“Hot” residual stresses exist in metal welds due to welding thermal stresses, and “cold” residual stresses occur in mechanical damaged metallic pipes due to large plastic deformation. For a crack in ether a hot or cold residual stress field, residual stresses might have a strong effect on the crack-tip field and the fracture parameter, J-integral. To consider the effect of residual stresses and to ensure the path-independence of J, different correction methods have been developed over the years. Recently, the finite element analysis (FEA) commercial software ABAQUS adopted one of correction methods for determining the residual stress corrected J-integral.

This paper intends to evaluate this new function of ABAQUS and to see if the residual stress corrected J-integral is path-independent. A brief review is first given to the J-integral definition, the conditions of J-integral path-independence or dependence, and the modifications of J-integral to consider the residual stress effect. A modified single edge-notched bend (SENB) specimen is then adopted, and a FEA numerical procedure is developed and used in the numerical tests to evaluate the path-independence of the residual stress corrected J-integral using ABAQUS. Detailed elastic-plastic FEA calculations are carried out for the modified SENB specimen in three-point bending. The residual stress field, crack-tip field, and J-integral with and without consideration of the residual stress effect are determined and discussed.

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