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IIW/EWF Diploma -

Design and Construction (Advanced)


DAC3

Training & Examination Services


Granta Park, Great Abington
Cambridge CB21 6AL, UK
Copyright © TWI Ltd
Rev 2 April 2011
Contents
Copyright  TWI Ltd 2012

IIW/EWF Diploma -
Design and Construction (Advanced)
Contents
Section Subject

Pre training briefing

1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Course aim - Construction design modules
1.3 Course objectives – European Welding Engineer
2 Design Considerations for Aluminium
2.1 Aluminium alloys
2.2 Choosing the appropriate filler metal
2.3 Properties of aluminium
2.4 Design of weld joints
2.5 Limit state design
2.6 Friction stir welding (FSW)
2.7 Heat affected zone softening
2.8 Summary
2.9 Revision questions
2.10 Bibliography
3 Different Types of Loading.
3.1 Different loadings causes different ways to fail
3.2 Static strength
3.3 Ductile failure
3.4 Stress concentrations
3.5 Lamellar tearing
3.6 Thickness
3.7 High temperature
3.8 Creep
3.9 Cyclic loading and fatigue failure
3.10 Impact behaviour
3.11 Low temperature
3.12 Brittle fracture
3.13 The significance of flaws
3.14 Fitness for service or engineering critical assessment
3.15 Fracture mechanics
3.16 LEFM and EPFM
3.17 Fracture mechanics testing
3.18 Calculating fracture toughness
3.19 Testing welds
3.20 BS 7910 ECA procedure
3.21 ECA case study

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3.22 References and further reading


3.23 Summary
3.24 Revision questions
4 Advanced Fatigue – Part 1.
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Stress concentrations
4.3 Fatigue performance
4.4 Joint classification
4.5 Fatigue failure
4.6 Improving the fatigue strength of welded joints.
4.7 Techniques that reduce stress concentration
4.8 Techniques that introduce compressive residual stress
4.9 Typical improvement
4.10 Fatigue failure case studies
4.11 Summary
4.12 Revision questions
5 Static Loading.
5.1 Review
5.2 Stress and strain revision
5.3 Fillet welds under stress
5.4 Forces frames and beams
5.5 Bending worked examples
5.6 Torsion
5.7 Stresses in cylinders
5.8 Reinforcing steel
5.9 Welding reinforcing steel
5.10 Joints between reinforcing and other steel components
5.11 Standards and specifications
5.12 Revision questions
6 Design of Pressure Equipment
6.1 Pressure vessel components
6.2 Design-by-rule and design-by-analysis
6.3 Details of design
6.4 Nozzle design
6.5 Reinforcement or compensation
6.6 Flanges
6.7 Corrosion allowance
6.8 Weld joint efficiency
6.9 Pressure stresses
6.10 Vacuum and external pressure loading
6.11 Types of pressure vessels
6.12 Codes and standards
6.13 References
6.14 Summary
6.15 Revision questions

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7 Advanced Fatigue – Part 2


7.1 Introduction
7.2 S-N curves
7.3 Fracture mechanics approach
7.4 Variable amplitude
7.5 Cycle counting
7.6 Miner’s rule
7.7 Fatigue assessment
7.8 Summary
7.9 Revision questions
8 Stresses in Welds
8.1 Why calculate weld stress?
8.2 Why joints often fail
8.3 Load bearing welds
8.4 Strength calculations for welds
8.5 Overview of weld design
8.6 Summary
8.7 Revision questions
9 Revision Session
10 Appendix on Welded Joint Design
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Welds
10.3 Types of joint
10.4 Fillet weld
10.5 Butt welds
10.6 Dilution
10.7 Welding symbols
10.8 Welding positions
10.9 Weld joint preparation
10.10 Designing welded joints
10.11 Summary

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Section 1

Introduction – Designing Things


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Introduction - Designing Things
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1 Introduction - Designing Things


1.1 Background
An engineering structure is one that is designed and built to withstand loads
for a specified period of time. These loads may arise from a wide range of
sources and include self weight (such as buildings including the pyramids),
external components (eg cars traversing a bridge), internal pressure (eg
pipelines and boilers), environmental loads (due to wind, waves, ice, snow
etc), reaction to an acceleration (eg rotating components) and many other
sources.

Furthermore, engineering structures are built using materials such as steel,


aluminium, fibre reinforced composites that have been specifically selected
to meet the lifetime demands of the structure. These materials are used to
make components which are then assembled and joined together (usually
by welding but not always) to form the structure itself.

1.2 Course aim - Construction and design modules


The overall aim of the Construction and Design Modules of the European
Welding Engineer training course is to:

 Provide guidance on how to design engineering structures so that they


operate safely to satisfy specified performance targets.

The training is provided at three levels: European Welding Specialist,


European Welding Technologist and European Welding Engineer.

The present course is the third of these levels and is intended to cover the
scope appropriate for a European Welding Engineer. Two other courses
address the scope of the other qualifications.

1.3 Course objectives: European Welding Engineer


The European Welding Specialist course provided an introduction to the
principles of design and strength of materials. The Technologist course
described the development of the principles towards formal design
principles.

The present course describes design methodologies in detail, providing the


theoretical background to these approaches. The objectives of the
European Welding Engineer course are therefore to enable attendees to:

 Be able to design welded joints to withstand static and cyclic loads and
low temperatures.
 Be able to design both steel and aluminium joints.
 Understand the principles of design for pressure vessels.

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Section 2

Design Considerations for Aluminium


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Design Considerations for Aluminium
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2 Design Considerations for Aluminium


2.1 Aluminium alloys
The designation system for aluminium alloys is in accordance with BS EN
573-1. Aluminium alloys are divided into grades according to their alloy
content. The terminology of each grade is defined by a series of numbers.
Wrought alloys have a four-digit number and are used for plates, extrusions
and forgings. Cast alloys have a three-digit number to the left of the decimal
point and one digit to the right of the decimal point.

The temper tells how the product was fabricated and applies to both cast
and wrought products. The temper can be as-fabricated (F), annealed (O),
strain-hardened (H) or heat-treated (T). T is always followed by at least one
digit specifying the conditions of tempering. Only heat-treatable alloys will be
seen with the T temper designation. Non heat-treatable alloys will tend to
have H designation instead.

Table 1 Wrought alloys designation system.


Alloy Major alloying element Heat treatable?
1XXX 99% minimum aluminium No
2XXX Copper Yes
3XXX Manganese No
4XXX Silicon No
5XXX Magnesium No
6XXX Magnesium and silicon No
7XXX Zinc Yes
8XXX Other elements Yes

Table 2 Cast alloys designation system.


Alloy Major alloying element
1XX.X 99% minimum aluminium
3XX.X Silicon with added copper and/or magnesium
4XX.X Silicon
5XX.X Magnesium
7XX.X Zinc
8XX.X Tin
9XX.X Other elements

Heat-treatable alloys gain strength from cold work and from precipitation
hardening. Non heat-treatable alloys gain strength from cold work only.

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2.1.1 1xxx series alloys (commercially pure Al)


The materials in this series comprise commercially pure aluminium in a
range of purities. The third and fourth digits in the reference number define
the purity indicating the minimum percentage of aluminium over and above
99%. Thus 1050 refers to a material having a purity of at least 99.50%.
Possible purities range from 99.00-99.99%.

Pure aluminium is weak with a maximum tensile strength of about


150N/mm². It is selected when corrosion resistance is critical, as in chemical
plant. The higher the purity the better the corrosion resistance, but the lower
the strength. In the annealed condition, pure aluminium is relatively soft and
is used when high formability is needed. The most ductile version is super-
purity (99.99% pure aluminium) produced from lower purity metal by a
further zone-refining process.

2.1.2 2xxx series alloys (Al-Cu alloys)


These comprise a range of alloys all containing copper, together with other
possible elements such as Mg, Mn and Si. The 2xxx series comprises high
strength products and is largely confined to the aerospace industry, mainly
supplied to special aerospace standards, with closer control of manufacture
than required by general engineering ones, thus pushing up the cost.

In the naturally aged (T4) condition, these alloys have mechanical properties
similar to mild steel, with a typical proof stress of 250N/mm², UTS
approaching 400N/mm² and good ductility. In the full strength (T6) condition,
the proof and ultimate stress can reach 375 and 450N/mm² respectively, but
with reduced ductility. The good mechanical properties of the 2xxx series
alloys are offset by various adverse factors, such as inferior corrosion
resistance, poor extrudability, unsuitability for arc welding (since they are
prone to liquation and solidification cracking) and higher cost. However, the
corrosion resistance of thin material can be improved by using it in the form
of clad sheet.

The American civil engineering structures of the 1930s were all in 2xxx type
alloy, using the ductile T4 temper. After 1945 the 2xxx series was
superseded by 6xxx for such use despite its lower strength. Today there is
little non-aeronautical use of 2xxx alloys.

2.1.3 3xxx series alloys (Al-Mn alloys)


The relatively low manganese content of these alloys, sometimes with
added magnesium, makes them half as strong again as pure aluminium,
while retaining very high resistance to corrosion. Tensile strengths go up to
200N/mm² or more. In construction, the main application (in fully hard
temper) is for profiled sheeting, used in cladding buildings and other
structures. 3xxx series strip is also used for making welded tube (irrigation
pipe, for example).

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2.1.4 4xxx series alloys (Al-Si alloys)


At one time architectural extrusions were occasionally produced in material
of this type because of the attractive dark finish that can be produced on it
by natural anodising, but today these Al-Si alloys seldom appear as
structural components. Their high resistance to hot cracking means they are
used for castings and weld filler wire.

2.1.5 5xxx series alloys (Al-Mg alloys)


These represent the major structural use of the non-heat treatable alloys.
The magnesium content varies from 1 to 5%, often with manganese added,
providing a range of different strengths and ductilities to suit different
applications. Corrosion resistance is usually excellent, although it is possible
for the stronger versions to suffer abnormal forms of corrosion when
operating in hot environments (this is avoided by keeping the magnesium
content low and using a weaker grade in these conditions).

The 5xxx alloys appear mostly as sheet or plate. At the lower end of the
range they have good formability and are the natural choice for sheet-metal
fabrications. At the upper end, they are used in welded plate construction,
typically in the hot-formed condition. Such plate is tough and ductile with
possible tensile strengths exceeding 300N/mm².

The 5xxx series is little used for extrusions, which are only available in the
annealed and hot-formed conditions with a rather low proof stress.
Extrudability is poor compared with 6xxx and very thin sections are
impossible. An acceptable practice is to use 5xxx series plating with 6xxx
extrusions as stiffeners.

2.1.6 6xxx series alloys (Al-Mg-Si alloys)


These materials, mainly containing Mg and Si, have the largest tonnage use
of heat-treatable alloys. They combine reasonable strength with good
corrosion resistance and excellent extrudability. Adequate solution treatment
of extrusions can usually be obtained by spray quenching at the die and air
quenching is possible with some of the alloys. The 6xxx materials are
readily welded, but with severe local softening in the HAZ. Broadly they
divide into stronger and weaker types.

The stronger type of 6xxx material in the T6 condition (ie solution treatment
followed by artificial ageing) is sometimes described as the mild steel of
aluminium because it is the natural choice for stressed members. In fact it is
a weaker material than mild steel with a similar proof or yield stress
(250N/mm²), but a much lower tensile strength (300N/mm²) and is less
ductile.

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The weaker type of 6xxx alloy is not normally offered as sheet or plate, is
the extrusion alloy par excellence. It is more suitable than any other alloy for
the extrusion of thin difficult sections and is a common choice for members
that operate at a relatively low stress level especially when good surface
finish is important. Typical examples are when design is governed by
stiffness (rather than strength) as with many architectural members or when
fatigue is critical, for example in the structure of railcars.

2.1.7 7xxx series alloys (Al-Zn-Mg alloys)


These alloys mainly contain zinc and magnesium. Like the 6xxx series they
can be either of a stronger or weaker type. The stronger type embraces the
strongest of all aluminium alloys, with tensile strengths in the T6 condition
(ie solution treatment followed by artificial ageing) up to 550N/mm². The
application of such alloys is almost entirely in aircraft. They have inferior
corrosion resistance and poor extrudability. Like the 2xxx alloys, they are
unsuitable for arc welding and sheet can be supplied in clad form to prevent
corrosion.

The weaker type of 7xxx material is a different proposition and in the non-
aeronautical field is a valid alternative to the stronger type of 6xxx material,
especially for welded construction. It has superior mechanical properties to
6xxx material and HAZ softening at welds is less severe. But corrosion
resistance, although much better than for the stronger kind of 7xxx alloy, is
not as good as for 6xxx alloy. Also there can be a possibility of stress-
corrosion. Extrudability is not quite as good as for the 6xxx series, but
hollow (bridge-die) extrusions are still possible. An important factor when
using 7xxx series alloy as against 6xxx alloy, is the need for greater
expertise in fabrication to avoid cracking.

2.2 Choosing the appropriate filler metal


The filler type to use with the different alloys is given in Table 3 below.

Table 3 Filler type to use for the welding of different aluminium alloys.
Parent alloy Filler metal Comments
1XXX For corrosion resistance
1XXX
4XXX For strength and crack prevention
3XXX For corrosion resistance
3XXX
4XXX For strength and crack prevention
5XXX 5XXX Select consumable based on parent composition
4XXX For crack prevention
6XXX
5XXX For better weld strength
7XXX 5XXX Select consumable based on parent composition

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2.3 Properties of aluminium


Weight
Aluminium exhibits a low density (2,702g/cm3), roughly one third that of steel
so the deadweight of structures is dramatically reduced. This promotes its
use in applications where weight is an important factor such as the
automotive or aerospace industries.

Corrosion resistance
Aluminium has excellent corrosion resistance due to a thin but compact self-
healing oxide layer and can normally be used unpainted. Higher strength
alloys will corrode in some hostile environments and may need protection.

Nevertheless, serious electrolytic corrosion of the aluminium may occur at


joints with other metals unless correct precautions are taken. Aluminium is
also susceptible to stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in aqueous chloride
solutions and tropical marine conditions. Take care when using chemical
cleaning of surface oxide prior to welding joints with backing strips.

Extrusion process
The standard way of producing aluminium sections, is vastly more versatile
than the rolling procedures in steel and is a major feature in aluminium
design.

Weldability
Most of the alloys can be arc welded using gas-shielded processes, but are
susceptible to fusion welding defects. The main welding defects in
aluminium are porosity due to the presence of hydrogen, lack of fusion due
to oxide inclusions, solidification cracking due to susceptible weld metal
composition and softening of the HAZ (see Section 2.7). Due to the lower
melting point (ie 660ºC), welding speeds are fast compared with steel. Laser
welding and friction stir welding are now used extensively for joining
aluminium components with the advantage of high processing speeds, ease
of automation and low heat input (low distortion).

Machinability
Milling can be an economic fabrication technique for aluminium because of
the high metal removal rates possible, hence, U or J preparations are much
easier to produce. The use of machined preparations leads to tighter
tolerances and better joint fit-up, reducing the amount of weld metal required
to fill the preparation and avoiding possible weld defects caused by
mismatch.

Adhesive bonding
Adhesive bonding is well established for making structural joints in
aluminium and does not produce residual stresses or other defects, which
can occur during welding. Unfortunately, adhesive bonded joints have
limited life as most adhesive systems degrade rapidly when the joint is both
highly stressed and exposed to a hot, humid environment.

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Low temperature performance


Having a face centred cubic (FCC) crystalline structure, aluminium has
excellent strength and toughness at low temperatures, so is eminently
suitable for cryogenic applications, because it is not prone to brittle fracture
at low temperature in the way that steel is. Its mechanical properties steadily
improve as the temperature reduces.

Electrical conductivity
Aluminium has a high coefficient of electrical conductivity, which combined
with a lower price per kg compared with copper, makes it the standard
material for overhead transmission lines conductors (with a central steel
strand which carries the weight of the cable) and welding cables. Aluminium
alloys have electrical conductivity approximately 65% that of copper but
because of their density can carry double the electricity

Thermal conductivity
Aluminium has a high coefficient of thermal conductivity (237W/m°C - about
four times greater than steel). As a result, pure aluminium can be used in
heat exchangers as an alternative to copper tubes.

Having a high coefficient of thermal conductivity, aluminium is capable of


cooling the weld pool much faster than steel. Since heat is dissipated much
more quickly, a larger included angle is required to prevent lack of sidewall
fusion. If the included angle for a V preparation in a structural steel
weldment is approximately 60º, this may need to be increased to 90º for
aluminium. A high thermal conductivity means that a larger area will be
heated up by welding, thus increasing distortion and giving wide HAZs.

Magnetic properties
Aluminium is non-magnetic which allows its use in applications where no
electromagnetic interference is allowed. These applications include base
plates for Metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) and
cases for avionic devices. Unfortunately, this means that magnetic particle
examination cannot be used as a NDT method to detect surface/near
surface defects in an aluminium weldment.

Cost
The cost of aluminium (sections, sheet and plate) is typically about 1.5 times
that of structural steel, volume for volume. For aircraft grade material, the
differential is much more. However, fabrication costs are lower because of
easier handling, use of clever extrusions, easier cutting or machining, no
painting and simpler erection. In terms of total cost the effect of switching to
aluminium is usually much less than one would expect and an aluminium
design can even be cheaper than a steel one.

The other factor on cost is aluminium’s relatively high scrap value; a


significant factor in material selection for components designed to have a
limited life.

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Young’s modulus
Aluminium exhibits a low Young’s modulus value, 0.7×105N/mm2, a third
that of steel. The failure load for an aluminium component due to buckling is
lower than for an equivalent steel one. Since Young’s modulus is a measure
of stiffness, a lower value means less rigidity of an aluminium structure
compared to an equivalent steel one. Consequently, elastic deflection
becomes more of a factor than in steel and in aluminium it is often the
limiting failure condition in beam design, whereas an identical structural
steel component subjected to the same stress would be limited by yielding
rather than buckling.

Fatigue
Aluminium components are more prone to failure by fatigue than steel ones.
The stresses required producing the same rate of fatigue crack propagation
in steels and aluminium alloys are roughly in proportion to their respective
Young’s modulus, ie three to one. As a consequence, all standards have
different S-N lines for aluminium welds (see BS 8118 and AWS D1.2).

It may observed that the yield strength, fatigue crack propagation rate and
Young’s modulus of aluminium is roughly a third those of steel. Therefore
one third is often accepted as an approximate to obtain the equivalency
between steel and aluminium.

High temperature service


Aluminium loses strength more quickly than steel with increasing
temperature. Some alloys begin to lose strength when operating above
100°C. Aluminium structures have a limited upper service temperature and
are not intended for creep resisting applications.

Limit stress
Aluminium does not present a clear yield point; instead its stress-strain
curve shows continuously rising smooth behaviour once it deviates from the
linear elastic region. So to define a useable limit for stress, proof stress is
used (ie the stress at which the material undergoes a certain permanent
strain, commonly 0.2%).

Thermal expansion
Aluminium expands and contracts with temperature approximately twice as
much as steel – its coefficient of thermal expansion being 24 × 10-6ºC-1
compared with only 11 × 10-6ºC-1 for steel. Greater thermal expansion leads
to greater distortion after welding; twice as much distortion for an aluminium
structure compared with a steel one. Because of the lower Young’s
modulus, thermal residual stresses in a restrained member are only two-
thirds those in steel, the rest being locked in distortions.

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Tensile strength
Pure aluminium has a modest ultimate tensile strength (UTS) (70-150N/mm2
depending on delivery condition - annealed or cold worked). For structural
applications aluminium is alloyed with different elements, thus increasing its
tensile strength up to 650N/mm2 (see Section 2.1).

Each alloy system has a composition where is it susceptible to hot cracking.


The engineer must also consider the effect of different welding processes,
weld preparations and parameters to avoid the combination of dilution,
consumable and parent composition making the weld at risk of hot cracks.

Weld pool fluidity


Molten aluminium has a high fluidity so the weld pool can spill out of the joint
preparation, leading to possible overlap and burn-through problems. To
avoid this, a smaller (or no) root gap is used and sometimes a backing trip is
used.

Affinity to oxygen
Aluminium forms a tenacious oxide film, which has a melting point some
three times higher than that of aluminium. Failure to remove this oxide both
before and during welding results in entrapment of oxides and/or incomplete
fusion, giving a joint with impaired mechanical properties. The importance of
gas shielding when welding aluminium over a wider weld width requires
larger diameter gas nozzles for TIG and MIG welding which leads to an
increase in included angle and/or of land in the case of U preparation.

If present on the weld preparation surface, the oxide layer can prevent
proper melting of the parent material, leading to wetting problems and lack
of fusion. To produce a sound weld the oxide layer needs to be removed by
mechanical or chemical methods. Chemical cleaning must be considered
from the design stages as the reagents are highly corrosive so permanent
backing strips and lap joints should be assembled after chemical cleaning
due to possible entrapment.

Loss of strength at welds


There are three considerations with respect to the strength of welded joints
in aluminium alloys:

 Alloys which gain their strength by cold work are softened by welding.
 Alloys which are precipitation hardened are overaged by the effects of
welding.
 The weld metal may not match the strength of the parent metal because
of its as-cast structure and perhaps because of its composition which
may have been selected to reduce the risk of hot tearing (for example
using a crack-resistant Al-Si filler to weld Al-Cu alloys).

The issue of HAZ softening is discussed further in Section 2.6.

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2.4 Design of weld joints


2.4.1 Design to overcome the limitations of aluminium
BS EN ISO 9692-3 gives details of various weld joints for aluminium alloys.
The higher fluidity of aluminium means that a smaller root gap is used
compared to steel to avoid burn through and minimise distortion. The larger
size gas nozzle required for TIG and MIG welding and the higher thermal
conductivity means that a wider bevel angle is used for access and better
fusion. However a wider bevel also means greater distortions when welding.
It may be possible to ensure adequate access by using a longer land on a
U-prep, providing adequate fusion can be ensured.

If the root gap is greater than 1.5mm, a backing bar is recommended (this
can allow for a reduction of included angle and consequently a reduction of
distortion). Remember that a backing bar can be a location for crevice
corrosion if cleaning flux has not been removed before welding.

When welding sections of different thickness, normally a tapered transition


is machined onto the thicker section to reduce stress concentration effect of
the joint, particularly when the joint will be exposed to cyclic loading in
service. For aluminium welds, the higher heat sink effect of the thicker
member in this joint design might result in burn-though of the thinner sheet,
so a modification is to machine an extended land onto the end of the taper
so the weld is between materials of equal thickness.

Use intermittent welds rather than a continuous run (for example, when
welding stiffeners), can reduce the amount of welding and therefore
distortion. For these kinds of joints, it can be possible to still obtain adequate
joint strength from an intermittent weld.

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To mitigate the effects of HAZ softening, the weld area cross-section can be
increased locally by using an extruded section.

Weld placement is another important factor in designing aluminium


structures. If a weld is positioned close to the neutral axis of a fabrication
where the bending stresses are least, although the weld will have a softened
HAZ, this will not affect the load carrying capacity of the structure. As a
general rule, position welds in areas of low stress to cancel the effect of loss
in strength in the HAZ. Examples of poor and good designs are shown
below.

Neutral axis Neutral axis

Poor design Good design

When members must be joined at locations of high stress, the welds should
be parallel to the main stress in that member. Transverse welds in tension
members should be avoided if possible.

Welding can often be eliminated at the design stage by forming the plate or
using an extruded section, as shown below.

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2.4.2 Design to exploit the advantages of aluminium


Special extrusions that incorporate edge preparations for welding provide
savings in manufacturing costs. An integral lip can be provided on the
extrusion to facilitate alignment and serve as a weld backing.

In light structures, snap-lock or snap-fit joints can be used with extruded


aluminium sections in order to eliminate welded joints. Interlocking joint can be
designed with a folding, locking flange which prevents counter-rotation and
disassembly

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2.5 Limit state design


2.5.1 Approach
When checking whether a component is structurally acceptable, there are
three possible limit states (or possible failure modes) to consider. The limit
state approach to structural design is presented in BS 8118.

2.5.2 Static strength


Ensuring that the structure has adequate static strength is usually the
governing requirement for design and must always be checked. The
structure must be able to resist a reasonable static overload, over and
above the specified nominal loading, before catastrophic failure occurs in
any of its components. It involves static calculations similar to those used for
steel structures, taking into consideration the HAZ softening. More
specifically, the structure is analysed under working load and stress levels
must not exceed an allowable stress, obtained by dividing the material
strength (usually the proof stress) by a factor of safety.

2.5.3 Deflection
The limit state of elastic deflection (sometimes called serviceability) ensures
the structure has adequate stiffness. It is important in beam design since the
low Young’s modulus of aluminium causes it to be more of a concern than in
steel. Calculations are usually performed with the structure subjected to
nominal loading (ie dead weight of the structure, imposed loads, wind loads,
forces due to thermal expansion/contraction, etc). This limit state is usually
about the performance of members rather than joints. In elastic deflection
calculations, the allowable stress is reduced to allow for buckling.

2.5.4 Fatigue
Fatigue must be considered for all cases of repeated loading since fatigue in
aluminium structures is more critical than for steel. The usual checking
procedure is to identify potential fatigue sites and determine the number of
loading cycles to cause failure. The design is acceptable if the predicted life
at each site is not less than that required. The number of cycles to failure is
normally obtained from an endurance curve, selected according to the local
geometry and entered at a stress range based on the nominal loading.
Alternatively, for a mass produced component, the fatigue life can be found
by testing.

2.6 Friction stir welding (FSW)


2.6.1 FSW process
Friction stir welding (FSW) was invented at TWI in 1991 and consists of
using the friction of a tool between the two abutted aluminium plates to be
joined. Unlike conventional welding, the metal is not melted but simply
heated to a temperature which allows for plastic deformation of aluminium.
Frictional heat generated between the wear resistant welding tool and the
material of the work pieces causes the material to soften without reaching

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the melting point and allows the tool to traverse smoothly along the weld
line. The plasticised interface material is mixed by being transferred from the
leading edge of the tool to the trailing edge of the tool probe and is forged by
intimate contact of the tool shoulder and the pin profile. It leaves a solid
phase bond between the two pieces.

The process is a solid phase keyhole welding technique since a hole to


accommodate the probe is generated, then filled during the welding
sequence. The use of FSW is rapidly growing in all industries and active
research is producing new developments in the technique. It is used
extensively for the welding of aluminium since it has a number of benefits
over arc welding for this material:

 No fume or spatter.
 No filler or shielding gas required.
 Very good weld quality.
 Low distortion.
 Excellent mechanical properties (no HAZ softening).
 Can operate in all positions.
 Energy efficient.
 Low shrinkage.
 Can weld above 50mm thickness in one pass.

The main limitations of FSW are:

 Workpieces must be rigidly clamped.


 Backing bar required (except where self-reacting tool or directly opposed
tools are used).
 Keyhole at the end of each weld, need run-off plates.
 Cannot make joints which required metal deposition (eg fillet welds).

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FSW is now largely used for the manufacture of car body trains, cars, ship
hulls and fuel tanks for aerospace applications and provides a significant
advantage to the aluminium extrusion industry. However, the cost of a FSW
machine is still significant and research is ongoing to design low cost
machines.

2.6.2 FSW joint configurations


Due to its special features, FSW can require special joint configurations.

a) Square butt.
b) Combined butt and lap.
c) Single lap.
d) Multiple lap.
e) Three piece T butt.
f) Two piece T butt.
g) Edge butt.
h) Possible extrusion design to enable corner fillet weld to be made.

2.7 Heat affected zone softening


There tends to be a serious local drop in strength in the HAZ at welded
joints in most aluminium alloys. It is not possible to recover this loss of
strength by subsequent cold work in cold-worked alloys but partial recovery
may be achieved in some heat-treated alloys. (If welding material in the
annealed condition, weld and HAZ strength may match that of the parent
metal).

It is necessary for design purposes to allow for this reduction in strength, by


considering two factors; the severity of the softening and the extent of the
softening. BS 8118 structural use of aluminium gives guidance on what is
termed the softening factor and on the width of the softened HAZs. It is
usually necessary to move welds to areas of low stress or increase the
thickness to compensate for the strength loss.

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2.7.1 Interpass temperature control


The extent or width of the softened HAZ can be affected by the control of
temperature during fabrication. The interpass temperature, (To) needs to be
limited. BS 8118 recognises two levels of thermal control, normal and strict,
as follows:

Alloy series Normal control Strict


control
5xxx and 6xxx series alloys To  100ºC To  50ºC
7xxx series alloys To  80ºC To  40ºC

The interpass temperature To may rise if:

 Workpiece is still hot from the welding of a nearby joint.


 Insufficient cooling time between passes in a multi-pass weld.
 Use of preheat.
 High ambient temperature.

2.7.2 Extent of the softened zone


When performing calculations for welded members, the accepted practice is
to use a nominal HAZ as an approximation of the true pattern of softening. A
weakened region of uniform strength is assumed adjacent to the weld,
beyond which a step change occurs to full parent material strength. This
step change is considered to occur midway between the strength of parent
material and the lowest strength in the HAZ.

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To determine the width of nominal HAZ, the one inch rule was devised
which states that the nominal HAZ extends 1 inch (25mm) in every direction
from an appropriate reference point in the weld. For a butt weld the
reference position is the centre line of the weld while for a fillet weld it is at
the root. With fillet welds on thick plate, the one inch rule allows the HAZ
boundary to be taken as an arc.

2.7.3 Severity of HAZ softening


The severity of softening in the HAZ is defined by the softening factor kz
which represents the ratio of HAZ strength to parent metal strength:

HAZ proof stress HAZ UTS


kz  or k z 
Parent metal proof stress Parent metal UTS

The corresponding values for HAZ proof stress/UTS can be approximated


by hardness surveys. For precipitation hardened alloys, kz values are based
on previous experience and can be found in standards as a function of
thermal control (see BS 8118, Eurocode 9 and AWS D1.2).

It may be assumed that the material in the HAZ of aluminium welds has the
same properties as those for annealed material, so for cold worked alloys
the kz factor becomes the ratio of the proof strength for the annealed and
cold worked conditions. In precipitation hardened alloys, it’s the ratio of
strength in the annealed and hardened conditions.

Parent metal strength (annealed)


kz 
Parent metal strength (hardened or cold worked)

Once the softening factor is determined, an effective plate thickness is


assumed in each HAZ region instead of the true, real thickness of the
component t:

teffective = kz × treal

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The resistance of the weld joint is based on the effective section instead of
the actual one, assuming it to be entirely composed of full strength
(unsoftened) material.

2.8 Summary
At the end of this module you should be able to design aluminium profiles
and weld joints for a given use. You should be able to discuss how to avoid
common imperfections in aluminium joints and interpret softening in the
HAZ. You ought to be able to explain the strength of different alloys and
select alloys for given applications.

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Revision Questions
1 For a structure requiring corrosion resistance and good strength what type of
heat treatable aluminium alloy should be chosen?

2 What joining techniques can be used for aluminium, what are the advantages and
disadvantages of each?

3 How do you determine the severity of HAZ softening? What can you assume
about the extent of softening?

4 A manufacturer intends to weld aluminium plates together to make an I-beam.


Sketch an improved design.

5 What causes lack of fusion defects in aluminium welds? How can they be
avoided?

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Bibliography
Aluminum Design Manual’: by The Aluminum Association Ltd, 2000.

AWS D1.2: ‘Structural Welding Code – Aluminium’. American Welding Society.

BS 8118-1: ‘Structural use of aluminium. Code of practice for design’, British


Standards Institution, London.

BS EN 1999: ‘Eurocode 9: Design of aluminium structures. General structural rules’,


British Standards Institution, London.

Bull J W 1994: ‘The practical design of structural elements in aluminium’. Avebury


Technical, UK.

Conserva M, Donzelli G and Trippodo R, 1992: ‘Aluminium and its applications’,


Edimet, Brescia, Italy.

Dwight J, 1999: ‘Aluminium design and construction’. by E&FN Spon.

Gene Mathers 2002: ‘The welding of aluminium and its alloys’. by Woodhead
Publishing Ltd, UK.

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Different Types of Loading


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3 Different Types of Loading


3.1 Different loading causes different ways to fail
The various ways that a structure is loaded will critically affect the ways in
which it may be expected to fail. Cyclic loading will put a structure at risk of
fatigue cracking. A structure under static loading only may be designed to
withstand ductile overload, but changes in the temperature can affect the
strength. At very high temperatures creep can occur. At low temperatures
steel is at more risk of brittle fracture. In these circumstances it is important
to understand the structure, not just based on strength but also the fracture
mechanics. The connection between the different types of loading and
expected failure modes will be explored in this section.

There are failure modes which occur in an Instant, such as buckling, fracture
or overload (although some deformation or bulging might give a little
warning of failure). Time-dependent failure processes occur over time and
with sufficient in-service inspection, the damage might be detected before it
reaches critical conditions for failure. These failure modes include fatigue
(and corrosion fatigue), stress corrosion cracking and creep. The designer
must be sure that the design will not suffer from an instantaneous failure
mode during service.

3.2 Static strength


To ensure that there is no plastic deformation in structures engineers
usually design each structural member to operate at a static stress
equivalent to up to two thirds of the yield stress. This leaves a safety margin,
so that the structure can tolerate further loading up to 1/3 of the yield
strength, without plastic deformation (some design codes limit the applied
stress to only half the yield strength). In addition to service loads, other
loads that can act on structures are most commonly due to adverse weather
conditions such as added weight due to snow fall or additional forces due to
high winds. When a structure is overloaded so that it exceeds its static
strength, it fails by ductile failure.

3.3 Ductile failure


Ductile failure, or plastic collapse, occurs when yielding and deformation
precedes failure. It is the result of overloading. Purely ductile failures are
rare since most structures are designed well within their load bearing
capacity. Ductile failures are most likely to occur in service as a secondary
failure mode after the section thickness has been reduced as a result of
fatigue crack growth corrosion or erosion. When examining the fracture
surface, a ductile failure will show evidence of gross yielding or plastic
deformation. The fracture surface is rough and torn and may be highly
fibrous as a result of the deformation taking place. The failure surface may
show 45° shear lips or have surfaces inclined at 45° to the load direction.

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Figure 3.1 Ductile rupture of a component. Figure 3.2 Ductile fracture surface.

3.4 Stress concentrations


Even if a structure is designed to be stressed below, for example, two thirds
of the yield strength, it is possible for the stress to become much higher at
specific locations, due to the effect of stress concentrations. Sudden
changes in geometry in a material section (such as holes, notches, grooves,
corners, fillet welds, or defects) can act as stress raisers which concentrate
the stress so that the local stress increases. The concept of stress
concentration can be visualised by considering flow lines. The lines of
transmission of the stress are similar to the flow lines if fluid were to enter
the material from one end to the other, as in Figure 3.3. Densely packed
flow lines are representative of the concentration of stress at those points.

Figure 3.3 Stress concentration around a notch.

Figure 3.4 shows the stress concentration effect of a circular hole in a large
flat plate under tension. Even this simple detail increases the stress at the
edge of the hole by a factor of 3. This means that close to the edges of
holes (such as bolt holes), the maximum stress in the plate is about three
times the nominal applied stress. Sharper notches concentrate the stress by
much more and very sharp notches, such as cracks have a very high
concentration of stress at their tips.

Figure 3.4 Stress concentration due to a circular hole.

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Welds often lead to geometric stress concentrations at the weld toe. This
feature is especially common in oversized welds as depicted in Figure 3.5a)
and these welds can be ground down to reduce the severity of the stress
concentration at the weld toes (Figure 3.5b).

a b

Figure 3.5a Oversized weld with stress concentrations and 3.5b mitre weld.

3.5 Lamellar tearing


When plate is stressed in the through-thickness orientation and has
insufficient ductility in that direction then lamellar tearing can occur. This
failure mode is specific to particular joint geometries and can occur beneath
welds especially in rolled steel plate which has poor through-thickness
ductility. These are plates with high concentration of elongated inclusions
oriented parallel to the surface of the plate and cause the lamellar tearing to
have a stepped appearance. The main distinguishing feature of lamellar
tearing is that it occurs in T butt and fillet welds and it is normally observed
in the parent metal parallel to the weld fusion boundary and the plate
surface as shown in Figure 3.6.

Figure 3.6 Typical location of lamellar tearing in T-joints.

The cracks can appear at the toe or root of the weld but are always
associated with points of high stress concentration. The surface of the
fracture is fibrous and woody with long parallel sections which are indicative
of low parent metal ductility in the through-thickness direction as can be
seen in Figure 3.7.

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Figure 3.7 Typical lamellar tearing fracture face.

It is generally recognised that there are three conditions which must be


satisfied for lamellar tearing to occur. These conditions include:

Transverse strain
Shrinkage strains on welding must act in the short direction of the plate ie
through the plate thickness.

Weld orientation
Fusion boundary will be roughly parallel to the plane of the inclusions.

Material susceptibility
Plate must have poor ductility in the through-thickness direction.

The risk of lamellar tearing will be greater if the residual stresses generated
from welding act in the through-thickness direction, most likely to occur in T-
joints, corner joints or cruciform joints. Lamellar tearing is more likely to
occur in large welds typically when the leg length in fillet and T butt joints is
greater than 20mm. The welding process, consumables and preheating are
also related to and can all help reduce the risk of tearing. In butt joints, as
the stresses on welding do not act through the thickness of the plate, there
is little risk of lamellar tearing.

Lamellar tearing is only encountered in rolled steel plate and not forgings
and castings. There is no one grade of steel that is more prone to lamellar
tearing but steels with a low short transverse reduction in area (STRA) will
be susceptible. As a general rule, steels with STRA over 20% are
essentially resistant to lamellar tearing whereas steels with below 10 to 15%
STRA should only be used in lightly restrained joints. Steel suppliers can
provide plate which has been through-thickness tested with a guaranteed
STRA value of over 20%, this is sometimes called Z-grade steel.

3.6 Thickness
The relationship between component thickness and mode of failure is
somewhat counter intuitive. Thicker sections, although able to carry greater
load, do not better resist crack propagation.

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When a material is subject to tensional forces they elongate. However,


during this elongation there are effectively also compressive forces acting
perpendicular to the direction of tension at the notch due to poisson’s
contraction as illustrated in Figure 3.8. A thinner material can simply
contract from the two surfaces to accommodate this strain. This condition is
called plane stress and is also what happens near the surfaces of a thick
plate, where lateral contraction at the surface is possible. However in the
very middle of a thick plate, the material cannot deform laterally when
loaded under tension because it is constrained by the surrounding material.
This condition is called ‘plane strain’.

Figure 3.8 Illustration of Poisson’s contraction.

Consider two rectangular beams of different thicknesses but with identical


notches cut into them as in Figure 3.9. With less plastic deformation
possible at the centre of a thick plate due to this constraint, a crack in the
middle of a thick plate will have a smaller plastic zone ahead of the crack at
the centre of the plate. A small plastic zone means the crack is more likely
to propagate in a brittle manner rather than behave in a ductile fashion.

Figure 3.9 Notched specimens of various thicknesses.

Although near the plate surfaces under plane stress the plastic zone will still
be large, in thick plate the proportion of plane strain conditions along the
middle of the crack front can dominate the behaviour of the crack
(Figure 3.10). Therefore the same material but in a thicker plate will have a
lower fracture toughness than thinner plate.

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Figure 3.10 Shape of the plastic zone ahead of the crack tip under plane stress
and plane strain.

3.7 High temperature


In general, steels exhibit a reduction in tensile strength at elevated
temperatures. However, certain steels can be seen to exhibit trends
showing a decrease and a subsequent increase in strength at certain
temperature ranges. This characteristic is also dependant on the strain rate.

The reduction of strength at high temperatures can make a structure more


at risk of ductile failure at high temperature, if this has not been accounted
for in design. At very high temperatures, such as those experienced in
power stations, failure may also occur due to creep.

Figure 3.11 Influence of high temperature on different metallic materials.

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3.8 Creep
Creep is the progressive deformation of a material under constant stress.
For most steels, creep is a high temperature deformation mechanism and is
a function of:

 Steel composition and grain size.


 Stress level (pressure, residual stress etc).
 Metal temperature.
 Time at temperature.

A creep test can be carried out in a rig similar to that of a tensile testing
machine. The applied load is held constant and the temperature of the
sample is elevated through the use of a heated filament that surrounds the
sample as illustrated in Figure 3.12. The extension (or creep deformation) is
measured throughout the test. Failure occurs once the specimens has finally
necked down and ruptured.

Figure 3.12 Schematic of a creep test.

Creep tests are plotted on a strain–time axis which takes the form of curve
as depicted in Figure 3.13.

Figure 3.13 Typical creep curve produced from test results.

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Three distinct stages exist within the creep curve. The first stage is known
as primary creep and is due to dislocations orienting themselves within the
microstructures. The second stage is called secondary creep or steady
state creep. The creep is linear and is due to the effects of both work
hardening and recovery of dislocations being balanced. Lastly, the third
stage is referred to as tertiary creep and the rapid increase in strain at this
stage is due to void formation, necking and general reduction in area which
further accelerates the rate of strain until creep fracture occurs. Creep
damage in structures is manifested by the formation and growth of creep
voids or cavities within the microstructure of the material due to tertiary
creep.

3.8.1 Creep resistance


Coarse grained structures offer the greatest creep strength and carbide
forming elements enhance resistance. Materials which are resistant to creep
have additions of chromium for corrosion resistance and carbide formation
and molybdenum for microstructural stability. Creep resistant chromium-
molybdenum steels have varying weldability, with an increasing percentage
chromium decreasing the weldability.

 C-Mn steels.
 0.5Mo steel.
 1.25Cr-0.5Mo steel.
 2.25Cr-1Mo-(V) steel.
 5Cr-0.5Mo steel.
 9Cr-1Mo steel.

Another option for enhanced creep resistance is to use austenitic stainless


steels; despite these have a lower yield strength than carbon steels.
Alternatively, nickel alloys such as Inconel® or a selection of cobalt alloys
are suitable for creep resistance.

3.9 Cyclic loading and fatigue failure


Fatigue is the process by which a crack can form and then grow under
repeated or fluctuating loading. Failure thus occurs by the steady
progression of the crack until a final failure mode such as fracture occurs.
For components which are subjected to fluctuating loading in service, the
avoidance of fatigue is likely to be the factor which limits the design
stresses. This is particularly true for welded components where their fatigue
strengths can be much less than those of unwelded components.

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Figure 3.14 Fatigue fracture surface.

Figure 3.14 shows an example of a fatigue failure. Beach marks are


characteristic in a fatigue surface and are usually visible to the unaided eye.
They represent the crack front at particular times and are formed when the
loading conditions change eg changes in crack growth rate, or rest periods.

The rate of fatigue crack growth is not dependent on material strength but
only on load range and hence welded low and high strength materials can
have the same fatigue life. The benefit of material strength comes in the
crack initiation stage, which is effectively absent in the welded material. In
welded joints, fatigue cracks readily initiate and the majority of their fatigue
lives are spent propagating the crack. It should be noted that metal fatigue is
not associated with any change in material properties, but rather with crack
growth.

3.10 Impact behaviour


3.10.1 Effect of loading rate on material properties
Tensile properties of materials are also significantly affected by the strain
rate. The tensile test is designed as a quasi-static test, ie the load is applied
slowly, giving plenty of time for the dislocations to slip which results in
plastic deformation. If the load is applied at a fast rate, ie impact loading,
this phenomenon is hindered, leading to an increase in tensile strength and
a drop in ductility (see Figures 3.15 and 3.16 below).

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Figure 3.15 The effect of the rate of loading on the stress-strain curve:
1) dynamic loading; 2) static loading.

Figure 3.16 The effect of the rate of loading on tensile strength and ductility.

3.10.2 Charpy impact test


The Charpy impact test is the most common way to characterise impact
toughness (see Figure 3.17). It has been used for many years and the large
number of Charpy impact test results available make it a useful qualitative
test for ensuring adequate toughness at the design and material purchase
stage. The impact energy that is absorbed in a small standard specimen is
measured at a given test temperature. The tests can either characterise
impact behaviour at a single temperature, or by testing over a range of
temperatures, be used to plot a Charpy impact transition curve.

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Figure 3.17 The Charpy impact test.

3.10.3 Drop weight impact test (Pellini test)


The drop-weight test (often referred to as Pellini test) was developed as a
simple method to determine the nil-ductility transition temperature (NDTT).
The drop-weight test was developed to simplify the determination of the
NDTT, it is standardised in ASTM E208.

The drop-weight test specimen consists of a rectangular coupon with a


brittle weld bead deposited on one face (Figure 3.18). The weld contains a
notch, from which a crack is initiated by impact loading the specimen to a
fixed amount of deformation under three-point bend. Tests are carried out at
a variety of temperatures, the NDTT being defined as the maximum
temperature at which the brittle crack spreads completely across one or
both of the tension surfaces on either side of the brittle weld bead.

Figure 3.18 Drop weight impact test specimens.

3.11 Low temperature


If the temperature drops, the yield strength increases but the ultimate tensile
strength remains constant. As a result of this, the yield strength approaches
the tensile strength and plastic deformation is hindered. This means that if
overload is about to occur, there is less warning in the form of bulging or
deformation in a component before final failure. This is illustrated in
Figure 3.19.

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σ σ σ

ε ε ε
Temperature

Figure 3.19 The effect of test temperature on the stress-strain curve.

At low temperature, ferritic steels also undergo a ductile to brittle transition


and this significant drop in fracture toughness makes them more susceptible
to brittle fracture at low temperatures. A toughness transition curve can be
plotted by testing Charpy (or fracture mechanics test) specimens at a range
of temperatures. At the ductile to brittle transition temperature the results will
show much more scatter.

Figure 3.20 Charpy impact test transition curve.

The part of the curve where the material is ductile is called the upper shelf.
Where the material is brittle is called the lower shelf and there is a transition
region in between. Remember that transition behaviour only occurs for
ferritic steels and doesn’t occur for austenitic materials such as stainless
steel or aluminium. A designer needs to ensure that the material always
operates on the upper shelf in order to avoid brittle fracture.

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Figure 3.21 Ductile to brittle transition curve.

3.12 Brittle fracture


Brittle fracture is a fast, unstable type of fracture. The crack can propagate
with the speed of sound in steel and the results can be catastrophic. Brittle
fracture involves little or no plastic deformation and occurs in a fast,
unstable manner. The fracture surface may show chevron marks or river
lines pointing back to the fracture initiation point. With a brittle impact
fracture, the surface is rough but not torn and will usually have a crystalline
appearance. Some examples of brittle fracture are shown in Figure 3.22.

A b

Figure 3.22a Brittle fracture surface showing chevron marks and historical brittle
failures of 3.22b) the John Thompson pressure vessel.

For brittle fracture to occur there needs to be a critical combination of three


factors; low toughness material, a flaw and a stress (Figure 3.23).

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Figure 3.23 The three factors for brittle fracture.

In welded structures, brittle fracture is a particular concern due to the risk of


all three occurring. Weld defects or stress concentrations act as crack
starters. Poor fracture toughness may be in the parent material due to the
wrong design choice, or more likely in HAZ due to too high or too low heat
input. This combined with a high level of residual stress in the weld, possibly
due to lack of PWHT or an incorrect design, can provide all the necessary
conditions for fast fracture.

As well as at low temperature for material below the ductile to brittle


transition, or at welds, brittle fracture also becomes a significant
consideration when fabricating structures from thick material, since the
restraint effect of the surrounding material makes brittle fracture more likely
(see Section 3.6).

3.12.1 Preventing brittle fracture


The general approach to prevention of brittle fracture in welded structures is
by constructing to an established codes or standards. These will have
clauses to ensure adequate fracture toughness, usually by imposing Charpy
requirements on the parent metal, weld and HAZ, but also by giving a
minimum service temperature. The codes will give advice on design in order
to prevent high stress and will not permit certain features that could act as
stress raisers. There is usually a requirement to stress relieve thick sections
and for a proof test after fabrication. The welding will need to be inspected in
order to avoid defects that exceed the acceptance level.

Examples of these fabrication codes are BS PD 5500 (pressure vessels),


BS 5400 (steel bridges), BS 5950 (steel structures), ABS rules (fixed
offshore structures), BS 4515 (pipelines).

An example of design to avoid brittle fracture for a cryogenic pressure


vessel will depend critically on the material selection. The materials require
good impact toughness values at extremely low temperatures, whilst also
having good weldability and ductility. Low thermal conductivity in order to
insulate from atmospheric heat will be a benefit, but the material must be as
cheap as possible to make the design economical. The materials used
would be either aluminium, austenitic stainless steel, or 9% nickel steel.

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3.13 The significance of flaws


The integrity of plant equipment and structures is vital to ensure a
continued, safe and economic operation. In the design procedure, the
structure is assumed to be sound, ie free from defects. However, flaws such
as cracks, welding defects and corrosion damage can occur during
manufacture or service life. These flaws alter the way the load is distributed
on the structure by creating a stress concentration. Within this heightened
stress field the load on the material can be much greater than the design
load, leading to fracture or yielding.

Figure 3.24 Two different weld flaws: Hydrogen crack and lack of sidewall fusion.

At any point in the life cycle of a structure (eg design, fabrication, operation),
it may be necessary to investigate whether it is fit for its intended service
conditions, or those which it will encounter in the future. For safety critical
items like pipelines, pressure vessels, on- and offshore platforms, rigs, wind
turbines, storage tanks, ships, bridges, aircrafts, buildings, etc, the failure of
a single component due to the presence of a flaw can threaten human life,
as well as presenting severe economic and environmental consequences.
Other flaws may be harmless, as they will not lead to failure during the
lifetime of the component. Replacement or repair of such insignificant flaws
is economically wasteful.

Insignificant flaws are not necessarily the smallest ones, or those which are
difficult to detect. The two welds in Figure 3.25 would not be passed as
acceptable when the slag inclusion or porosity had been detected from
NDT, but neither of these large defects has contributed to the failure, which
was due to fatigue cracking from the weld toe in both cases. The most
obvious flaws were insignificant with respect to fitness-for-service in these
cases.

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a b

Figure 3.25 Large but nonetheless insignificant flaws; a slag inclusion a and
porosity b which has not contributed to the fatigue cracking initiating from the weld
toes.

So the key questions to be asked when a flaw is detected, such as that in


Figure 3.26, are:

 Does the weld contain an unacceptable flaw?


 Is the flaw harmful?
 Could repair make matters worse?
 What if the material does not meet specification?
 What if cracks occur in service?
 Can structure be used beyond design life?

Figure 3.26 Crack detected underneath a repair weld, but is the structure still fit-
for-service?

Fitness-for-service assessment, or engineering critical assessment, is used


to quantitatively answer these questions.

3.14 Fitness-for-service or engineering critical assessment


For safety critical items like pipelines, pressure vessels, on- and offshore
platforms, rigs, wind turbines, storage tanks, ships, bridges, aircrafts,
buildings, etc. the failure of a single component due to the presence of a
flaw can threaten human life, as well as presenting severe economic and
environmental consequences. Other flaws may be harmless, as they will not
lead to failure during the lifetime of the component. Replacement or repair of
such insignificant flaws is economically wasteful and repair welding can
actually introduce more harmful flaws.

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A fitness-for-service (FFS) procedure using fracture mechanics principles


allows flaws to be evaluated consistently and objectively and thus enables
to make informed and confident decisions on the best measures to be
taken. The object of fracture mechanics is to provide quantitative answers to
specific problems concerning cracks in structures and to enable
determination of whether the structure can be considered fit-for-service, or
whether repair, downrating or replacement is needed. This procedure is
described as an engineering critical assessment, or ECA.

The background to the development of FFS procedures was in the 1950’s


and 60’s when research on the integrity of welded structures due to fatigue
and fracture was carried out at the British Welding Research Association
(which later became TWI). Flaws and other characteristics of welds were
found to influence the fracture resistance, but some flaws, especially those
found by radiography, were insignificant. A method was needed to evaluate
the significance of flaws.

A range of techniques is available in different Standards such as BS 7910,


FITNET, API 579-1/ASME FFS-1, SINTAP, R6. These techniques are often
very time consuming and require a high degree of expertise. However,
specialist tools such as the CrackwiseTM software provide a great help when
carrying out the ECA of a component. Many offer several levels of
assessment starting with the most simple, but conservative and moving to
those with more accuracy and analytical complexity but more cost. The
basic principle of the assessment can be thought of as a triangle, assessing
the critical combination of a flaw of certain geometry, under stress, for given
material mechanical properties. Failure occurs when critical values for the
three requirements for fracture are all met. It is possible to determine the
critical value for one parameter if all the other inputs are known (eg find the
critical flaw size for a given geometry, stress and toughness).

Figure 3.27 Basic principle of ECA in terms of input requirements and analytical
output.

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Fracture mechanics principles are described here with a focus on BS 7910


procedures (Guide to methods for assessing the acceptability of flaws in
metallic structures). They can be used throughout the lifetime of a
component, including:

 Design
Determine material properties requirements or stress levels.
 Fabrication
Determine flaw acceptance criteria and inspection strategy or to justify
the avoidance of post-weld heat treatment or proof test.
 Operation
Avoid unnecessary repair if flaws are detected and to define appropriate
maintenance and inspection strategies.
 Investigate the causes of failure and therefore to avoid future similar
cases.
 Support cases for life extension and change of service.

To carry out an ECA it is necessary to know the full details of each corner of
the assessment triangle, in terms of the material properties, geometry and
stresses, as detailed in the following table.

Material properties Geometry Stresses

Fracture toughness at Flaw type (surface or Primary stresses


minimum temperature embedded)
Residual and thermal loading
Tensile properties, yield, Flaw size and position
UTS Fluctuating stress history
Joint configuration (butt
Fatigue crack growth law or fillet weld) Stress concentrations (due to
and threshold (if assessing weld toes etc)
fatigue)

3.14.1 General procedure


The general procedure of an ECA is to determine whether a given flaw will
fail either by plastic collapse or by brittle fracture. When assessing the
design for strength to avoid plastic collapse there is a balance between the
driving force for failure, which is the applied stress and the material
resistance which is its strength. The critical condition for safety comes when
the driving force equals or exceeds the material resistance. A similar
approach is also used when assessing the design against fracture. This time
the driving force is the stress intensity produced by a certain crack under an
applied stress and the material resistance is its fracture toughness.

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a b

Figure 3.28 Design to prevent a plastic collapse and b brittle fracture, by balancing
the ‘driving force’ against the ‘material resistance’.

The method for carrying out the ECA is to first identify the type of flaw
(whether it is planar, non-planar, or a shape imperfection), then gather all
the essential data (from inspection records, mechanical test certificates,
published data, the operating conditions). The procedure then assesses the
significance of flaw. A second stage may be to iterate the size of the flaw to
find the limiting flaw size for failure avoidance. If fatigue is likely then any
sub-critical crack growth must be considered. Most procedures are validated
to be conservative, but if an additional safety margin is required this may be
added to the applied stress or fatigue cycles, or removed from the given
tolerable flaw size.

The benefits of using an ECA are on one hand to ensure safer structures,
due to the need for fewer weld repairs (weld repair can introduce more
severe defects) and the focus on design and materials selection. On the
other hand, this is driven by the economic benefits of reduced amounts of
repair welding, less rigorous, or better focused NDT demands and being
able to justify repair deferral, possibly indefinitely, or at least until it is
convenient to do so.

3.15 Fracture mechanics


Understanding how a crack behaves in material is called Fracture
Mechanics and this is how the ECA can determine whether a flaw is
tolerable or not.

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Figure 3.29 Fracture mechanics is about calculating the crack driving force; the
ECA compares this to the material resistance.

In fracture mechanics, the highly stress concentrating effect of the crack tip
is accounted for in a parameter called the stress intensity factor, K. The
stress intensity factor is a single parameter which characterises the stress
field near the crack tip and the fracture event. It can be calculated in its
simplest terms by the following expression.

___
K = Y √ a [3-1]

Y is a geometrical factor, depending on the type of flaw, its location in a


structure and the crack opening mode. The units of K are N/mm3/2 or
MPa√m (in America ksi√in in used). These units can be converted using the
following conversion factors:

1 N/mm 3/2 = 0.0316 MPa√m

1 N/mm 3/2 = 0.029 ksi√in

Figure 3.30 Stress at the tip of a crack.

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Solutions for Y can be calculated for simple components such as pipelines


or sheet panels but they can also be found in a tabulated form in the
Standards, eg BS 7910. For more complex shapes, finite element modelling
can also be used. Figure 30 shows different values of Y for a component
containing a centre-crack, an edge crack and a penny-shaped embedded
crack. The Y factor is larger when the plate is cut in half and the crack
breaks the surface; the stress intensity is higher. This is because it is easier
to propagate a crack that is open to the surface. When the crack is
surrounded by material on all sides (the buried penny crack) then the Y
factor is lower and it has a lower stress intensity. It requires more driving
force to propagate this crack.

Small through- Small through- Small penny-shaped


thickness crack in large thickness edge crack embedded crack in
plate in large plate large body

Y=1 Y = 1.12 Y = 0.637

Figure 3.31 Geometrical factors for centre crack, edge crack and penny-shaped
crack.

Y depends not only on the geometry under consideration, but also the
loading mode. There are three possible loading modes, Modes I, II and III,
which relate to crack behaviour (crack opening, in-plane shear and out-of-
plane shear). Mode I tends to be the most severe loading type and gives the
highest stress intensity. Most fracture mechanics analyses are based on K
solutions for Mode I loading, which is identified by a subscript I (ie KI).

Mode I Mode II ( Mode III


(crack opening) in-plane shear) (out of plane shear)

Figure 3.32 Three possible crack loading modes.

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3.16 LEFM and EPFM


Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) is the simplest approach to
fracture mechanics and is a good model of the behaviour of cracks for brittle
materials.

However LEFM does not properly account for the plasticity effects at the
crack tip where the stresses are limited by the material’s yield strength.
Also, when testing ductile materials, it was realised that the amount of
energy to add to initiate crack propagation was significantly higher than
predicted by LEFM. This was explained by the role of the plastic zone in
which the crack propagates. For ductile materials where there is a large
plastic zone at the crack tip which affects the fracture mechanics of the
crack, instead of LEFM, Elastic-Plastic fracture mechanics (EPFM) is used.
EPFM considers the elastic behaviour of the material and the local plastic
deformation at the crack tip. This plastic zone absorbs energy from the
crack driving force as deformation occurs and makes the material tougher.
The equations governing EPFM are more complex than those for LEFM
(such as Equation 3-1) and beyond the scope of this course.

Figure 3.33 The plastic zone at the crack tip limiting the crack tip stress in EPFM,
compared the purely elastic assumption in LEFM.

3.16.1 The plastic zone


In instances of brittle failure the plastic zone size is small and the plastic
contribution to failure is negligible. But depending on the properties of the
material, the magnitude of the applied stress, the size of the crack and the
thickness of the component, the plastic zone can grow to have a substantial
effect on the failure mode.

If the plastic zone can extend across the entire ligament of the un-cracked
body in a test specimen, this can give a completely plastic net section of
material. The failure mode in this case is by plastic collapse. Large amounts
of energy are absorbed as the material work hardens and the plastic hinge
is formed. It is common for failure of both test specimens and structures to
occur via a combination of brittle and ductile failure modes, the latter being
recognised by the formation of shear lips on the fracture surface.

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Figure 3.34 A large plastic zone at the crack tip of a fracture mechanics test
specimen resulting in a plastic hinge across the remaining ligament.

3.17 Fracture mechanics testing


Fracture toughness in terms of KIC (in N/mm3/2 or MPa√m) is used to
characterise brittle materials. It is also possible to express the material’s
fracture toughness in terms of the driving force required to drive the crack,
as measured from the energy absorbed within the plastic zone. This is
called the J integral or simply J and is measured in kJ/m2 and applies for
ductile materials. Finally the fracture toughness can be measured from the
strain or opening displacement to propagate the crack, called Crack Tip
Opening Displacement, CTOD or , measured in mm and used for both
brittle and ductile materials.

Figure 3.35 Fracture mechanics specimen illustrating how J and CTOD are
measured.

Fracture mechanics testing is carried out to an established standard. In the


UK BS 7448 is used for testing metallic materials for measuring K, J and
CTOD. It comes is several parts. Part 1 covers testing of parent material;
while Part 2 covers weldment testing (this part is now superseded by BS EN
ISO 15653). Part 3 gives details of fracture mechanics testing under high
strain rate and Part 4 covers testing specimens to allow for the ductile
tearing. There are also American standards such as ASTM 1820 which
covers KIc, CTOD and J testing.

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Fracture mechanics testing usually uses a specimen under bending, with a


machined notch on one edge. This is called the Single Edge Notched Bend
specimen, or SENB. An alternative type of specimen is the compact tension
or CT specimen. The CT specimen has the advantage that it requires less
material, but is more expensive to machine and more complex to test
compared to the SENB specimen. Although the CT specimen is loaded in
tension, the crack tip conditions are predominantly bending (high constraint).
High constraint specimens tend to measure lower fracture toughness than
an equivalent thickness higher constraint specimen.

Figure 3.36 Fracture mechanics test specimens; a single edge notched bend
(SENB specimen and a compact tension (CT) specimen.

Full thickness specimens are used so that the thickness effect on fracture
toughness can be accounted for in the test. Specimens have a sharp crack-
like notch. The specimens are loaded under representative service
conditions. Usually three identical specimens are tested at a given
temperature. The principle of fracture mechanics testing is to load the
specimen and measure the displacement at the crack mouth using a clip
gauge (or sometimes a pair of clip gauges). SENB specimens can be used
to determine a value of K, J or CTOD depending on how the results of the
test are interpreted.

Figure 3.37 Typical test arrangement for a fracture mechanics test.

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The machined notch is sharpened to crack sharpness using fatigue pre-


cracking, by applying cyclic loading to the specimen. Specialised high
frequency resonance hydraulic machines are often used for this process. A
fatigue crack is the most severe type of crack in terms of notch tip
sharpness, so using a fatigue pre-cracking means that the fracture
mechanics at the crack tip of the specimen can be accurately related to the
fracture mechanics of cracks in the structure. The maximum fatigue load is
limited so that the failure plastic zone of the specimens is much larger than
the fatigue pre-crack plastic zone.

Figure 3.38 Fatigue pre-crack.

3.18 Calculating fracture toughness


During the fracture mechanics test a load versus crack mouth displacement
curve is produced. Using this data and measurements taken from the
specimen itself, including measurements of the fatigue pre-crack after the
failed specimen has been broken open; it is possible to calculate the
fracture toughness. Depending on whether it is K, J or CTOD that is
required, different formulae are used, but the principle of the test is the
same for each.

Figure 3.39 Dimensions from an SENB specimen and a load-displacement trace


used to determine fracture toughness.

Although these formulae are beyond the scope of this course, the three
methods for calculating the fracture toughness are given below. For CTOD
and J the overall toughness value is comprised of both an elastic and plastic
component.

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Stress intensity factor, K:

K
Y

a
   
Crack tip opening displacement, CTOD or :

  
e
l 2

p
l
K
1

/
2
E
rp
W
a
Vp
/
rp
W
a
a
z
   ︵
 2  ︶          
Y
J-integral:
J
Je K

Jp

 
l 2

l
1

/
E

U
/
B
b
 
2

   ︵ ︶
p

o
Figure 3.40 illustrates the various shapes of load-displacement curve that
may be produced from a fracture mechanics test at different temperatures
(and therefore different positions along the toughness transition curve). A
brittle result is characterised by toughness in terms of K and is explained
using linear elastic fracture mechanics. A more ductile result will instead be
characterised by toughness in terms of CTOD or J and is described using
elastic plastic fracture mechanics. Where the test piece has fractured in a
brittle manner with little or no plastic deformation the fracture result is
described with a subscript c, eg KIc. Where the specimen starts to tear in a
ductile manner and at least 0.2mm of tearing is measured, but the specimen
doesn’t reach maximum load before failure, the result is given a subscript u,
eg u. When the load-displacement curve shows completely plastic
behaviour and exceeds maximum load, the result is given a subscript m, eg
Jm.

Figure 3.40 Typical load-displacement behaviours obtained by fracture mechanics


tests.

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The fracture mechanics test standards include many checks to ensure that
results are valid. These include restrictions on the fatigue crack size,
position and shape, together with limitations on the maximum allowable
fatigue load. The final fatigue pre-crack shape and length is not determined
until after the test and the specimen is broken open. If the crack front it not
straight enough then the test may not be fully qualified to the standard. In
fracture mechanics testing it is not unusual to get results that are not fully
qualified because parameters like the fatigue pre-crack cannot be checked
until after test and are affected by weld residual stresses which could be
present. If some validity criteria are not met, the results may still be useable,
but expert advice is needed to justify this.

3.19 Testing welds


Welds are critical in terms of fracture. They are under high residual stress
plus can contain brittle microstructures in addition to weld flaws, all of which
combined can lead to fracture. Welds also have complex geometries,
complex microstructures and complex residual stress distributions which
can add extra challenges when fracture toughness testing.

The orientation of the specimen becomes important. The specimen


thickness is the same as the section thickness (B), but if the test is intended
to model an actual crack, then the notch is likely to be a surface notch in a
BxB specimen, located into a specific microstructure (SM). SM testing
requires post test metallography to confirm whether the notch sampled the
required region (microstructure). If the test is to measure a lower-bound
toughness for procedure qualification or for setting flaw acceptance criteria,
then a through-thickness notch and a Bx2B specimen is used and the notch
is called weld positional (WP) and is positioned relative to the weld
centreline or mid-thickness HAZ.

Figure 3.41 Choosing the specimen and notch orientation when testing welds.

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The location of the notch in the weld HAZ or parent metal is important as an
incorrectly positioned fatigue crack will not sample the required area,
making the test invalid. To be certain that the crack tip is in the correct
region, polishing and etching followed by a metallurgical examination are
often carried out prior to machining the notch and fatigue cracking. This
enables the notch to be positioned very accurately. This examination may
be carried out after testing as further confirmation of the validity of the test
results.

The testing of HAZs presents particular difficulties, owing to the narrow


width of the HAZ, the irregular shape of the HAZ and local variations in
microstructure. Positioning the fatigue crack tip to sample a particular target
microstructure can be difficult, owing to the somewhat uncertain nature of
the fatigue pre-cracking process. For a through-thickness notch it is easiest
to test the HAZ when a vertical fusion line can be produced, such as from a
half K or K-prep weld. A surface notched specimen will need a notch of a
precise depth to target the microstructure at a particular location in the weld.

Figure 3.42 Surface notching and through-thickness notching into the HAZ to
target a specific microstructure.

3.20 BS 7910 ECA procedure


BS 7910:2005 is entitled Guide to methods for assessing the acceptability of
flaws in metallic structures. It gives detailed guidance on assessing flaws
under fracture or fatigue (and both). It also has advice about assessing
flaws under creep and other modes of failure (Figure 3.43).

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Figure 3.43 Failure modes for which BS7910 gives guidance for assessing flaws.

Other Annexes in the standard provide advice on safety factors, Charpy-


toughness correlations, the assessment of pop-ins, misalignment, stress
intensity factor solutions and reference stress solutions.

3.20.1 Input data


The procedure models the actual flaw size and dimensions into an idealised
flaw geometry for the assessment. The flaw is either a semi-elliptical surface
flaw, an elliptical embedded flaw, or a through-thickness flaw (Figure 3.44).
The flaw dimensions are chosen so that the flaw in the assessment fully
encompasses the real flaw.

a b

Figure 3.44 a Flaw types and dimensions in BS 7910 to assess a real flaw b.

Residual stresses also need to be taken into account in the BS7910


procedure. Residual stresses can impose significant driving forces on welds
flaws (Figure 3.45). For as-welded components, or if no information on
residual stresses is known then they are assumed to reach yield magnitude.
Sometimes it is possible to use a known value, or a given residual stress

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distribution. The residual stress in the assessment is relaxed if the structure


undergoes mechanical loading (such as a proof test, or plastic straining in
service), or if it has been post weld heat treated.

Figure 3.45 Residual stresses as a result of welding.

The fracture toughness input value is the lowest result taken from three
similar specimens. Additional fracture mechanics testing is recommended if
the results from the set of three are too scattered; if the lowest value of
CTOD is less than half the average, or if the highest value is more than
twice the average. For values of K then more testing is recommended if the
minimum is below 0.7 times the average, or if the maximum is above 1.4
times the average.

3.20.2 Failure assessment diagram


BS 7910 calculates both the proximity to failure by plastic collapse and the
proximity to brittle fracture and plots each of these on the axes of a Failure
Assessment Diagram (or FAD).

The proximity to brittle fracture is calculated by dividing the stress intensity


factor at the tip of the flaw (KI) by the fracture toughness of the material (KIc).
This is plotted on the Y-axis of the FAD and is termed Kr, the fracture ratio.
The proximity to plastic collapse is calculated by dividing the net section
stress on the cracked ligament (also called the reference stress) by the
material yield stress or flow stress (average of yield and UTS). This is
plotted on the X-axis of the FAD and is termed Lr, the stress ratio.

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The failure assessment line, plotted from a point on the X-axis to a point on
the Y-axis shows the limit of safety for failure from either mode. If the
assessment point lies inside the curve, the flaw is acceptable and if it is
outside the curve it is unacceptable (Figure 3.46). A critical calculation can
be made by making iterations until the assessment point lies on the failure
assessment line.

Figure 3.46 Failure Assessment Diagram (FAD), showing an acceptable and


unacceptable assessment point on a Level 2 FAD.

Figure 3.47 BS 7910 Level 1 and Level 2 FADs.

BS 7910 provides different levels of assessment which increase in their


analytical effort and accuracy. Level 1 uses fairly simple formulae for making
the calculations and the Level 1 FAD has the most conservatism (ie the
smallest area inside the FAD). Level 2 requires more analysis and is usually
carried out using specific software and the Level 2 FAD has a reduced level
of conservatism. It is possible to apply Level 3 methods which require using

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FEA modelling, but it is possible to reduce the conservatism even more,


however the more analysis that is needed, the more costly the ECA. All of
the assessment levels in BS 7910 have been validated against a large
number of test cases, including wide plate tests and full-scale tests, the
assessment points for some of which are shown in Figure 3.48.

Figure 3.48 Validation of the BS 7910 procedure with full-scale tests and wide
plate tests.

The FAD is a useful visual tool for assessing a single flaw size and
determining whether is can be considered safe or not. However, when a
structure is experiencing fatigue, the crack grows from a sub-critical size
until it is sufficiently large to cause failure. In the BS 7910 procedures the
rate the fatigue crack grows can be estimated and an initial tolerable flaw
size can be derived if the lifetime is known and hence the final (critical)
crack size calculated.

To carry out a fatigue ECA it is necessary to measure the fatigue crack


growth rate in the parent material, weld metal or HAZ. The crack growth
rates are affected by the environment eg whether in seawater with cathodic
protection or in air. The fatigue threshold is then determined. In addition it is
also necessary to know the flaw type and flaw geometry and the applied
stresses in terms of a stress range and number of cycles at that range. The
basis of the fatigue crack growth calculations is the relationship between K,
the change in stress intensity due to the cyclic stress and the rate of crack
growth, da/dN, for the material under consideration (Figure 3.49).

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Crack growth Flaw type & geometry Applied stresses


relationship

Figure 3.49 Additional input information required for a fatigue assessment.

Figure 3.50 Recommended fatigue crack growth law.

3.21 ECA case study


Lack of fusion was detected in a propane storage sphere (Figure 50) in
Saudi Arabia during outage. Before the vessel could go back into service, its
defect tolerance had to be assessed to show that the sphere would not fail
by brittle fracture or plastic collapse. A fracture mechanics assessment
showed that the storage sphere had adequate defect tolerance despite the
lack of fusion flaw and the vessel could return to service with a valid safety
case.

Figure 3.51 Storage sphere.

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3.22 References and further reading


Anderson T L (2005): ‘Fracture mechanics: fundamentals and applications’,
CRC Press, USA.
API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 (2007): ‘Fitness-for-service’, American Petroleum
Institute, Washington DC, USA.
ASTM E1820: ‘Standard Test Method for Measurement of Fracture
Toughness’, American Society for Testing and Materials.
ASTM E139: ‘Conducting Creep, Creep Rupture and Stress Rupture Tests
of Metallic Materials’
BS 3500: ‘Methods for Creep and Rupture testing of Metals’
BS EN 10291: ‘Metallic Materials - Uniaxial Creep Testing in Tension’
BS EN ISO 899: ‘Plastics - Determination of Creep Behaviour’
BS EN 761: ‘Creep Factor Determination of Glass Reinforced Thermosetting
Plastics Dry Conditions’
BS EN 1225: ‘Creep Factor Determination of Glass Reinforced
Thermosetting Plastics Wet Conditions’
Broek D (1987): ‘Elementary engineering fracture mechanics’, Fourth
revised edition, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht.
BS 6729: ‘Determination of the Dynamic Fracture Toughness of Metallic
Materials’, British Standards Institution, London.
BS 7448 Parts 1-4: ‘Fracture Mechanics Toughness Tests’, British
Standards Institution, London.
BS 7910 (1999): ‘Guide on methods for assessing the acceptability of flaws
in metallic structures’, British Standards Institution, London.
CrackwiseTM (2010): ‘Automation of fracture and fatigue assessment
procedures (BS 7910) for engineering critical assessment’.
More information at: http://www.twisoftware.com/crackwise
FITNET Fitness-For-Service Network (2006), Project G1RT-CT-2001-
05071, Procedure.
R6 (2007): ‘Assessment of the integrity of structures containing defects,
British Energy Generation, Revision 4.
SINTAP (2000): ‘Structural integrity assessment procedures for European
industry, Final Procedure’, European Union Brite-Euram Programme.
Project No. BE95-1426, Contract No. BRPR-CT95-0024, Rotherham.
Wells A A (1961): ’Unstable crack propagation in metals, cleavage and fast
fracture’, The Crack Propagation Symposium, pp.210-230, Cranfield.
Wells A A (1963): ‘Application of fracture mechanics at and beyond general
yield’, British Welding Research Association Report M13/63.

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3.23 Summary
At the end of this module you should be able to describe the risks for brittle
fracture, ductile failure, creep and fatigue etc based on the different types of
loading experienced in service and select suitable materials to be resistant
to these failure modes. You should know the difference between Charpy
testing and fracture mechanics testing of welds and describe them. You
should understand the basics of fracture mechanics in terms of the
behaviour of cracks in materials, LEFM and EPFM. You should know how to
carry out an engineering critical assessment (ECA), what input data is
required and how the assessment point is plotted on an FAD for different
assessment levels. You should be able to explain the benefits of fitness-for-
service assessment

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Revision Questions
1 What do LEFM and EPFM stand for and what are the differences between them?

2 Sketch a failure assessment diagram and describe how you would determine
where to plot the failure assessment point.

3 What are the advantages and disadvantages of using very thick steel in a
structure?

4 Sketch a ductile to brittle transition curve for ferritic steel and austenitic stainless
steel. How would you determine the ductile to brittle transition temperature for the
ferritic steel?

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Section 4

Advanced Fatigue – Part 1


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Advanced Fatigue – Part 1
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4 Advanced Fatigue - Part 1


4.1 Introduction
In order to cover the subject of fatigue in sufficient depth for Engineer level
of this diploma, it has been divided into two parts. In this, the first part, we’ll
start with understanding stress concentration locations, before moving on to
fatigue joint classifications. This part will also describe post weld fatigue life
improvement techniques and review case studies of fatigue failures.

4.2 Stress concentrations


Fatigue cracks initiate from sharp features, changes in section, or most
likely in welded structures, from weld toes. These are all examples of local
stress concentrations. The fatigue performance of any structure depends
entirely on the effective stress concentrations present. Weld toes and weld
roots are the most critical areas in respect to stress concentration in welded
structures (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1 Stress concentration locations in a butt weld.

Production arc welding processes lead to the formation of non-metallic


intrusions at the weld toe, which is typically 0.1-0.4mm in depth (Figure 4.2).
Fatigue life is governed by the growth of this pre-existing flaw with little or no
initiation stage. Also, the factors which affect crack initiation can be quite
different to those that affect crack growth.

Figure 4.2 Fatigue crack initiating from a weld toe intrusion.

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4.3 Fatigue performance


Behaviour of a structure under cyclic loads is determined by the severity of
stress concentration. Different welded joint designs are grouped together
according to their stress concentration effect. Each group is given a fatigue
joint classification, based on its fatigue resistance. Fatigue resistance data
in all design rules are in the form of S-N curves. Fatigue design rules for
welded structures have developed extensively over the last 30 years,
following a major review and analysis of the published data by The Welding
Institute (TWI). A key feature of the design curves is that they refer to
particular welded joints, directions of loading and failure sites.

Fatigue resistance is quantified in terms of constant amplitude S-N curves


SmN = A (where m and A are constants). Curves for different design details
are based on statistical analysis of test data and current fatigue design
curves are given in BS 7608. It is well established that the fatigue
performance of welded joints is vastly inferior to the performance of parent
material, Figure 4.3. Furthermore, the fatigue strength of a welded steel joint
is independent of parent material strength, Figure 4.4.

400

Stress 300
range,
range 200

N/mm2 100

50
Steel
350 N/mm2 yield

10
105 106 107 108 Cycles

Figure 4.3 Fatigue performance of welded joints compared with unwelded material.
Stress range for life of 106

500

400
cycles, N/mm2

300

200

100

400 500 600 700 800 900


Ultimate tensile strength of steel, N/mm2

Figure 4.4 Fatigue strength of welded joints is independent of material strength.

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This means that for a structure under fatigue loading, using a higher grade
of steel will not extend its lifetime at all. In fact using thinner sections under
higher stress will reduce the fatigue performance for higher strength steels.
Evaluation of a great deal of experimental work has led to the development
of design S-N curves that are relevant to individual joint geometries, as
shown in Figure 4.5.

Stress range,
N/mm 2

300
static design limit

200

100

30

10 5 10 6 10 7
Endurance, cycles

Figure 5 Design curves for different joint geometries.

4.4 Joint classification


In the British Standards for steel structures, welded joints are organised into
different classes according to the loading direction and geometry of the joint.
Typical fatigue classes vary from A-G although Classes S, T and W are also
found. Although Class A is mentioned in the Standards, it is actually not
used for welds but represents the fatigue curve of plain steel (in the
Eurocodes, weld classes are defined according to their fatigue strength at 2
million cycles, See Eurocode 3 for steel and Eurocode 9 for aluminium). For
a given applied stress range the expected fatigue life decreases the further
along the alphabet the joint class, so Class A has the highest fatigue
strength and Class G the lowest (as shown in Figure 4.6).

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Figure 4.6 Weld joint fatigue classes.

For a design assessment against fatigue, the stress range needs to be


predicted at the likely failure location, ignoring residual stresses and stress
concentration factors. A few of the BS 7608 weld classes are summarised
below.

Class A
Plain steel with all surfaces machined and polished with a uniform or
smoothly varying cross section (no guidance given in the standard).

Class B
As-rolled steel with no flame cut edges. Full penetration butt welds free of
defects. The weld must be parallel to the direction of stress with smooth
dressed faces.

Figure 4.7 Class B welded joint: Longitudinal, butt weld with smooth surface
(ground flush cap).

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Class C
Full or partial penetration butt or fillet welds which are parallel to the
direction of stress. These must have been made by mechanised welding
and have no start/stop locations. This class also includes butt welds made
from both sides transverse to the direction of stress, which are proved
defect free by inspection and machined flush.

a b

Figure 4.8 Class C: a and c Longitudinal fillet welds and b Transverse, ground
flush butt welds.

Class D
Full or partial penetration butt or fillet welds which are parallel to the
direction of stress with a stop/start point. Full penetration butt welds made
from both sides transverse to direction of stress with a smooth weld-plate
transition.

A b

Figure 4.9 Class D: (a) Longitudinal butt weld and (b) Transverse butt weld.

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Class E
Full penetration butt welds transverse to the direction of stress with an
abrupt weld-plate transition. Such welds are usually found in overhead or
vertical butt welds. This class also includes intermittent welds parallel to the
stress direction.

Figure 4.10 Class E joint: Transverse butt weld with large toe angle.

Class F
Butt welds on backing strip, transverse to the stress direction. Member
carrying fillet or butt welded attachments clear of edge. Cruciform or T-joints
made with full penetration butt welds.

a b

Figure 4.11 Class F welded joints: a butt weld with backing strip; b longitudinal and
transverse fillet welded attachments; c Full penetration transverse fillet welds.

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Class F2
Cruciform or T-joints made with partial penetration butt or fillet welds. Butt
welds between two rolled or built-up sections.

a b

Figure 4.12 Class F2: a Cruciform joint with fillet welds and b butt weld between
two built-up sections.

Class G
Members with attachments welded to a free edge or closer than 10mm to
the edges.

Figure 4.13 Class G: Weld attachment to the edge.

Class W
Weld metal in load carrying fillet or partial penetration butt welds, regardless
of direction of stressing. Stress used in calculating the fatigue life is the
nominal stress on the weld throat.

A b

Figure 4.14 Class W: a Weld root cracking in a fillet weld, b weld root cracking in a
partial penetration butt weld.

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Here is an exercise to label the fatigue classifications of the welds shown in


the feature shown in Figure 9 (answers in the revision session).

Figure 4.15 What are the fatigue classifications of the welds in this detail?

4.5 Fatigue failures


In welded structures, fatigue failure nearly always initiates from the weld
toes, so it is in these locations that should be inspected most frequently for
fatigue cracks (Figure 4.16)

Figure 4.16 Fatigue cracking at weld toes.

When examined macroscopically, fatigue fracture surfaces are relatively flat


and featureless, with beach marks occasionally identifying the crack front at
stages in the crack extension, Figure 4.17. The beach marks are centred on
the initiation point and provide a record of the crack front location at
particular time. They are associated with differential corrosion, sudden
change in crack growth rate, rest periods etc. The final failure mode will be
either brittle or ductile as the remaining ligament (reduced in size by the
fatigue crack) is no longer able to withstand the applied load.

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Figure 4.17 Low magnification view of a fatigue fracture surface showing


beachmarks.

At high magnification however, the fracture surface may exhibit striations,


Figure 4.18. These marks are interpreted as representing the position of the
crack front after individual cycles. Therefore, each fatigue cycle produces a
small but measurable amount of crack extension.

Figure 4.18 High magnification view of a fatigue fracture surface.

Fatigue failure in components depends on the loading direction and the


geometry. The fatigue performance of large structures can be tested using
representative smaller-scale specimens under controlled fatigue testing
conditions (Figure 4.19).

Figure 4.19 Small scale fatigue test specimen as representative of full scale
structures.

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4.6 Improving the fatigue strength of welded joints


There are a number of general ways to improve fatigue strength.

 By design.
 By a postweld treatment.

At the design stage, improvements to the fatigue life can be gained by


avoiding geometric stress raisers and achieving a smooth transition
between the weld and plate and by using smooth shapes and transitions.
Minimising the stress range and using an appropriate choice of joint
geometry (and hence joint class) will help achieve the required fatigue life.
Grind flush excess weld metal, making sure that grinding marks should be
parallel to stress direction. Local machining to remove weld toes and edges
can be specified at the design stage.

Considerable work has been carried out on postweld fatigue improvement


techniques. Because fatigue strength is usually limited by joints with low
fatigue classifications, eg Class F (transverse and longitudinal stiffeners
attached to the surface of a stress plate), improving the performance of
these joints can have a substantial benefit on the fatigue life of the structure.

Broadly speaking, there are two main methods for postweld fatigue
improvement:

 Reduce stress concentration at the weld toe using techniques such as


weld toe grinding, or TIG or plasma re-melting.
 Reduce residual stresses by applying post weld stress relief heat
treatment
 Introduce compressive residual stresses at the weld toe using hammer,
needle or shot peening, ultrasonic impact treatment or proof loading.

4.7 Techniques that reduce stress concentration


The first way to reduce the stress concentration effect of the weld toe is to
grind the weld flush so that there is no longer a change in section at the
weld toe. The improvement that this can have on the fatigue performance is
shown in Figure 4.20.

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Figure 4.20 Fatigue performance improvement as a result of weld flush grinding.

The most widely used technique is weld toe grinding, using either a burr
grinder or disc grinder. The fatigue lives of welded joints which are likely to
fail from the weld toe can be improved by weld toe grinding. The aim is to
remove the sharp discontinuities (intrusions) due to welding and to blend the
region to reduce the stress concentration factor. Burr grinding is the most
effective method, but disc grinding (with great care to avoid deep notching
and the introduction of deep scratches) can be effective.

It is essential that material is removed at the weld toe, Figure 4.21, to


ensure a smooth transition. Provided the grinding is carried out in a
controlled and approved manner, an increase in fatigue life of a factor of 2
can be achieved (an improvement of 30% on stress or 2.2 on life). Slow and
careful application required and the groove must not penetrate below the
recommended depth for any undercut or flaw. Figure 4.22 shows a macro
cross section of a burr ground joint. Figure 4.23 shows typical equipment
used for toe grinding, Figure 4.24 shows the method of weld toe grinding
using a burr grinder running along each weld toe, Figure 4.25 shows similar
equipment but using a disc grinder instead of a burr grinder. Disc grinding is
quicker than burr machining, but there is less improvement (of only one
fatigue Class) because of the direction of the grinding marks. All toe grinding
should be a controlled procedure and inspection is required.

Other techniques such as remelting the weld toe with a TIG torch or plasma
torch are also available but are more difficult to control and are less widely
used.

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Figure 4.21 Removal of material when weld toe grinding.

Figure 4.22 A weld with toes that have been burr ground.

Figure 4.23 Equipment for weld toe grinding.

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Figure 4.24 Method for weld toe burr grinding.

Figure 4.25 Method for weld toe disc grinding.

In order to maximise the benefit of weld toe grinding, it needs to go deeply


enough to remove the weld toe imperfections (eg intrusions in arc welded
steel) from which fatigue cracks propagate. This will usually necessitate
grinding to a depth of ~0.8mm.

In addition, the resulting groove geometry needs to be controlled to


minimise its effect as a stress concentration. Fatigue tests have shown that
grinding with a small diameter burr (to achieve good access to the toe of a
poor profile fillet weld) can leave such a sharp groove that the fatigue life of
the joint is not increased. Experience indicates that grooves which meet the
criteria shown in Figure 4.26 are acceptable. As seen, correct treatment can
increase the fatigue strength of a fillet welded joint close to that of the un-
welded steel plate. The improvement in the fatigue performance that can be
achieved by weld toe dressing is shown in Figure 4.26.

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Figure 4.26 Fatigue performance improvement as a result of toe grinding.

A similar result to grinding can be achieved by re-melting the weld toe


region with a TIG or plasma welding gun. It seems that the non-metallic
material at the weld toe (including the weld toe intrusions) is removed and
the resulting weld profile is improved locally, as shown in Figures 4.27 and
4.28. It is probably significant that weld toe intrusions do not seem to be
produced with these two welding processes (probably because of the inert
nature of each). These can be very slow techniques that require separate
qualified procedures and a significant skill element. Applying these fatigue
improvement techniques will delay subsequent weld inspection

Figure 4.27 TIG re-melting of weld toes.

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Figure 4.28 A fillet weld with plasma dressed toes.

4.8 Techniques that introduce compressive residual stresses


These techniques generally involve severely peening the weld toe so that
the ensuing plastic deformation gives rise to a compressive residual stress
at the weld toe. The advantage to this is that by the principle of super-
position, any subsequent cyclic load, even tensile loading, will not be
experienced as so damaging at the weld toe. An example of this
compressive stress superposition on an otherwise tensile cyclic load is
shown in Figure 4.29. One common technique is hammer peening using a
solid tool and a pneumatic hammer, Figure 4.30.

Figure 4.29 Effect of imposing a compressive residual stress on a tensile cyclic


stress. The effective cycles are partly compressive and the tensile stress that might
propagate a fatigue crack is greatly reduced.

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Figure 4.30 Weld toe hammer peening.

Other techniques include the use of a needle tool peening (Figure 4.31) and
ultrasonic impact treatment (Figure 4.32).

Figure 4.31 Needle peening.

Figure 4.32 Ultrasonic impact treatment for weld toes.

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The general characteristics of the fatigue behaviour of welded joints with


peened (eg hammer, needle, shot) toes are shown in Figure 4.33. These
reflect the influence of applied mean stress (tensile mean stress will reduce
the benefit of a compressive residual stress) and the level of compressive
residual stress induced (material strength dependence). The potentially
large effect of fatigue loading on the performance of peened welds needs to
be considered very carefully before using this type of improvement method.

On the positive side, there is some indication that high-strength materials


gain more benefit than low strength. This is probably because the
magnitude of residual stress induced depends on yield strength since it has
been shown that peening does not re-introduce a crack initiation period but
just slows down the rate of crack growth.

Figure 4.33 Improvement of fatigue performance as a result of weld toe peening.

Although the peening residual stress improvement techniques can be very


effective, a major drawback is that they are vulnerable to factors which
reduce the beneficial residual stress level in service. The main problem is
the nature of the fatigue loading. It is known that occasional very high
applied stress in a service stress history can modify residual stress, but
even operation at a high tensile mean stress can eliminate their benefit.
Essentially, the fatigue performance of welded joints containing compressive
residual stress depends on both the range and the maximum value of the
applied stress. Thus, there is no benefit from a residual stress-based
improvement method when the maximum stress reaches yield.

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4.9 Typical improvement


Figure 4.34 summarises fatigue improvement in terms of S-N curves for
weld toes modified using a range of techniques. The greatest benefit is
generated by hammer peening, but this technique gives rise to a plastically
deformed weld toe that may make subsequent inspection difficult to
interpret. Weld toe grinding is the next best approach. The aim is to remove
the crack-like discontinuities at the weld toe and to reduce the stress
concentration effect of the weld shape by smoothly blending the weld
surface into the plate. If successful, such a treatment should re-introduce a
significant crack initiation period into the fatigue life and hence raise it to a
level approaching that of the un-welded material.

The graph shows examples of the benefit from various improvement


techniques. Other data show different curves, depending on the method of
application of the technique. Optimisation of the techniques suggests that
although hammer peening is the most effective, needle and shot peening
can be equally effective, while toe grinding or re-melting can give about the
same level of improvement. The IIW is currently developing guidelines for
the application of weld toe improvement techniques.

One additional benefit of weld toe improvement methods is that they tend to
be more effective when applied to welds in high strength material. Thus,
they offer the possibility of utilising high strength materials in fatigue-loaded
welded structures (Figure 4.35).

However, the reduced severity of the weld toe as a source of fatigue


cracking means that the weld is less tolerant to flaws than it was in the as-
welded condition. Thus, although the fatigue life of the improved weld detail
will be increased, it is still unlikely to reach that of the un-welded material
due to the inevitable presence of flaws.

400
Mild steel
R=0

300

Hammer peened
Stress
range 200 Burr ground
N/mm2

Shot peened
150
As welded Plasma dressed

100
5 6 7 7
10 10 10 5x10
Endurance, cycles

Figure 4.34 S-N curves for postweld treated joints.

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Figure 4.35 Effect of fatigue improvement techniques over a range of steel yield
strength.

Postweld fatigue improvement techniques are particularly useful when


applied to a weld repair of a location that has experienced fatigue cracking.
Summarising this topic, significant improvements can be made in fatigue life
for joints at risk of failure from the weld toe. Typical improvement by a factor
of 2-3 on fatigue life can be achieved. A well-defined method statement and
operator training is required when applying a fatigue improvement technique
and then post-treatment inspection is necessary to ensure complete
coverage. Detailed recommendations are published by IIW and in BS 7608

4.10 Fatigue failure case studies


4.10.1 Alexander Kielland Platform
The Alexander L. Kielland was a pentagone type of semi-submersible rig,
converted for use as an offshore accommodation platform anchored in the
North Sea. On the evening of 27 March 1980, one of the five columns
(buoyancy elements) of the platform anchored broke off. The platform
immediately heeled over to an angle of about 30° and then continued to heel
and sink slowly. Twenty minutes after the loss of column D, the platform
capsized, with the loss of 123 lives out of 212 men on board. Of the seven
lifeboats on board only two were launched successfully. The failure initiation
site was a fillet weld between the hydrophone support and a brace (Figure
4.36).

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Figure 4.36 Failure of the Alexander Kielland platform.

Fatigue crack growth in brace D6 initiated from pre-existing cracks in the


fillet welds between a hydrophone support and the brace (Figure 4.37). A
brittle fracture initiated from this fatigue crack, leading to total failure of
brace D6. The pentagone design was non-redundant and the loss of one
brace resulted in overloading of other braces supporting column D.
Compensating measures did not function with the result that the platform
could not remain afloat with only four columns. Examination of the
hydrophone to brace fillet welds revealed poor weld penetration and an
unsatisfactory weld bead shape. There was evidence of fabrication cracks in
this region; although the Charpy impact energy levels were adequate, the
through-thickness ductility of the hydrophone material was poor.

This failure emphasises the importance of welded attachments to critical


structural components. A crack that initiates at an attachment weld can run
into the main elements of the structure.

Figure 4.37 Fatigue crack propagation of the Alexander Kielland platform.

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4.10.2 Mooring buoy failure


A second fatigue-related failure was a mooring buoy, which separated within
the tower structure below the flotation chamber. The top section was
recovered for a failure investigation, whereas the larger part of the structure
then fell to the bottom of the sea.

Figure 4.38 Failure of a floating mooring chamber.

Figure 4.39 The recovered top section of the mooring failure (now upside down).

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Some of the tubulars showed classic brittle fracture surfaces (Figure 4.40).
Others were found to show fatigue cracking (Figure 4.41). Final ductile
overload was also observed. From these failure mechanisms the engineers
could formulate a sequence of failure (Figure 4.42).

Figure 4.40 Brittle fractures observed in parts of the failure.

Figure 4.41 Fatigue cracks observed in other parts of the failure.

Figure 4.42 Failure modes in different parts of the failed structure.

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A reasonable hypothesis for the cause of the fatigue crack initiation was that
the weld was significantly misaligned, which would act as a stress
concentration (Figure 4.43). However, much later on when the other half of
the failed structure was recovered from the sea bed, the other half of the
weld could be placed next to the initial half, which disclosed the reason why
that weld had initiated a fatigue failure. Although no misalignment would
have been measured on the outer surface, a significant part of the wall
thickness had been removed to allow this fit-up (Figure 4.44). This would
result in much higher stresses in the thinner wall, increasing the risk of
fatigue cracking.

Figure 4.43 Reasonable theory for the initiation of fatigue in this weld.

Figure 4.44 Both recovered halves of the failed weld showing actually that there
was significantly reduced wall thickness, causing the fatigue to initiate.

4.10.3 Tacoma Narrows Bridge


The original Tacoma Narrow Bridge, Washington State USA opened on July
1, 1940. It received its nickname Galloping Gertie due to the vertical
movement of the deck observed by construction workers during windy
conditions. The bridge collapsed into Puget Sound the morning of
November 7, 1940, under high wind conditions.

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Figure 4.45 Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse.

The collapse of the bridge was due to a physical phenomenon known as


aero elastic flutter caused by a 67 kilometer per hour (42 mph) wind. The
cause of the collapse was due to forced resonance with the wind providing
an external periodic frequency that matched the natural structural frequency.
No human life was lost in the collapse of the bridge.

The design of the bridge was decisive in it collapse. Previous bridges were
constructed with thick deck sections which meant that wind loading would
not produce resonance loading. For the Tacoma Narrows Bridge the
designers opted for a slim deck section which made the bridge look ‘better’,
but this meant that the bridge was in danger of entering resonance loading
due to wind (this was not known at the time of the design).

The bridge was rebuilt in 1950 with an improved design due to the lessons
learned from the first bridge and is now nicknamed Sturdy Gertie. Modern
suspension bridges use a box section for the deck, with a cross section
specially designed to avoid this form of resonant excitation.

4.11 Summary
At the end of this section you should understand the practical aspects of
fatigue cracking, being able to explain its initiation from weld toe intrusions
and its appearance on a fracture face. You should be able to describe a
number of possible post-weld fatigue improvement techniques and explain
how they improve the fatigue life.

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Revision Questions
1 What are the weld classes shown in this joint?

Answer:

2 Draw a fillet weld under cyclic loading and sketch fatigue cracks at the locations
they will initiate.

3 You need to carry out postweld fatigue improvement on a stiffened ship structure.
Which method would you choose and why?

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Static Loading
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Static Loading
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5 Static Loading
5.1 Review
This section of the course shows how to develop principles of design for
static loading. When a metal is loaded under increasing force there is a
period of elastic deformation, where the material resumes its original
dimensions once the load has been removed. The limit of elastic behaviour
is the material’s yield point, after which plastic deformation and ultimately
necking and tensile rupture occurs. These features are seen on a stress-
strain curve (Figure 5.1).

Figure 5.1 Features of a stress-strain curve.

The Elastic Design Method ensures that the stresses in structure do not
exceed the yield stress (ie that only elastic deformation occurs, not plastic
deformation). However, it is not usually possible to design a structure to be
loaded up to yield stress safely due to factors including material defects,
joint/weld mismatches, unforeseen loads (weather conditions etc), or
degradation. For structures that have to withstand principally static loading,
the maximum allowable stress is limited to a proportion of the material yield
strength.

The maximum design stress is expressed as a fraction of the yield strength


of the parent material. For critical structures such as pressure vessels this
was once set at 1/4 UTS, but later changed to 2/3 yield stress. Other
relevant codes dictate design stresses through other formulae, but half to
2/3 of yield strength is usual.

Imposing a limit to the design stress is in effect a ‘safety factor’ to account


for some material degradation and unforeseen loads. The ratio of yield
stress (or UTS) to design stress is known as factor of safety (FoS). The
factor of safety depends on the material and its utilisation.

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In the more general case, the maximum allowable stress is restricted such
that all criteria for failure are satisfactorily avoided, with an appropriate
margin of safety. This permits a very limited degree of plastic deformation in
some cases. Additionally, it considers other potential ‘failure modes’; for
example the allowable elastic deformation may correspond to a stress less
than ⅔ yield strength. This is called Limit State Design.

5.2 Stress and strain - revision


A component such as a bar or a plate may be subjected to a simple tension
load, giving rise to a normal stress, Figure 5.2.

A
N N
 N

A
where:
 = axial stress (N/mm2 or MPa)
N = load or axial force (N)
A = cross section area (mm2)

Figure 5.2 Normal stress.

A second form of loading may cause the material to slide over itself; this is
known as shear loading, which gives rise to a shear stress, Figure 5.3.

T
T
 A
A
where: T
 = shear stress (N/mm2 or MPa)
T = transverse force (N)
A = cross section area (mm2)

Figure 5.3 Shear stress.

In the general case, a two dimension square may be subject to two normal
stresses at right angles and a shear stress. This may be extended to three
dimensions.

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5.3 Fillet welds under stress


When considering the load carrying capacity of a weld, it is assumed that
the weld metal strength overmatches that of the parent metal. The parent
strength therefore defines load carrying capacity of the weld. Remember
that this may not be the case for high strength low alloy steels where the
weld metal sometimes undermatches the parent metal strength and for
welded joints in aluminium where the weld can be softened by the heat of
welding.

Fillet welds are often used because they are the simplest and cheapest type
of welded design. Fillet welds require less joint preparation and may be
made in flat or horizontal positions by semi-skilled operators. Welds can be
completed with any number of passes

There can be possible problems with penetration into the parent metal and
they are difficult to examine by NDT methods for subsurface defects.

Once the required size of fillet weld has been calculated it is important to
stick to it, the volume or weight of weld metal increases as the square of leg
length and it is surprisingly easy to over-weld fillet welds, with associated
cost and time implications.

When calculating fillet weld sizes, not only is it assumed that the weld metal
matches (or overmatches) the strength of parent metal, but it is also
assumed that the weld will fail across the throat. The weld throat dimension
is the shortest distance between the root and the chord between the toes or
profile face (whichever is less), see Figure 5.4. Excess weld metal is
neglected and for calculation use the design throat instead actual throat.
Adequate weld quality is assumed, ie the weld is defect-free and stress
concentrations due to bead shape and residual stresses are neglected.

A b

Figure 5.4 The throat dimension in a fillet weld a and for a single bevel Tee butt
weld b.

The design stress is half the yield strength when it is not explicitly given in
the applicable standard. This is lower than a butt weld because fillet welds
tend to experience high shear forces rather than axial forces. The effective
yield under shear is lower than for axial loading, while fillet welds, being
difficult to inspect for root fusion defects, tend to be designed with a more

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conservative approach to reflect the probability of defects. When designing


a fillet welded joint, welds with faces meeting at more than 120° or less than
60° should NOT be used for load carrying parts.

Some codes specify minimum fillet weld size depending on thickness of


plate to be welded (Table 1). This has more to do with prevention of cold
cracking than for strength. The maximum throat size for fillet welds made
from one pass is 6mm. If plates are 6 mm thick or more then the leg length
should be not less than 5mm. Do not overweld as this gives a risk of
lamellar tearing (Figure 5).

Figure 5.5 Lamellar tearing.

Table 5.1 Fillet weld sizes given by standards.


Recommended by BS 449
Thickness of thicker Minimum leg size
part (mm) (mm)
10-18 4
18-30 5
Over 30 6
Recommended by AWS D1.1
Thickness of thicker Minimum leg size
part (mm) (mm)
Up to 6 3
6-12 5
12-20 6
Over 20 8

5.4 Forces, frames and beams


As well as forces acting axially in tension and compression and forces
acting offset in shear, forces can act to impose a bending moment on a
beam (Figure 5.6).

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Figure 5.6 Different types of loading.

In a simple frame, resolving of forces can be used to determine the forces in


each member. If each member can rotate fully above its ends, then the
members are subjected only to axial forces and determining stress is simply
evaluated using force/area.

If, however, a member is not allowed to rotate fully, eg it is fixed in a support


and then a bending moment is experienced by the beam, eg Figure 5.7. The
bending moment, M, is equal to the force, F, multiplied by the perpendicular
distance that the load is applied, d. The force applied at the end of the
cantilever beam also imposes reaction forces at the attachment point, as
well as the bending moment.

Force, F
Fy

M
Fx

Figure 5.7 A cantilever beam.

The bending moment is not constant along the length of the beam; it is
highest at the fixed end of the beam and drops to zero at the point of
loading. The shear force experienced, however, is constant across the
length of the beam. These can be illustrated by constructing a bending
moment diagram, Figure 5.8.

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L
x

BM +PL

SF +P

Figure 5.8 A typical bending moment (BM) diagram for a cantilever beam of length
L under an applied force, P, also showing the shear force (SF).

Applying a bending moment causes the beam to defect which imposes a


tensile stress on the outer fibre of the beam and a compressive stress on
the inner fibre of the beam (Figures 5.9 and 5.10). The plane of the beam
that exhibits zero stress is known as the neutral axis.

Figure 5.9 A beam in bending.

Figure 5.10 The stress in a beam in bending.

It is possible to calculate the tensile stress on the outer fibre of the beam in
bending using the engineers bending formula. The stress  at a distance y
from the neutral axis is given by:

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M I
y


where:
M = bending moment.
I = second moment of area, or moment of inertia.

Maximum values for bending stress are obtained on the extreme fibres of
the beam. For example, an I beam has flanges to resist bending while the
web resists shear. The moment of inertia depends on the geometry of the
beam. For a beam of width b and depth d,
b 1
d 2
3
I

Stresses have a continuous linear variation throughout entire transverse


section. The neutral axis (where σ=0) goes through the centre of gravity of
the transverse section. For many geometries the moment of inertia can be
calculated from first principles. However, values are given in standard text
books.

The section modulus (Z) is a geometric property only which relates stress
and internal moment during elastic bending. The bigger the value of section
modulus for a particular cross-section the bigger the bending moment which
it can withstand for a given maximum stress.

where ymax is the distance from the neutral axis to the extreme fibres of the
beam. Using the section modulus makes the engineers bending formula
simplified into  = M/z. Figure 5.11 shows improvements to beam cross
sections to increase the section modulus. The intention is to move material
further from the neutral axis and centre of gravity.

Figure 5.11 Ways to improve the stiffness of beams, by increasing the section
modulus.

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5.5 Bending worked examples


a For this cantilever beam show how to calculate the bending moment; the
moment of inertia; the maximum distance to outer fibre; and the bending
stress.

The bending moment, M, is force multiplied by perpendicular distance, i.e


PxL.

The moment of inertia, I, is breadth times by height cubed, divided by twelve


for a rectangular beam, ie bh3/12

The maximum distance to the outer fibre, y, is the distance from the neutral
axis (middle of the beam) to the top surface in tension, or half the height, ie
h/2

The bending stress is determined using the engineers bending fornmula,


stress is the bending moment multiplied by the maximum distance, divided
by the moment of inertia ie Mxy/I

b Calculate the maximum stress in this beam subjected to 6kNm bending.

Using the engineers bending formula, stress equals My/I. The bending
moment, M is 6,000Nm. y is half the height, which equals 150mm. The
second moment of area, I is calculated by:

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The bending stress is therefore:

This is the maximum stress on the outer fibre of the beam under bending.
This bending stress decays to zero at the middle of the beam along its
neutral axis, where it becomes negative or compressive stress towards the
inner fibre of the beam. This is illustrated below.

c A bending moment of 9x105Nmm is applied to the end of a beam 1.5m


long. The beam is 50mm deep and 20mm wide. Calculate the leg length
needed for the fillet welds shown below if the allowable stress in the
fillets is 250MPa. How would this change if the beam length was 0.75m?

The applied moment equals the moment reacted in welds = 50 x F, where F


is the force in the fillet welds.

F = 9x105/50 = 1.8x104N

The stress in each fillet weld is the force divided by the cross section area
= F/(t.w), where t is the throat thickness and w is beam width (20mm). This
stress must equal the allowable stress in the welds, 250MPa. Remember
that the throat, t = L/√2, where L is the leg length

Hence allowable stress 250 is related to leg length as:

250 = (F√2)/(L.w)
So, L = (1.8x104 √2)/(250.20)
= (2.54x104)/(5000)
= 5.1mm

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It would be rare to specify a leg length to a fraction of a millimetre, so the


welding procedure would round up to the next millimetre and state a leg
length of 6mm.

In answer to the second part pf the question, the beam length makes no
difference to required weld size because the applied loading is a bending
moment. That is, F is independent of beam length.

5.6 Torsion
Torsion is similar to bending, but acts on round tubes and bars. The
torsional stress, , calculation for the stress on the outer surface of a beam
under torsion (which is valid only for round shape transverse section such
as beams, bars or tubes) is given by:

Mt
τ
Zp

Where Mt is the torsion moment and Zp is the polar section modulus of the
transverse section (equivalent to second moment of area and can be looked
up for given cross section shapes).

The largest values of stress are obtained on the extreme fibres of the beams
while in centre of section, stress is zero. The stress has a continuous linear
variation throughout entire transverse section.

Figure 5.12 Torsion in a round bar.

The fillet weld in Figure 5.13 is subject to torsion loading. The weld area is
given by  x D x t, where D is the diameter and t is throat thickness.

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Figure 5.13 Torsional stress around a cylinder.

The torsion moment can be replaced by a force F and perpendicular


distance and then the force can be calculated:

The stress is the force over the cross section area, ie the torsional force
over the weld area. The overall calculation is therefore given by:

5.7 Stresses in cylinders


Another kind of static loading is pressure loading inside a cylinder. This is
covered in detail in the section on pressure vessels, but is included here for
revision. For a hollow cylinder (or pipe) of radius r and wall thickness t
containing a pressure p, the longitudinal stress is given by:
p
r 2
t

Longitudinal stress =

The hoop stress, ie the stress acting at right angles to the longitudinal stress
is given by:
p
r t

Hoop stress =

The hoop stress in a sphere is given by:


p
r 2
t

Sphere hoop stress =

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5.8 Reinforcing steel


5.8.1 Purpose
Reinforcing steel describes the use of steel to reinforce materials, most
often concrete. Concrete is a brittle material which is strong in compression
but weak in tension which limits its use in construction and makes it
unsuitable for use in many structural members. A beam composed only of
concrete has little or no bending strength since cracking occurs in the
extreme tension fibres in the early stages of loading. To improve the
tensional capability of concrete steel bars called reinforcing bars, or rebar,
are embedded in the concrete. In concrete beams the steel bars are
embedded in the tension fibres of the beam as shown in Figure 5.14.

Figure 5.14 Steel reinforced concrete I-beam.

One advantage of using steel for this purpose is that the coefficients of
thermal expansion of steel and concrete are very nearly equal so, any
change in temperature will result in the steel and concrete expanding or
contracting at the same rate, minimising deformation stresses.

5.8.2 Bar profile


If concrete is cast around a steel bar, on setting the concrete shrinks and
grips the steel bar. To aid this bond the rebar is rolled with a ribbed die
when it is manufactured to produce a ribbed surface, Figure 5.15.

Small ribs to ensure a tight grip between the


concrete and the reinforcing bars

All reinforcing bars are deformed bars; ribs


are rolled on the surface of the bar

Figure 5.15 Reinforcing-steel bar profile.

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Ribbed bars are characterised by the dimensions and the number and
configuration of transverse and longitudinal ribs which influences the bond
with the concrete.

5.8.3 Joints
Reinforcing bar is available from 6mm - 50mm diameter. Depending on the
size of the concrete casting a whole assembly of reinforcing bars will usually
be used. Three methods are used to join reinforcing bars together:

 Welded joint.
 Wire joint.
 Rebar coupler.

The most common types of joint are welded and wire. Wire joints are simply
connected by metal wire wrapped around the bars and tightened and are
used on non-load bearing joints. Rebar couplers are mechanical fixings
used to connect bars together, often using threaded ends on the bars. This
course looks at welded joints.

Welding can be used for both load and non-load bearing joints. A non-load
bearing joint normally only keeps the reinforcing components in their correct
place during fabrication, transportation and concreting and are often referred
to as tack welds. Welds which may be classified as non-load bearing in
terms of their action in the design of the structure may be subject to
significant loads during handling and transport of the assembly to site, in
such cases the welds should be treated as load bearing welded joints.

5.8.4 Properties
Reinforcing bars are available for a wide range of chemical compositions
and mechanical properties. The type of bar to be used will be detailed in the
relevant construction code for the structure being built.

Not all reinforcing bars are weldable as weldability is determined by the


carbon equivalent value and the limitations on the content of certain
elements. BS 4449 and BS EN 10080 give the maximum values for these
elements.

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5.9 Welding reinforcing steel


The following welding processes in accordance with ISO 4063 may be used
to perform the welding of reinforcing steel joints.

Table 5.2 Welding processes.


Welding Load Non-Load
Description
process bearing bearing
111 Manual metal arc welding (MMA) ● ●
114 Self-shielded tubular cored arc welding ● ●
135 Metal active gas welding (MAG) ● ●
136 Tubular cored metal arc welding with active gas shield ● ●
21 Resistance spot welding ● ●
23 Projection welding ● ●
24 Flash welding ●
25 Resistance butt welding ●
42 Friction welding ●
47 Oxy-fuel gas pressure welding ●

5.9.1 Types of Joints


The designation of joints discussed are in accordance with BS EN ISO
17660:2006. Other standards such as AWS D1.4 use different joint
classifications. All of the joints discussed below, with the exception of cross
joints, are designed to give full load bearing capacity of the bar.

Note: the joints shown are applicable for welding processes 111, 114, 135
and 136.

Butt welds are used to join two bars together, end to end, only necessary for
load bearing joints and a range of groove designs are available to use.

Single V groove

Double V groove

Single bevel groove

Double bevel groove

Figure 5.16 Groove designs for butt welding of reinforcing bar.

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Backing strips may be used when making a butt weld. Figure 5.17 shows a
single V groove butt weld with a backing strip (applicable only to bars over
12mm). The backing strip should be tack welded to the bar on the inside.

Figure 5.17 Full penetration butt weld with permanent backing strip.

Lap joints join two bars together by staggering the ends and then welding
them together and can be used for both load and non-load bearing joints.
For load bearing joints a double sided weld is also possible with a minimum
weld length of 2.5d. The weld dimensions given in Figure 18 are valid for
load bearing joints. The minimum throat thickness, a, should be ≥ 0.3d.

≥4d ≥2d ≥4d

Figure 5.18 Lap joint.

Strap joints use short pieces of reinforcing bar as straps to join two pieces of
bar together. Strapping provides a strong joint so is only necessary for load
bearing joints. It requires no groove preparation unlike a butt joint but
requires extra material (straps) and more welding is required. A double
sided weld is possible with a minimum weld length of 2.5d. Where the
mechanical properties of the strap and bar are equal, the combined area of
the two straps shall be equal to or greater than the cross-sectional area of
the bars to be joined. The minimum throat thickness, a, should be ≥ 0.3d.

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Straps

≥4d ≥2d ≥4d

Figure 5.19 Strap joint.

A variation on the strap joint makes use of a splice plate or angle as a


replacement for the strap bars.

The cross or cruciform joint is used when two bars are joined perpendicular
to each other, one on top of the other and are suitable for both load and
non-load bearing joints. Non-load bearing joints are usually single sided but
for load bearing joints double sided welds should be used when possible. To
avoid cracks the minimum throat thickness, a, should be ≥ 0.3dmin and the
length of the weld, l, should be ≥ 0.5dmin. If more than one transverse bar is
used on the same side of the longitudinal bar, the spacing of the transverse
bars should be at least three times the nominal diameter of the transverse
bar. When welding bars of different diameters, dmin/dmax should be ≥ 0.4.

Figure 5.20 Cross joint - single sided weld.

5.10 Joints between reinforcing bar and other steel components


For load bearing functions, steel reinforcing bars are often joined to other
steel components in a structure such as plates or sections. The type of joint
used includes side lap weld and transverse end plate. Specifications of
these joints can be found in the relevant standard.

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Table 5.3 Common range of bar diameters for non-load bearing welded joints
depending on the welding process.
Welding
Type of joint Bar diameters, mm
process
21
Cross joint 4-20
23
24 5-50
Butt joint
25 5-25
Butt joint 6-50
42
Joint to other steel component 6-50
47 Butt joint 6 to 50
Butt joint without backing ≥16
Butt joint with permanent
111 ≥12
backing
114 Lap joint 6 to 32
135 Strap joint 6 to 50
136 Cross joint 6 to 50
Joint to other steel component 6 to 50

5.10.1 Reinforcing bar joint loading


Direct and indirect loading describe the way forces are transmitted across a
joint. To classify the loading the forces in each bar are treated as acting
through the centroid of the cross-section. If the two force lines in a joint
match up then the forces are transmitted directly, ie concentrically.

A butt joint is classed as a direct loading joint as the bars are axially aligned;
lap and strap joints are indirect loading joints as the forces are transmitted
with eccentricity. Eccentric loading causes the joint to flex hence bending
stresses are set up. Attention needs to be paid to the steel-concrete bond
strength at these joints to ensure the concrete does not split when the joint
flexes.

5.10.2 Preheating
Preheating is the process applied to raise the temperature of the parent
steel before welding, used to slow the cooling rate of the weld and the base
material, resulting in softer weld metal and HAZ microstructures with a
greater resistance to fabrication hydrogen cracking. The slower cooling rate
encourages hydrogen diffusion from the weld area by extending the time
over which the temperature is elevated to where hydrogen diffusion rates
are significantly higher than at ambient temperature. The reduction in
hydrogen reduces the risk of cracking.

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The minimum preheat temperatures for reinforcing steel welded joints are
dependent on the type of joint, the carbon equivalent value of the steel, the
diameter of the bar or combined diameter of the joint, the hydrogen content
of the weld metal and for some joints the arc energy. The following data is
taken from BS 7123:1989.

Table 5.4 Minimum preheat temperatures for butt and cross joints.
Nominal bar size, mm
Carbon
equivalent, % ≤ 25 > 25-40 > 40
Non- Non- Non-
Hydrogen Hydrogen Hydrogen
hydrogen hydrogen hydrogen
controlled controlled controlled
controlled controlled controlled
consumable consumable consumable
consumable consumable consumable
0.42 or less 0°C 50°C 0°C 75°C 50°C 100°C
> 0.42 to 0.51 50°C 100°C 75°C * 100°C *
* Hydrogen controlled consumables to be used

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5.11 Standards and specifications


BS EN ISO 17660: Welding - Welding of reinforcing steel.

AWS D1.4: Structural Welding Code - Reinforcing Steel.

Eurocode 2: ‘Design of Concrete Structures’.

BS EN 10080: ‘Steel for the reinforcement of concrete - Weldable


reinforcing steel – General’.

BS 4449: ‘Steel for the reinforcement of concrete - Weldable reinforcing


steel - Bar, coil and decoiled product – Specification’.

BS 7123: ‘Metal arc welding of steel for concrete reinforcement’.

AWS D1.1: ‘Structural Welding Code’

BS 5950: ‘Structural use of steelwork in building’

BS 8118: ‘Structural use of aluminium’

Eurocode 3 (BS EN 1993): ‘Design of steel structures’

Eurocode 9 (BS EN 1999): ‘Design of aluminium structures’

BS 7608: ‘Code of practice for fatigue design and assessment of steel


structures’

BS 7910: ‘Guide to methods for assessing the acceptability of flaws in


metallic structures’

BS EN 22553: ‘Welded brazed and soldered joints. Symbolic representation


on drawings’

5.12 Summary
At the end of this section you should be able to calculate the static stress in
beams under axial loading, bending moments and torsion. You are expected
to explain the way that reinforcing steel bars improve the load bearing ability
of concrete and give joint designs for welding reinforcing bars together.

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Revision questions
1 What formula do you use to calculate the second moment of area for a
rectangular section beam?

2 What is the section modulus?

3 Show designs with improved section modulus compared to solid round or square
bars.

4 Why are reinforcing bars used in concrete beams and structures?

5 What precautions are needed when welding reinforcing bars?

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Section 6

Design of Pressure Equipment


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Design of Pressure Equipment
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6 Design of Pressure Equipment


Pressure vessels often contain a combination of high pressures together
with high temperatures and in some cases flammable fluids and highly
radioactive materials. Because of such hazards it is imperative that the
design be such that no leakage can occur. In addition, the failure of a
pressure vessel has a potential to cause extensive physical injury and
property damage. Plant safety and integrity are of fundamental concern in
pressure vessel design and these of course depend on the adequacy of the
design codes.

The main standards for the design construction of boilers and pressure
vessels in the UK and in Europe are PD 5500 and the BS EN 13445 series.
BS EN 13445 is harmonised with the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED),
so that compliance with BS EN 13445 can be used to demonstrate
compliance with the PED. In other parts of the world, the ASME Boiler and
Pressure Vessel Code (ASME= American Society of Mechanical Engineers)
is most widely used. These design codes specify maximum allowable
stress, the minimum design temperature (MDT) and list permitted materials,
mechanical properties and design features that can be used in the design of
pressure vessels. These are all to ensure that the pressure vessel designs
conservatively meet the service requirements and ensure the safety of the
vessel over its lifetime.

A range of materials are available to use in the construction of pressure


vessels depending on the service pressure, service temperature and the
fluid being contained. Generally, the base requirements for a material to be
used in a pressure vessel are good mechanical properties (particularly
strength and toughness) and adequate corrosion resistance for the purpose.
The majority of vessels are made from steel. The corrosion resistance is
inherent in the shell material for thin-walled pressure vessels which may be
made from stainless steel, aluminium or polymer, or it could be in the form
of an internal cladding or liner made from ceramic, corrosion-resistant alloy
or polymer. Some pressure vessels are even made from composite
materials, such as wound Kevlar or carbon fibre held in place with a
polymer. These are used for firefighter’s breathing tanks. Pressure vessels
can be lined with a variety of materials such as polymers, ceramics and
other metals in order to improve corrosion resistance or to help carry a
portion of the applied load. The relevant standard will contain a list of all the
approved materials which can be used.

6.1 Pressure vessel components


A simple pressure vessel comprises of the following parts:

Shell(s)
Main body of the vessel, it is most often cylindrical but some pressure
vessels might use conical or spherical shells.

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Heads
A head is present at each end to complete the basic shape and produce a
closed container. They are most often dished but can also be flat.

Nozzles
A number of openings for filling, inspection or drainage.

Saddle supports
Saddle supports hold the pressure vessel in place.

Nameplate
Nameplates indicate the main working parameters of the pressure vessel
including work pressure and temperature. Details also included may be the
manufacturing company, year of manufacture, the relevant code according
which the pressure vessel has been designed and manufactured and the
inspection body stamp.

Figure 6.1 Cylindrical pressure vessels.

6.2 Design-by-rule and design-by-analysis


Virtually all national pressure vessel design codes are based on the concept
of design-by-rule (also called design-by-formula in EN 13445). Basically, this
involves the use of relatively simple equations to determine the required
thicknesses of the components of a pressure vessel based on a
standardised design stress. Such equations have become more and more
complicated with time due to the use of computers. The rules also
incorporate various specific requirements and limitations. The rules are
usually based on experience.

The main advantages of the design-by-rule approach are simplicity and


consistency. In theory, if the rules are correctly applied, the results should
be consistent. In practice, however, the rules are sometime open to
interpretation.

The main limitations of the design-by-rule approach become apparent when


dealing with loadings and geometries which are not covered by the
standards. The design-by-analysis approach involves the use of stress
analysis of a component under loading and compares the stresses against

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specific criteria. A similar limit analysis approach determines the load to


cause failure by gross plastic deformation. Safety factors are applied to the
limit loads to give an allowable load that ensures a constant level of safety is
present in all parts of the vessel. The design-by-analysis method is now
incorporated to some extent in several pressure vessel standards, including
EN 13445, PD 5500 and ASME VII-Division 2.

6.3 Details of design


Shell
Cylindrical shells (also called strakes) are usually made up of one or more of
curved plates welded longitudinally (seam welds) to obtain a cylindrical
section. The number of plates used to make a shell depends on the
diameter of the shell itself. The shells are then welded together and welded
to the heads to form the pressure vessel (circumferential welds). According
to the vessel length, one or more shells can be used (Figure 8).
Shell/Strake

Figure 6.2 Schematic representation of a pressure vessel.

The shell of a pressure vessel can range in thickness from only a few
millimetres for an LPG gas bottle to several hundred millimetres for
industrial pressure vessels. The minimum design thickness is dependent on
the shape of vessel, the internal pressure, the diameter of the vessel and
the material strength. A spherical shell requires a much smaller wall
thickness than a cylindrical shell for the same diameter, internal pressure
and construction material. If a pressure vessel is to contain corrosive fluids
there may be an additional corrosion allowance given on the required wall
thickness, although the design stresses are calculated without the corrosion
allowance.

The hoop stress within a pressurised cylinder is twice that of the axial
stress, so there is a higher potential that the failure of a pressure vessel will
occur along the longitudinal welds. In order to prevent cracks propagating
along the entire length of a vessel, longitudinal welds are normally offset. In
the ASME Boiler and Vessel Code, Section VIII, Division 1, vessels made of
two or more strakes shall have the centres of the welded longitudinal joints
of adjacent courses staggered or separated by a distance of at least five
times the thickness of the thicker plate. In PD 5500, the longitudinal seams

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of adjacent courses shall be staggered by four times the thickness of the


plate or 100mm, whichever is greater, measured from the toe of the welds.

6.3.1 Dished heads


Dished heads are produced by pressing or forming a blank in a die using a
former. If the size of this blank is too large to be cut from a single plate, then
it is fabricated by welding a number of petals around a central crown.

Figure 6.3 Schematic of a fabricated dished head.

It is a common practice to subject all these welds to a 100% UT examination


to ensure they are defect free and will carry the required pressure. It must
be noted that a dished head is fabricated out of an odd number of petals in
order to offset the welds and avoid the propagation of a longitudinal defect
from one weld across the entire dished head.

a b c

Figure 6.4 Types dished head; a hemispherical, b semi-elliptical, c torispherical.

Hemispherical dished head


A hemispherical dished head requires the smallest thickness among all
types of dished heads, since the stress in a sphere is half the hoop stress in
a cylinder. However, they are the most difficult to fabricate.

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Semi-elliptical dished head


The required thickness for a semi-elliptical dished head is equal to that of
the cylindrical shell, so there is no need to supply different plate thickness to
manufacture a pressure vessel with semi-elliptical dished heads.
Unfortunately, an ellipse is difficult to generate (the die-former set requires
special machining, usually on a CNC machine with elliptic interpolation
programme).

Torispherical dished head


A torisphere consists of a spherical central portion or crown with a large
radius and a toroidal knuckle of smaller radius. The ratio between the large
and small radii is approximately twelve and the portion with the large radius
is about 95% of the cylinder diameter.

The junction of the torus with a cylinder gives rise to bending stresses., but
torispherical dished heads are often preferred to semi-elliptical ones since
the depth of drawing is less and so they are cheaper to manufacture. Also
the small axial dimension is of advantage when the longitudinal size of the
pressure vessel is a critical factor. However, the thickness required for a
torispherical dished head is larger than the thickness of the corresponding
cylindrical shell.

6.3.2 Dished head-to-shell joints


In order to accommodate heads and shells of different thicknesses, taper
transitions are used, with the gradient of the taper being at least 1 in 4.

The weld preparation used at the shell to head joint can be designed to
account for any misalignment which may occur between the head and the
shell (Figure 6.5a). The simplest of these is a ’K’ bevel as seen in Figure
6.5b).

a b

Figure 6.5 Weld preparations to accommodate misalignment.

The main advantage of this type of preparation is that only one side of the
joint needs to be machined to a specific geometry. The disadvantage
however is that access to both the internal and external surfaces is required
in order to complete the weld. Also, the misalignment can cause local
bending stresses in the shell. Alternative joint designs suitable for single-
sided access for shells to heads welds are shown in Figure 6.6.

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a b

Figure 6.6 Alternative self-jigging single-sided access joint designs for shell to
head welds.

Both these designs shown in Figure 6.6 have the advantage of requiring no
jigs during fit-up since both are self-jigging. They both also allow for use of
high heat input welding processes to deposit the weld root as backing is
provided, require access from one side only and have no danger of burn
through. The disadvantages of such weld preparations are that they are
difficult to inspect and have poor resistance to fatigue. In addition, Figure
6.6a) results in a high level of residual stresses and is hard to apply to thin
walled components. Figure 6.6b) on the other hand can only be applied to
thin walled components.

6.4 Nozzle design


Nozzles are used to connect pressure vessels to other components (eg
pressure piping), as well as providing access for inspection and sampling.
The presence of the nozzle results in a hole being drilled through the shell
and thus the designer needs to consider whether it is necessary to
compensate for the loss in strength in the design. The two types of nozzle
that are used in pressure vessel manufacturing are set-on nozzles and set-
through nozzles. Each nozzle design is characterised by its own set of
advantages and disadvantages.

Figure 6.7 Set–on nozzle.

Set-on nozzles have the benefits of being cheaper to forge since they are
shorter, requiring less weld metal leading to less distortion; groove
preparation is easy and can be used with full or partial penetration welds.
Disadvantages of set-on nozzles however include the limitation for access
from one side only and welding in the 2G/2B position and thus requirement
for a skilled welder. With set-on nozzles, the through thickness stress from
welding can lead to lamellar tearing and it can be difficult to apply UT on

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small diameters. Set-on nozzles are generally used when the nozzle
diameter is small (typically under two inches) and/or when the vessel has a
large diameter or thick wall. When using set-on nozzles, it is often
necessary to use compensating plates or other reinforcement.

Figure 6.8 Set–through nozzle.

Set-through nozzles on the other hand can be welded in the 1G/PA


positions thus having potential for less defects and the groove preparation
can be flame cut cheaply. There is no danger of lamellar tearing and easy
access to back side of root allows full penetration to be achieved more
easily and provides access for easier inspection, although it can be hard to
UT smaller diameter nozzles. The disadvantages of set-through nozzle are
the requirement for the nozzle body to be longer, meaning a greater weld
volume and potentially larger weld distortion. Smaller diameter set-through
nozzles generally do not require reinforcement. Set-through nozzles are the
preferred design especially for larger diameter nozzles or for thinner walled
or smaller diameter pressure vessels.

It is often difficult to weld a very small diameter nozzle to a shell effectively


and obtaining full penetration. In this case a solid round bar is welded to the
shell and then drilled through to produce the opening (Figure 6.9).

Figure 6.9 Drilled out round bar to aid penetration of small diameter nozzles.

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6.5 Reinforcement or compensation


A hole or opening in the shell of a pressure vessel for nozzles can have a
detrimental effect on the structural integrity of the shell, due to the stress
concentration effect of the hole. In order to compensate for this local
reduction in strength, reinforcement is used. The required thickness of the
shell is a function of the operating stresses, so if the shell experiences
higher stress in a region due to stress concentration the shell thickness
needs to be greater in this region to withstand the stresses.

Reinforcement can be used either on the shell, on the nozzle or both. Figure
6.10 shows two types of reinforcement.

A b

Figure 6.10 Nozzle reinforced by a) compensating ring and b) extended nozzle


neck.

The approach to determining the amount of reinforcement required is shown


below.

Parent metal.

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Hole drilled.

Compensation around the nozzle.

Figure 6.11 Illustration of the increase in thickness needed to accommodate the


loss of strength around a nozzle hole.

6.6 Flanges
Flanges connected to the nozzles attach other pieces of plant to the
pressure vessel via a network of piping. The flange faces are held together
using bolts, which enables them to be disconnected and reconnected when
needed. A gasket, made of softer material sits between the flange faces and
deforms under load to produce a tight seal in the joint.

Most flanges are designed to a particular code (such as ASME B31.3) and
will have standard dimensions and a given pressure rating. This is to utilise
their interchageability and flexibility to attach to other pieces of pipework and
equipment.

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Figure 6.12 Flanges, showing the design principle and a flange attached to a
pressure vessel nozzle.

6.7 Corrosion allowance


Corrosion occurring over the life of a vessel is catered for by a corrosion
allowance on the design wall thickness. The design value of corrosion
allowance depends upon the vessel duty and the corrosiveness of its
contents. As an example, a design criterion of 1mm corrosion allowance is
typical for air receivers in which condensation of air moisture is expected.
Most vessel codes use the principle that, when dimensions in any formula
refer to a corrodible surface, then the thickness dimensions inserted into the
stress calculation formula are those at the end of the vessel life, ie when all
the corrosion allowance has been used up.

6.8 Weld joint efficiency


Most vessel codes assume that welded joints are not as strong as the
parent material, unless they are exhaustively inspected during manufacture
and repaired if defects are found. This strength reduction is characterised by
the welded joint efficiency.

The welded joint efficiency is defined as the ratio of joint strength to parent
material strength. It varies from 100%-45% according to the standard and to
the level to which the integrity is assured, such as the extent of NDT
(whether 100%, spot inspection or none), joint design (whether full
penetration, using backing bar, lap joint, etc). The efficiency factor is often
applied to the design stress to reduce the level to which the welded joints
will be loaded if there is any uncertainty in their integrity. The weld joint
efficiency factors employed by certain pressure vessel codes are given
below.

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Weld and/or Level of


Code Weld efficiency factor
inspection
EN 13445 100% NDT 100%
No NDT 70%
Full penetrated butt-joint, full
100%
RT
ASME VII Div 1
Butt joint with backing strip, full
90%
RT
Single full filet lap joint, no RT 50%
PD 5500 not applied

6.9 Pressure stresses


The main loading which most pressure equipment will be subject to is
internal pressure. Some simple equations for the calculation of the resulting
generated stresses are given in the following sections. The equations given
by standards such as EN 13445, PD 5500 and ASME VIII are derived from
those given below and take into consideration design stresses (also called
nominal design stress or allowable stress in different standards) and weld
joint efficiency.

When a closed ended cylinder is subjected to internal pressure, the


tendency of the process fluid to expand in both the radial and axial
directions in the cylinder generates stress in the shell in both circumferential
and axial directions. These two stress components are called hoop stress
and axial stress, respectively. They are the two major stress components
that need to be considered in pressure vessel design, as they represent the
main driving force for the propagation of longitudinal defects in a seam weld
(ie defect parallel to the cylinder axis) or in a circumferential weld (ie defect
transverse to the cylinder axis), respectively.

6.9.1 Hoop stress


To calculate the hoop stress, a section of the cylinder is cut across a
diameter and the force due to internal pressure acting radially outwards (Fy)
must be in equilibrium with the Force at the cross section F’y due to hoop
stress, σy.

Figure 6.13 Equilibrium section of cylinder.

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Considering a section of length, L, the total vertical force due to the internal
pressure acting on half the cylinder Fy equal to:

Fy'  2 P r L [6-1]

The internal force in the vessel wall needed to balance this force for
equilibrium, F’y, which is supplied by the resulting hoop stress, is equal to:

Fx'  2 L t  y [6-2]

Thus we can set these to forces equal to one another to find a value for the
hoop stress σy.
2
L
t

2
P
r
L

 
y

[6-3]

Therefore, the hoop stress is given by:


P t
r

 
y

. [6-4]

This is also the same as the membrane stress in a spherical pressure


vessel.

6.9.2 Axial stress


The section of a thin walled cylinder shown in Figure 6.14 is in axial
equilibrium simply due to the balance of the axial force and the axial stress
established within the material.

Figure 6.14 Equilibrium section of cylinder.

The axial force exerted on the shell, Fx, as a results of the internal pressure,
p, can be calculated by the following equation.

Fx  p  π r 2 [6-5]

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where r is the radius of the pressure vessel. The cross sectional area of the
vessel shell wall, A, is approximately equal to:

A  2  r t [6-6]

Thus the resulting opposing axial force within the shell, F’x, as a result of the
axial stress, x, is equal to:

F' x   x  2  r t [6-7]

Where t is the thickness of the cylindrical shell. Since the section is in


equilibrium, the two axial forces equal to one another and thus the axial
stress, σx, can be evaluated in a pressurised cylinder by equating Equation
[6-5] with Equation [6-7], which leads to:

 x  2rt  P  r 2 [6-8]

The axial stress in a cylinder is therefore given by:

Pr
x  [6-9]
2t

6.9.3 Stress in a thin-walled sphere


The stress in a spherical dished head can be found by considering a
sectional hemisphere across any diameter and considering the equilibrium
forces as before. Assume the sphere has a radius, r, a wall thickness, t and
is under a pressure, p.

Figure 6.15 Hemispherical section of equilibrium dished head.

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The force F acting over the cross section due to the internal pressure is
equal to:

F  p  r 2 , [6-10]

The cross sectional area A of the vessel wall is equal to the circumference
multiplied by the wall thickness:

A  2  r t , [6-11]

And the reaction force due to the internal membrane stress  is equal to:

F  2  r t . [6-12]

Setting these two forces equal to one another allows us to evaluate the
stress resulting from the internal pressure p:

2  r t   p  r 2 [6-13]

The axial stress in a spheroidal pressure vessel is therefore given by:

pr
 . [6-14]
2t

A sphere thus provides ideal closure to a cylinder since the stresses are
less than those in other shapes which would have an associated hoop
stress. In practice however, the high degree of mechanical forming
necessary together with the necessity to change the set of die-former for
each different diameter makes it impractical except for very high-pressure
vessels.

6.10 Vacuum and external pressure loading


The majority of pressure vessels are subject to internal pressure. However,
it is important to understand what is specifically meant by the terms
pressure and vacuum for vessels which are not internally pressurised: A
vessel is subject to external pressure when the pressure acting on the
outside surface exceeds the pressure acting on the inside surface.

A vacuum condition is a specific case where the external pressure is normal


atmospheric pressure and the internal pressure is less than atmospheric
pressure. Examples include vessels for subsea operation, jacketed vessels
and the tubes in heat exchangers.

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The problems associated with the design of vessels subject to external


pressure are quite different from those arising from internal pressure design.
The main failure mode for vessels subject to external pressure or vacuum is
buckling. These vessels are generally thicker than vessels subject to
internal pressure and may incorporate stiffeners inside the vessel. Shape
imperfections are also much more important as they tend to increase under
external pressure loading. Therefore, acceptance criteria on ovality are
much tighter. In addition, internal stiffeners are used and a minimum safety
factor of 1.5 is applied.

6.11 Types of pressure vessels

Figure 6.16 Pressure vessels in an oil refinery.

Pressure vessels are widely used in various industry sectors such as Oil
and Gas, Petrochemical, Power Generation, etc. Generally speaking, a
pressure vessel is a container designed to hold liquids or gases and store
them at a different pressure to that surrounding the structure without
changing volume.

Fired pressure vessels are vessels that include power boilers and other
vessels that are designed to accept heat. This category of component would
include coal/gas and oil fired boilers as well as boilers that are heated by a
waste heat gas stream or a hot oil system. Electrically heated steam
generators are also considered to be fired. Steam boilers are used to
generate steam by boiling water; often the steam is required for
petrochemical process plant.

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Figure 6.17 Piping and pressure vessel columns in a chemical plant.

Fractional distillation columns are used to separate crude oil into its
many components and can be as tall as 60 meters or more. The heating
within the vessels is incremental, operating at about 400°C at the bottom,
decreasing the as you move up the vessel. This means that the weight of
the vessel rests upon the area most susceptible to creep, hence making it
prone to deformation. This is exacerbated by the pressure exerted by the
vessels contents. In order to provide the best resistance to creep possible,
the vessels are usually made from high strength, low alloy steel such as Cr-
Mo steel.

Pressure vessels for high temperature application are normally operated at


temperatures up to approximately 600°C (and beyond in specific cases).
Other examples of high temperature pressure vessels are nuclear
reactors, steam headers and boilers.

Figure 6.18 Nuclear reactor.

Unfired pressure vessels are not in direct contact with a heating flame.
These would include equipment such as pressurized tanks storing air,
nitrogen ammonia or natural gas.

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Figure 6.19 Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) storage tank.

Double walled pressure vessels consist of an outer envelope containing a


pressurised inner container. These are usually required for insulation
purposes and applications include dewar vessels and cryogenic storage
tanks.

Separator vessels used on offshore stations which have a minimum design


temperature of -50°C are an example of low temperature service
applications, which operates at temperatures below ambient, but not below -
75°C. Below -75°C the operation is usually classed as cryogenic. Other low
temperature applications nearer to home are aerosol canisters, fire
extinguishers and gas bottles.

For cryogenic applications, special construction materials must be used, as


many carbon steel materials become brittle at temperatures below -30°C.
Generally, carbon and carbon-manganese grades are applicable down to
approximately -45°C. These often have deliberate alloy additions and/or
heat treatments to enhance fracture toughness at low service temperatures.
In addition, fine grained melting practice improves low temperature service.
For minimum service temperatures under -45°C, it is more common to
select Ni-alloyed steels. Typically, 1.5% Ni steels are used down to -60°, 3%
Ni steels down to approximately 100°C whilst 9% Ni steels can be used at -
196°C, ie the temperature of liquid nitrogen. Sometimes stainless steel and
aluminium are used as alternative materials for cryogenic pressure vessels.

Reasons for failure in pressure vessels


The possible reasons why failures may occur in pressure vessels can be
dived into four categories. In reality it can be a combination of one or more
reasons for a failure to occur.

Materials
Improper selection of materials for given service loading and temperature
may result in overload or fracture. If there are defects in the materials such
as inclusions, these could cause lamellar tearing after welding.

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Design
Incorrect design data or inaccurate or incorrect design methods will not
result in the correct design to meet the required service conditions. This may
not have been identified in time is there was inadequate shop testing.

Fabrication
Poor quality control during fabrication, or improper or insufficient welder and
welding procedure qualification can result in defective welds being present,
giving a risk of fatigue, or fracture. Inadequate post weld heat treatment can
leave high residual stresses or excessive hardness in the welds. If forming
methods are inadequate, then the fit-up during welding can be poor and
additional defects, distortion or bending stresses can result.

Service
It can be common for failures to occur as a result of a change of service
condition by the user without proper revalidation. Inexperience operations
and maintenance personnel can mean that safety devices can be
overlooked and failures be more likely. Sometimes the upset conditions
during operation exceed those anticipated during design, which can cause
failures.

A classic example of a pressure vessel failure is the John Thomposn


pressure vessel which failed during hydrotest in the winter of 1965. Brittle
fracture initiated from small hydrogen cracks in the HAZ of the shell to
flange weld. The cause was poor toughness in the higher alloy flange steel
and residual stresses due to inadequate post weld heat treatment. The
failure could have been avoided by using better control during welding to
avoid hydrogen cracks occurring and better control during post weld heat
treatment to ensure all of the material had reached the required
temperature.

Figure 6.20 The John Thompson pressure vessel after failure during hydrotest.

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6.12 Codes and standards


Most of the international pressure vessel codes have been developed to the
point where there is a high degree of technical similarity between them.
Code areas such as vessel classes, design criteria and requirements for
independent inspection are based on similar guiding principles. The main
standards in use for pressure vessels are listed below and the design
principles of some of them are summarised below.

BS EN 13445 (2009): Specification for unfired fusion welded pressure


vessels, BSI London.

BS PD 5500 (2009): Specification for unfired fusion welded pressure


vessels, BSI London.

ASME (2007): Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII.

The basic premise behind a pressure vessel code is that equipment should
meet its requirements in all respects, ie full code compliance. This is not
always strictly adhered to, with the result that some equipment may be
specified as being code intent. This means it may comply with the code in
some areas, eg design stresses, but not in others, such as the requirements
for NDT and defect acceptance criteria. Equipment built to such code intent
cannot be officially code stamped though.

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6.12.1 EN 13445
Latest Edition 2009
Design covered by Part 3
Corrosion There is some clear guidance, including a minimum corrosion
allowance of 1mm (Section 5)
Design methods Design-by-rule (Section5)
Design-by-analysis (Annexes B and C)
Experimental techniques (very little guidance)
Weld joint coefficient Depend on the extent of NDE, similar to ASME VIII Div 1
Notes EN 13445 was developed as a harmonised standard for use
with the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) and is intended
to cover the essential safety requirements (ESRs) of the PED.
Use of this standard is not mandatory in the PED, but vessels,
designed, manufactured and tested in accordance with this
standard have an automatic presumption of conformity with
the ESRs of the PED.

6.12.2 PD 5500
Latest Edition 2009
Design covered by Section 3
Construction categories Three construction categories (Section 3.4)
Joint efficiencies -
Joint types Type A and B with different NDT requirements (Section 5.6.4)
Design features Figures E.1 to E.6 show typical (rather than mandatory) weld
details
Notes The technical content claims to satisfy the essential safety
requirements of the PED

6.12.3 ASME VIII


Latest Edition 2007
Design covered by Div 1 (most vessels) and Div 2
Construction Div 2 is for specialised vessels
categories
Joint efficiencies UW-12
Joint types Part UW-3 defines category A, B, C, D welded joints, which have
different NDT requirements
Design features Figures UW-13.1, 13.2 and 16.1 show typical acceptable (and
some unacceptable) welded joints
Design pressure UG-19, UG-21
Design temperature UG-19, UG-20
Notes Div 1 coves normal vessels, Div 2 covers alternative rules for
pressure vessel and is used for various types of special
applications, including nuclear.

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6.13 References
The following references are recommended for further reading:

A L Kholan, Pressure Vessel Systems

C Matthews, Engineers Guide to Pressure Equipment

S Earland at alk, Guide to European Presure Equipment

6.14 Summary
At the end of this module you should be confident to explain the design of
different weld details for welding pressure vessels and describe their
particular advantages. You should be able to interpret different pressure
vessel codes and calculate axial and hoop stresses in a cylindrical pressure
vessel. You should be able to design structural details such as nozzles,
dished heads or flanges for a pressure vessel and explain the advantages of
your chosen design.

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Revision Question
1 You are designing a 3 metre diameter cylindrical pressure vessel which will be
supported horizontally. The vessel requires a manway access as well as
connections to 2inch diameter pipework for both the incoming and outflowing
process fluids. The vessel shell is made from 30mm thick steel plate. Sketch your
pressure vessel, showing the structural details and the weld joint preparations
you intend to use, explaining the reasons for your choices.

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Section 7

Advanced Fatigue – Part 2


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7 Advanced Fatigue - Part 2


7.1 Introduction
In Part 1 of this session on fatigue, we covered the practical issued of
fatigue. In this second part, we take a close look at the theory behind fatigue
assessment. Fatigue occurs by the steady, progressive growth of a crack
through a cyclically loaded member and at right angles to the direction of
applied stress. Typical fatigue cyclic loading is shown in Figure 1. Fatigue
design using S-N curves acknowledges this, but does not provide any
information whatsoever about the crack growth process. This session will
cover construction of S-N curves for parent metals and welds and also
describe the rate of crack extension per cycle in fracture mechanics terms. It
will also show techniques for calculating how many cycles are required to
cause a fatigue crack to extend by a given amount and how to count real-life
fatigue cycles using the rain flow method.

Figure 7.1 Cyclic stress cycle, showing terms and definitions.

7.2 S-N curves


If applied stress range, σ, is plotted against number of applications of load
required for failure (N) we obtain the S-N curve (Figure 7.2). Increasing the
stress for a given number of cycles, or increasing the number of cycles at a
fixed stress range plots a point above the S-N curve, which predicts fatigue
failure (Figure 7.3). There is a stress range below which fatigue will not
occur, called the endurance limit. Typical S-N curves are plotted on
logarithmic scales, which give a linear relationship in the high cycle regime
(Figure 4). S-N curves are based on statistical analysis of fatigue test data
obtained from tests on welded joints, to produce the best fit mean S-N curve
by the method of least squares. A straight line relationship between log S
and log N was assumed, where S = stress range and N = fatigue life. The
resulting curves have the form S m N = A, where m is the slope and A is a
constant. The final design curves are set below the mean S-N curves,
usually two standard deviations of log N to give approximately 97.5%
probability of survival.

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Figure 7.2 An S-N curve plotted on normal axes.

Figure 7.3 Effect of higher stress or larger number of cycles on the predicted
fatigue failure (above the S-N curve).

Figure 7.4 S-N curve plotted on logarithmic axes, showing a linear relation in the
high cycle regime.

The position of the S-N curve is affected by stress concentrations and other
features. A simple notch will reduce the S-N curve (Figure 7.5). Welded
structures have intrinsic sharp stress concentrations at the intrusions at weld
toes and show much lower fatigue resistance than plain or notched material
(Figure 7.6). Welded structures effectively do not have any initiation period
for fatigue and will propagate fatigue from the weld toes if exposed to

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susceptible loading conditions. For components which are subjected to


fluctuating loading in service, the avoidance of fatigue is likely to be the
factor which limits the design stresses. This is particularly true for welded
components where their fatigue strengths can be much less than those of
unwelded components.

Figure 7.5 The effect of a notch on the fatigue S-N curve.

Figure 7.6 The effect of welding on reducing the S-N curve.

One of the most serious consequences of the fact that the fatigue lives of
welded joints are dominated by crack growth concerns the influence of
material strength. Although the fatigue strength of un-notched material
usually increases with tensile strength, the level of increase decreases if the
material contains a notch until there is no increase at all for welded material
(Figure 7.7). This is because rate of fatigue crack growth is not dependent
on material strength and hence welded low and high strength materials give
the same fatigue life. The benefit of material strength comes in the crack
initiation stage, which is effectively absent in the welded material. For a
structure under fatigue loading, using higher strength material, whereby a
thinner section can be used under higher stress, is a real mistake. Not only
does the higher stress level result in fewer cycles to failure, the thinner

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section takes less time to fatigue crack though. A thicker member under
lower stress will have a better fatigue life.

Figure 7.7 The change in S-N curve with steel strength for parent material,
notched metal and welds.

7.3 Fracture mechanics approach to fatigue


When trying to determine the rate that a fatigue crack will grow under
applied cyclic stress conditions, it is necessary to use a fracture mechanics
approach, to understand the behaviour of the fatigue crack in the structure.
Fracture mechanics is concerned with cracks and how they behave under
load. In the context of fatigue, fracture mechanics is used mainly to describe
the rate at which a crack will grow under repeated loading and for
determining the extent of fatigue cracking which can be tolerated before
failure occurs. For a crack of length a loaded under a static stress , the
stress intensity factor K is given by:
K
Y

  

Where Y is a geometric term.

Figure 7.8 Stress distribution close to a crack tip.

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K defines the magnitude of the crack tip singularity (stresses near tip are
proportional to 1/√r and K) and it defines the crack tip conditions under
linear elastic conditions: if K is known, stresses, strains and displacements
can be determined. If a material fails locally at some critical combination of
stresses and strains, this corresponds to a critical value of K, which is a
measure of fracture toughness.

Fracture mechanics principles are applicable to fatigue when a crack or a


crack-like flaw is present eg fatigue cracks, small inherent crack-like flaws at
the toes of welds, or planar flaws eg lack of fusion, incomplete penetrations,
hydrogen cracking. For cyclic loading where the stress range is , the
stress intensity factor range is given by K
K
Y

   

The stress intensity factor varies with time in the same way that the stress
varies with time, Figure 7.9.

Figure 7.9 Variation of stress intensity factor with time.

A graph is then drawn of rate of crack extension per cycle (da/dN) as a


function of K, Figure 7.10. The stress intensity factor range, K is Kmax –
Kmin. The stress ratio, R is Kmin/Kmax.

Fracture
Relationship between
da/dN and K
increasing R
determined
experimentally
Log (da/dN)

m
da
1 Paris law : = A (K)m
dN

increasing R

threshold, Ko Log (K)

Figure 7.10 Relationship between crack extension per cycle and stress intensity
factor ranges.

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When drawn on logarithmic axes, there is a linear relationship between


crack extension per cycle and the stress intensity factor range, over a wide
interval of stress intensity. This relationship can be expressed as:
d d
a N
A
K
m
  

Where A and m are material constants. This is known as the Paris equation.
There is no influence of mean stress on crack growth rate in this central
region.

At low values of K, the rate of crack extension per cycle reduces rapidly
and effectively becomes zero. There is therefore a threshold stress intensity
factor range (K0) below which fatigue crack growth does not occur. This
threshold occurs at lower values of K as the mean stress is increased.

The Paris equation can be used to establish the rate at which a crack of a
given length will grow when subjected to a specific stress range. Simple
mathematical techniques based on integrating the Paris equation are
available to determine the number of cycles required for a crack to grow
from a given size to a greater limiting size. This approach forms the basis for
fitness-for-purpose assessment of cracks or planar weld flaws subjected to
fatigue loading.

The basis of fatigue life calculations by fracture mechanics is integration of


the crack growth law. This leads to the S-N curve for the flawed component
under consideration, as a function of initial flaw and final crack sizes (ai and
af), geometry (Y) and material (A and m).

For a given situation, all the terms on the left hand side of the equation are
approximately constant, so that the integration predicts a linear S-N curve of
the form ∆σmN = constant, where the slope m is the same as that in the
Paris law. This partly explains why most of the S-N curves for welded joints
are parallel with a slope corresponding to m = 3, the value which most
fatigue crack growth data approximately conform to.

The flexibility of the fracture mechanics approach is such that any of the four
main variables, ai, amax, ∆s and N can be calculated if the other three are
known. For example, if N is unknown it is possible to calculate the life of a
known flaw under specified loading or inspection periods based on
detectable crack amax. If flaw size ai is unknown you can estimate the
tolerable flaw size to satisfy the required S-N curve; if amax is unknown you
can estimate the required toughness to avoid unstable fracture from fatigue

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cracking; and finally if ∆s unknown it’s possible to calculate the allowable


stress for known life and flaw size.

In most metals, fatigue crack propagation progresses in regular steps to


produce striations on the fracture surface (as shown for an aluminium alloy
in Figure 7.11a). In such cases, da/dN depends mainly on K. However, this
striation formation mechanism may be accompanied by other fracture
mechanisms in some microstructures. Figure 7.11b shows intergranular
fracture in a hard HAZ in steel. Similarly, striations may be accompanied by
cleavage or microvoid coalescence. In such cases, da/dN is higher and it is
also dependant on Kmax; the threshold value of K may also be reduced. In
general, microstructures which give rise to these static failure modes are
rare.

a b

Figure 7.11 Fatigue fractures as seen under the scanning electron microscope; a
fatigue striations in an aluminium alloy; b intergranular fracture in a hard HAZ in
steel.

a b

Figure 7.12 Experimental validation of fracture mechanics fatigue calculations.

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Limited experimental results are available to validate the fracture mechanics


approach to fatigue life prediction. Figure 7.12a shows an example for an
aluminium alloy plate with a fillet welded attachment. The actual progress of
the weld toe fatigue crack was determined from beach marks on the fracture
surface after the test and the prediction made use of crack growth data
obtained from the actual alloy.

Less precision must be expected when use is made of the recommended


material properties in BS 7910. Figure 7.12b refers to fatigue life predictions
for fillet weld toe cracks in steel which have propagated from either
hydrogen cracks or small fatigue cracks of known dimensions. As will be
seen, use of the crack growth law for steel recommended in PD6493 (the
forerunner to BS 7910) seriously underestimated the fatigue lives of the
flawed welded joints. This reflects the fact that the recommended laws are
based on upper-bounds to published crack growth data, for safety. In
contrast, use of a crack growth law obtained by testing the actual steel from
which the welded joints were made results in much more accurate estimates
of fatigue life.

Clearly, if it is expected that a new structure will require some evaluation of


the significance of welding flaws or fatigue cracks in service, it is prudent to
reserve some material to establish the actual fatigue crack growth
characteristics.

Figure 7.13 Fatigue crack growth laws in BS 7910.

The graphs in Figure 7.13 summarise the mean + 2SD 2-stage crack growth
laws recommended in BS 7910, all for R ≥ 0.5. Other curves are provided
for R < 0.5. In addition, conservative single Paris laws are provided for
convenience. Special attention is paid to environmental influences and the

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recommendations cover marine corrosion with and without cathodic


protection (as shown) and fatigue crack growth at elevated temperature.
Although the main focus of attention is steel, guidance is also given on
fatigue crack growth in other metals.

Free corrosion produces around 3-fold increase in da/dN compared with air;
use of cathodic protection (correct or over-protection) restores in-air
behaviour up to K = 144 N/mm3/2 (315 N/mm3/2 for R < 0.5), but da/dN
increases at higher values. Cathodic over-protection (-1100 mV) is
particularly detrimental at high K and K max due to the generation of
hydrogen. The majority of the raw data were generated to reproduce North
Sea conditions, approx. 6-10oC and a cycling frequency of 1/6 Hz. Crack
growth rates could be higher at higher temperatures and lower frequencies
and vice versa.

7.4 Variable amplitude loading


Real structures in service do not experience the kind of constant amplitude
stress cycling that is shown in Figure 7.1, they may experience a continually
fluctuating variable amplitude stress history, more similar to that shown in
Figure 7.14. Variable amplitude stresses in a structure can arise because
the loads to which the structure is subjected vary, or due to the fact that the
structure is subjected to several different forms of loading and/or loading in
different planes. For example a bridge may experience traffic which includes
trucks of various sizes, buses and small cars all resulting in different loads.
Offshore structures are subjected to a wide range of waves and wave
heights with wind of different intensities and from different directions
resulting in a variable loading spectrum. Figure 7.14 presents strain gauge
records from two different structures subjected to variable amplitude
loading.

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Figure 7.14 Variable amplitude stress loading.

7.5 Cycle counting


A stress distribution such as this needs to be separated into blocks of cycles
with the same amplitude in order for its damaging effect with respect to
fatigue to be calculated. The process of defining the service stress spectrum
involves establishing the service load history (eg as specified, measured,
estimated, etc), calculating corresponding stresses (eg by FEA, direct
measurement, etc) and then converting the stress sequence to blocks of
identifiable stress range cycles using a cycle counting method (Figure 7.15).

Figure 7.15 Objective of cycle counting to convert a variable amplitude stress cycle
into blocks of common stress range.

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For variable amplitude loading it is not straightforward to decide what


constitutes a cycle. Figure 7.16 shows a constant and a variable loading
sequence. For the constant amplitude sequence there are two cycles
ABCDE (cycle one) and EFGHI (cycle two). For the variable amplitude there
are a number of options:

 ABCDEFGHI (cycle one), IJKLM (cycle two), MNOPQRS (cycle three).


 ABCD (cycle one), DEFGH (cycle two), HIJKLM (cycle three), MNOP
(cycle four), PQRS (cycle five).

Figure 7.16 Sections of constant and variable amplitude loading illustrating the
problem of cycle counting.

For the variable amplitude sequence there are many other options to divide
the cycles and each different cycle count if used in a design calculation will
give a different result. There is no ‘correct’ way of counting cycles in variable
sequences but there are several standard methods which can be used. Two
methods (rainflow and reservoir) are extensively used as they give similar
results and produce the most severe count from the fatigue point of view.

The rainflow method gets its name from the analogy with the flow of
raindrops down a pagoda roof. The first step is to redraw the stress as a
sawtooth pattern with the magnitudes of the peaks and troughs unaltered.
To simplify the peaks and troughs have been labelled with letters. The
stress sequence is reproduced with time as the vertical axis and the starting
point at the top, Figure 7.17. As a convention the trace will begin and end at
the highest peak in two successive occurrences.

The waveform is broken into a series of paths which raindrops can follow,
the beginning and end of each path defining the extremities of a half cycle.
Raindrops can flow both from right to left and from left to right and a path or
a combination of paths must cover the top of every roof.

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The count will extend from the first occurrence of the highest peak J to the
corresponding peak J’ the second occurrence of the same event. The
raindrop starts at J and is allowed to run down until a peak or trough is
reached, when the rain falls vertically until it reaches another roof, the
process is repeated until one of the two conditions is satisfied:

1 For rain falling down a roof, the path cannot cross paths with rain which
is falling from above (examples in Figure 7.17 LM, E’F’ and G’H’)

2 For a raindrop starting at a trough and falling vertically from a peak the
flow stops if the drop passes opposite a trough which is more negative
than that at the start of the path under consideration (drops falling from L
for which trough N is more negative than K). Similarly for a drop starting
from a peak and falling vertically from a trough the flow stops if if the
drop passes opposite a peak which is more positive than the one at the
start (drops falling from G’, for which peak J’ is more positive than C’).

Each complete flow path (JKMN, KL, LM, C’D’F’G’ Figure 7.14) is
considered a half cycle and half cycles of equal stress range are combined
to give complete cycles. Small interruptions in the flow path such as KLM
result in complete cycles, ie KL combined with LM but a cut-off value in the
magnitude of the stress may be imposed for small interruptions.

Figure 7.16 Rainflow method for cycle counting.

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Reservoir counting involves counting whole cycles rather than half cycles for
the rainflow method, but produces the same result. The stress history is
taken to represent the cross section of a reservoir, which is drained
successively from each low point (trough) counting one cycle for each
draining operation. The magnitude of the corresponding cycle is equivalent
to the depth of the water drained. Figure 17 represents the same stress
sequence as in Figure 16, but counted using the reservoir method.

Figure 7.17 Reservoir method for cycle counting.

The method follows:

1 The reservoir is bounded by the two highest peaks (JJ’) and a line is
drawn representing the surface level.

2 Drain the reservoir from the lowest trough (N) and note the height of the
original water level (to N) which represents the range (260). This results
in water being trapped behind other peaks L, O, U and C’

3 Step two is repeated for the remaining bodies of water until all water is
drained, listing each cycle with each drainage operation

4 Compile a list of the number of cycles of each magnitude in descending


order which represents the summary of the loading spectrum.

If there are two or more equal lowest points (such as P and R) it makes no
difference which one is used as the initial drainage point, the final answer
will not depend of the choice but will be the same whichever is chosen first.

Once the fatigue spectrum can be separated into sets of cycles with the
same stress range, Miners rule of linear cumulative damage is then used to
assess the contribution of each set to the total fatigue damage.

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7.6 Miner’s rule


Miner’s rule is the established method of relating the fatigue behaviour
under constant and variable amplitude loading. The basic assumption that
the fatigue damage caused by a particular stress range applied n times is
directly proportional to the ratio n/N, where N is the fatigue life expected at
the same stress range (from the S-N curve, see Figure 7.18). Then, the sum
of the contributions due to all the stress ranges in a stress history will be
unity at failure. The Mimer’s rule method takes into account the damage the
cycles at various amplitudes have on the overall life of a component. Putting
it another way, the design criterion is:
n 3N
n 1N

n 2N

   < 1 for design


1

where:
n1 = number of cycles applied at stress range 1
N1 = number of cycles allowed at stress range 1

This is sometimes also expressed as:

Σn/N_(i ) 1 at failure

where i = 1,2,3 etc, should be less than 1 at the end of the service life. Often
a safety factor is applied such that the allowable fatigue damage is limited to
less than 1.

Miner’s rule was originally developed for considering fatigue of unwelded


parts, where fatigue crack initiation dominated the life. In such
circumstances, the implicit assumption that stresses below the fatigue
endurance limit are non-damaging (see Figure 7.18) is reasonable.
However, fatigue cracks initiate early in the lives of welded joints under
stresses in the stress history which exceed the fatigue limit. The result is
that the fatigue limit starts to decrease and more and more stresses below
the original limit becoming damaging as the life progresses.

Figure 7.18 Miner’s rule for fatigue damage summation.

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7.7 Fatigue assessment


The procedures in BS 7910 can be used to calculate the tolerable fatigue
life of a known flaw, or the critical flaw size for a given fatigue life. To carry
out this type of fatigue assessment there are three sets of input parameters:

The fatigue stress spectrum The flaw type and The fatigue crack growth
collated into blocks of same geometry relationship
stress range.

The flaw type and the applied stress range  contribute to the
determination of the stress intensity range K. This, in conjunction with the
fatigue crack growth relationship allows integration of the crack growth cycle
by cycle to determine final flaw size. This final flaw size can then be
evaluated in a fracture assessment.

The type and geometry of the flaw will have a significant effect on its fatigue
performance. The parameters to be considered include whether the flaw is
is a surface flaw or a buried defect, the flaw height, length and ligament
height (Figure 7.19). The plate thickness also needs to be known. In a
fatigue assessment, all flaws are assumed to be planar, which can be over-
conservative for volumetric defects such as slag inclusions. If a flaw is not
aligned perpendicular to the principal applied stress, then the flaw
dimension is taken as the resolved flaw dimension perpendicular to the
applied stress.

Figure 7.19 Fatigue flaw dimensions to use as inputs into a fatigue assessment.

BS 7910 includes procedures for dealing with groups of flaws. If flaws are
close to each other, they may interact (ie the stress intensity factor for the
flaw is increased by close proximity of other flaws). BS 7910 gives flaw
interaction rules, where pairs of flaws are considered. However, it is now
recognised that these are not applicable in a fatigue assessment. Multiple
fatigue cracks behave independently until they actually coalesce. Therefore,
the flaw interaction rules required in a fracture assessment are not applied
in a fatigue assessment.

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Figure 7.20 Flaw interaction rules for fracture are not applicable to fatigue
assessments.

The stresses used as input to a fatigue assessment are the primary and
secondary (excluding residual) stress ranges due to fluctuating components
of applied load, allowing for stress concentration factor kt due to any gross
structural discontinuity, if necessary.

kt (P + Q)

The through-thickness stress distribution is linearised (but do not


underestimate surface stresses) to deduce m and b, the membrane and
bending stress ranges. All stresses input to BS 7910 are based on stress
analysis of the structure in the absence of the flaw. The presence of the flaw
is accounted for by the stress intensity factor solution. Stress input can be
obtained in various ways, including analytical or handbook solutions, finite
element analysis, or experimentally (eg strain gauges).

Figure 7.21 stress linearization of the actual stress distribution.

The applied stress intensity range is proportional to the stress range and the
size of the flaw, ΔK YΔσ √πa. There is also a significant influence of
geometrical factors which makes the calculation more complex:

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The general procedure in BS 7910 involves estimation of the rate of growth


of a flaw under fatigue loading, in the limit considering the increment of
growth per applied stress cycle. Use is made of a relationship between the
rate of crack growth (da/dN) and the fracture mechanics stress intensity
factor parameter, expressed in terms of its range, K. Guidance is given in
BS 7910 on this relationship, with special attention to fatigue crack growth in
welded structures.

Figure 7.22 Incremental crack growth assessed using the Paris Law.

It is usually necessary to use software to perform the cycle by cycle


integration calculations, which may need to be combined with a fracture
assessment if there is a risk of failure by unstable fracture or yielding.
Alternative failure criteria include leakage (ie through-thickness cracking) or
the attainment of a detectable crack.

The stages in a fracture mechanics fatigue analysis are shown in Figure


7.23 for an embedded flaw. This will grow under fatigue loading provided the
applied stress intensity factor range is above the threshold value. Growth
will proceed until fracture or some other ‘failure’ criterion is reached or the
embedded crack breaks through to become a surface crack. The
assessment then re-characterises the flaw and this surface crack will grow
in turn until the critical size is reached, or it becomes a through-thickness
crack. This crack will grow in turn until the conditions are such that failure
occurs, so the instability conditions for fracture must be checked. For
pressure containing equipment the development of a through-thickness
crack may be unacceptable, due to leakage.

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If the conditions are such that fracture is a possibility before the fatigue
crack breaks through to the surface, then additional allowances must be
included on flaw size to account for dynamic snap-through effects.

Provided failure conditions are not reached during the required service life of
the component, the crack can be considered to be acceptable. The
calculations can also be used to define appropriate inspection strategies for
detecting and monitoring fatigue crack growth.

Figure 7.23 The re-characterisation of an embedded flaw as it grows under fatigue


to become surface breaking and again when it growth to become through-
thickness.

7.8 Summary
At the end of this module you should understand how to interpret an S-N
diagram and how the S-N curves are affected by factors such as joint design
or tensile strength. You should be able to explain how to carry out a fatigue
assessment on a variable amplitude stress spectrum, including methods for
cycle counting and Miner’s rule. You should also understand how fatigue
cracking is assessed using fracture mechanics methods to determine the
crack growth over a given number of cycles.

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Revision questions

1 Sketch a graph of S-N curves for plain material, notched material and welded
material.

2 What are cycle counting methods for? Name two methods.

3 What is Miner’s rule?

4 What input data is needed for a fracture mechanics fatigue assessment, in


addition to the inputs required for a fracture assessment?

5 What might be the failure criteria for an embedded flaw growing by fatigue?

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Stresses in Welds
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Stresses in Welds
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8 Stresses in Welds
8.1 Why calculate weld stress?
Most products are made from more than one piece of material; most
products, therefore, need joints to hold the pieces together. The cost of
assembling and making joints is frequently the major part of the total
production cost. More products fail from inadequate joints than any other
cause. Many products contain hundreds or thousands of joints. The cost of
disassembly and repair of one failed joint can often exceed the cost of an
entire new replacement product.

Inadequate joint design costs the world economy hundreds of billions of $/£
each year.

8.2 Why joints often fail


Many joints are designed on the basis of experience of previous service
performance and this can mean that design improvements are often made
by trial and error. But trial and error is becoming less acceptable as
customers' reliability expectations increase. It is necessary to predict the
performance of the joint, using calculations, prototypes, testing and
modelling.

The variety of materials, product forms, joining processes and service


conditions in today's hi-tech world is vast. The choice of possible design
situations is astronomical. Scientific testing and design rules only cover a
small fraction of the possible design situations. If a designer is to consider
solutions outside his/her immediate range of experience, it is necessary to
be aware of the general principles of joint design and manufacturing quality
problems

The main causes of design failures are therefore:

 Lack of awareness of one or more important factors which need to be


considered in the design process.
 Lack of appropriate design data.
 Lack of resources to conduct the necessary testing.
 Lack of consultation with production personnel.

8.3 Load-bearing welds


8.3.1 Approach to calculating stresses
When a calculation of the stress in a weld needs to be made, there are four
steps to be taken.

1 Draw a diagram! Make sure you have a large sketch of the joint design
and the weld dimensions. Label the information you have, such as
component size, leg length or throat size, plate thickness, applied load
etc.

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2 Calculate the weld cross section area. Is the load carried by just one
weld, or are there two welds (eg in a lap joint or double sided fillet weld).
What is the design throat (not the actual throat)?

3 Convert the applied forces into a stress. What are the units of the forces
or loads you have been given? What units will you need for the
calculation? Is it an axial stresses or shear stress? Does more than one
stress need to be combined into an effective stress?

4 Compare the stress to the allowable value. What is the design stress?
Do you need to determine it from the parent metal yield strength?

8.3.2 Static strength


The joint must be designed to withstand the highest service force likely to be
experienced in the design life of the product.

If the parent materials are stressed close to their own mechanical limits, the
joint will need to be full strength, ie at least as strong as the weakest parent
member being joined. The static stress limit is never the material’s yield
strength, but is often ⅔ of the yield strength, so that there is a sufficient
margin in the design.

Conversely, if the members at the joint position are always stressed well
below their potential static strength, the joint can be designed to be partial
strength. A joint that is designed to be able to withstand ⅔ of the parent
metal yield strength, but which only ever experiences, say, a quarter of the
yield stress is over-engineered and there may be a case to use less
welding, less consumable and save unnecessary costs.

The most onerous mode of stressing on a joint is, generally, tension. This
will arise whenever the members joined are subjected to axial tension or
bending. The most common modes of failure are shown in Figures 8.1-8.3.
It is good practice to ensure that welded components fail in the parent
material rather than in weld metal, by using an over-matching weld metal.

Figure 8.1 Possible locations of failure in fillet weld under static loads.

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In-line butt weld – full penetration

either:

Weld throat

or:

HAZ or parent
material

In-line butt weld – partial penetration

Weld throat

Figure 8.2 Possible locations of failure in butt weld under static loads. It is good
practice to ensure that welded components fail in the parent material rather than in
weld metal.

Single fillet weld – lap joint

Weld throat

Double fillet weld – lap joint


either:

Weld throat

or:

HAZ or parent
material

Figure 8.3 Possible locations of failure in lap welds under static loads.

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8.3.3 Fatigue
Fatigue will only occur if there are a sufficient number of stress fluctuations
of a sufficient magnitude during the design life. Fatigue is covered in more
detail in the lectures on the dynamic loading of structures.

Fatigue involves the initiation of cracks at points of severe stress


concentration, which then propagate under cyclic stressing until there is
insufficient cross-section left to carry the static forces on the joint. The art of
fatigue design is to detail the joint so as to avoid severe stress
concentrations. Figures 8.12-8.15 shows fatigue initiation sites and
directions of crack propagation for commonly-used joint types. It also shows
how the fatigue and static strengths of joints compare. This comparison is a
clear reminder that design should not only be based upon the material
strength under static conditions of loading.

Full penetration butt weld (no flaws)

Toe
crack

Figure 8.4 Fatigue crack propagation from weld toes under cyclic loads.

8.4 Strength calculations for welds


8.4.1 Fillet welds
The static strength of butt welds is generally straightforward, since a full
penetration butt weld has the same load bearing capacity as the parent
plate. The strength of fillet welds is more complicated because of the
combination of both shear and axial stresses in the weld.

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Fillet weld (unpenetrated)

Toe

Nominal throat `a´

Z2
Toe
Root

Z1
leg length

Figure 8.5 Geometry of a fillet weld.

The relative magnitude of shear and axial stresses in the weld is determined
by both the geometry of the component and the direction and position of
loading. Figure 6 shows the orientations of the axial and shear stresses in a
fillet weld. It is possible that two types of shear might exist in a fillet weld as
shown in Figure 8.6. The shear stresses and the axial stress are all shown
acting on the weld throat.

Figure 8.6 Definition of stresses on the weld throat of typical fillet welds.

The overall strength of a fillet weld is usually determined by the calculation


of the average shear stress () and axial stress () in the weld throat and the
conversion of these stresses into an effective stress. The effective stress is
then compared to the weld strength to determine the safety of the joint. The
effective stress in a weld is a complex function of the way in which the weld
is loaded. Failure is assumed to occur when the effective stress in the weld

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reaches a critical value. There are a number of methods to combine all the
stress components to calculate the effective stress. A simple, but
conservative, formula for when there is one axial stress and one shear
stress is given below.

2
   
e
f
f
e
c
t
i
v
e

8.4.2 IIW method


This method assumes that, as a result of a load, three different stresses
occur in a fillet weld:

 Tensile stress acting perpendicular to the throat .


 Shear stress along the throat of the weld .
 Shear stress along the longitudinal axis of the weld II.

Figure 8.7 Stresses occurring in a fillet weld under load according to the IIW
formula.

The value of these stresses can be calculated by resolving the load P onto
these three axes. The stresses are calculated by dividing these load
components to the weld’s cross section area. Let’s consider the load
component acting perpendicular to the throat as Ptension, the load component
acting along the throat as P and the load component acting along the
longitudinal axis of the weld as PII. If the weld throat is t and the weld length
is L, the stresses produced by these load components are:

Ptension P PII
    II 
Lt Lt Lt

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These stresses are further combined to give an equivalent stress using the
following formula:

 eq    2  3( II2   2 )   all

In the above formula,  is a coefficient that takes into account the type of
material. It has a value of 0.7 for carbon steels and 0.85 for high strength
low alloy steels. In order to avoid failure, this equivalent stress must not
exceed the allowable tensile stress all. Since this method is more refined
than the previous simple one and a higher applied load can be tolerated,
sometimes this method gives smaller weld sizes.

The method for calculating stresses in fillet welds is also applicable to fillet
welds in lap joints too.

8.4.3 Over-welding fillet welds


Once the size of the fillet weld throat has been calculated it is important not
to then over-weld in practise. This weld metal is not needed to carry the load
and even a small increase in leg length can have a large effect on the
amount extra (unnecessary) weld metal deposited and therefore the
additional unnecessary cost.

Take this example of a fillet weld deposited using the correct leg length of
4mm (Figure 8a) and where the weld has been over-welded and a 6mm leg
length has been deposited (Figure 8.8b). What is the difference between the
cross section area (CSA) and hence the relative volume of weld metal, for
these two welds?

Figure8. 8 Over-welded fillet weld b containing more weld metal than necessary.

The welds are assumed to be mitre fillet welds, with no excess weld metal.

Weld a CSA = 4 x 4 = 8 mm2 Weld b CSA = 6 x 6 = 18 mm2


2 2

The cross section area of weld b is over double that of weld a. Twice as
much weld metal has been deposited than is needed, with only a 2mm
increase in leg length.

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8.4.4 Butt welds


Calculating stresses in butt welds is much simpler than fillet welds since
they do not generally experience shear stresses. Calculating the axial stress
in a butt weld requires only that the weld cross section area is known.

Figure 8.5 Full penetration butt weld dimensions.

The excess weld metal at the cap and root is ignored. For partial penetration welds,
the cross section area is reduced by the unfused ligament and is calculated using
the nominal throat of the partial penetration weld, or the depth of penetration below
the plate surface.

Figure 8.6 Partial penetration butt weld dimensions.

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8.5 Overview of weld design


The most important dimension for the weld designer to specify is the
nominal throat: S for butt welds and a for fillet welds. This is defined as the
shortest distance between the root and a straight line drawn between the
toes. For a butt weld, the throat is equal to the penetration depth, either'full
or partial.

The root is the position of furthest penetration into the joint. The position of
the root, eg which side of the joint and whether backing material is to be
used may affect the static and fatigue performance of the joint.

For a fillet weld, the throat may be specified by the dimension a or by


specifying the leg length (dimension Z (or Z 1 and Z 2 if different), see
Figures 8.7 and 8.8.

The preparation is the shape of the joint faces needed to ensure that the
necessary access for weld metal deposition is available. The fit-up is the
dimensional relationship between the two sides of the joint (eg root gap,
alignment, etc). The selection of preparation and fit-up dimensions, together
with their tolerances, will depend on the welding process and procedure
being used and have a considerable influence on the economy, quality and
distortion of the joint.

The responsibilities (in chronological sequence) should be:

 Designer to determine weld type, penetration, size, material strengths


and inspection criteria.
 Welding Engineer to determine preparation, fit-up, tolerances and
processes.
 Designer to incorporate all above information on the fabrication
drawings.

8.6 Summary
At the end of this module you should be confident to determine weld cross
section areas. You should understand the difference between axial and
shear stresses and between equivalent and design stresses. You should be
able to combine stresses (such as axial and shear stress) in calculations of
weld stresses.

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Revision Questions

Remember to draw a sketch and check your units!

1 What is the cross section area of a full penetration butt weld in a 4m wide plate of
12mm thick steel?

2 The plate has a yield strength of 320MPa. What will you assume the design
strength is?

3 Therefore, what is the maximum load that this weld can carry?

4 A single fillet weld attaches a plate of length 200mm onto a base plate. The
single fillet weld has a throat thickness of 6mm. If the designer wishes to change
the design to have two fillet welds, one on either side of the attachment plate,
what size leg length will they specify?

5 A 50kN load is carried by a 300mm long fillet weld in shear. If the steel has a
yield strength of 240MPa, what size does the fillet weld need to be?

Answer: 1) 48000mm2 2) 213MPa 3) 10,240kN 4) 4.5mm 5) 1.4mm throat.

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Section 9

Revision Session
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Revision Session
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9 Revision Session IWE


Long questions

1 What can be done during design to minimise distortion during welding?

2 Describe four joints that could be used to weld 75mm thick steel.

3 Explain the basic procedure for carrying out an Engineering Critical


Assessment.

4 Describe the main causes of in-service failure in relation to welded


products. How would you recognise each type of failure when assessing
fracture faces?

5 Briefly describe eight joint configurations for thin sheet (<1.5mm thick)
and indicate their advantages and disadvantages.

6 Calculate the moment of inertia of a steel rectangular bar of width


100mm and depth 20mm, given that the moment of inertia is expressed
as I=bd3/12 where b = width and d = depth. Sketch the location of the
neutral axis of the bar when it is subjected to a constant bending
moment causing it to hog. If this bending moment is 3.4 x 106Nmm
calculate the maximum tensile and compressive stresses in the bar.
Sketch the distribution of stress through the bar.

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Section 10

Appendix on Welded Joint Design


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Appendix on Welded Joint Design
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10 Appendix on Welded Joint Design


10.1 Introduction
This course is principally concerned with structures fabricated by welding
steel plates together. Examples of such structures include bridges, ships,
offshore platforms, pressure vessels and pipelines, although obviously in
some cases this may involve welding curved plates together.

This session provides an introduction to typical joint geometries that are


involved in joining plates together and describes the types of weld that are
used in these joint configurations. Typical features of butt and fillet welds are
described. For the structure to function loads must be transferred from one
plate to another and the features of welds that enable them to transmit loads
are described. Finally, some examples of good and bad design practice are
illustrated.

10.2 Welds
A weld is a permanent union between materials caused by the application of
heat or pressure or both. A weld made between two faces that are
approximately parallel is known as a butt weld.

Figure 10.1 Butt weld.

A weld made between two faces that are approximately at right angles to
each other is known as a fillet weld.

Figure 10.2 Fillet weld.

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For simplicity these diagrams show an arc welding process that deposits
filler weld metal in a single weld pass. Typical features of a butt weld are
shown in Figure 10.3. Typical features of a fillet weld are shown in Figure
10.4. The weld or weld metal refers to all the material that has melted and
re-solidified. The heat-affected zone is material that has not melted, but
whose microstructure has been changed as a result of the welding. The
fusion line is the interface between the weld metal and the heat affected
zone. The root is the bottom of the weld, or the narrowest part and the face
is the top, or the widest part. At the corners of the weld cross section where
the weld metal joins the parent metal are the weld toes. Weld toes are at
each corner of both the weld face and the weld root in a butt weld, but only
on the weld face in a fillet weld.

Figure 10.3 Typical features of a butt weld, shown schematically in a and in b for a
double-sided butt weld.

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Figure 10.4 Typical features of a fillet weld.

The application of heat naturally causes some changes to the microstructure


parent material; the region concerned is known as the heat affected zone
(HAZ) and is shown diagrammatically in Figure 10.5 for a butt weld in steel.
Similar HAZs are developed in the parent material of fillet welds. Close to
the fusion line the temperature in the HAZ has been sufficient to cause
microstructural phase changes, which will result in recrystallisation and grain
growth. Further away from the fusion line the parent material has been
heated to a lower maximum temperature and the effect is to temper the
parent microstructure.

Figure 10.5 Heat affected zones in a butt weld.

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The distance between the weld toes is called the weld width. When the
distance is between the toes at the weld cap, it is the weld cap width; the
distance between the toes at the root is the weld root width. The height of
the additional weld metal in the weld cap is called the excess weld metal.
This used to be called reinforcement which wrongly gives the impression
that increasing this dimension will strengthen the weld. If the excess weld
metal is too great it old serves to increase the stress concentration at the
weld toe. This extra weld metal at the weld root is called the excess root
penetration.

Figure 10.6 Definitions of excess weld metal, root penetration and weld width on a
butt weld.

10.3 Types of joint


A joint can simply be described as a configuration of members and it can be
described independently of how the joint it to be welded. Figures 10.7 and
10.8 show the most common joint types of a butt joint and a T joint. Other
typical joint types are shown in Figures 10.9-10.11; a lap joint, a cruciform
joint and a corner joint. When designing a lap joint the overlap between the
two plates needs to be at least four times the plate thickness (D = 4t), but
not less than 25mm.

Figure 10.7 Butt joint.

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Figure 10.8 T joint.

Figure 10.9 Lap joints.

Figure 10.10 Cruciform joint. Figure 10.11 Corner joint.

An alternative to a conventional lap joint is to weld the joint using plug or slot
welding. Slot and plug welds are shown in Figure 10.12 we can drastically
alter the typical lap joint. The hole for a slot weld should have a width at
least three times the plate thickness and not less than 25mm. In plate less
than 10mm thickness, a hole of equal width to the plate thickness can be
welded as a plug weld.

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a b

Figure 10.12 A slot welded lap joint b plug welded lap joint.

Corner joints can be fitted and welded in a number of ways. The unwelded
pieces can be assembled either with an open corner or closed together. The
weld can be placed on the external corner, the internal corner or both in a
double-sided weld.

Figure 10.12 Different types of corner joints, unwelded and welded.

10.4 Fillet welds


The throat and leg length of a fillet welds are shown in Figure 10.13. Throat
size a is generally used as the design parameter of fillet welds since this
part of the weld bears the stresses. It can also be related to the leg length
(z) by the following relationship: a ≈ 0.7z and z ≈ 1.4a.

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Figure 10.13 Leg length z and throat size a in a fillet weld.

This is only valid for mitre fillet welds having similar leg lengths (see Figure
10.14), but is not valid for concave, convex or asymmetric welds. In concave
fillet welds the throat thickness will be much less than 0.7 times the length.
The leg length of a fillet weld is often approximately equal to the material
thickness. The actual throat size is the width between the fused weld root
and the segment linking the two weld toes, shown as the red line in Figure
10.15. Thanks to root penetration, the actual throat size of a fillet weld is
often larger than its design size, but because of the unpredictability of the
root penetration area, the design throat size must always be taken as the
stress parameters in design calculations.

Figure 10.14 Mitre fillet weld. Figure 10.15 Design throat of a fillet weld.

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Convex fillet weld

Concave fillet weld

Mitre fillet weld

Figure 10.16 Fillet weld cross-sections.

Figure 10.17 Definition of design and actual throat in concave and convex fillet
welds.

The choice between mitre weld, concave and convex fillet weld needs to
take into account the weld toe blend. A concave fillet weld gives a smooth
blend profile and a low stress concentration at the fillet weld toe. Convex
fillet welds can have a higher stress concentration at the weld toe. If the
fluidity of the weld pool is not controlled, it is possible to obtain an
asymmetrical fillet weld where the weld pool has sagged into the joint
preparation and there is also a risk of undercut on the bottom weld toe (see
Figure 10.18). Having a smooth toe blend is important to give better fatigue
performance for fillet welds.

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Figure 10.18 Fillet weld toe blends.

10.5 Butt welds


The design throat (t1) of a butt weld is the penetration depth below the
parent plate surface and no account is made of the excess weld metal. The
design throat is therefore less than the actual throat (t2).

Figure 10.19 Design throat (t1) and the actual throat (t2) for butt welds.

The weld toe blend is important for butt welds as well as fillet welds. Most
codes state that the weld toes shall blend smoothly. This statement is open
to individual interpretation however. The higher the toe blend angle the
greater the amount of stress concentration. The toe blend angle ideally
should be between 20-30o (Figure 10.20).

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Figure 10.20 Toe blend in butt welds.

10.6 Dilution
When filler and parent material do not have the same composition, the
resulting composition of the weld depends largely on the weld preparation
before welding. The degree of dilution results from the edge preparation and
process used; the percentage of dilution (D) is particularly important when
welding dissimilar materials and is expressed as the ratio between the
weight of parent material melted and the total weight of fused material
(multiplied by 100 to be expressed as a percentage), as shown by the
equation below.

Weight of parent material melted


D  100
Total weight of fused material

Low dilutions are obtained with fillet welds and with butt welds with multiple
runs. However, considering a single pass, better dilution is obtained with
grooved welds; see Figure 10.25.

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Figure 10.25 Effect of weld preparation on dilution and weld metal composition (for
a single pass only).

10.7 Welding symbols


10.7.1 Detailed representation
On engineering drawings a welded/brazed joint can be represented by
different means. A detailed representation shows every detail and
dimension of the joint preparation together with carefully written, extensive
notes. It provides all the details required to produce a particular weld in a
very clear manner, but requires a separate detailed sketch (time consuming
and can overburden the drawing). For a special weld preparation not
covered in the relevant standards (eg narrow groove welding); it is the only
way to indicate the way components are to be prepared for welding or
brazing.

Figure 10.19 Detailed representation of U bevel angle.

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10.7.2 Symbolic representation


Symbolic representation can be used to specify joining and inspection
information. Weld symbols are given in BS 499, ISO 2553, AWS A2.4 and
the BS EN ISO 9692 series; symbols for brazing are given in EN 14324.

Figure 10.20 Symbolic representation of U bevel angle.

Symbolic representation has the following advantages:

 Simple and quick to visualise on the drawing.


 Does not overburden the drawing.
 No need for additional views, all welding symbols can be placed on the
main assembly drawing.
 Gives all necessary indications regarding the specific joint to be
obtained.

Symbolic representation has the following disadvantages:

 Used only for common joints (see BS EN ISO 9692).


 Requires training to understand the symbols properly.

Symbolic representation contains an arrow line, a reference line and an


elementary symbol. The elementary symbol can be complemented by a
supplementary symbol, can add some complementary indications or add a
means of showing dimensions.

ISO 2553 and AWS A2.4 list all the main elementary symbols, some
examples are shown in Table 10.1.

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Table 10.1 Elementary weld symbols.

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10.8 Welding positions


In weld procedure documents and engineering drawings, the type and
orientation of welds are often given a two letter abbreviation which defines
them. These can vary depending on which standard the welds are
conforming to the abbreviations here are consistent with ISO 6947. These
two letter abbreviations are summarised in Table 10.2.

Table 10.2 Welding symbols and abbreviations.


Welding
Symbol Abbreviation
position

Flat PA

Horizontal PB

Horizontal
PC
vertical

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Welding
Symbol Abbreviation
position

Vertical up,
vertical PG/PF
down

Overhead PE

Horizontal
PD
overhead

10.9 Weld joint preparations


The simplest kind of weld joint preparation is a square edged butt joint,
either closed or open. A closed butt joint is used in thick plate for keyhole
welding processes such as laser welding or electron beam welding. A
square edged open butt joint is used in thinner plate up to 3mm thick for arc
welding in a single pass, or in thick plate for welding processes such as
electroslag welding.

Figure 10.21 Square edge butt joints

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It is most common to use a bevel on the edges of the parent metal to be


welded. This allows access to the root for the first welding pass and is then
filled using fill passes. Single sided preparations are normally made on
thinner materials, or when access from both sides is restricted. Double sided
preparations are normally made on thicker materials, or when access from
both sides is unrestricted.

The design of the edge prep includes not only the bevel angle (or included
angle is both sides are bevelled), but also the square edges root face and
root gap. In a joint where both sides are bevelled, the prep is called a V or
vee preparation (Figure 10.22). V preps are usually used for plate of
thickness between 3-20mm. An alternative is a U prep (or J prep if only one
side has the edge prep) in which the edge is machined into the shape of a
U. This type of edge preparation is used in thicker plate, over 20mm thick,
where it uses less filler metal than a V prep joint. J or U edge preparations
also requires a bevel angle and root face and gap to be defined, but also
needs a root radius and land to be specified (Figure 10.23). Single sided
edge preparations are often used for thinner materials or when there is no
access to the root of the weld (such as pipelines). If there is access to both
sides of the material then a double-sided edge preparation is used,
especially for thicker materials. Single and double edge preps are shown in
Figure 10.24.

Included angle

Bevel angle

Root face

Gap

Figure 10.22 Single V bevel.

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Included angle

Root radius
Bevel
angle

Root
face
Gap

Land

Figure 10.23 U bevel.

Figure 10.24 Range of single and double sided bevel, vee, J and U preps.

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10.10 Designing welded joints


The selection of the weld joint design will also be influenced by practical
issues such as the welding process to be used and the access required to
obtain root fusion. The bevel angle must allow good access to the root and
sufficient manipulation of the electrode to ensure good sidewall fusion
(Figure 10.25). If the included angle is too large then heavy distortions can
result and a larger amount of filler metal is required. If the included angle is
too small then there is a risk of lack of penetration or lack of side wall fusion.
Typical bevel angles are 30-35° in a vee preparation (60-70° included
angle). In a single bevel joint the bevel angle might be increased to 45°.

Figure 10.25 Bevel angle to allow electrode manipulation for sidewall fusion.

The root gap and root face are selected to ensure good root fusion
(Figure 10.26). This will depend on the welding process and the heat input.
If the root gap is too wide or the root face is too narrow then there is a risk of
burn through. If the root gap is too narrow or the root face is too deep the
there is a risk of lack of root penetration. A balance must be found and
designed for and this difference in weld root size is shown in Figure 10.27.
High heat input process require a larger root face, but less weld metal is
required, which reduces distortions and increases productivity. Typical
values for the root face are around 1.5-2.5mm and the root gap around 2-
4mm.

Figure 10.26 The importance of selecting the correct root face and root gap.

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a b

Figure 10.27 Root size for welding processes with different heat inputs, a low heat
input, b high heat input.

If the components are going to be joined by an arc welding process, then


the selected bevels need to be adequately machined to allow room for the
welding tool to access the root of the weld. This consideration would not
apply for a procedure such as electron beam welding as shown in Figure
10.28. If using gas-shielded processes then the size of the gas nozzle may
limit the ability to use a J-prep for thick section material, as it would be
difficult to ensure good root fusion if the welding head could not access the
bottom of the weld groove and a single bevel may be needed instead
(Figure 10.29).

a b

Figure 10.28 Preparation differences between, a arc, b electron beam welding.

a b

Figure 10.29 Using gas-shielded arc welding a difficulties of root access in a J-


prep, b improved design using a bevel prep.

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Choosing between a J or U-prep and a bevel or Vee-prep is also determined


by the costs or producing the edge preparation. Machining a J or U
preparation requires machining, which can be slow and expensive. Using
this joint design also results in tighter tolerance which can be easier to set-
up. A bevel or Vee preparation can be flame or plasma cut fast and cheaply.
This results in larger tolerances, meaning that set-up can be more difficult.

Backing bar or backing strip is used to ensure consistent root fusion and
avoid burn through. However, if you choose to use permanent backing strip
(rather than a backing bar which is removed after welding), be aware that it
gives a built-in crevice which can make the joints susceptible to corrosion
(Figure 10.30). When using backing for aluminium welds, make sure any
chemical cleaning reagents have been removed before assembling the joint.
A backing strip will also give a lower fatigue life.

Figure 10.30 Using a backing strip for a butt weld.

Outside of the design of the joint and weld, access to weld locations and the
order in which welds are made are just as important. Figure 10.31 shows
examples of the limitations of access in designing welded joints and gives
improved designs. It is important to ensure that it is indeed possible to make
welds as required by the drawing.

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Figure 10.31 Examples of improved weld designs where there is limited access.

10.11 Summary
At the end of this module you should be able to label the parts of a butt and
fillet weld and to label the parts of a vee and U edge preparation. You
should be able to recognise welding symbols and know what they mean.

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Definition

Introduction – Designing Things


Engineering Structure: one that carries loads

TWI Training & Examinations Services


(EWS/IWS Diploma)

Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012 Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

Course Aim Course Objectives


• Recognise sources and effects of loads.
• Understand fundamentals of strength of
• Provide guidance on how to design materials.
engineering structures so that they • Understand principles of weld design.
operate safely to satisfy specified
• Recognise different types of loading.
performance requirements
• Understand principles of design for static
loading.
• Understand principles of design for
fatigue loading.

Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012 Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

Course Objectives – DAC1 Course Objectives – DAC2

• Show how loads on the structure are


• Recognise the special requirements of carried by stresses in members and welds.
pressure vessels. • Be fully familiar with strength of materials
• Appreciate the principles of designing principles.
aluminium structures. • Know how to design for low temperatures.
• Know how to design for fatigue loading.
• Understand principles of design for
aluminium.
• Appreciate the principles of design for
pressure vessels.
Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012 Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

1-1
Course Objectives – DAC3

• Be fully familiar with how to design joints


to withstand static loads, cyclic loads and
low temperatures.
• Know how to design both steel and
aluminium joints.
• Understand principles of design for
pressure vessels.

Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

1-2
Aluminium Alloys

1XXX - min.99% aluminium or greater


2XXX - alloys with copper
3XXX - alloys with manganese
Design Considerations for Aluminium 4XXX - alloys with silicon
5XXX - alloys with magnesium
TWI Training & Examinations Services 6XXX - alloys with magnesium and silicon
(EWE/IWE Diploma) 7XXX - alloys with zinc
8XXX - alloys with other elements
9XXX - unused series
Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012 Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

1XXX Series Alloys 2XXX Series Alloys


• Commercially pure aluminium • Al-Cu precipitation hardened alloys.
• Weak, UTS = max. 150 N/mm2 • High strength - UTS up to 450 N/mm2.
• Good corrosion resistance - depends upon
• Good ductility.
purity
• Moderate corrosion properties.
Increase in Chemical • Poor extrudability.
corrosion plant • Unsuitable for arc welding.
resistance applications • Relative high cost.
Increase
in purity • Used mainly in aerospace.
Decrease in
UTS
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3XXX and 4XXX Alloys 5XXX Series Alloys


3XXX series alloys • Al-Mg-(Mn) work hardening alloys.
• Al-Mn-(Mg) work hardening alloys. • Most used in structures of the non-HT alloys.
• Moderate strength (UTS up to 200 N/mm2). • Excellent corrosion resistance and durability.
• Very good corrosion resistance. • Very easy to be manufactured as plates and sheets
• Main use; cladding of buildings. • Poor extrudability.
• Good weldability - used for welded irrigation
pipes. • Stronger grades • Weaker grades
– tough and ductile – good formability
4XXX series alloys
– UTS up to 300 N/mm2 – widely used for sheet
• Al-Si alloys. – used for welded fabrication metal fabrication
• High resistance to hot cracking - used as weld
Filler wire.
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2-1
6XXX Series Alloys 7XXX Series Alloys
• Al-Mg-Si precipitation hardened alloys.
• Most widely used of HT alloy. • Al-Zn-Mg precipitation hardened alloys
• Reasonable strength.
• Good corrosion resistance. • Stronger grades • Weaker grades
– strongest of all aluminium – reasonable mechanical
• Excellent extrudability. alloys, UTS up to 550N/mm2 properties
• Can be welded but with softening in HAZ. – inferior corrosion resistance – HAZ softening less severe
– poor extrudability than 6XXX alloys
• Stronger grades • Weaker grades
– unsuitable for arc welding – corrosion resistance fair but
– have same YS as structural – used for low stress members
– used in aircraft engineering not as good as 6XXX alloys
steels but lower UTS and – good stiffness, used for
– reasonable extrudability
ductility architectural members
– used in non-aeronautical
– used for stressed members – fatigue applications (structure
welded constructions
of rail-cars)
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Choosing Appropriate Filler Metal Properties of Aluminium


Parent Filler Comments • Low density.
1XXX 1XXX for corrosion resistance – 1/3 density of of steel
4XXX for strength and crack prevention – low dead weight of structures
• Corrosion resistant.
3XXX 3XXX for corrosion resistance
– Due to thin but compact oxide layer
4XXX for strength and crack prevention – usually no need for painting
5XXX 5XXX select appropriate composition • Can be easy extruded.
depending on parent composition – extrusion process is more versatile than rolling
• It is generally weldable & can be adhesive bonded.
6XXX 4XXX for crack prevention
• It is easy to machine.
5XXX for better weld strength
– high metal removal rates are possible
7XXX 5XXX select appropriate composition – easy to produce U or J preparations for thick
depending on parent strength plates
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Properties of Aluminium Properties of Aluminium


• Cost.
• Low temperature service.
– typically 1.5 times greater than the cost of structural steel
– Aluminium is fcc
for the same volume
– excellent strength and toughness at low temperatures
– lower fabrication costs and recyclability balance these
• High electrical conductivity.
• Low Young’s modulus.
– standard conductor for overhead transmission lines
– 0.7x105 N/mm2 is one third the modulus of steel
• High thermal conductivity.
– failure load due to buckling is lower than for steel of
– 240 W/m°C is about four times bigger than steel
same thickness
– pure Al can be used in heat exchangers instead of copper
– larger deflection when subject to bending than steel
– heat is dissipated from weld quickly so need larger bevel components under the same conditions
angle to prevent lack of side wall fusion
• Is non-magnetic.
• Lower fatigue strength than steel components
– used for cases for electronics applications
under similar conditions.
– cannot use MPI to inspect welds
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2-2
Properties of Aluminium Properties of Aluminium
• Lower strength at high temperature. • High fluidity of weld pool.
– some alloys lose strength when operated above 100°C
– smaller root gap required to avoid burn-through
– limited upper service temperature
• Limit stress. • High affinity for oxygen.
– Define a 0.2% proof strength as no clear yield point – Remove oxide film to avoid inclusions
• High coefficient of thermal expansion. – Chemical or mechanical cleaning
– twice as much as steel – Importance of gas shield and wider weld means
– high level of distortion when welding larger gas nozzles for TIG or MIG welding
• Tensile strength. – increased preparation angle
– pure Al has UTS 70~150 N/mm2
– alloying increases this to 650 N/mm2 UTS
– Ensure weld metal composition not at risk of hot cracks

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Weld Design for Aluminium Design of Weld Joints

• If root gap  1.5 mm, use backing bars.


60º 70~90º
• With backing bars, included angle can be reduced.
35~45º • Take care to pre-clean thoroughly to avoid crevice
30º
corrosion behind backing bar.

Steel Aluminium

• High thermal conductivity and large nozzle size


requires larger bevel angle.
• Risk of greater distortion. • Weld transition joints with a machined land as well as
• Smaller root gap to avoid burn through. a taper to avoid heat sink effect of thicker material.

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Design of Weld Joints Design of Weld Joints

• Intermittent welds in stiffeners reduce distortion. • Consider weld placement - put welds in low stress
• Increase local weld cross section area to compensate areas such as close to the neutral axis.
for HAZ softening. • Orient welds parallel to the maximum stress.

• Use adhesive bonds or friction welding (e.g.


FSW) instead of fusion welds.
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2-3
Design of Weld Joints Design of Weld Joints
For self-adjusting joints, make use of aluminium’s
Consider elimination of welding extrudability

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Limit State Design Friction Stir Welding


Consider 3 possible limit states (failure modes):
Limit state

Static strength Deflection Fatigue


• Is the governing • Check elastic • More critical
design deflection. than for steel
requirement. • Avoid buckling. • Different S-N
• Able to resist • Usually concerned curves
reasonable static with members not • Number of
overload. joints. cycles until
failure.
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FSW Joint Configurations HAZ Softening

Definition of the
severity
severity and the
extend of the
softened HAZ
extent

a) Square butt e) 3 piece T butt


b) Combined butt and lap f) 2 piece T butt
c) Single lap g) Edge butt
d) Multiple lap h) Corner fillet weld on extrusions
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2-4
Control the Interpass Temperature Extent of HAZ Softening
Extent of nominal HAZ - one inch rule:
Normal control Strict control
5XXX and 6XXX alloys To  100C To  50C
7XXX alloys To  80C To  40C

Interpass temperature can rise if:


• workpiece is still hot from welding
• insufficient cooling time between weld passes
• use of preheat
• high ambient temperature

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Severity of HAZ Softening


Defined by the softening factor, kz:
HAZ proof stress HAZ UTS
kz  kz 
Parent metal proof stress kz Parent metal UTS

kz can also be the ratio of the annealed to the


hardened or cold worked parent metal strength

For design calculations, replace true thickness (t)


with effective plate thickness (tef) and lower the
design stress
tef = kz x t

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2-5
Overview
• The different ways a structure is loaded will affect
the ways it may fail.

• Static strength & Ductility.


Different Types of Loading – Ductile failure, lamellar tearing
• Cyclic Loading.
– Fatigue failure
TWI Training & Examinations Services • High temperature.
Instant or
(EWE/IWE Diploma) – Creep time-dependant?
• Low temperature.
– Brittle fracture
– Fracture mechanics
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Ductile Fracture Stress Concentrations

• Under high static (over) load, failure is ductile. • Sudden changes in geometry cause localised
• Ductile fracture, or plastic collapse, occurs when areas of high stress.
yielding and deformation precedes failure. • Imagine flow lines which get close together at
• Fracture surface appears torn and fibrous. stress concentrations.
• The surface shows 45° shear lips or have • The stress concentration at a hole is 3, sharper
surfaces inclined at 45° to the load direction. notches concentrate the stress much more.

Stress
Concentration

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Lamellar Tearing Thickness Effect


• Occurs in rolled steel plate with poor through • Under tension material contracts laterally.
thickness ductility after welding. – Plane stress (ductile)
• Only in joints producing through thickness strain, • In the middle of thick plate, can’t plastically deform
fillet welds or T-butt joints. due to constraint of surrounding material.
• Fracture surface is fibrous and woody with long – Plane strain (brittle)
parallel sections. • Thicker plate of same material has lower toughness
than thinner plate.

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3-1
Effect of High Temperature on Strength Creep

• Creep is the progressive deformation of a


material under constant stress, usually at
high temperature
Applied
constant load

High
temperature
Measure
extension

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Creep Tensile Curve Fatigue Crack

• Crack grows under


Strain cyclic loads below
Primary Secondary Tertiary yield.
()
creep (steady-state) creep Fracture • Slow, stable cracking.
creep • Crack growth rate
independent of steel
strength.
• Welded structures
have no initiation
period.
0 Time (hr) • Look for beach marks.

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Impact Impact Tests

• Load applied at a fast rate (impact) leads Charpy test Pellini test specimens
to an increase in tensile strength and a
drop in ductility.

Dynamic

Static Specimen Pendulum


(striker)

Anvil

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3-2
Effect of Low Temperature on Strength Charpy Transition Curve
Energy Test
• Low temperatures cause ferritic steel to increase (J) set 1
ductility. Test
• Drop in temperature causes rise in yield but same set 2
tensile strength, less plastic deformation.

σ σ σ Test
set 3

Temperature
ε ε ε Test Test Test (ºC)
Temperature drop temperature 3 temperature 2 temperature 1

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Toughness Transition Curve Brittle Fracture


• Brittle fracture is a fast, unstable type of
No transition for fracture.
austenitic SS or Al
• The crack can propagate with the speed of
Ductile sound in steel.
Transition
Toughness

behaviour for • The results can be catastrophic.


ferritic steels

Brittle

Lower shelf Transition Upper shelf

Temperature
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Features of Brittle Fracture Brittle Fracture Requires


• The presence of a flaw.
• There is little or no plastic deformation
– Cracks, stress concentrations
before failure.
• Applied and/or residual stresses .
• The crack surface will show chevron
• Low-toughness material.
marks pointing back to the initiation
point. – Temperature below ductile to brittle
transition
• With impact fracture, the surface is rough – Crystalline structure; bcc (steel)
but not torn and will usually have a rather than fcc (SS, Al)
crystalline appearance. – Microstructure eg martensite; large
grain size
– Thicker material
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3-3
Preventing Fracture Example – Cryogenic Pressure Vessel
General approach by codes and standards: Materials require:
• Ensure adequate toughness (Charpy requirements). • Good impact toughness values at extremely
• Design to prevent high stress (no stress low temperatures.
concentrations).
• Good weldability and ductility.
• Stress relieve thick sections to reduce residual stress.
• Fabricate/inspect to minimise defects. • Low thermal conductivity in order to insulate
from atmospheric heat.
• Proof test.
• Cheap.
Examples:
Materials used:
BS PD 5500 (pressure vessels), BS 5400 (steel
bridges), BS 5950 (steel structures), ABS rules • Aluminium, austenitic stainless steel, 9% nickel
(fixed offshore structures), BS 4515 (pipelines) steel.
Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012 Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

The Significance of Flaws Insignificant Welding Flaws

• During design, the structure is assumed to be defect


free.

• However, flaws such as cracks, welding defects and


corrosion damage can occur during manufacture or
service life.
Weld containing slag inclusion Weld containing porosity
• Is the structure still safe to operate under its
required service conditions?
Fatigue failure still initiates from the weld toe
Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012 Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

Fitness-for-Service FFS and Economics

• Does the weld contain an


unacceptable flaw? Material properties
• Is the flaw harmful?
• Could repair make matters
worse?
Cost

• What if the material does


not meet specification? ! Accuracy
• What if cracks occur in
service?
Geometry Stresses
• Can structure be used
beyond design life?
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3-4
Historical Background Applications of Fitness-for-Service Methods

Components Applications Terminology


• 1950’s and 60’s: research on integrity (fatigue
and fracture) of welded structures at British • Pressure vessels. • Design. • Fitness for
Welding Research Association (later TWI): • Pipelines. • Fabrication. purpose or service
• Offshore structures. • Operation. (FFP or FFS)
• Flaws and other characteristics of welds • Storage tanks. • Repairs. assessment.
influence the fracture resistance. • Ships. • Failures. • Engineering critical
• Flaws, especially those found by radiography, • Bridges. • Change in
assessment (ECA).
may be insignificant. • Buildings. service.
• Repair welding can introduce more harmful • Fracture
• Other structural • Life
flaws. components. extension. mechanics
assessment.
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Design for Strength Fracture Mechanics Based Design

Applied Crack Length


stress
Yield or and
Flow Applied Stress Critical
Strength Fracture
Structural Toughness
Driving Structural
Force Driving
Material Material
Force
Resistance Resistance

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General Assessment Procedure Benefits of Fitness for Purpose

• Identify type of flaw (planar, non-planar, Safer structures


shape imperfection). – Fewer weld repairs (weld repair can introduce
more severe defects)
• Gather essential data (inspect, mechanical – Focus on design and materials selection
tests, published data). Economic benefits
• Assess significance of flaw. – Reduced repair welding
– limiting size for failure avoidance – Less rigorous, or better focused NDT demands
– Justified repair deferral (forever, until
– consider sub-critical growth
convenient)
– safety margin

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3-5
Fracture Mechanics Stress Concentration Near Cracks

• Understanding how a crack behaves in Stress intensity factor:


material is called Fracture Mechanics.

K
Y

a
   

A single parameter characterises the


stress field near the crack tip, and the
fracture event

Crack Irwin (1957) CT


driving
force

crack
Material resistance singularity r
(fracture toughness) dominated zone

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Stress Intensity Factors Stress Intensity Factors

 Units of K
 
K  Y  a  1 N/mm3/2 = 0.0316 MPam

1 N/mm3/2 = 0.029 ksiin

2a a a

KI    a  K I  1.12  a  K I  0.637  a 
Small through- Small through- Small penny-
thickness crack thickness edge shaped embedded Mode I Mode II Mode III
in large plate crack in large plate crack in large body (Opening) (In-plane shear) (Out-of-plane shear)

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LEFM and EPFM Elastic Plastic Fracture Mechanics (EPFM)

LEFM applies for brittle materials with small plastic zone • For ductile materials the energy to initiate
EPFM applies for ductile materials where the plastic zone crack propagation was significantly higher
is significant than predicted by LEFM.
CT elastic • This was explained by the role of the
plastic zone.
elastic-plastic
Y
• EPFM considers the elastic behaviour of

the material and the local plastic
crack deformation at the crack tip.
r
Plastic zone

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3-6
Plastic Collapse Measures of Fracture Toughness

• Plastic zone can extend across the entire ligament


giving a completely plastic net section of material 
and causing plastic collapse.
• Large amounts of energy are absorbed as the K - stress based
material work hardens and the plastic hinge is J
formed.  CTOD ()- strain based
• Failure is often a combination of brittle and ductile
modes. J - energy

Plastic zone

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Fracture Toughness Test Specimens SENB Specimen


SENB Specimen CT Specimen

F/2 F/2 F
Span = 4W

a a
B
W = B or 2B
W
B

F F

• Full thickness specimen with sharp crack-like notch,


loaded under representative service conditions.
• Test three identical specimens at a given temperature. SENB = Single Edge Notched Bend specimen
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CT Specimen Fatigue Precracking

• Requires less material. • A notch is machined into the fracture toughness


specimen, then a fatigue crack is grown by
• More expensive to machine and more applying cyclic loading to the specimen.
complex to test than SENB. • Specialised high frequency resonance hydraulic
machines are often used for this process.
• Although the CT specimen is loaded in
• A fatigue crack is the most severe type of crack
tension, the crack tip conditions are
in terms of notch tip sharpness.
predominantly bending (high constraint).
Load

• High constraint specimens measure lower Machined notch


fracture toughness.
Fatigue crack
Time
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3-7
Measurements During Testing Calculating Fracture Toughness

K  Y  a 

   el   pl
Vp

    
z
 K 2 1   2 /(2 Y E )  r p W  a Vp / r p W  a   a  z
Load
a Up
bo rp(W-a)
W

Displacement J  J el  J pl
 
 K 2 1   2 / E  U p /(Bbo )

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Temperature Transition Curve Validity Checks

• The fracture mechanics test standards include


Load
Load

Load

many checks to ensure that results are valid.


Displacement Displacement Displacement

Subscripts: c u m
• These include restrictions on the fatigue crack
size, position and shape, together with limitations
Toughness

on the maximum allowable fatigue load.

• If some validity criteria are not met, the results


may still be useable, but expert advice is needed
to justify this.
LEFM, K EPFM, CTOD, J, K(J)

Temperature
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Toughness Testing of Weldments Specimen Configurations

2B B
• Weldments are critical in terms of fracture: B B

stress + brittle microstructures + flaws  fracture.

• Complex geometries.
• Complex microstructures.
Through-thickness Surface
notch (WP) notch (SM)
• Complex residual stress distributions.
• Specimen thickness = section thickness.
• Is the test intended to model an actual crack,
or to measure a lower-bound toughness?
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3-8
Notch Classification Notching into the HAZ
• Two notch methods are the Weld Positional • HAZ has narrow width & irregular shape.
(WP) and Specific Microstructure (SM) • HAZ has local variations in microstructure.
approaches. • Uncertain nature of fatigue pre-cracking makes HAZ
notching of a target microstructure difficult.
• SM testing requires post test metallography
to confirm whether the notch sampled the Notch plane

required region (microstructure).


Half K weld
• WP is often used to find a lower bound
toughness.
K weld
Surface notch
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Flaw Assessment Procedure BS 7910: Flaw types


W
BS 7910
Through-
thickness B

Fracture Fatigue Creep Other modes 2a

2c
• Level 1 • General • Corrosion
• Level 2 • Simplified • Buckling
Surface
a
• Leakage
• Level 3 • Yielding Actual flaw is
• Erosion
(Section 7) (Section 8) (Section 9) (Section 10) modelled as an p

idealised flaw in the 2a


assessment Embedded
2c

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BS 7910: Welding residual stresses Fracture Toughness Input


cold hot cold

Immediately • Assume yield magnitude • Value is taken as lowest from three similar
after welding
• Known values
specimens.
cold cold cold
• Additional testing recommended if results
After cooling
• Residual stress relaxation are too scattered:
if
contraction from:
allowed
– Mechanical loading
cold cold cold
– Heat treatment min < 0.5 ave or max > 2 ave
After cooling
with
contraction
resisted Kmin < 0.7 Kave or Kmax > 1.4 Kave
tension residual stress

compression
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3-9
Failure Assessment Diagram Axes Failure Assessment Diagram Axes

• The Y-axis of the FAD is termed Kr, the fracture • Kr is defined as:
ratio.
KI
– This axis represents proximity to failure of the flawed Kr 
component by fracture K IC
where KI is the stress intensity or crack driving force
• The X-axis of the FAD is termed Lr, the stress and KIC is the material toughness
ratio.
– This represents the proximity to failure of the • Lr is defined as:
component by plastic collapse 
Lr  ref
y
• Failure assessment line shows the limit of safety σref is the reference stress or the net section stress
for failure from either mode. due to a flaw and σy is the yield stress (or flow stress)
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Failure Assessment Diagram Failure Assessment Diagram

• If an assessment point falls between the x Assessment point outside:


inside the failure assessment line, the flaw 1 Flaw unacceptable
is considered to be deemed acceptable Fracture axis:
and is unlikely to lead to failure. represents Kr x
proximity to
or Assessment point
failure by
fracture r inside: Flaw
• If the assessment point falls outside the acceptable
failure assessment line, the law is deemed 0

unacceptable and could lead to failure. Lr (or Sr)

Collapse axis: represents proximity


to failure by collapse (or yielding)

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Level 1 vs Level 2 Method Validation of FFS Procedures


• Level 1 uses simpler
4
formulae.
• Level 1 FAD has most
conservatism. 1.0
3

• Level 2 needs more 0.8 BS7910 level 2a

analysis (use software). Level 1


r 2
Fracture

0.6
• Level 2 FAD reduced
conservatism. 0.4
1

• Level 3 method using FEA 0.2

has even less 0.0


0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 0
conservatism. Plastic collapse
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0

Sr
• More analysis more costly.
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3-10
Assessment of Fatigue BS 7910 Fatigue Assessment Procedures
• Fatigue grows a crack from a sub-critical size • The parameters required to carry out a
until it is critical to cause failure. general fatigue assessment are:
• The rate the fatigue crack grows can be
estimated, and an initial tolerable flaw sizes
can be derived if the lifetime is known.
Flaw Type and Geometry
• For an ECA measure the fatigue crack growth Stress n1 cycles at 1
rate in parent material, weld metal or HAZ. range

Log (da/dN)
n2 cycles at 2
n3 cycles at 3
– Crack growth rates affected by environment e.g. etc...
seawater with CP compared to air
• Determine the fatigue threshold. Time Log ( K)
Applied Stresses Crack Growth Relationship

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BS 7910 Fatigue Assessment Procedures ECA Case Study

• The basis of the fatigue crack growth calculations • Lack of fusion was detected in a propane storage
is the relationship between K and the rate of crack sphere in Saudi Arabia during outage.
growth da/dN for the material under consideration. • Before the vessel could go back into service, its
fracture
defect tolerance had to be assessed to show that the
sphere would not fail by brittle fracture or plastic
Log (da/dN)

collapse.
m

1 • A fracture mechanics assessment


showed that the storage sphere had
adequate defect tolerance despite
threshold,  Ko Log (  K)
the lack of fusion flaw.
da
 A  K  m
dN
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Summary

• Risks for brittle, ductile, creep, fatigue etc.


• Charpy testing & fracture mechanics testing
of welds.
• Engineering critical assessment (ECA).
– Equipment dimensions and flaw size
– Materials properties: strength, toughness
– Loading: applied & residual stress
– Failure assessment diagram to determine whether
tolerable
• Different levels of assessment.
• Benefits of fitness-for-service assessment.
Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

3-11
Objectives

• Understand stress concentration locations.


• Fatigue joint classifications.
Advanced Fatigue – Part 1 • Describe post weld fatigue life improvement
techniques.
• Review case studies of fatigue failures.
TWI Training & Examinations Services
(EWE/IWE Diploma)

Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012 Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

Influence of Welding Fatigue Cracking From a Weld Toe

Welds introduce stress concentrations from • Production arc welding


which fatigue can propagate processes lead to the
Pre-
formation of non-metallic
weld toe weld toe existing
intrusions at the weld toe.
sharp flaw
• Typically 0.1-0.4mm in depth.
• Fatigue life governed by the A
growth of this pre-existing
flaw.
• Little or no initiation stage. Fatigue
weld root • Factors which affect crack crack
Weld toes and weld roots are the most initiation can be quite
different to those that affect ~ 50m
critical areas in respect to stress crack growth.
concentration
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Fatigue Resistance Data - S-N Curves Classification of Welded Joints

• Resistance Stress range, Behaviour of a structure under cyclic loads is


quantified in terms N/mm 2 determined by the severity of stress concentration
300
of constant static design limit UK design rules: welds are grouped into Classes giving
amplitude S-N 200 similar fatigue strength (similar stress concentration
curves. effect)
• SmN = A (m and A Class of joint
are constants). 100

• Curves for different B C D E F F2 G W


design details based
30
on statistical
analysis of test data. 10 5 10 6
Expected life increase
10 7 Endurance, cycles
• BS 7608.
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4-1
Classification of Welded Joints Classification of Welded Joints
Fatigue weld joint classification (BS 5400)
Fatigue weld joint classification (BS 5400)
• Class A: plain steel, all surfaces machined and • Class C: full or partial penetration butt or fillet welds,
polished. Uniform or smoothly varying cross- parallel to the direction of stress, made by
section. mechanised welding, with no stop/start. Butt welds
transverse to stress direction, machined flush and
• Class B: as-rolled free from defects.
steel, no flame cut
edges. Full penetration
butt welds free of
defects, parallel to the
direction of stress and
with faces dressed
smooth.
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Classification of Welded Joints Classification of Welded Joints


Fatigue weld joint classification (BS 5400)
Fatigue weld joint classification (BS 5400)
• Class D: full or partial penetration butt or fillet
welds, parallel to the direction of stress, with • Class E: full penetration butt welds, transverse to
stop/start. Butt welds transverse to stress stress direction, with abrupt transition to parent
direction, with smooth transition to plate. metal.

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Classification of Welded Joints Classification of Welded Joints


Fatigue weld joint classification (BS 5400) Fatigue weld joint classification (BS 5400)

• Class F: butt welds on backing strip, transverse to • Class F2: cruciform or T-joints made with partial
stress direction. Member carrying fillet or butt penetration butt or fillet welds. Butt welds between
welded attachments clear of edge. Cruciform or T- two rolled or built-up sections.
joints made with full penetration butt welds.

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4-2
Classification of Welded Joints Classification of Welded Joints
Fatigue weld joint classification (BS 5400)
Fatigue weld joint classification (BS 5400)
• Class W: weld metal in load carrying fillet or partial
• Class G: members with attachments welded to penetration butt welds, regardless of direction of
their edges or close to the edges. stressing. Stress used in calculating the fatigue life
is the stress on the weld throat.

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Worked Example Worked Example: Joint Class


What are the weld classes shown in this joint?
Longitudinal fillet weld: Transverse,
Class C but Class F at vertical butt weld:
the end (Start/Stop) Class E

Transverse butt weld:


Class D
(Class E if overhead or Note: Class W – undersized
vertical) welds or weld defects!
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Weld Toe Failure Fatigue Fracture Surface

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4-3
Fatigue Fracture Surface Fatigue Failure in Components

Depends on:
• Load direction
• Geometry

Beach marks
• Provide record of crack front
location at particular time
• Associated with differential Striations x1800
corrosion, sudden change in • Usually represent crack Large structures can be tested using representative
crack growth rate, rest increment per cycle
periods…
smaller-scale specimens
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Fatigue Improvement Fatigue life improvement techniques

Improve by Design Reduce stress concentration and eliminate


sharp discontinuites at weld toe:
• Achieve a smooth transition between • Weld toe grinding.
weld and plate. • TIG or plasma re-melting.
• Use smooth shapes and transitions.
Reduce residual stresses:
• Grind flush excess weld metal, grinding • Stress relief.
marks should be parallel to stress
direction. Introduce compressive residual stress:
• Hammer, needle or shot peening.
• Local machining, remove weld toes and
• Ultrasonic impact treatment.
edges. • Proof loading.
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Effect of Flush-Grinding Girth Welds Recommended Material Removal


500

t = plate thickness
r/t >0.25
r = groove radius r/d >4
300
Stress to minimise
range d = groove depth notch effect
2
N/mm 200

150

100

As-welded
Flush-ground weld
Flush ground, failed from flaw
 Unbroken
50
4 5 6 7 8
10 10 10 10 10

Endurance, cycles
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4-4
Fatigue Improvement Techniques Burr Machined Weld Toe

Toe burr machining appearance

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Fatigue improvement techniques Fatigue Improvement Techniques


Weld toe burr grinding (machining) Toe burr machining - method 45º

45º

Direction
Minimum of travel
depth 0,8 mm
• improves fatigue life by 2 classes (30% on stress or 2.2 on life).
• slow careful application required.
• must penetrate recommended depth below any undercut or flaw.
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Fatigue Improvement Techniques Burr Machining and Disc Grinding

Toe disc grinding

30-45º

Direction
• Quicker than burr machining. of travel

• Less improvement (1 Class) – direction of


grinding marks.
• Controlled procedure and inspection required.
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4-5
Weld Toe Burr Grinding TIG or Plasma Dressing
H/course/burr
600

500
Weld toe burr ground
with r/T > 0.25 & r/d > 4
400  Unbroken
Depth of grinding Stress
d = 0.5mm below undercut r 300
range
2
N/mm Butt welds
200
d
Stressed plate 150
T=13mm
Unwelded steel

Proposed requirement: 100


r/d > 4
80
to minimise notch effect 4
10
5
10 10
6
10
7

Endurance, Cycles
• Very slow technique.
• Requires separate qualified procedure and
significant skill element.
• Delays subsequent weld inspection.
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Plasma Dressed Fillet Weld Effect of Compressive Residual Stress

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Weld Toe Hammer Peening Weld Toe Needle Peening

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4-6
Ultrasonic Impact Treatment Fatigue Performance of Welded Joints Improved by
Peening
log (stress range)

Stress at cross-over Decrease (to negative) in R


increases with tensile Increase in tensile strength
strength Increase in compressive
residual stress
Peened

As- welded
Increase in
fatigue limit

log (fatigue life)


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Comparison of Improvement Methods Effect of UTS on Benefit

400 600
Mild steel
R=0
500
300

400
Hammer peened Fatigue
Stress strength
range 200 Burr ground 300
N/mm2 at 2x106
cycles,
Shot peened 200
150 MPa
As welded Plasma dressed
100
TIG dressed weld
Toe ground weld
100 0
5 6 7 7
10 10 10 5x10 300 500 700 1000 1200
Endurance, cycles
Ultimate tensile strength of steel, MPa
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Concluding Remarks Alexander L. Kielland platform


• Significant improvements in fatigue life for • Pentagone type
joints at risk of failure from the weld toe. semi-submersible rig
in North Sea.
• Typical improvement by a factor of 2-3 on
• One of five columns
fatigue life. broke off, and
• Well defined method statement and platform capsized.
operator training required. • Initiation site was
• Post-treatment inspection to ensure fillet weld between
hydrophone support
complete coverage.
and brace.
• Detailed recommendations published by
IIW and in BS 7608.
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4-7
Fatigue cracking in brace D6 of Alexander L.
Mooring Buoy Failure
Kielland Platform
• Incomplete
Flotation
penetration and poor Chamber
weld bead shape.
• Fatigue crack
propagated into
Plane of
brac.e Failure
• No redundancy (loss
100m
of one brace led to
overloading of
others).
• Importance of
welded attachments.
Universal
Joint
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Mooring Buoy Failure Mooring Buoy Failure

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Mooring Buoy Failure Mooring Buoy Failure

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4-8
Mooring Buoy Failure Mooring Buoy Failure

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Mooring Buoy Failure Mooring Buoy, Sequence/Cause of Failure

Fatigue

Multiple stage Ductile overload


cleavage/arrest Multiple stage
cleavage/arrest

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Missing Material Missing Material

Reasonable theory
Actual situation
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4-9
Tacoma Narrows Bridge, 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge, 1940

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4-10
Objective

• Develop principles of design for static


loading.
Static Loading

TWI Training & Examinations Services


(EWS/IWS Diploma)

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Tensile Test Results Elastic Design Method


• Elastic Design Method.
– Ensure that stresses in structure do not
exceed yield stress (ie elastic deformation)

• However we cannot design up to yield


stress safely due to:
– Material defects
– Joint/weld mismatches
– Unforeseen loads
– Degradation

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Elastic Design Method Factor of Safety

• Use design stress which is a fraction of • Ratio of yield stress (or UTS) to design
the yield strength of the parent material. stress is known as factor of safety (FoS).

• For critical structures such as pressure Yield Stress


FoS  1
vessels this was once set at 1/4 UTS, but Design Stress
later changed to 2/3 yield stress.
• FoS depends on:
• Relevant codes dictate design stresses. – Material
– Utilisation

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5-1
Material Load Carrying Capacity Fillet Weld Features
• The simplest and cheapest type of welded design
• Weld metal overmatches parent metal.
• requires less preparation.
– Parent strength defines load carrying
• May be made in flat or horizontal positions by semi-
capacity skilled operators.
• High strength low alloy steels. • Possible problems with penetration into the parent
– Weld metal sometimes undermatches metal.
parent metal • Welds can be made with any number of passes
• Difficult to examine by NDT methods for subsurface
• Welded joints in aluminium. defects.
– The static strength may be reduced by the • Once you calculate the required size of fillet weld stick
heat of welding to it - the volume or weight of weld metal increases as
the square of leg length.
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Fillet Welds - Simplifying Assumptions Fillet Weld Throat

• The weld metal must match the strength of parent Throat dimension: - the shortest distance between
metal. root and the chord between the toes or profile face
(whichever is less).
• Weld will fail across the throat.
• Excess weld metal is neglected (for calculation use throat throat
design throat instead actual throat).
• Assume adequate weld quality. 60º
• Neglect stress concentrations due to bead shape.
• The design stress is YS/2 (when it is not given in
the applicable standard).
Welds with faces meeting at more than 120° or
• Ignore residual stress.
less than 60° should NOT be used for load
carrying parts.
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Fillet weld design Minimum fillet weld sizes


• some codes specify minimum fillet weld size (recommended by BS 449)
depending on thickness of plate to be welded. Thickness of thicker part (mm) Minimum leg size (mm)
This has more to do with prevention of cold 10-18 4
cracking than for strength 18-30 5
• maximum throat size for fillet Over 30 6
welds made from one pass is
6mm. (recommended by AWS D1.1.)
• if plates are 6mm thick or more - Thickness of thicker part (mm) Minimum leg size (mm)
leg length should be not less Up to 6 3
than 5mm. 6-12 5
• do not overweld - risk of 12-20 6
lamellar tearing. Over 20 8
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5-2
Types of Forces Bending Moment

• A cantilever beam:
Compression
Force, F
Fy
– Compression
M
Fx
– Tension Tension

– Shear d
Shear

– Bending Bending moment: Reaction forces:

Bending M=Fxd Fx Fy M

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Bending Stresses Bending Stresses

• Consider a beam subjected to pure Stress calculation - engineering bending formula


bending (no shear). M M

M
y Iz

m
a
x
Before bending
 

m
a
x
Tension (+)

where:
M M
After bending
M = bending moment
Iz = moment of inertia towards axis Z
Compression (-) Neutral Axis -
Longitudinal stresses ymax = maximum distance between cross section’s
are zero CG and extreme fibre
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Bending Section Modulus


• Maximal values for stress • The section modulus (Z) is a geometric
are obtained on extreme property only which relates stress and internal
fibres. Compression M moment during elastic bending.
M
• I beam: flanges resist -σ • The bigger the value of section modulus for a
bending while web resist particular cross-section the bigger the
shear. bending moment which it can withstand for a
• Stresses have a given maximum stress.
continuous linear variation +σ Iz
throughout entire Z
Tension y max
transverse section.
• ymax is the distance from the neutral axis to the
Neutral axis (where σ=0) goes through the centre of extreme fibres of the beam.
gravity of the transverse section
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5-3
Ways to Improve Resistance to Bending Ways to Improve Resistance to Bending

Push the material as far as you can


from the neutral axis
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Bending - Application Bending - Application


Determine the bending stress: Determine the bending stress:
P P

h h

L L
b b
Bending moment? Bending moment M = Force x distance = P x L
Moment of inertia? Moment of inertia I = (b x h3)/12
Maximum distance? Maximum distance ymax= h/2
Bending stress? Bending stress σ = M x ymax/I
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Bending Stresses Worked Example


• Calculate the maximum stress in a beam
subjected to 6kNm bending
50mm
Moment
Using the simple theory
of bending:
4MPa
My max Compression A bending moment of 9x105Nmm is applied to the end of a beam
 max  100 1.5m long. The beam is 50mm deep and 20mm wide.
I

bh 3 100  300 3 1. Calculate the leg length needed for the fillet welds shown
I   2.25  10 8 mm 4 300 Distribution of
12 12 longitudinal
above if the allowable stress in the fillets is 250MPa.
stresses
6  10 6  150 2. How would this change if the beam length was 0.75m?
 max   4MPa 4MPa
2.25  10 8 I Tension

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5-4
ANSWER 1 ANSWER 1
F
Throat, t = L/2
50mm Moment L, leg length

Hence allowable stress 250 is related to leg length as:


F

250 = (F2)/(L.w)
Applied moment = moment reacted in welds = 50 x F
So, L = (1.8x104 2)/(250.20)
F = 9x105/50 = 1.8x104N
= (2.54x104)/(5000)
= 5.1mm
Stress in fillet = F/(t.w)

Where:
t is the throat thickness and w is beam width (20mm)
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ANSWER 2 Torsion
Stress calculation (valid only for round shape transverse section
beams-bars or tubes):
Beam length makes no difference to required weld M tZ p
size because the applied loading is a bending
moment. That is, F is independent of beam length. 

Mt - torsion moment τ
Zp - polar section modulus of τ
the transverse section
Note that: Mt
• Largest values of stress are obtained on the extreme fibres
while in centre of section, stress is 0.
• the stress have a continuous linear variation throughout entire
transverse section.
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Design for Static Loading Design for Static Loading


Fillet weld subjected to torsion Fillet weld subjected to torsion
t t
Weld area = π ·D ·t
M M Load F
The torsion moment  
can be replaced by a CSA Weld area
2
M

D
M  F  F 
2 M
force F:
2 D

2 π
M 2
DD

F F 
π
t

D
t

 
   
D D

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5-5
Reinforcing–Steel Welded Joints Purpose

• Purpose. • The term reinforcing-steel is used to describe


• Profile. the use of steel to reinforce materials, most
• Joints. often concrete.
• Properties.
• Concrete is a brittle material which is strong
• Welding processes. in compression but weak in tension.
• Joint types.
• Joint loading. • This limits the use of concrete in construction
• Preheating. and makes it unsuitable for use in many
• Standards and specifications. structural members.
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Purpose Purpose
• A beam made only of concrete has little or • In concrete beams the steel bars are
no bending strength since cracking embedded in the tension fibres of the beam.
occurs in the extreme tension fibres in the
early stages of loading.

• To improve the tensional capability of


concrete we can embed steel bars called
reinforcing bars, or rebar, in the concrete.

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Bar Profile Joints

• Reinforcing bar is rolled with a ribbed die • Reinforcing bar is available in sizes
when manufactured to produce a ribbed ranging from 6mm up to 50mm diameter.
surface. • A whole assembly of reinforcing bars will
• Concrete shrinks around the bar when it sets usually be used.
to grip the reinforcement. • To join bars together there are several
methods:
– Welded joint
– Wire joint - wire wrapped around bars and
tightened
– Rebar coupler – mechanical fixing

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5-6
Joints Properties

• Welding can be used for both load bearing • Reinforcing bars available for a wide range of
joints and non load bearing joints. chemical compositions and mechanical
properties.
• Non load bearing joints used to keep
components in place during fabrication, • Not all reinforcing bars are weldable -
transportation and concreting - tack welds. weldability is determined by the carbon
equivalent value and the limitations on the
• Joints may be subject to significant loads content of certain elements.
during handling and transportation –
should be treated as load bearing.
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Welding Processes Types of Joint

• The following welding processes, in • Butt Joint:


accordance with ISO 4063, may be used to – Load bearing joints only
perform the welding of reinforcing-steel – Needs preparation
joints. – Backing strip may be used

Description Load Bearing Non Load Bearing


manual metal arc welding (MMA) ● ●
self-shielded tubular cored arc welding ● ●
metal active gas welding (MAG) ● ●
tubular cored metal arc welding with active gas shield ● ●

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Types of Joint Types of Joint

• Lap Joint: • Strap Joint:


– Load bearing joint only
– Load bearing and non load bearing
– Uses strapping bars
– Double sided weld possible
– Double sided weld possible
– Minimum throat thickness, a ≥ 0.3d
– Minimum throat thickness, a ≥ 0.3d
– Variation uses splice plate or angle
Straps
d

≥4d ≥2d ≥4d


≥4d ≥2d ≥4d
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5-7
Types of Joint Types of Joint
• Cross Joint: • Joints between reinforcing bar and other
– Load bearing and non load bearing steel components:
– Double sided weld used for load bearing
– Minimum throat thickness, a ≥ 0.3dmin – For load bearing functions, steel reinforcing
– Minimum weld length, l ≥ 0.5dmin bars are often joined to other steel
– When welding different diameters: dmin/dmax ≥ 0.4 components in a structure such as plates or
sections.
– The types of joint used include side lap weld
joints and transverse end plate joints.

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Types of Joint Joint Loading


• Common ranges of bar diameters for load • Direct and indirect loading:
bearing welded joints. – Describes the way forces are transmitted
across a joint
Welding Process Type of Joint Bar Diameters (mm)
21
cross joint 4 to 20
23
24
butt joint
5 to 50 – A butt joint is classed as a direct loading joint
25
42
butt joint
5 to 25
6 to 50 as the bars are axially aligned
joint to other steel component 6 to 50
47 butt joint 6 to 50
butt joint without backing ≥16
111
114
butt joint with permanent backing
lap joint
≥12
6 to 32 – Lap and strap joints are classed as indirect
135
136
strap joint
cross joint
6 to 50
6 to 50 loading joints as the forces are transmitted
with eccentricity.
joint to other steel component 6 to 50

Eccentric loading causes the joint to flex and


hence bending stresses are set up

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Preheating Standards and Specifications

• BS EN ISO 17660: Welding - Welding of


• The minimum preheat temperatures for
reinforcing steel.
reinforcing steel welded joints are dependant
• AWS D1.4: Structural Welding Code - Reinforcing
on: Steel.
– Type of joint • Eurocode 2: Design of Concrete Structures.
– Carbon equivalent value of the steel • BS EN 10080: Steel for the reinforcement of
– Diameter of the bar or combined diameter of the concrete - Weldable reinforcing steel – General.
joint • BS 4449: Steel for the reinforcement of concrete -
– Hydrogen content of the weld metal Weldable reinforcing steel - Bar, coil and decoiled
– Arc energy product - Specification.
• BS 7123: Metal arc welding of steel for concrete
reinforcement.
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5-8
Standards and Specifications
• AWS D1.1: Structural Welding Code.
• BS 5950: Structural use of steelwork in building.
• BS 8118: Structural use of aluminium.
• Eurocode 3 (BS EN 1993): Design of steel structures.
• Eurocode 9 (BS EN 1999): Design of aluminium
structures.
• BS 7608: Code of practice for fatigue design and
assessment of steel structures.
• BS 7910: Guide to methods for assessing the
acceptability of flaws in metallic structures.
• BS EN 22553: Welded, brazed and soldered joints.
Symbolic representation on drawings.
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5-9
Design Codes
• Design and build pressure vessels to an
established design code.
• In EU must be in accordance with PED.
Design of Pressure Equipment • Codes will define:
– Maximum allowable stress
– Minimum design temperature
TWI Training & Examinations Services – Materials and mechanical properties
EWE/IWE Diploma – Permitted design features
• PD 5500, EN 13445, ASME Boiler & PV
codes.
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Material Choice Construction of Pressure Vessels

• Mechanical properties: • Shell


– Often made from types of steels for strength – Main body, usually cylindrical,
sometimes sphere
– Low temperature use stainless steel, aluminium • Head
– Lightweight vessels use composites – Used to close the cylindrical shell,
usually dished
• Nozzle
• Corrosion resistance: – Opening for filling, drainage or
inspection
– Use aluminium, polymers, ceramic, stainless steel
• Saddle Supports
– Thin wall vessels made from corrsion-resistant – Used to hold vessel in place
material • Nameplate
– Thick wall, use a CR liner in a steel vessel – Contains important information about
the vessel

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Design Approach Design of Pressure Vessels

• Design-by-rule: • Design-by-analysis:
– Virtually all codes use this approach – Use stress analysis to compare the stresses
– Relatively simple equations against specific criteria
• Advantages: – Use limit analysis to determine the load to
cause failure by gross plastic deformation
– Simple and consistent
– Safety factors applied to ensure constant level
• Disadvantages: of safety
– The rules are sometime open to interpretation.
– Difficult to apply when dealing with loadings and
geometries which are not covered by the standards

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6-1
Shell Design Dished Head Design

• The hoop stress is twice the axial stress.


Knuckle
• longitudinal welds designed with an offset
between strakes.
• Shell thickness from few mm to few 100mm. Petals

offset

Crown

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Dished Heads Shell to Head Welds


Joint design to allow for misalignment:
misalignment

Hemispherical Semi-elliptical Torispherical


• Thinnest • Thickness • Smallest axial Advantage: Disadvantage:
material. equal to shell. dimension. • Double bevel prep • Requires access both
• Difficult to • Difficult to • Easy to make. allows for misalignment. sides.
make. make. • Only one item needs to • Misalignment can set up
• Thicker than the
be prepared. local bending stress.
shell.
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Shell to Head Welds Nozzles

Used for thin-walls


Nozzles connect a pressure
Used for thick-walls
vessel with other components

Type of nozzle depends on:

1.5 x t • Diameter/thickness ratio of the shell.


Advantages: Disadvantages: • Diameter/thickness ratio of the nozzle.
• Self-jigging. • High level of residual
stress and distortions.
• Access (one side only or both sides).
• Allow for use of high heat
input welding process. • Difficult to inspec.t • Type of joint required (partial/full pen).
• No danger of burn-trough. • Poor resistance on fatigue
• Weld only on outside. stress. • Groove preparation methods available.
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6-2
Set-on nozzle Set-Through Nozzle
• 1G/PA position much easier.
• Shorter nozzle is cheaper.
• Groove prep can be flame cut.
• Easy to make groove for full or partial
penetration. • No danger of lamellar tearing.
• Single side welding in 2G/PB position • Easy access to the back side of root,
means high welder skill is required. so full penetration is easier to
achieve.
• Through thickness stress means danger
of lamellar tearing. • For nozzles with small diameters no
need for reinforcement.
• Can be difficult to UT especially on
smaller diameters. • Nozzle body needs to be longer.
• Mainly used for small (<2inch diameter) • Greater weld volume means higher
nozzles, or thick wall or large diameter distortions.
vessels. • Can be hard to UT on smaller
• May require reinforcement. diameters, usually easy to inspect.
• Used for larger diameter nozzles, and
thinner walled small diameter vessels.
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Reinforcement or Compensation Reinforcement at Nozzles

To compensate for loss in strength, we can


reinforce either the shell or nozzle

Reinforcing ring/
Long neck
Compensating plate
nozzle

Parent material

Hole bored
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Reinforcement at Nozzles Flange Connections


Compensation plates may be added round the hole,
• Connect other plant to the pressure vessel
or thicker reinforcement used on the nozzle design
via the nozzles and piping.
• Standard dimensions and pressure ratings.
• Interchangeable.
Compensation
added

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6-3
Corrosion Allowance Weld Joint Efficiency

• Corrosion occurring over the life of a • Most vessel codes assume that welded joints are
vessel is catered for by a corrosion not as strong as the parent material.
allowance.
• The design value depends on vessel duty • The welded joint efficiency is defined as the ratio
and the corrosiveness of its contents of joint strength/parent material strength.
• Example, EN 13445 requires minimum
1mm. • Varies from 100-45% according to the standard
applied, to the extent of NDT and joint design.
• Dimensions used in formula for thickness
calculation are for end of the vessel life, ie
when all the corrosion allowance has been • Reduces the maximum design stress for lower
integrity welds.
used.
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Weld Joint Efficiency Hoop Stress

• EN 13445 Fy
t
– 100% NDT: 100% p
– No NDT: 70% p
2r

• ASME VII Div 1


p
r

– Full penetrated butt-joint, full RT: 100% ½Fy’ ½Fy’


Fy   2

'
– Butt joint with backing strip, full RT: 90%
– Single full filet lap joint, no RT: 50% 1/2 Fy  σy  t
F y2
' t

Force due to pressure


p
r t
.

Force due to hoop stress


• PD 5500: not applied  
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Axial Stress Vacuum and External Pressure


t • External pressure is when pressure acting on the
outside surface exceeds the pressure on the inside
Force Fx Fx’ Force due surface.
due to r
P x to axial • Vacuum is where the external pressure is
pressure
stress atmospheric and internal pressure is less than
atmospheric pressure.
• Examples include vessels for subsea operation,
2 P 2
t r t
r
P
r
Fx
Fx
'

jacketed vessels, and the tubes in a heat


2

      exchangers.
x

• The main failure mode is buckling:


– Shape imperfections are important and ovality tolerances
 
x

are tighter
– Internal stiffeners are used

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6-4
Types of Pressure Vessel Reasons for Failures in Pressure Vessels
• Boilers & distillation columns • Material: improper selection of materials, defects in
are fired pressure vessels. materials.
• Operate at high temperature. • Design: incorrect design data, inaccurate or
• Use creep-resistant steels. incorrect design methods, inadequate shop testing.
• Fabrication: poor quality control, improper or
insufficient welding; heat treatment and forming
• Storage vessels, eg for LPG
methods.
are unfired.
• Service: change of service condition by the user,
• Low temperature and
inexperience operations and maintenance
cryogenic vessels use nickel
personnel, upset conditions.
steel, stainless or aluminium.

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Codes and Standards PD 5500

• ASME (2007): Boiler & Pressure Vessel Latest Edition 2009


Code, Section VIII. Design covered by Section 3
Construction categories Three construction categories (Section
• BS PD 5500 (2009): Specification for 3.4)
unfired fusion welded pressure vessels, Joint efficiencies -
BSI London. Joint types Type A and B with different NDT
requirements (Section 5.6.4)
• BS EN 13445 (2009): Specification for Design features Figures E.1 to E.6 show typical (rather
unfired fusion welded pressure vessels, than mandatory) weld details
BSI London. Notes The technical content claims to satisfy
the essential safety requirements
(ESRs) of the PED

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EN 13445 ASME VIII


Latest Edition 2009 Latest Edition 2007
Design covered Part 3 Design covered by Div 1 (most vessels) and Div 2
by Construction categories Div 2 is for specialised vessels
Corrosion There is some clear guidance, including a
Joint efficiencies UW-12
minimum corrosion allowance of 1mm (Section 5)
Joint types Part UW-3 defines category A, B, C, D welded
Design methods Design-by-rule (Section5)
joints, with different NDT requirements
Design-by-analysis (Annexes B and C)
Experimental techniques (very little guidance) Design features Figures UW-13.1, 13.2 and 16.1 show typical
acceptable (and unacceptable) welded joints
Weld joint Depend on the extent of NDE, similar to ASME VIII
coefficient Div 1 Design pressure UG-19, UG-21
Notes •Harmonised standard for use with the PED Design temp UG-19, UG-20
•Use of this standard is not mandatory in the PED, Notes Div 1 coves normal vessels, Div 2 covers
but vessels, designed, manufactured and tested to alternative rules for PVs, is used for special
EN 13445 presumed to conform with ESRs of PED applications, including nuclear.
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6-5
Objectives

• Construction of S-N curves for parent


metals and welds.
• Describe the rate of crack extension per
Advanced Fatigue – Part 2 cycle in fracture mechanics terms.
• Appreciate techniques for calculating how
many cycles are required to cause a
TWI Training & Examinations Services fatigue crack to extend by a given amount.
EWE/IWE Diploma • Counting fatigue cycles using the rainflow
method.

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Features of Stress Cycle S-N Curves


If applied stress range, σ, is plotted against
Maximum
number of applications of load required for
Stress stress failure (N) we obtain the S-N curve
Cycle Stress
range Stress
range,
Dσ Failure
Mean Endurance
stress limit
No failure
Minimum Time
stress No of cycles
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Fatigue Strength S-N Curve


Impact of stress and number of cycles on fatigue failure
• Typical SN curves are plotted on a
σ σ
logarithmic scale
• Produces a straight line in the high cycle
σ2
regime
σ Log S

σ1

N N N1 N2 N
Endurance
Increase stress - more damage limit
Increase number of cycles - more damage Log N
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7-1
Effect of a Notch Fatigue of Welded Joints
Fatigue strength of welded joints << Parent Material

400
Log σ Without notch Stress 300
range, 200

N/mm2 100
With notch
50
Steel
350 N/mm2 yield

10
Log N 105 106 107 108 Cycles
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Effect of Steel Strength on Fatigue Strength Stress Fields near Cracks


Stress intensity factor: • K defines the magnitude of the

K  Y  a
crack tip singularity (stresses
Fatigue near tip are proportional to 1/√r
Stress range for life of 106

500 and K).


strength of A single parameter characterises
the stress field near the crack tip,
400 welded and the fracture event
• K defines the crack tip conditions
cycles, N/mm2

under linear elastic conditions: if


joints K is known, stresses, strains and
displacements can be
300 unaffected determined.
CT
by parent
200 • If a material fails locally at some
material critical combination of stresses

100
strength and strains, this corresponds to a
 critical value of K, which is a
measure of fracture toughness.

400 500 600 700 800 900 Crack r


Singularity dominated
Ultimate tensile strength of steel, N/mm2 zone
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Fracture Mechanics Approach to Fatigue Fatigue Crack Growth Law

Fracture
Stress intensity factor range =  K Relationship between
= Kmax - Kmin da/dN and K
  determined
increasing R
Stress ratio R = Kmin / Kmax
experimentally
d d
a N

Log (da/dN)
A
K
m

  
m
da
Kmax
Stress, s

Stress 1 Paris law : = A (K)m


Intensity K
dN
Solution K
(Annex M) increasing R
Kmin
threshold, Ko Log (K)
Time Time
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7-2
Fracture Mechanics Analysis of Fatigue Crack
Integration of Crack Growth Law Growth
If we take the Paris law region and integrate….
Crack growth rate (Paris

d d
a N

w
h
e
r
e

K
Y

a
A
K
m
law)
      
da  AK m

d
a a
dN

N
m
a
x

m
   

m

ai
where 
K  Y a

1 A

d
a a
a
o
r

m
a
x
m
  

m
af 

ai
da 
A1  Y a   N m
m
NB: m is the slope of the calculated S-N curve
ai
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Practical Application of Fracture Mechanics Fatigue Crack Growth Mechanism


Fatigue Analysis
1 A

d
a a
a
N

m
a
x
m

  
Y


ai


Four unknowns… can solve if we know any three
• N for known flaw and loading.
• Tolerable flaw ai for a given  and N.
• Required toughness ( a max ) to avoid fracture from
fatigue cracking.
• Allowable  for known flaw and required life.
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Validation of Fracture Mechanics Fatigue Validation of Fracture Mechanics Fatigue


Calculations (1) Calculations (2)

How accurate are fracture mechanics calculations ? How accurate are fracture mechanics calculations ?
12
11
10
9
Crack 8
Actual
depth 7
mm 6
5
4 Predicted by
3 fracture mechanics
2
1
0
5 5 5
0 2x10 4x10 6x10
Endurance, cycles

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7-3
Fatigue Crack Growth Laws in BS 7910 BS 7910 Recommended Fatigue Crack Growth
Laws for Steels in Marine Environments
da/dN,
mm/cycle
-2
10
-1100mV
• Free corrosion produces around 3-fold increase in da/dN
cathodic
protection
compared with air.
-3
10
• Use of cathodic protection (correct or over-protection) restores
10
-4 Simplified law for in-air behaviour up to K = 144 N/mm3/2 (315 N/mm3/2 for R < 0.5),
free corrosion -850mV
cathodic but da/dN increases at higher values.
protection
2-stage law
• Cathodic over-protection (-1100 mV) is particularly detrimental at
-5
10
for free
corrosion
high K and K max due to the generation of hydrogen.
-6
10
• Majority of the raw data were generated to reproduce North Sea
10
-7
With cathodic
conditions, approx. 6-10oC and a cycling frequency of 1/6 Hz.
protection
(-850 or -1100mV)
Crack growth rates could be higher at higher temperatures and
10
-8 lower frequencies, and vice versa.
10 20 50 100 200 500 1000 2000
-3/2
 K Nmm

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Fatigue Crack Growth Laws in BS 7910 Variable Amplitude Loading


da/dN
mm/cycle
• Is encountered in most structures.
• Constant amplitude loading is rare.
-2
10
Simplified law for
welded aluminium
-3
10 alloys

-4
10
Simplified law for
welded steels,
including
-5
10
austenitics

-6
10

-7
10
2-stage law for
welded steels
-8
10
10 20 50 100 200 500 1000 2000
-3/2
 K Nmm

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Rainflow Counting Reservoir Counting

• Method for • Method for counting cycles where the stress


counting cycles history is represented as the cross-section of
that gets its a reservoir.
name from the
analogy with
rain drops
propagating
down a pagoda
roof.

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7-4
Analysis of Fatigue Loading Miner’s Linear Cumulative Damage Rule

Stress • Miner’s Rule used


Service loading Simplified series of range Design S-N curve to make a
history for structure blocks of
Ds
comparison of
identifiable Ds
1
applied stress
Ds2 history and material
Stress Stress
range n1 cycles at Ds1 resistance.
Cycle counting n2 cycles at Ds2
n3 cycles at Ds3 • For each stress
etc... n 1 n 2 N1 N2 range fatigue
time
Endurance, N cycles damage is
time  ni/Ni = 1 at failure proportional to n/N.
Stress analysis or measurement Stress range history after
at weld details cycle counting (Safety factor  allowable fatigue damage < 1)
Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012 Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

Miner’s Rule Miner’s Linear Cumulative Damage Rule


621890/slides

• Method to take into account the damage Constant amplitude


S-N curve fatigue damage due to  1 = n1/N1
the cycles at various amplitudes have on fatigue damage due to  2 = n2/N2...etc
giving Miner's rule:--
1
the overall life of a component.  ni/Ni = 1 at failure
• Cumulative damage rule (Miner’s rule). 2
n jN j
n 3N
n 1N 1

n 2N

n N

log 
i
1
.
.
.

N3 = infinity
  3

      Fatigue damage due


to  3 = n3/
j
2

= zero

n1 N1 n2 N2 n3

log N
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Summary of Fracture Mechanics Fatigue


Flaw Geometry
Analysis

• Flaw assumed to be planar.


Log (da/dN)

fracture
d d
a N
A
K

• Height, Length.
m

  
Flaw Type and Geometry • Ligament, Plate thickness….
2c
Log ( K)
Stress n1 cycles at 1
range n2 cycles at 2 K Crack Growth Relationship
a
n3 cycles at 3
2c
etc...
Integrated cycle by cycle B
to determine final flaw 2a
time size p
Applied Stresses ()
Fracture assessment

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7-5
Flaw Interaction/Orientation In A Fatigue
Stresses Used in Fatigue Assessments
Assessment
Flaw projection (as in fracture assessment)
Stress linearisation Establish primary and secondary (excluding
residual) stress ranges due to fluctuating
Principal
Resolved components of applied load, allowing for
stress
flaw SCF kt due to any gross structural
discontinuity, if necessary

Stress
b
Flaw interaction - NOT required for fatigue
kt (P + Q)
Cracks behave independently until they actually m
coalesce s1 2c
Linearise through-thickness distribution (do
Actual stress not underestimate surface stresses) to
distribution deduce m and b.
s2
2a

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General Fatigue Assessment Procedure for


Applied Stress Intensity Factor Range
Planar Flaws

SCF associated
SCF due to Log (da/dN) fracture
with gross
Bulging misalignment
structural
Correction
discontinuity
Factor Paris law
2ci+1

ai
2ci
K

a
M
fw
kt
M
M

kt
M
M

ai+1 m
      ︵       da/dN = A ( K)m
m

k
m

b
k
b
b

1
K  Y  a

Stress intensity threshold, Ko Log ( K)


Finite Width magnification
Correction factor for weld
Factor • Crack extension for each fatigue cycle predicted using
toe empirical crack growth law
cf
• Software used to perform cycle by cycle integration

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Stages of Fatigue Crack Growth From a Flaw

• Embedded crack  Surface crack  Through-thickness


crack.

• Check for instability (ie fracture).

• Re-characterise flaw if required.


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7-6
Why Calculate Weld Stress?

• Welding and joining is a very costly


process.
• Joints are the most common location of
Stresses in Welds failure.
• Repairs are even more costly.
• Inadequate joint design costs the world
TWI Training & Examinations Services economy hundreds of billions of $/£ each
EWE/IWE Diploma year.
• Need to get it right first time by using the
correct design.
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Where Can the Design go Wrong? Calculating Weld Stresses - Approach

• Lack of awareness of one or more important 1. Draw a diagram!


factors which need to be considered in the
design process.
2. Calculate cross
section area (CSA)
• Lack of appropriate design data.
3. Convert the applied
• Lack of resources to conduct the necessary
force into stress
testing.
4. Compare the stress to
• Lack of consultation with production the allowable value
personnel.
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Engineering for Static Strength Fillet Weld Failure Modes

• Ensure that the fully-stressed weld does


not exceed its stress limit.
• Usually this is the design stress, ⅔ yield.
• A weld that carries a very low stress may
be over-engineered and waste weld metal.
• Most onerous loading mode is tension.
• Consider the expected weld failure modes.
Weld throat failure Parent metal failure

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8-1
Butt Weld Failure Modes Lap Weld Failure Modes
Single fillet weld – lap joint

In-line butt weld – full penetration

either:
Weld throat
Weld throat

Double fillet weld – lap joint


or: either:

HAZ or parent
material

Weld throat
In-line butt weld – partial penetration
or:

Weld throat

HAZ or parent
material

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Fatigue Failure Fillet Welds

• Fatigue cracks propagate from stress • Subject to both axial and shear stresses.
concentrations such as weld toes.
• Cyclic stresses, below the yield stress.
• Designer considers effect of cyclic
stresses as well as static stress.

Full penetration butt weld (no flaws)

Toe
crack

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IIW Method for Fillet Weld Stress IIW Method for Fillet Weld Stress
P
3

 ||

   
2

2|

    
e
q

 || 

L


• eq = equivalent stress.



•  = 0.7 for low strength steels.
•  = 0.85 for high yield steel.

• Method allows the use of higher applied stress.
t
• Resolve the applied stress into the three stress • More complicated to apply.
directions in the weld throat. • Sometimes gives smaller weld sizes.
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8-2
Over-Welding Fillet Welds Over-Welding Fillet Welds
It is important to keep the fillet weld leg length
limited to the correct calculated size (a) (b)

4mm 6mm
(a) (b)
4mm 6mm
4mm 6mm
(a) (b)
4mm 6mm
Area = 4 x 4 = 8mm2 Area = 6 x 6 = 18mm2
2 2
The c.s.a. of (b) is over double the area of (a)
How much larger is the CSA in (b) comparable to (a)?
Ignoring the excess weld metal being added
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Butt Welds Partial Penetration Butt Weld

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Weld Designers

• Specify the nominal weld throat.


• Consider the weld root properties:
– Need for backing
– Full penetration
– Affect on static and fatigue strength
• Select the weld prep and fit-up tolerances.
• Specify material strength and dimensions.
• Welding engineer develops WPS.
• Designer incorporate info on drawings.

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8-3