A combined analytical and experimental method for inferring the residual stresses in a pipe formed by joining two sections with a girth butt weld is described. The relieved surface strains due to cutting the pipe in two are measured and fitted in a least-square sense to the strains predicted by an analysis of the sectioned pipes. This permits a prediction of the through-thickness distribution of the residual longitudinal normal and radial shear stresses at the site of the cut. The procedure is used to infer the residual stress distribution due to last-pass-heat-sink welding of two sections of 16-in- (400-mm-) dia pipe.

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