Residual stress concentrations in a stainless steel slot-weld measured by the contour method and neutron diffraction

Bouchard, P. John; Turski, Mark and Smith, Mike C. (2009). Residual stress concentrations in a stainless steel slot-weld measured by the contour method and neutron diffraction. In: Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference, 26-30 Jul 2009, Prague.



Arc-welding involves the deposition of molten filler metal and the localised input of intense heat. The surrounding parent material and, in the case of multi-pass welds, previously deposited weld metal, undergoes complex thermo-mechanical cycles involving elastic, plastic, creep and viscous deformations. These processes result in the development of large residual stress gradients around the welded region, which can be particularly detrimental to the structural integrity of plant components. The present study examines aggregated weld bead start and stop stress concentration effects in a three pass slot weld specimen that was designed to represent a multi-pass weld repair (without any original weld). The specimen design comprised a Type 316L stainless steel base-plate of nominal dimensions (300 × 200 × 25) mm3 with a 100 mm long by 10 mm deep central slot filled with 3 stringer manual metal arc weld beads, laid one on top of another. Residual stresses in three orthogonal directions were measured by neutron diffraction on a plane cutting through the centre of the plate, parallel to the welding direction, to show concentrations of tensile stress at both the weld start and stop positions. The transverse component of residual stress on the same plane in a second, nominally identical, specimen was mapped using the contour method. By applying two independent measurement techniques the residual stress field within the specimen type was determined with an increased level of confidence. Maximum transverse stress values of about 200 MPa at the weld start position and 300 MPa at the weld stop position were found. Peak tensile stresses in the longitudinal direction of 370 and 460 MPa were measured using neutron diffraction at the weld start and stop positions, respectively. The stresses measured by the contour method and neutron diffraction were in reasonable overall agreement with each other. However, the comparisons pointed to the possible presence of cutting artefacts in the contour results.

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