Impact of Plate Thickness and Joint Geometry on Residual Stresses in 347H Stainless Steel Welds

Yu Hong, Timothy Pickle, Zhenzhen Yu, Judith Vidal, Chad Augustine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Weldments of 347H stainless steel are potentially susceptible to stress relaxation cracking at elevated service temperatures. Mitigation of stress relaxation cracking susceptibility within a multipass weld requires a good understanding of welding practices and manufacturing techniques to control high tensile residual stresses. In this work, the dependence of residual stress distribution in 347H stainless steel on base plate thickness, joint geometry design, and preheating condition was systematically investigated by using three-dimensional finite element models. The finite element models were validated through good agreement between neutron diffraction measurements and calculated elastic strains. The single-V-groove welds with and without a preheating step all produced similar peak von Mises residual stresses, above 450 MPa, within both the fusion zone and heat-affected zone (HAZ). In plates thicker than 0.5 in. (12.7 mm), high tensile residual stress could be observed in a relatively large area, from the middle of the plate thickness to underneath the top surface. A double-V groove shifted the high tensile stress area to the middle thickness of the weld. A single-J- groove weld was able to confine the residual stress to a very small region near the middle thickness within the fusion zone and suppressed the von Mises residual stress within the HAZ to below 400 MPa.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)279-291
Number of pages13
JournalWelding Journal (Miami, Fla)
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-82066


  • finite element modeling
  • residual stress
  • stainless steel
  • stress relaxation cracking
  • welding


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