High tensile weld residual stress is an important factor contributing to stress corrosion cracking (SCC). Ultrasonic impact treatment (UIT) can produce compressive stresses on the surface of welded joints that negate the tensile stresses to enhance the SCC resistance of welded joints. In the present work, X-ray diffraction method was used to obtain the distribution of residual stress induced by UIT. The results showed that UIT could cause a large compressive residual stress up to 325.9MPa on the surface of the material. A 3D finite element model was established to simulate the UIT process by using a finite element software ABAQUS. The residual stress distribution of the AISI 304 stainless steel induced by UIT was predicted by finite element analysis. In order to demonstrate the improvement of the SCC resistance of the welded joints, the specimens were immersed in boiling 42% magnesium chloride solution during SCC testing, and untreated specimen cracked after immersion for 23 hours. In contrast, treated specimens with different coverage were tested for 1000 hours without visible stress corrosion cracks. The microstructure observation results revealed that a hardened layer was formed on the surface and the initial coarse-grained structure in the surface was refined into ultrafine grains. The above results indicate that UIT is an effective approach for protecting weldments against SCC.

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