The paper presents a method for modeling and measuring the residual stress (RS) field in axisymmetric autofrettaged elements. The method is based on the assumption that an Initial Strain Distribution (ISD), originated by the plastic strain previously induced during the autofrettage process, is the source of RSs. The ISD is the quantity to be evaluated and, after being determined, it can be used, by means of a dedicated finite element (FE) model, to evaluate the RS field in the component or in any part extracted from it. The ISD is obtained by elaborating the relaxed strains produced by cutting the autofrettaged component in incremental steps. The elaboration is based on solving a set of Fredholm's integral equations in which the unknown function is the ISD and the kernel is an Influence Function (IF) correlating the measured relaxed strain to the ISD. After a general discussion of the RS induced by the autofrettage and the effect of the plastic properties of the material under process, the methods for obtaining the relaxed strains by a rational experimental setup and the procedures for obtaining the IFs are presented and discussed. The whole methodology is applied to evaluate the RS field in a hollow cylinder for which the autofrettage was modeled by a FE simulation. The consistency of the method is verified and useful indications for the experimental activities were obtained.

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