A long-term UK research programme on residual stresses was launched in 2004. It involves Rolls-Royce plc and Serco Assurance, and is supported by UK industry and academia. The programme is aimed at progressing the understanding of weld residual stresses and the implementation of finite element simulation and residual stress measurement for assessing the integrity of engineering structures. Following on from this, the intention is then to develop improved guidance on residual stress modelling techniques. In the first two years finite element activities have addressed heat source representation, simplified modelling (e.g. 2D v 3D, bead lumping), material hardening models, high temperature behaviour and phase transformations. It is recognized that simplifying assumptions have to be made in order to reduce the computational run-time and modelling complexity, especially for multi-pass welds. The effects of these assumptions on the determined stresses have been considered by carrying out finite element analyses of welded mock-ups. The welded mock-ups have been developed to provide measured residual stress data which are necessary to validate the modelling techniques that have been developed. These activities have been used to support the development of guidelines on the use finite element analysis to predict residual stresses in welded components. These guidelines will be incorporated in the next issue of the British Energy R6 defect assessment procedure.

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