In this work, 2D and 3D Finite Element models to simulate the temperature distribution and residual stress in butt-welded steel plates with the aid of computer simulation, using the commercial software Abaqus®, are developed. The work is carried out in two stages: 1) An analysis of heat transfer in transient state regardless of the structural part is performed, and 2) Thermal and structural responses are sequentially coupled in a thermo-mechanical process simulation in order to determine the final residual stresses induced during progressive heating and subsequent cooling. The results show that for 2D and 3D models the residual stress distribution for relatively thick plate welding can be characterized by a state of stresses plane, dominated by longitudinal stresses. The main difference between both models occurs for transverse stress σY where the values for 3D are significantly greater than for 2D.

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