by Phillip E. Prueter, P.E. / Dec 01, 2015

Understanding the residual stresses associated with welds in pressure vessels, piping, and other structures is an essential part of designing reliable equipment in the petrochemical, chemical, and nuclear industries. In recent years, the evolution of parallel computing technology and overall improvements in computer performance have made detailed computational weld residual stress analysis feasible. Furthermore, recent enhancements of commercial finite element software programs have enabled the implementation of complex weld simulation techniques. Recently, E2G published a comprehensive book [1] through the Welding Research Council, Inc. (WRC) relating to a recent investigation into the current (2007 Edition) API 579- 1/ASME FFS-1 Fitness-For-Service (API 579) [2] guidance pertaining to weld residual stresses (WRS). This work was sponsored by the Materials Properties Council (MPC) Fitness-For- Service (FFS) Joint Industry Program (JIP). The primary goal of this study was to simplify, enhance, and reduce any undue conservatism associated with the API 579 WRS guidance provided in Annex E. Explicit computational WRS simulation was employed to compare results against experimental WRS data obtained primarily from the published European NeT benchmarks. Additionally, a comprehensive review of existing guidance in API 579 and current European standards was performed. This included consideration for the effects of heat input and a comparison of throughwall WRS distributions for different weld geometries.

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