The inherent complexity of modelling welding processes and the lack of computational power available to analysts have resulted in simplified methods being commonly utilised when predicting residual stresses in welded components. Despite considerable advances in computational power, it is still often not possible to run detailed 3D analyses of complex welded geometries within practical timescales. Against this background, a programme of work has been undertaken in order to investigate the effect these simplifications will have on the prediction of residual stresses on a number of test-pieces. The geometry investigated in this paper is a plate containing a “V” groove, which runs the length of the plate and is filled with eight mechanised TIG weld passes. This paper presents the results of a number of finite element analyses conducted of this geometry. The analyses presented have been conducted using the commercial finite element packages SYSWELD and ABAQUS, using a number of modelling simplifications. These simplifications include modelling the plate in 2D and the use of the bead lumping technique to idealise a number of beads as a single bead. Also considered are various methods of heat source representation, namely; a moving ellipsoidal heat source, prescribed temperature and block dumping. These analyses are compared and qualitative conclusions are drawn.

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