Determination of residual weld stresses with the incremental hole-drilling method in tubular steel bridge joints

Tubular arch bridges are susceptible to fatigue problems due to stress concentrations, welding imperfections and tensile residual weld stresses. These bridges are composed of circular hollow section profiles welded together in tubular joints. This paper describes the determination of residual weld stresses in T-joints with the incremental hole-drilling method. The residual stress distribution can be used to determine fatigue crack behavior and fatigue lifetime more precisely. The incremental hole-drilling method is used to measure residual welding stresses on two similar T-joints. Experimental residual stress measurements were performed with the aid of the RS-200 milling guide. Strain gauge rosettes are attached to the test surface and with the milling guide, a small hole is drilled through the center of the strain gauge rosette. Strains at incremental depths are measured and the residual stresses are calculated according to ASTM E837-13a. A comparison is made between residual stress distributions obtained with finite element simulation and the experimental measurements. The distributions from finite element simulation show tensile yield stresses close to the weld while the experimental measurements indicate tensile yield stresses only in the axial direction of the primary tube. In all other cases, the residual stresses are tensile within 50% of yield stress or even compressional. However, more measurements on similar test specimens are necessary for a reliable residual stress distribution. Knowledge of the residual stress distribution is essential to accurately estimate the crack development under fatigue loads. In future research, the residual stresses can be used to study the influence of residual weld stresses on the fatigue lifetime and improve the design of steel tubular joints in arch bridges.


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  • Accession Number: 01665750
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 7 2018 4:27PM