The weld joints in structural components have long been considered important sites for safety and reliability assessment. In particular, the residual stress in piping weldments induced by the welding process must be evaluated accurately before and during service. This study reports an indentation technique for evaluating welding residual stress nondestructively. Indentation load-depth curves were found to shift with the magnitude and direction of the residual stress. Nevertheless, contact depths in the stress-free and stressed states were constant at a specific indentation load. This means that residual stress induces additional load to keep contact depth constant at the same load. By taking these phenomena into account, welding residual stress was obtained directly from the indentation load-depth curve. In addition, the results were compared with values from the conventional hole-drilling and saw-cutting method.

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