In this paper, global welding buckling distortion of a thin wall aluminum butt joint is investigated. To determine longitudinal residual stresses, a thermo-elastoplastic model is employed; analysis of thermal model and elastic-viscoplastic (Anand) model are decoupled. By using birth and death element method and time dependent model, molten puddle motion (speed of welding) is modeled. Three dimensional nonlinear-transient heat flow analysis has been used to obtain temperature distribution. By applying thermal results and using three dimensional Anand elastic-viscoplastic model, stress and deformation distributions are obtained. Residual stresses are applied on a structural model and by using eigenvalue methods, global buckling instability of butt welded joint is determined. The result of buckling investigation in the numerical model is compared with the result of an experiment.

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