In this paper, some of the important controlling parameters in governing weld residual stress distributions are presented for girth welds in pipe and vessel components, based on a large number of residual stress solutions available to date. The focus is placed upon the understanding of some of the overall characteristics in through-wall residual stress distributions and their generalization for vessel and pipe girth welds. In doing so, a unified framework for prescribing residual stress distributions is then outlined for fitness-for-service assessment of vessel and pipe girth welds. The effects of various joint geometry and welding procedure parameters on through thickness residual stress distributions are also demonstrated in the order of their relative importance.

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