A method of using the finite element mode to predict the residual stresses on the surface of machined hardened steel is proposed. The proposed model is based on the analysis of strain relaxation data obtained from the measurement of residual stresses by material removal methods involving two stages; 1). experimental determination of the thermal residual stresses produced during heat treatment 2). experimental determination of the resultant residual stress on the machined surface due to the interaction between thermal stress relief and the machining stresses induced. The proposed finite element model was used to determine the relationship between the two types of residual stress within the machined surface region of a workpiece. It was found that the remaining residual stresses are determined mainly by stress release rather than induction. Such a finite element approach aims at an improvement in accuracy and reduction in the number of experiments required to determine the nature of residual stresses. Furthermore, it could provide an improved qualitative assessment of residual stresses when applied to hardened steel turning.

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