An evaluation of residual stress distribution in welded compact tension specimens using neutron diffraction
Rading, G. O
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The neutron diffraction technique was used to determine the residual stress field in welded compact tension specimens of the aluminium-lithium alloy AA 2095. The deep penetrating characteristic of neutrons was exploited to evaluate the through-thickness variation in residual stress. Moreover, insight into the redistribution of these stresses was gained by extending a fatigue crack through the residual stress field and re-examining the stress distribution. The specimen without a crack was found to have a high compressive stress (of the order of - 135MPa) ahead of the notch. This rose to a maximum tensile stress of about 50MPa, 22 mm from the notch, followed by a drop to negative values further ahead of the notch. It was observed that the magnitude of the stresses changed on moving into the thickness of the specimen. However, the form of the graph showing stress versus distance ahead of the notch remained unchanged. When fatigue cracks of different lengths were introduced, the magnitude of the stress close to the tip first increased with crack length, before decreasing and then rising again. Nevertheless, the form of the graph remained unchanged and the stress at the crack tip remained compressive. The paper concludes that any study of the response of a component to mechanical loading involving a residual stress field must take these factors (i.e. through-thickness stress variation and stress redistribution) into consideration.