This study is concerned with the mechanics analysis of residual stress improvement by the heat sink method applied to a dissimilar metal weld (DMW) for the use in nuclear power plants. The DMW joint considered here is composed of ferritic low-alloy steel nozzle, austenitic stainless steel safe-end, and nickel-base alloy A52 weld metal. To prepare the DMW joint with a narrow-gap, the gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) process is utilized, and the heat sink method is employed to control thermal gradients developed in the critical region of work pieces during welding. Weld residual stresses are computed by the non-linear thermal elasto-plastic analysis using the axisymmetric finite element (FE) model, for which temperature-dependent thermal and mechanical properties of the materials are considered. A full-scale mock-up test is conducted to validate analytical solution for the DMW joint, and residual stresses are measured by using the hole-drilling method. Results of the FE modeling and mock-up test for the DMW joint are compared and effects of the heat sink method are discussed. It is found that a significant amount of residual compressive stresses can be developed on the inner surface of the DMW joint by using the heat sink method, which can effectively reduce the susceptibility of the welded materials to stress corrosion or fatigue cracking.

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