The fatigue resistance of welded connections made of high strength steel (HSS) is one of the most important topics for the application of HSS in the construction sector. One of the most challenging issues is how to predict the fatigue life of welded structures with complex geometry based on the test results from relatively simple coupon specimens. However, there are generally pre-existing residual stresses in the welded coupon specimens during fatigue tests, and these residual stresses vary greatly in welded structures with complex geometry. This increases the difficulty in predicting the fatigue behaviour of welded structures based on results at coupon scale. Hence, it is important to establish a relationship between the residual stress independent material characteristics and fatigue life. The fatigue behaviour of complex welded structures can be predicted by this residual stress independent material characteristics calibrated at the coupon level and simulated local residual stress distribution. In this paper, the residual stress-free characteristics, hardness, is employed to predict the fatigue life of butt-welded joints. Besides, the residual stress of V-shaped butt welds on a plate made of high strength steels are analysed by modelling of the welding process based on subsequent thermal analysis and mechanical stress analysis by implementing kill/birth strategies. The results show that it contributes to a better prediction compared with experimental results after considering the residual stress effects.
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- Butt-welded plates
- Hardness measurements
- Residual stress effects
- S-N curves