Recent developments of the advanced welding processes such as laser beam welding (LBW), solid state friction stir welding (FSW) and hybrid welding, numbers of advanced structures are being designed and constructed in industries such as aerospace, power generation, oil and gas transmission and transportation. Development of new structural aluminum and magnesium alloys as well as high strength steels provide further possibilities for the welded structures in similar and dissimilar (material-mix) configurations. Consequently, there is an increasing demand for “Fitness-for-Service” (FFS) assessment of those advanced welded structures by considering the specific features of these weld joints (such as narrow weld width, high strength mis-match, etc.). In year 1999, Structural Integrity Assessment Procedure SINTAP has been developed for analysis of flaws to avoid fracture within the European Commission funded project SINTAP. Recently, the European Community funded project FITNET in the form of a Thematic Network (TN) organisation has started to review the existing FFS procedures and develop an updated, unified and verified European FITNET FFS Procedure to cover structural integrity analysis to avoid failures due to fracture, fatigue, creep and corrosion. This new FFS Procedure has adopted the SINTAP approach for assessing of the welded structures. This paper describes the FITNET FFS weld assessment route and also aims to demonstrate suitability of weld joint assessment route of the FITNET FFS Procedure in prediction of the critical conditions of various advanced welded joints containing flaw. The welded specimens used in this work cover conventional multi-pass welded Inconel-718 turbine blade (T-joint), center cracked wide plates of electron beam welded 13% Cr supermartensitic stainless steel, laser beam welded shipbuilding C-Mn steel and aluminum alloy. The results are showing that the weld strength mismatch analysis option of the FITNET FFS is conservative and degree of conservatism is similar to the analysis options for the homogeneous materials. This provides confidence in the use of the FITNET FFS procedure for assessing of the structural significance of flaws in welded structures.

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