Fatigue strength of welds in 800 MPa yield strength steels Effects of weld toe geometry and residual stress
Abstract: Nowadays there is a strong demand for lighter vehicles in order to increase the pay load. Through this the specific fuel consumption is decreased, the amount of greenhouse gases is lowered and the transport economy improved. One possibility to optimize the weight is to make the components from high strength steels and join them by welding. Welding is the main joining method for fabrication of a large proportion of all engineering structures. Many components experience fatigue loading during all or part of their life time and welded connections are often the prime location of fatigue failure.Fatigue fracture in welded structures often initiates at the weld toe as aconsequence of large residual stresses and changes in geometry acting as stress concentrators. The objective of this research is to increase the understanding of the factors that control fatigue life in welded components made from very high strength steels with a yield strength of more than 800 MPa. In particular the influences of the local weld toe geometry (weld toe radius and angle) and residual stress on fatigue life have been studied. Residual stresses have been varied by welding with conventional as well as Low Transformation Temperature (LTT) filler materials. The three non-destructive techniques Weld Impression Analysis (WIA), Laser Scanning Profiling (LSP) and Structured Light Projection (SLP) have been applied to evaluate the weld toe geometry.Results suggest that all three methods could be used successfully to measure the weld toe radius and angle, but the obtained data are dependent on the evaluation procedure. WIA seems to be a suitable and economical choice when the aim is just finding the radius. However, SLP is a good method to fast obtain a threedimensional image of the weld profile, which also makes it more suitable for quality control in production. It was also found that the use of LTTconsumables increased fatigue life and that residual stress has a relatively larger influence than the weld toe geometry on fatigue strength of welded parts.
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