In welded components residual stresses on the order of yield magnitude can exist, allowing creep damage and cracking to occur under secondary stresses at elevated temperatures. A method of inducing residual stresses in compact tension, C(T), specimens is proposed using Electron Beam (EB) welding, which is simulated using a sequential thermal-mechanical model. The thermal model has been verified by comparison to thermocouple measurements obtained from instrumented EB welding experiments on blocks made of ex-service Type 316H stainless steel. Residual stress measurements, obtained by the neutron diffraction technique, have also been used to verify the mechanical model. It has been found that in the proposed EB welding method plasticity is localised and limited to just a few millimetres away from the notch whilst at the same time exhibiting a near yield level residual stress at the crack tip. Thus this technique may allow the effects of residual stresses on creep crack growth to be investigated by the EB welding technique without material property changes due to crack tip plasticity influencing the results.

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