Understanding welding-induced residual stresses can help the pipeline industry to produce and install safer, more reliable and potentially more cost-efficient pipeline designs. The weld residual stresses are often found to be in the tensile stress state in parts of the weld which is well-known to have a destructive effect on the fatigue life and fracture properties of the pipeline. With the latest development within Computational Welding Mechanics, it is today it is possible to give accurate estimations of the residual stresses and distortions due to welding and the results can be used to optimise and determine the structural life time of the pipeline. However, it is vital that the welding simulation methods are validated against reliable measured data, so that welding-induced residual stresses distribution can be accurately predicted using computational methods. During the welding there are several factors that might affect the influence of welding residual stresses, such as the materials properties of the base and filler material, the welding process parameters, number of passes, joint groove parameters, geometry effects such as the thickness and t/D ratio. The different factors contribute all to the weld residual stress in different levels and it is therefore crucial to understand how this will influence residual stress level.

This paper presents a review of the latest achievements within Computational Welding Mechanics (CWM) simulations to determine the weld residual stresses in pipeline girth welds and the influence the weld residual stress has on the pipeline integrity.

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