Influence of weld quality on the fatigue strength of thin normal and high strength steel butt joints

I. Lillemäe*, H. Remes, S. Liinalampi, Antti Itävuo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


For building more energy-efficient and eco-friendly structures, new lightweight solutions are needed. Utilization of higher strength steels and smaller plate thicknesses together with modern welding technologies holds a huge potential for weight reduction. However, due to lack of knowledge about the fatigue resistance, current rules do not allow using smaller plate thicknesses than 5 mm nor benefiting from higher strength steels in large welded structures such as in ships. One of the main concerns in addition to larger welding-induced distortions is the weld quality. This paper compares the fatigue strength of 4 mm thick normal and high strength steel butt joints produced by different welding methods leading to different weld shape and quality. In order to eliminate the effect of secondary bending due to initial distortions and bring out the influence of weld quality, the fatigue test results are analyzed using structural hot spot stress approach with measured specimen geometries. The results show considerable yield-limit-dependent increase in the fatigue strength of high quality welds, while no benefit from higher base material strength was observed for low quality butt joints. In addition, the suitability of existing weld quality recommendations for thin welded joints was evaluated and future research needs discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-740
Number of pages10
JournalWelding in the World
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Butt joints
  • Fatigue strength
  • High strength steels
  • Sheet
  • Stress distribution
  • Structural steels
  • Welded joints


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of weld quality on the fatigue strength of thin normal and high strength steel butt joints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this