Welding is known to introduce complex three-dimensional residual stresses of substantial magnitude into pressure vessels and pipe-work. For safety-critical components, where welded joints are not stress-relieved, it can be of vital importance to quantify the residual stress field with high certainty in order to perform a reliable structural integrity assessment. Finite element modeling approaches are being increasingly employed by engineers to predict welding residual stresses. However, such predictions are challenging owing to the innate complexity of the welding process (Hurrell et al., Development of Weld Modelling Guidelines in the UK, Proceedings of the ASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, July 26–30, 2009, pp. 481–489). The idea of creating weld residual stress benchmarks against which the performance of weld modeling procedures and practitioners can be evaluated is gaining increasing acceptance. A stainless steel beam 50 mm deep by 10 mm wide, autogenously welded along the 10 mm edge, is a candidate residual stress simulation benchmark specimen that has been studied analytically and for which neutron and synchrotron diffraction residual stress measurements are available. The current research was initiated to provide additional experimental residual stress data for the edge-welded beam by applying, in tandem, the slitting and contour residual stress measurement methods. The contour and slitting results were found to be in excellent agreement with each other and correlated closely with published neutron and synchrotron residual stress measurements when differences in gauge volume and shape were accounted for.

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