A determination was made of the influence of various mechanical finishing procedures on residual stresses and the resulting effect on the low cycle fatigue life of tee-fillet welds in 1-1/2 in. thick rolled steel plate with a yield strength of 80,000 psi. Included in this work were tee-fillet welds in the as-welded, ground, shot-peened, ground and shot-peened, and mechanically peened condition. Residual stresses were measured by a hole drilling technique developed at the Naval Applied Science Laboratory for application to linearly varying biaxial stress fields. This method has been found suitable for determining residual stresses at any point over a limited area at the toe of the weld. Fatigue tests were conducted on plate type specimens, 32 in. by 29 in. by 1-1/2 in. which were simply supported at two edges, free at the other two edges, and uniformly loaded with compressed air to develop a zero to maximum tension range of stress at the toe of the fillet weld. It was found that tensile residual stresses do not have a significant effect on fatigue life for the type of pulsating load used. Compressive residual stresses have been found to have a beneficial effect on fatigue life. Welds with relatively high residual stresses which were ground smooth to eliminate “stress raisers” showed very good fatigue resistance.

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