The source of residual stresses in the vicinity of a weld may be expressed in terms of inherent strains. The characteristics of the inherent strain distributions in butt welds are investigated. It is found that the patterns vary little with changes in the welding conditions and sizes of the welded plates. With some assumptions, simple formulas are derived for the distribution and magnitude of inherent strain in a butt weld. A method of predicting the residual stress in a butt-welded plate using the characteristics of inherent strain distributions is presented. The validity of the method is confirmed by thermal elasto-plastic analysis using the finite element method (FEM).

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