Residual stresses exist in welded structures due to thermal stresses. Without temperature change, large plastic deformation can result in “cold” residual stresses in a wrinkle or dent in a metallic pipe. For a crack in residual stress field, residual stresses might have strong effect on fracture parameter, the J-integral. In order to ensure its path-independence, different correction methods have been developed in consideration of residual stress effect. Recently, the finite element commercial software ABAQUS adopted one of the correction methods, and is able to calculate the residual stress corrected J-integral.

A brief review is first given to the J-integral definition, the conditions of path-independence or path-dependence, and the modifications to consider the residual stress effect. A modified single edge-notched bend (SENB) specimen is then used, and a numerical procedure is developed for ABAQUS to evaluate the path-independence of the residual stress corrected J-integral. Detailed elastic-plastic finite element analyses are performed for the SENB specimen in three-point bending. The residual stress field, crack-tip stress field, and J-integral with and without consideration of residual stresses are discussed.

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