Fatigue improvement from high-frequency mechanical impact (HFMI) is considered to rely on compressive residual stresses, improved weld toe geometry and localized strain hardening at the weld toe. Of these, the existence of compressive residual stresses is generally assumed critical for the effectiveness of the method. In this study, the influence of stress ratio and peak loads on residual stress relaxation and fatigue damage in as-welded and HFMI-treated S700 transverse attachments was investigated. Elastic-plastic stress-strain response for as-welded and HFMI-treated conditions was simulated considering the effects of initial residual stress distribution, local geometry and local material properties. Relative fatigue damage was estimated using the Smith-Watson-Topper parameter. Full residual stress relaxation was observed for a stress ratio of 0.5 and a compressive overload of 0.6 times the nominal yield strength. The fatigue damage assessment showed benefit from HFMI with respect to the as-welded state for all simulated load conditions. The results are consistent with experimentally observed behaviour. The stepwise analysis indicated that the remaining benefit after residual stress relaxation was due to geometry improvement and strain hardening.
- High-frequency mechanical impact (HFMI)
- Residual stresses
- Variable amplitude loading
- Welded joints