Residual stresses (RS) are unavoidably generated in components after welding. Tensile residual stresses in engineering structures generally have an adverse effect on structural integrity, with detrimental effects on brittle fracture, corrosion properties and fatigue performance.

Residual stress measurements for offshore welded joints are generally very limited. In this study, experimental measurements and numerical modelling of residual stresses were carried out and the through-thickness residual stress distributions in circumferential butt welds are presented. Pipes of two different dimensions and steels were investigated: a seamless X70 steel pipe with an outside diameter of 406mm and a seam-welded X65 steel with an outside diameter of 508mm. The measurement methods used included the centrehole air abrasion drilling, the deep-hole drilling (DHD) and the block removal, splitting and layering (BRSL). The numerical modelling was undertaken to determine whether modelling could provide a satisfactory prediction of the final residual stresses. Finally, the new experimental data were combined with the BS 7910 database to derive revised upper bound through-thickness residual stress distributions for girth welds and to provide an assessment of the impact of residual stresses on the structural integrity of circumferential welds in offshore structures.

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