In this research the neutron diffraction technique was used to investigate and compare the residual stress characteristics in a several weld arrangements. This research has focused on the effects on residual stress of: • restraint condition applied during welding, • the start and end of the weld for a single bead, and • increasing the number of passes. The measured residual stress distributions are normalized by the yield strength of the material and compared with distribution provided in fitness-for-purpose procedures. It is found that the current safety assessment procedure BS 7910 and R6 Level 1 are significantly conservative. For a less conservative assessment R6 Level 2 is recommended, however even this assessment is often conservative, in particular for transverse residual stresses.

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