This paper presents results from a programme of experimental measurements of residual stresses in a type 316H stainless steel component consisting of a nozzle welded to a cylinder. The residual stresses were measured using the deep-hole drilling (DHD) technique. The welded component had been thermally aged in a furnace at 550°C for 19,644 hours prior to the residual stress measurements. Measurements were obtained in the through-thickness section of the component at two locations: (i) in the cylinder heat affected zone (HAZ) at the flank of the nozzle-to-cylinder weld intersection and (ii) in the cylinder HAZ near the crown of the nozzle-to-cylinder weld intersection. The stress measurements made after the furnace heat soak treatment are compared with the earlier as-welded stress measurements. In comparison with as-welded residual stress measurements on the same component and with residual stresses in a service-aged (55,000 hours at 525°C) component, it was evident that the thermal soak test treatment had significantly relaxed the weld residual stresses. In particular the soak test hoop stress profile was almost identical to the service-aged condition, whereas the transverse stress distribution had only been partially relaxed by the thermal soak test.

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