Fusion arc welding processes often generate substantial residual stresses, which may alter the performance of welded structures. Residual stresses are the results of incompatible elastic and plastic deformations in a body. Destructive techniques are generally used to experimentally determine residual stresses. Employment of these methods would not often be possible or practical in industry. In this study, three-dimensional (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) finite element simulations and experimental work have been performed to analyze the thermomechanical problem of GMAW and to obtain a full-field view of the residual stress field. One of the purposes of this study is to examine the formation of residual stresses upon cooling of a weldment. Comparisons of the results of 2D and 3D finite element models reveal many three-dimensional features in the thermomechanical problem of GMAW. The magnitude of longitudinal residual stresses obtained from the 2D model, however, compares well with the results obtained from the 3D model.

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