Stainless steel clad plate manufactured by explosive bonding is widely used in the chemical industry, but cracks are often initiated in the clad layer. Repair welding is a popular method to repair the cracked zone. But residual stresses are generated inevitably, which can lead to further cracking. How to decrease the residual stress is critical to ensure the structure integrity. This paper studies a method to reduce weld residual stresses by water jet peening (WJP) in 304 stainless steel clad plate. The effect of impact pressure is discussed. A sequential coupling finite element method is developed to simulate the as-welded residual stresses, which is validated by impact indentation measurement. Then, a user subroutine is developed to model the moving load generated by WJP. The results show that the WJP can introduce compressive stresses on the metal surface and thus decrease the as-welded tensile stresses. As the maximum impact pressure at the center of impact (P0) increases, the residual stresses are decreased greatly and even change to compressive stresses. There is a critical value P0, which changes the tensile stresses to compressive stresses. As P0 increases to 1.4 times the yield strength of 304 stainless steel, the initial tensile stresses on the surface have been decreased to compressive stresses.

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