A method which we describe as the “successive cracking method” for measuring residual stresses in a circular ring is presented. In this method, the residual stresses are evaluated using a fracture mechanics approach. The strains measured at a point on the outer edge of the ring as a crack is introduced and extended from the edge are used to deduce the residual stress distribution in the uncracked ring. Finite element analysis is carried out to examine the validity of the theoretical derivation. Experiments to measure the residual stresses in a steel ring specimen are done by the successive cracking method. For comparison purposes, the experimental results using the sectioning method are presented as well. The successive cracking method is shown to be valid, simple, and effective for measuring the two-dimensional residual stress distribution in an axisymmetric member.

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