between the C content (<C>) and the precipitated C amount of the steel material.


[Micro structure]



[0092] The microstructure of the steel material according to the present embodiment is principally composed of tempered martensite and tempered bainite. More specifically, the volume ratio of tempered martensite and/or tempered bainite in the microstructure is 90% or more. In other words, the total of the volume ratios of tempered martensite and tempered bainite in the microstructure is 90% or more. The balance of the microstructure is, for example, ferrite or perlite. If the microstructure of the steel material containing the aforementioned chemical composition contains tempered martensite and tempered bainite in an amount equivalent to a total volume ratio of 90% or more, the yield strength will be within the range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade), and the yield ratio will be 90% or more.

[0093] In the present embodiment, if the yield strength is within the range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade) and the yield ratio is 90% or more, it is assumed that the volume ratios of tempered martensite and tempered bainite in the microstructure is 90% or more. Preferably, the microstructure is composed of only tempered martensite and/or tempered bainite. In other words, the volume ratios of tempered martensite and tempered bainite in the microstructure may be 100%.

[0094] Note that, the following method can be adopted in the case of determining the volume ratios of tempered martensite and tempered bainite by observation. In a case where the steel material is a steel plate, a test specimen having an observation surface with dimensions of 10 mm in the rolling direction and 10 mm in the thickness direction is cut out from a center portion of the thickness. In a case where the steel material is a steel pipe, a test specimen having an observation surface with dimensions of 10 mm in the pipe axis direction and 8 mm in the wall thickness direction is cut out from a center portion of the wall thickness.

[0095] After polishing the observation surface of the test specimen to obtain a mirror surface, the test specimen is immersed for about 10 seconds in a nital etching reagent, to reveal the microstructure by etching. The etched observation surface is observed by means of a secondary electron image obtained using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), and observation is performed for 10 visual fields. The area of each visual field is 400 µm2 (magnification of ×5000).

[0096] In each visual field, tempered martensite and tempered bainite are identified based on the contrast. The total of the area fractions of tempered martensite and tempered bainite that are identified is determined. In the present embodiment, the arithmetic average value of the totals of the area fractions of tempered martensite and tempered bainite determined in all visual fields is taken as the volume ratio of tempered martensite and tempered bainite.

[Shape of steel material]



[0097] The shape of the steel material according to the present embodiment is not particularly limited. The steel material is, for example, a steel pipe or a steel plate. In a case where the steel material is an oil-well steel pipe, preferably the steel material is a seamless steel pipe. In a case where the steel material is an oil-well steel pipe, the wall thickness is not particularly limited. A preferable wall thickness is 9 to 60 mm. The steel material according to the present embodiment is, in particular, suitable for use as a heavy-wall oil-well steel pipe. More specifically, even if the steel material according to the present embodiment is an oil-well steel pipe having a thick wall of 15 mm or more or, furthermore, 20 mm or more, the steel material exhibits excellent strength and SSC resistance.

[Yield strength and yield ratio of steel material]



[0098] The yield strength of the steel material according to the present embodiment is within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade), and the yield ratio of the steel material is 90% or more. In the present description, the term "yield strength" means the stress when elongation of 0.65% is obtained in a tensile test. In short, the yield strength of the steel material according to the present embodiment is of 140 ksi grade. Even though the steel material according to the present embodiment has a yield strength within the range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade), the steel material also has excellent SSC resistance by satisfying the conditions regarding the chemical composition, amount of dissolved C and microstructure, which are described above.

[0099] The yield strength of the steel material according to the present embodiment can be determined by the following method. A tensile test is performed in accordance with ASTM E8 (2013). A round bar test specimen is taken from the steel material according to the present embodiment. In a case where the steel material is a steel plate, the round bar test specimen is taken from the center portion of the thickness. In a case where the steel material is a steel pipe, the round bar test specimen is taken from the center portion of the wall thickness. Regarding the size of the round bar test specimen, for example, the round bar test specimen has a parallel portion diameter of 4 mm and a parallel portion length of 35 mm. Note that the axial direction of the round bar test specimen is parallel to the rolling direction of the steel material.

[0100]  A tensile test is performed in the atmosphere at normal temperature (25°C) using the round bar test specimen, and the stress at the time of 0.65% elongation (0.65% yield stress) obtained in the tensile test is defined as the yield strength (MPa). Further, the largest stress during uniform elongation is defined as the tensile strength (MPa). The yield ratio (YR) (%) can be obtained by a ratio of the yield strength (YS) to the tensile strength (TS) (YR = YS/TS).

[0101] The steel material according to the present embodiment contains the aforementioned chemical composition, contains an amount of dissolved C within the range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%, has a yield strength within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa, and has a yield ratio of 90% or more. In this respect, when steel materials contain the chemical composition according to the present embodiment and the same microstructure (phases), the dislocation density is considered to be the dominant factor that determines the yield strength. Specifically, the dislocation density of a steel material that contains the aforementioned chemical composition, contains an amount of dissolved C within the range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%, has a yield strength within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade), and has a yield ratio of 90% or more is within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 (m-2).

[0102] On the other hand, the dislocation density of a steel material that contains the aforementioned chemical composition, contains an amount of dissolved C within the range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%, has a yield strength within a range of 862 to less than 965 MPa (125 ksi grade), and has a yield ratio of 90% or more is within the range of 6.5×1014 to less than 9.2×1014 (m-2). The steel material according to the present embodiment contains the aforementioned chemical composition, the aforementioned amount of dissolved C, the aforementioned yield strength and the aforementioned yield ratio. Consequently, the dislocation density of the steel material according to the present embodiment differs from the dislocation density of a steel material that contains the aforementioned chemical composition, the aforementioned amount of dissolved C and the aforementioned yield ratio, but has a different yield strength.

[0103]  The dislocation density of the steel material according to the present embodiment can be determined by the following method. A test specimen for use for dislocation density measurement is taken from the steel material according to the present embodiment. In a case where the steel material is a steel plate, the test specimen is taken from a center portion of the thickness. In a case where the steel material is a steel pipe, the test specimen is taken from a center portion of the wall thickness. The size of the test specimen is, for example, 20 mm width × 20 mm length × 2 mm thickness. The thickness direction of the test specimen is the thickness direction of the steel material (plate thickness direction or wall thickness direction). In this case, the observation surface of the test specimen is a surface having a size of 20 mm in width × 20 mm in length.

[0104] The observation surface of the test specimen is mirror-polished, and furthermore electropolishing is performed using a 10 vol% perchloric acid (acetic acid solvent) solution to remove strain in the outer layer. The observation surface after the treatment is subjected to X-ray diffraction (XRD) to determine the half-value width ΔK of the peaks of the (110), (211) and (220) planes of the body-centered cubic structure (iron).

[0105] In the XRD, measurement of the half-value width ΔK is performed by employing CoKα lines as the X-ray source, 30 kV as the tube voltage, and 100 mA as the tube current. In addition, LaB6 (lanthanum hexaboride) powder is used in order to measure a half-value width originating from the X-ray diffractometer.

[0106] The non-uniform strain ε of the test specimen is determined based on the half-value width ΔK determined by the aforementioned method and the Williamson-Hall equation (Formula (6)).



[0107] In Formula (6), θ represents the diffraction angle, λ represents the wavelength of the X-ray, and D represents the crystallite diameter.

[0108] In addition, the dislocation density ρ (m-2) can be determined using the obtained non-uniform strain ε and Formula (7).



[0109] In Formula (7), b represents the Burgers vector (b = 0.248 (nm)) of the body-centered cubic structure (iron).

[SSC resistance of steel material]



[0110] The SSC resistance of the steel material according to the present embodiment can be evaluated by a DCB test performed in accordance with "Method D" described in NACE TM0177-2005. Specifically, a mixed aqueous solution containing 5.0 mass% of sodium chloride and 0.4 mass% of sodium acetate that is adjusted to pH 3.5 using acetic acid (NACE solution B) is employed as the test solution. A DCB test specimen illustrated in FIG. 2A is taken from the steel material according to the present embodiment. In a case where the steel material is a steel plate, the test specimen is taken from a center portion of the thickness. In a case where the steel material is a steel pipe, the test specimen is taken from a center portion of the wall thickness. The longitudinal direction of the DCB test specimen is parallel with the rolling direction of the steel material. A wedge illustrated in FIG. 2B is also taken from the steel material according to the present embodiment. A thickness t of the wedge is made 3.10 (mm).

[0111] Referring to FIG. 2A, the aforementioned wedge is driven in between the arms of the DCB test specimen. The DCB test specimen into which the wedge was driven is then enclosed inside a test vessel. Thereafter, the aforementioned test solution is poured into the test vessel so as to leave a vapor phase portion, and is adopted as the test bath. After the test bath is degassed, a gaseous mixture consisting of 0.1 atm H2S and 0.9 atm CO2 is blown into the test vessel to make the test bath a corrosive environment. The inside of the test vessel is held at a temperature of 24°C for three weeks (504 hours) while stirring the test bath. After being held for three weeks, the DCB test specimen is taken out from the test vessel.

[0112]  A pin is inserted into a hole formed in the tip of the arms of each DCB test specimen that is taken out and a notch portion is opened with a tensile testing machine, and a wedge releasing stress P is measured. In addition, the notch in the DCB test specimen is released in liquid nitrogen, and a crack propagation length "a" with respect to crack propagation that occurred during immersion is measured. The crack propagation length "a" is measured visually using vernier calipers. A fracture toughness value K1SSC (MPa√m) is determined using Formula (8) based on the obtained wedge releasing stress P and the crack propagation length "a".



[0113] In Formula (8), h represents the height (mm) of each arm of the DCB test specimen, B represents the thickness (mm) of the DCB test specimen, and Bn represents the web thickness (mm) of the DCB test specimen. These are defined in "Method D" of NACE TM0177-2005. In the steel material according to the present embodiment, the fracture toughness value K1SSC of determined under the DCB test is 28.0 MPa√m or more.

[Production method]



[0114] A method for producing the steel material according to the present embodiment will now be described. The production method described hereunder is a method for producing a seamless steel pipe as one example of the steel material according to the present embodiment. The method for producing a seamless steel pipe includes a process of preparing a hollow shell (preparation process), and a process of subjecting the hollow shell to quenching and tempering to obtain a seamless steel pipe (quenching process and tempering process). Note that, a method for producing the steel material according to the present embodiment is not limited to the production method described hereunder. Each of these processes is described in detail hereunder.

[Preparation process]



[0115] In the preparation process, an intermediate steel material containing the aforementioned chemical composition is prepared. The method is not particularly limited as long as the intermediate steel material contains the aforementioned chemical composition. As used here, the term "intermediate steel material" refers to a plate-shaped steel material in a case where the end product is a steel plate, and refers to a hollow shell in a case where the end product is a steel pipe.

[0116] The preparation process may include a process in which a starting material is prepared (starting material preparation process), and a process in which the starting material is subjected to hot working to produce an intermediate steel material (hot working process). Hereunder, a case in which the preparation process includes the starting material preparation process and the hot working process is described in detail.

[Starting material preparation process]



[0117] In the starting material preparation process, a starting material is produced using molten steel containing the aforementioned chemical composition. The method for producing the starting material is not particularly limited, and a well-known method can be used. Specifically, a cast piece (a slab, bloom or billet) is produced by a continuous casting process using the molten steel. An ingot may also be produced by an ingot-making process using the molten steel. As necessary, the slab, bloom or ingot may be subjected to blooming to produce a billet. The starting material (a slab, bloom or billet) is produced by the above described process.

[Hot working process]



[0118] In the hot working process, the starting material that was prepared is subjected to hot working to produce an intermediate steel material. In a case where the steel material is a seamless steel pipe, the intermediate steel material corresponds to a hollow shell. First, the billet is heated in a heating furnace. Although the heating temperature is not particularly limited, for example, the heating temperature is within a range of 1100 to 1300°C. The billet that is extracted from the heating furnace is subjected to hot working to produce a hollow shell (seamless steel pipe). The method of performing the hot working is not particularly limited, and a well-known method can be used.

[0119] For example, the Mannesmann process may be performed as the hot working to produce the hollow shell. In this case, a round billet is piercing-rolled using a piercing machine. When performing piercing-rolling, although the piercing ratio is not particularly limited, the piercing ratio is, for example, within a range of 1.0 to 4.0. The round billet that underwent piercing-rolling is further hot-rolled to form a hollow shell using a mandrel mill, a reducer, a sizing mill or the like. The cumulative reduction of area in the hot working process is, for example, 20 to 70%.

[0120] A hollow shell may also be produced from the billet by another hot working method. For example, in the case of a heavy-wall steel material of a short length such as a coupling, a hollow shell may be produced by forging such as Ehrhardt process. A hollow shell is produced by the above process. Although not particularly limited, the wall thickness of the hollow shell is, for example, 9 to 60 mm.

[0121] The hollow shell produced by hot working may be air-cooled (as-rolled). The hollow shell produced by hot working may be subjected to direct quenching after hot working without being cooled to normal temperature, or may be subjected to quenching after undergoing supplementary heating (reheating) after hot working.

[0122] In a case of performing direct quenching or quenching after supplementary heating, it is preferable to stop the cooling midway through the quenching process and conduct slow cooling. In this case, quenching cracking can be suppressed. In a case where direct quenching is performed after hot working, or quenching is performed after supplementary heating after hot working, for the purpose of eliminating residual stress, a stress relief treatment (SR treatment) may be performed at a time that is after quenching and before the heat treatment of the next process.

[0123] As described above, an intermediate steel material is prepared in the preparation process. The intermediate steel material may be produced by the aforementioned preferable process, or may be an intermediate steel material that was produced by a third party, or an intermediate steel material that was produced in another factory other than the factory in which a quenching process and a tempering process that are described later are performed, or at a different works. The quenching process is described in detail hereunder.

[Quenching process]



[0124] In the quenching process, the intermediate steel material (hollow shell) that was prepared is subjected to quenching. In the present description, the term "quenching" means rapidly cooling the intermediate steel material that is at a temperature not less than the A3 point. A preferable quenching temperature is 800 to 1000°C. In a case where direct quenching is performed after hot working, the quenching temperature corresponds to the surface temperature of the intermediate steel material that is measured by a thermometer placed on the exit side of the apparatus that performs the final hot working. Further, in a case where quenching is performed after supplementary heating is performed after hot working, the quenching temperature corresponds to the temperature of the furnace that performs the supplementary heating.

[0125] If the quenching temperature is too high, in some cases prior-y grains become coarse and the SSC resistance of the steel material decreases. Therefore, a quenching temperature in the range of 800 to 1000°C is preferable.

[0126] The quenching method, for example, continuously cools the intermediate steel material (hollow shell) from the quenching starting temperature, and continuously decreases the surface temperature of the hollow shell. The method of performing the continuous cooling treatment is not particularly limited, and a well-known method can be used. The method of performing the continuous cooling treatment is, for example, a method that cools the hollow shell by immersing the hollow shell in a water bath, or a method that cools the hollow shell in an accelerated manner by shower water cooling or mist cooling.

[0127] If the cooling rate during quenching is too slow, the microstructure does not become one that is principally composed of martensite and bainite, and the mechanical property defined in the present embodiment (that is, the yield strength of 140 ksi grade and the yield ratio of 90% or more) is not obtained.

[0128] Therefore, as described above, in the method for producing the steel material according to the present embodiment, the intermediate steel material is rapidly cooled during quenching. Specifically, in the quenching process, the average cooling rate when the surface temperature of the intermediate steel material (hollow shell) is within the range of 800 to 500°C during quenching is defined as a cooling rate during quenching CR800-500. More specifically, the cooling rate during quenching CR800-500 is determined based on a temperature that is measured at a region that is most slowly cooled within a cross-section of the intermediate steel material that is being quenched (for example, in the case of forcedly cooling both surfaces, the cooling rate is measured at the center portion of the thickness of the intermediate steel material).

[0129] A preferable of the cooling rate during quenching CR800-500 is 300°C/min or higher. A more preferable lower limit of the cooling rate during quenching CR800-500 is 450°C/min, and further preferably is 600°C/min. Although an upper limit of the cooling rate during quenching CR800-500 is not particularly defined, for example, the upper limit is 60000°C/min.

[0130] Preferably, quenching is performed after performing heating of the hollow shell in the austenite zone a plurality of times. In this case, the SSC resistance of the steel material increases because austenite grains are refined prior to quenching. Heating in the austenite zone may be repeated a plurality of times by performing quenching a plurality of times, or heating in the austenite zone may be repeated a plurality of times by performing normalizing and quenching. Quenching and tempering described below may be performed in combination a plurality of times. Therefore, both quenching and tempering may be performed a plurality of times. In this case, the SSC resistance of the steel material further increases. Hereunder, the tempering process will be described in detail.

[Tempering process]



[0131] In the tempering process, tempering is performed after performing the aforementioned quenching. In the present description, the term "tempering" means reheating the intermediate steel material after quenching to a temperature that is not more than the Ac1 point and holding the intermediate steel material at that temperature. The tempering temperature is appropriately adjusted in accordance with the chemical composition of the steel material and the yield strength, which is to be obtained. In other words, with respect to the intermediate steel material (hollow shell) containing the chemical composition of the present embodiment, the tempering temperature is adjusted so as to adjust the yield strength of the steel material to within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade). Here, the tempering temperature corresponds to the temperature of the furnace when the intermediate steel material after quenching is heated and held at the relevant temperature.

[0132] A preferable tempering temperature is in a range from 620 to 720°C. If the tempering temperature is 620°C or more, carbides are sufficiently spheroidized and the SSC resistance is further increased. A more preferable lower limit of tempering temperature is 640°C, and further preferably is 650°C. A more preferable upper limit of tempering temperature is 700°C, and further preferably is 690°C.

[0133] If the holding time for tempering (tempering time) is too short, the amount of dissolved C becomes excessive because precipitation of carbides does not proceed. Even if the tempering time is overlong, there will be almost no change in the amount of dissolved C. Therefore, in order to control the amount of dissolved C to be within an appropriate range, the preferable tempering time is within a range of 10 to 180 minutes. A more preferable lower limit of the tempering time is 15 minutes. A more preferable upper limit of the tempering time is 120 minutes, and further preferably is 90 minutes. Here, the tempering time (holding time) means the period of time from the temperature of the intermediate steel material reaching a predetermined tempering temperature till the extracting from the furnace.

[0134] Note that, in a case where the steel material is a steel pipe, in comparison to other shapes, temperature variations with respect to the steel pipe are liable to occur during holding for tempering. Therefore, in a case where the steel material is a steel pipe, the tempering time is preferably set within a range of 15 to 90 minutes. A person skilled in the art will be sufficiently capable of making the yield strength of the steel material containing the chemical composition of the present embodiment fall within the range of 965 to 1069 MPa by appropriately adjusting the aforementioned holding time at the aforementioned tempering temperature.

[Regarding rapid cooling after tempering]



[0135] Conventionally, cooling after tempering has not been controlled. However, the temperature region from 600°C to 200°C is a temperature region in which diffusion of C is comparatively fast. Therefore, if the cooling rate of the steel material after tempering (that is, after being held for the aforementioned holding time at the aforementioned tempering temperature) is slow, almost all of the C that had dissolved will reprecipitate while the temperature is decreasing. In other words, the amount of dissolved C will be approximately 0 mass%. Therefore, in the present embodiment, the intermediate steel material (hollow shell) after tempering is rapidly cooled.

[0136] Specifically, in the tempering process, the average cooling rate when the temperature of the intermediate steel material (hollow shell) is within the range of 600 to 200°C after tempering is defined as a cooling rate after tempering CR600-200. In the method for producing the steel material according to the present embodiment, the cooling rate after tempering CR600-200 is preferably 4°C/sec or higher. On the other hand, if the cooling rate after tempering is too fast, in some cases very little of the C that had dissolved will precipitate, and the amount of dissolved C will be excessive. In such a case, the SSC resistance of the steel material decreases.

[0137] Therefore, in the present description, the preferable cooling rate after tempering CR600-200 is within the range of 4 to 100°C/sec. A more preferable lower limit of the cooling rate after tempering CR600-200 is 5°C/sec, further preferably is 10°C/sec, and further preferably is 15°C/sec. A more preferable upper limit of the cooling rate after tempering CR600-200 is 50°C/sec, and further preferably is 40°C/sec. Note that, in the case when the tempering is performed a plurality of times, it may be controlled the cooling after the final tempering. That is, the cooling after the tempering except for the final tempering may be performed as same as conventional manner.

[0138] A method for cooling so that the cooling rate after tempering CR600-200 is within the range of 4 to 100°C/sec is not particularly limited, and a well-known method can be used. The cooling method, for example, is a method that performs forced cooling of a hollow shell continuously from the tempering temperature to thereby continuously decrease the surface temperature of the hollow shell. Examples of this kind of continuous cooling treatment include a method that cools the hollow shell by immersion in a water bath, and a method that cools the hollow shell in an accelerated manner by shower water cooling, mist cooling or forced air cooling. Note that, the cooling rate after tempering CR600-200 is measured at a region that is most slowly cooled within a cross-section of the intermediate steel material that is tempered (for example, in the case of forcedly cooling both surfaces, the cooling rate is measured at the center portion of the thickness of the intermediate steel material).

[0139] The steel material according to the present embodiment can be produced by the production method that is described above. A method for producing a seamless steel pipe has been described as one example of the aforementioned production method. However, the steel material according to the present embodiment may be a steel plate or another shape. An example of a method for producing a steel plate or a steel material of another shape also includes, for example, a preparation process, a quenching process and a tempering process, similarly to the production method described above. However, the aforementioned production method is one example, and the steel material according to the present embodiment may be produced by another production method.

EXAMPLES



[0140] Molten steels of a weight of 180 kg containing the chemical compositions shown in Table 1 were produced.



[0141] Ingots were produced using the aforementioned molten steels. The ingots were hot rolled to produce steel plates having a thickness of 15 mm.

[0142] After hot rolling, the steel plate of each test number was allowed to cool to bring the steel plate temperature to normal temperature (25°C).

[0143] After being allowed to cool, the steel plates of each test number other than that Test Number 23 were reheated to bring the steel plate temperature to the quenching temperature (920°C, which is in the austenite single-phase zone), and were held for 20 minutes. After being held, the steel plates were immersed in a water bath and quenched. At this time, the cooling rate during quenching (CR800-500) was 800°C/min. With respect to the steel plate of Test Number 23, after holding for 20 minutes at the aforementioned quenching temperature, the steel plate was cooled by immersion in an oil bath. At this time, the cooling rate during quenching (CR800-500) was 80°C/min. Note that, the quenching temperature was the temperature of the furnace that performed the heating. The cooling rate during quenching (CR800-500) was determined from the temperature that was measured by a type K thermocouple of a sheath type being inserted into a center portion of the thickness of the steel plate in advance.

[0144] After quenching, the steel plates of each test number were subjected to tempering. In the tempering, the tempering temperature was adjusted so that the yield strength became of 140 ksi grade (965 to 1069 MPa). After performing a heat treatment at the respective tempering temperatures, the steel plates were cooled. For the cooling, controlled cooling by mist water cooling from both sides of the steel plate was performed. Note that, tempering temperature was the temperature of the furnace that performed the tempering. The cooling rate after tempering (CR600-200) was determined from the temperature that was measured by a type K thermocouple of a sheath type being inserted into a center portion of the thickness of the steel plate in advance. The tempering temperature (°C) and tempering time (min) and the cooling rate after tempering (CR600-200) (°C/sec) are shown in Table 2. Note that, the Ac1 point of the steel material in each of Test Number 1 to 25 was 750°C.

[Table 2]



[0145] 
TABLE 2
Test NumberTempering Temperature (°C)Tempering Time (min)Cooling Rate After Tempering (°C/sec)YS (MPa)TS (MPa)YR (%)Dissolved C Amount (mass%)Dislocation Density (×1014m-2)K1SSC (MPa√m)
123Average Value
1 670 30 40 1006 1064 95 0.041 10.8 30.2 31.8 30.1 30.7
2 670 45 40 974 1036 94 0.043 9.8 31.3 32.4 32.1 31.9
3 680 45 10 966 1031 94 0.018 9.2 32.4 32.9 32.7 32.7
4 670 50 5 1024 1087 94 0.015 13.2 28.9 29.4 30.1 29.5
5 660 50 10 1032 1099 94 0.022 16.2 29.1 29.9 29.2 29.4
6 660 50 10 1025 1094 94 0.021 14.1 29.6 29.7 29.4 29.6
7 670 60 35 971 1030 94 0.042 9.7 32.6 32.2 33.0 32.6
8 660 60 35 1019 1088 94 0.036 12.6 30.1 30.1 30.1 30.1
9 660 60 35 1012 1081 94 0.041 11.4 29.6 30.3 31.4 30.4
10 660 60 15 1010 1078 94 0.029 9.8 31.3 29.7 30.3 30.4
11 660 60 15 1017 1085 94 0.024 12.0 29.8 31.2 30.2 30.4
12 660 60 15 1001 1063 94 0.026 10.4 31.9 31.4 30.9 31.4
13 670 60 25 966 1028 94 0.035 9.5 32.7 32.4 32.6 32.6
14 660 40 2 1016 1091 93 0.004 13.4 22.7 21.5 20.3 21.5
15 670 40 2 1000 1075 93 0.003 10.2 23.5 22.7 20.7 22.3
16 660 5 10 1024 1102 93 0.071 20.2 20.7 18.2 19.4 19.4
17 670 45 600 1007 1074 94 0.080 11.1 22.6 22.5 24.3 23.1
18 660 45 10 1026 1089 94 0.018 14.3 20.2 21.6 19.4 20.4
19 660 60 10 994 1063 94 0.016 10.7 19.0 17.4 18.1 18.2
20 670 30 10 1002 1065 94 0.022 10.0 17.5 16.1 18.4 17.3
21 670 40 10 975 1037 94 0.022 9.9 18.6 17.1 17.2 17.6
22 660 30 10 1007 1082 93 0.016 10.7 23.4 20.0 21.8 21.7
23 660 60 10 969 1091 89 0.019 9.5 22.3 19.2 19.0 20.2
24 670 45 2 997 1060 94 0.004 10.6 22.1 21.1 20.6 21.3
25 600 60 15 1204 1306 92 0.028 26.0 6.6 9.3 5.8 7.2

[Evaluation results]



[0146] A tensile test, microstructure determination test, amount of dissolved C measurement test, a dislocation density measurement test and DCB test described hereunder were performed on the steel plates of each test number after the aforementioned tempering.

[Tensile test]



[0147] A tensile test was performed in accordance with ASTM E8 (2013). Round bar tensile test specimens having a diameter of 6.35 mm and a parallel portion length of 35 mm were taken from the center portion of the thickness of the steel plates of each test number. The axial direction of each of the round bar test specimens was parallel to the rolling direction of the steel plate. A tensile test was performed in the atmosphere at normal temperature (25°C) using each test number of round bar test specimens, and the yield strength (MPa) and tensile strength (MPa) were obtained. Note that, in the present examples, the stress at the time of 0.65% elongation obtained in the tensile test (0.65% yield stress) defined as the yield strength for each test number. Further, the largest stress during uniform elongation was taken as the tensile strength. A ratio of the yield strength to the tensile strength (YS/TS) was adopted as the yield ratio (%). The determined yield strength (YS), tensile strength (TS) and yield ratio (YR) are shown in Table 2.

[Microstructure determination test]



[0148] With respect to the microstructures of the steel plates of each test number, apart from Test Numbers 23 and 25, because the yield strength was in a range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade) and the yield ratio was 90% or more, it was determined that the volume ratios of tempered martensite and tempered bainite was 90% or more.

[Amount of dissolved C measurement test]



[0149] With respect to the steel plates of each test number, the amount of dissolved C (mass%) was measured and calculated by the measurement method described above. Note that, the TEM used was JEM-2010 manufactured by JEOL Ltd., the acceleration voltage was set to 200 kV. For the EDS point analysis the irradiation current was 2.56 nA, and measurement was performed for 60 seconds at each point. The observation regions for the TEM observation were 8 µm × 8 µm, and observation was performed with respect to an arbitrary 10 visual fields. The residual amounts of each element and the concentrations of each element in cementite that were used to calculate the amount of dissolved C were as listed in Table 3.

[Table 3]



[0150] 
TABLE 3
Test NumberResidual Amount (mass%)Concentration In Cementite (mass%)Dissolved C Amount (mass%)
FeCrMnMoVNbFeCrMnMo
1 2.0 0.33 0.23 0.20 0.072 0.008 84.0 8.2 3.6 4.2 0.041
2 3.4 0.29 0.24 0.23 - - 83.8 8.5 3.3 4.4 0.043
3 3.5 0.19 0.19 0.41 0.062 - 85.0 5.7 2.6 6.7 0.018
4 3.5 0.36 0.26 0.24 - 0.009 81.8 11.3 3.1 3.8 0.015
5 3.5 0.31 0.17 0.26 - - 84.0 9.7 3.0 3.3 0.022
6 3.0 0.28 0.25 0.45 - - 83.3 10.2 2.4 4.1 0.021
7 3.5 0.25 0.18 0.22 - - 82.6 10.4 3.3 3.7 0.042
8 3.1 0.32 0.16 0.24 - - 80.8 11.1 3.5 4.6 0.036
9 3.0 0.24 0.17 0.22 - - 83.5 8.7 3.0 4.8 0.041
10 3.0 0.26 0.25 0.23 - - 82.8 9.9 3.7 3.6 0.029
11 3.0 0.31 0.24 0.33 - - 81.8 10.3 4.1 3.8 0.024
12 2.6 0.32 0.27 0.29 - - 81.3 10.6 3.4 4.7 0.026
13 2.8 0.25 0.26 0.36 - - 84.7 8.9 3.3 3.1 0.035
14 3.1 0.26 0.23 0.38 - - 83.3 9.5 3.8 3.4 0.004
15 2.8 0.29 0.24 0.19 0.091 - 85.2 8.8 2.8 3.2 0.003
16 2.1 0.26 0.16 0.21 - - 81.9 10.0 3.9 4.2 0.071
17 1.7 0.21 0.14 0.20 0.052 - 82.9 10.4 3.5 3.2 0.080
18 3.6 0.05 0.31 0.22 - - 93.4 0.3 3.4 2.9 0.018
19 2.7 0.32 0.26 0.06 - - 86.4 9.7 3.7 0.2 0.016
20 2.5 0.30 0.64 0.18 0.083 - 80.3 8.8 6.5 4.4 0.022
21 2.9 0.24 0.26 0.20 - - 82.8 8.7 4.3 4.2 0.022
22 3.1 0.25 0.23 0.22 - - 84.5 8.6 3.1 3.8 0.016
23 3.4 0.28 0.24 0.25 - - 84.1 9.6 2.4 3.9 0.019
24 2.5 0.31 0.18 0.22 0.099 - 82.1 10.5 3.2 4.2 0.004
25 3.2 0.27 0.30 0.24 - - 83.3 9.4 4.1 3.2 0.028

[Dislocation density measurement test]



[0151] Test specimens for use for dislocation density measurement by the aforementioned method were taken from the steel plate of each test number. In addition, the dislocation density (m-2) was determined by the aforementioned method. The determined dislocation density (×1014 m-2) is shown in Table 2.

[DCB test]



[0152] With respect to the steel plates of each test number, a DCB test was conducted in accordance with "Method D" of NACE TM0177-2005, and the SSC resistance was evaluated. Specifically, three of the DCB test specimen illustrated in FIG. 2A were taken from a center portion of the thickness of the steel plate of each test number. The DCB test specimens were taken in a manner such that the longitudinal direction of each DCB test specimen was parallel with the rolling direction. A wedge illustrated in FIG. 2B was further taken from the steel plate of each test number. A thickness t of the wedge was 3.10 mm. The aforementioned wedge was driven in between the arms of the DCB test specimen.

[0153] A mixed aqueous solution containing 5.0 mass% of sodium chloride and 0.4 mass% of sodium acetate that had been adjusted to pH 3.5 using acetic acid (NACE solution B) was used as the test solution. The test solution was poured into the test vessel enclosing the DCB test specimen into which the wedge had been driven inside so as to leave a vapor phase portion, and was adopted as the test bath. After the test bath was degassed, a gaseous mixture consisting of 0.1 atm H2S and 0.9 atm CO2 was blown into the test vessel to make the test bath a corrosive environment. The inside of the test vessel was held at a temperature of 24°C for three weeks (504 hours) while stirring the test bath. After being held for three weeks, the DCB test specimen was taken out from the test vessel.

[0154] A pin was inserted into a hole formed in the tip of the arms of each DCB test specimen that was taken out and a notch portion was opened with a tensile testing machine, and a wedge releasing stress P was measured. In addition, the notch in the DCB test specimen being immersed in the test bath was released in liquid nitrogen, and a crack propagation length "a" with respect to crack propagation that occurred during immersion was measured. The crack propagation length "a" could be measured visually using vernier calipers. A fracture toughness value K1SSC (MPa√m) was determined using Formula (8) based on the obtained wedge releasing stress P and the crack propagation length "a". The arithmetic average of the three fracture toughness value K1SSC (MPa√m) was determined, and defined as the fracture toughness value K1SSC (MPa√m) of the steel plate of the relevant test number.



[0155]  In Formula (8), h (mm) represents the height of each arm of the DCB test specimen, B (mm) represents the thickness of the DCB test specimen, and Bn (mm) represents the web thickness of the DCB test specimen. These are defined in "Method D" of NACE TM0177-2005.

[0156] For the steel plate of each test number, the obtained fracture toughness values K1SSC are shown in Table 2. If the fracture toughness value K1SSC that was defined as described above was 28.0 MPa√m or more, it was determined that the SSC resistance was good. Note that, the clearance between the arms when the wedge is driven in prior to immersion in the test bath influences the K1SSC value. Accordingly, actual measurement of the clearance between the arms was performed in advance using a micrometer, and it was also confirmed that the clearance was within the range in the API standards.

[Test results]



[0157] The test results are shown in Table 2.

[0158] Referring to Table 1 and Table 2, the chemical compositions of the steel plates of Test Numbers 1 to 13 were appropriate, the yield strength was in the range of 965 to 1069 MPa (140 ksi grade), and the yield ratio was 90% or more. In addition, the amount of dissolved C was in the range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%. As a result, the K1SSC value was 28.0 MPa√m or more and excellent SSC resistance was exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plates of Test Numbers 1 to 13 were within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0159] On the other hand, for the steel plates of Test Numbers 14 and 15, the cooling rate after tempering was too slow. Consequently, the amount of dissolved C was less than 0.010 mass%. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plates of Test Numbers 14 and 15 were within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0160]  For the steel plate of Test Number 16, the tempering time was too short. Consequently, the amount of dissolved C was more than 0.050 mass%. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plate of Test Number 16 was more than 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0161] For the steel plate of Test Number 17, the cooling rate after tempering was too fast. Consequently, the amount of dissolved C was more than 0.050 mass%. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plate of Test Number 17 was within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0162] In the steel plate of Test Number 18, the Cr content was too low. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plate of Test Number 18 was within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0163] For the steel plate of Test Number 19, the Mo content was too low. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plate of Test Number 19 was within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0164] In the steel plate of Test Number 20, the Mn content was too high. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plate of Test Number 20 was within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0165] For the steel plate of Test Number 21, the N content was too high. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plate of Test Number 21 was within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0166]  For the steel plate of Test Number 22, the Si content was too high. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plate of Test Number 22 was within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0167] For the steel plate of Test Number 23, the yield ratio was less than 90%. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plate of Test Number 23 was within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0168] For the steel plate of Test Number 24, the cooling rate after tempering was too slow. Consequently, the amount of dissolved C was less than 0.010 mass%. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plate of Test Number 24 was within the range of 9.2×1014 to 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0169] For the steel plate of Test Number 25, the tempering temperature was too low. Consequently, the yield strength was more than 1069 MPa. As a result, the fracture toughness value K1SSC was less than 28.0 MPa√m and excellent SSC resistance was not exhibited. Note that, the dislocation density of the steel plate of Test Number 25 was more than 20.0×1014 m-2.

[0170] An embodiment of the present invention has been described above. However, the embodiment described above is merely an example for implementing the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the above embodiment, and the above embodiment can be appropriately modified and performed within a range that does not deviate from the gist of the present invention.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY



[0171] The steel material according to the present invention is widely applicable to steel materials to be utilized in a sour environment, and preferably can be utilized as a steel material for oil wells that is utilized in an oil well environment, and further preferably can be utilized as oil-well steel pipes, such as casing, tubing and line pipes.


Claims

1. A steel material comprising:

a chemical composition consisting of, in mass%,

C: 0.20 to 0.50%,

Si: 0.05 to 1.00%,

Mn: 0.05 to 1.00%,

P: 0.025% or less,

S: 0.0100% or less,

Al: 0.005 to 0.100%,

Cr: 0.20 to 1.50%,

Mo: 0.25 to 1.50%,

Ti: 0.002 to 0.050%,

B: 0.0001 to 0.0050%,

N: 0.0100% or less,

O: 0.0100% or less,

V: 0 to 0.60%,

Nb: 0 to 0.030%,

Ca: 0 to 0.0100%,

Mg: 0 to 0.0100%,

Zr: 0 to 0.0100%,

Co: 0 to 0.50%,

W: 0 to 0.50%,

Ni: 0 to 0.50%,

Cu: 0 to 0.50%,

rare earth metal: 0 to 0.0100%, and

with the balance being Fe and impurities,

an amount of dissolved C within a range of 0.010 to 0.050 mass%,

a yield strength within a range of 965 to 1069 MPa, and

a yield ratio of 90% or more.


 
2. The steel material according to claim 1, wherein the chemical composition contains one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of:

V: 0.01 to 0.60%, and

Nb: 0.002 to 0.030%.


 
3. The steel material according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the chemical composition contains one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of:

Ca: 0.0001 to 0.0100%,

Mg: 0.0001 to 0.0100%, and

Zr: 0.0001 to 0.0100%.


 
4. The steel material according to any one of claim 1 to claim 3, wherein the chemical composition contains one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of:

Co: 0.02 to 0.50%, and

W: 0.02 to 0.50%.


 
5. The steel material according to any one of claim 1 to claim 4, wherein the chemical composition contains one or more types of element selected from the group consisting of:

Ni: 0.01 to 0.50%, and

Cu: 0.01 to 0.50%.


 
6. The steel material according to any one of claim 1 to claim 5, wherein the chemical composition contains:

rare earth metal: 0.0001 to 0.0100%.


 
7. The steel material according to any one of claim 1 to claim 6, wherein the steel material is an oil-well steel pipe.
 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description