Engineering Critical Assessment (ECA) of welds is the process of predicting the structural integrity of a structure in the presence of a weld defect under specified loading conditions. Standardized ECA techniques consider the weld to be equal in properties when compared with base metal or use the concept of ‘strength mismatch’ to distinguish the weld from the base metal. In both cases, the weld region is homogeneous. This is a severe approximation from reality, as welds show complex strength heterogeneity patterns. The authors are concerned with techniques to simplify welds in such way that the structural response of the weld is similar to that of the idealized, homogeneous weld. Two approaches are considered: (a) integrating properties along assumed slip lines originating from the defect tip, and (b) assigning All Weld Metal Tensile Tests (AWMTT) to the entire weld region. A plastic analysis procedure suggested by the ASME BP&V code (‘Twice Elastic Slope method’) is adopted to estimate Plastic Load, whose values are compared for the heterogeneous and equivalent homogeneous welds. Finite Element (FE) simulations were performed for Single Edge notched Tensile (SE(T)) specimens. The results put forward the possibilities of weld homogenization while showing its limitations. This will assist in further improvement of weld ECA.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.