Residual Stress Relaxation in Welded Steel Joints – an Experimentally-based Model

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Residual Stress Relaxation in Welded Steel Joints – an Experimentally-based Model

J. Hensel, T. Nitschke-Pagel, K. Dilger

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Abstract. Residual stresses may affect the fatigue strength of welded components significantly. Structural design concepts for fatigue loaded welds do not account for real residual stress conditions but rather generally estimate high tensile residual stresses. The assumption of high tensile residual stresses in current engineering practice is resulting in over-conservative designs. The consideration of real residual stress conditions in the design process is one of the major objectives in current research on structural engineering. In order to achieve this objective, one must be able to describe the residual stress generation due to manufacturing and the relaxation of residual stresses during component life time. However, nowadays it is not practical to describe the relaxation process by means of numerical or analytical methods. This work describes an experimentally-based model for the estimation of the stabilized residual stresses in welded steels. The model is capable of describing residual stress relaxation depending on the initial residual stresses, the load magnitudes and the material strength. The model is based on XRD residual stress measurements during the fatigue life of typical welded joints. The samples used here are longitudinal fillet welded gussets made from low-carbon high-strength construction steels S355NL (yield strength 360 MPa) and S960QL (yield strength 960 MPa). Finally, the model is extended to butt welded joints using experimental data from the literature.

Residual Stresses, Residual Stress Relaxation, Welding, Fatigue, Steel

Published online 12/22/2016, 6 pages
Copyright © 2016 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: J. Hensel, T. Nitschke-Pagel, K. Dilger, ‘Residual Stress Relaxation in Welded Steel Joints – an Experimentally-based Model’, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 2, pp 305-310, 2017


The article was published as article 52 of the book Residual Stresses 2016

Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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