Welding is one of the most used joining methods in the ship industry. However, residual stresses are induced in the welded joints due to the rapid heating and cooling leading to inhomogenously distributed dimensional changes and non-uniform plastic and thermal strains. A number of factors, such as welding speed, boundary conditions, weld geometry, weld thickness, welding current/voltage, number of weld passes, pre-/post-heating etc, influence the residual stress distribution. The main aim of this work is to estimate the residual stresses in welded joints through finite element analysis and to investigate the effects of boundary conditions, welding speed and plate thickness on through the thickness/surface distributions of residual stresses. The welding process is simulated using 3D Finite element model in ABAQUS FE software in two steps: 1. Transient thermal analysis and 2. Quasi-static thermo-elasto-plastic analysis. The normal residual stresses along and across the weld in the weld tow region are found to be significant with nonlinear distribution. The residual stresses increase with the increase in the thickness of the plates being welded. The nature of the normal residual stress along the weld is found to be tensile-compressive-tensile and the nature of normal residual stress across the weld is found to be tensile along the thickness direction.

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