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RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

with Shell Element Models — A Comparison

with Classical Analysis

Weld size requirements based on throat shear against electrode allowables were

calculated with loads derived from FEA shell element results

BY M. A. WEAVER

ABSTRACT. Finite element analysis (FEA) the joint in the model. This is useful for predicted. This would seem a fruitful area

has become a practical method of pre- prediction of both static failure and for research. With more accurate predic-

dicting stresses and deflection for loaded fatigue failure. tion and classification of failure resis-

structures. FEA accurately identifies the • Rapid determination of weld tance, the fabrication cost for a given

load path, which can be difficult using throat requirements or stress levels from structural reliability can be reduced.

classical analysis with complex struc- a solved FEA model. The process of ex-

tures. FEA shell element models are tracting weld loads and determining Implementation

effective for predicting loads in weld- throat requirements or stress levels can

ments fabricated from plate, sheet, struc- be highly automated. For fillet and partial penetration

tural shapes and tube. The formulation • Shear loads induced by mismatch groove welds, the criteria used for sizing

used for a finite element shell model is of lateral deflection due to restraint/Pois- welds is to divide the load transmitted

that of full penetration welds at every son effects are included in the calculated (traction) through the weld by the mini-

joint. Although the loads carried through loads. These loads are often ignored with mum throat area and compare that value

joints are calculated by FEA, they are not classical analysis. with the electrode shear allowable. (See

readily presentable. This article presents • An estimate of the ductile reserve Appendix for a description of this criteria

a method to derive the loads at weld of the joint with respect to the hydrostatic and the associated safety factors.)

joints from the stress results of FEA shell load state is available. This has been pro- The applicability of this method for

element models. Additionally, using the posed as a cause of non-ductile failure of single-sided welds where the weld root

calculated weld loads, weld throat weld joints (Ref. 1). Although not per- sees tension is subject to special consid-

stresses or size requirements are calcu- formed in the implementation presented, erations and limitations that are

lated using classical methods. information useful for this evaluation is discussed.

obtained. Investigation is ongoing in this A welded T-joint and a lap-joint are

Introduction area. analyzed for demonstration. First, the

There is room for improvement in fail- weld for a T-joint of a fabricated steel

Most common basic FEA packages ure prediction of fillet and partial pene- bracket is analyzed. The results will be

are suitable for this analysis. COSMOS/M tration welds and research is ongoing at compared to a classical analysis of the

was used for the examples here. With its many sites. Using FEA, the loads at a same joint. Finally, the weld of a lap joint

parametric command files, design varia- weld joint can easily be resolved into di- for an aluminum fall arrest lug is sized.

tions are easily evaluated. With any FEA rections associated with the weld joint. The method is presented in four steps:

package, accurate load estimation de- From this, stress states at the root and toe 1) From the Finite Element Analysis,

pends on the quality of the model built of the weld due to applied loads can be list to a file the stress tensor at each node

by the analyst. predicted. With this information, fracture of a weld joint in one terminated part for

As presented, this method is standard initiation may be better modeled and both the top and bottom stresses.

classical weld stress analysis, except that 2) Extract the stress tractions through

the forces on the weld joint are deter- the weld at each weld joint node for both

mined using FEA. The forces through the element faces (top and bottom) by multi-

weld are divided by the weld throat area plying the joint normal unit vector into

and compared to the shear allowable of KEY WORDS the shell element top and bottom stress

the electrode material. Finite Element Analysis tensors.

The benefits of utilizing this method Fatigue/Fracture 3) From the tractions and the part

are as follows: thickness, solve for the normal load

Loaded Structures

• Accurate determination of weld (lb/in.), bending load (in.-lb/in.) and joint

loads including distribution of weld Static Strength shear (lb/in.) at each node.

loads along the joint. The weld joint Throat Requirements 4) From the formulas appropriate for

loads are resolved at each FEA node of Weld design the weld joint (double-sided fillet,

Throat Shear double-sided partial penetration groove,

M. A. WEAVER, P.E., is with Weaver Engi- or single-sided welds — fillet or partial

neering, Seattle, Wash. penetration with limitations) and the

throat size, calculate the weld stress. continuity by activating results for the

Conversely, from the desired stress level, area of interest only, as is shown by the

solve for the required throat size. comparison of Figs. 4 and 5.

The four steps are described and ap-

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plied as follows:

Weld Size Requirement for a Steel

T-Joint Bracket Step 1: List to a file the stress tensor at each

node of a weld joint in one terminated part

for both the top and bottom stresses.

Figure 1 depicts a welded steel

bracket loaded vertically and horizon-

Activate the elements for one termi-

tally. Figure 2 shows a fabrication detail

nated part of the of the weld joint and the

of the bracket where the size of the

nodes of the joint only as shown in Fig.

double-sided fillet weld is S. This T-joint

7. For lap and T-joints, there is only one

is subject to bending in both the strong

Fig. 1 — Depiction of bracket loads. terminated part — Fig. 6. For corner and

and weak directions, tension and shear.

butt joints, both parts terminate and

This bracket is made from ASTM A36

either part may be selected.

steel and welded with matching E60XX

Some weld joints, such as a flare-V-

electrode. The required safety factor

groove between two adjacent rectangu-

against ultimate failure is 3.0, so the

lar steel tubes, have no terminated part.

allowable weld throat “shear” stress used

One solution is to chamfer or round the

to size the joint was 13.2 ksi [1/3.0 ·

tube corners in the finite element model

(60 ksi)(0.3)(2.2)], see Appendix. The ob-

and model the weld itself as shell ele-

jective of this analysis is to determine the

ments connecting the tube walls similar

weld size, S, that results in a maximum

to the actual weld. These weld elements

throat stress of 13.2 ksi.

then become the terminated part.

The loads in the weld are easily de-

List to text files the stresses in the top

termined using classical analysis for this

and the bottom of terminated part at the

bracket. The weld size requirements will

active nodes — Fig. 8A, B. Top and bot-

be calculated first, using the loads from

tom are terms used to distinguish the

finite element analysis and then will be

element sides; they have no significance

compared to the results obtained using

Fig. 2 — Fabrication detail of T-bracket. with respect to up or down. The top face

classical analysis.

of an element is the face where the node

With finite element analysis results,

sequence is counterclockwise. Figure 8D

care must be taken when identifying the

is a list of top stresses at the nodes of the

stresses (loads) at weld joints or other

weld joint with the elements for both

discontinuities. Figure 3 depicts a finite

parts 1 and 2 active — it is incorrect for

element model of the T-joint under in-

extracting weld loads and corresponds to

vestigation. Figure 4 shows the finite ele-

the stress plot of Fig. 5.

ment stress results in part 1 (the stem of

In step 2, a coordinate system aligned

the “t” shown in Fig. 2) of the joint. Figure

with the weld joint in the terminated part

5 shows stress results for the assembly.

is introduced. Depending on the method

Comparison of Figs. 4 and 5 shows that

of implementation, it may be beneficial

the displayed stress in part 1 near the

to list the top and bottom stresses in a co-

weld joint are different in the two plots

ordinate system aligned with the weld

from the same analysis. The elements for

joint. Coordinate system 3, shown in Fig.

part 1 were put on a separate “set” or

7, was used for this example. In addition,

“layer” and the nodal stresses plotted in

Fig. 3 — Finite element model of T-bracket. the stress tensor mathematics as pre-

Fig. 4 are based only on the stresses in

sented in this step, are often not taught in

part 1. This is the most accurate repre-

undergraduate engineering classes;

sentation of the stress state of part 1. The

rather, the concepts are taught using

stresses at the joint of parts 1 and 2 shown

Mohr’s circle. Lemaitre, et al. (Ref. 2), of-

in Fig. 5 are based on the calculated av-

fers a good reference for stress tensor

erage of the stresses in both parts at the

mathematics, as well as failure theory.

joint. The stresses shown in Fig. 5 are un-

realistically low in part 1 and unrealisti-

Step 2: Extract the stress tractions resulting

cally high in part 2 at the joint because of from loads transmitted through the weld joint

this. at each weld joint node for both element

Nodal stress values are calculated as faces.

the average stress of all of the active ele-

ments in contact with each node. At dis- To determine the loads transmitted

continuities such as weld joints, the through the weld joint, as opposed to

plotted stress is the average of the stress loads that run alongside the weld, the

in each side of the discontinuity. To iden- “weld joint normal” of a selected termi-

tify the stresses (and loads) in a part at a nated part is identified — Fig. 6.

Fig. 4 — Von Mises stress results plotted on discontinuity (weld joint), the stresses For this purpose, the weld joint nor-

part one of bracket only. must be calculated for one side of the dis- mal is defined as the direction perpen-

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Fig. 5 — Von Mises stress results plotted for the

entire bracket.

dicular to the plane formed by the axis of weld joint coordinate system, (s, w, j) is

the weld and the normal (perpendicular)

direction of the surface of the terminated Ts T • us

part at the node of evaluation — Fig. 6.

In mathematical terms, Tw = T • uw

Tj T • uj

us ≡ surface normal unit vector

uw ≡ weld axis unit vector

Fig. 6 — Weld joint coordinate system of the uj ≡ weld joint normal unit vector where Ts represents the shear acting per-

terminated part.

uj = us × uw. pendicular to the terminated part, Tw rep-

resents the weld joint longitudinal shear,

The stress traction vector, T, acting on and Tj represents the tension or com-

the plane defined by the weld joint pression in the terminated part through

normal vector, uj, results from loads the weld joint.

transmitted through the weld joint. It is For a lap joint, Tj also represents the

extracted by multiplying the weld joint

transverse shear. If the joint is loaded in

normal, uj, into the stress tensor, σ.

plane, (Ts = 0) and there is a transverse

T = [σ]uj component to the load (Tj ≠ 0),

AWS D1.1, Structural Welding Code —

In expanded notation, the expression Steel (Ref. 3) has alternate increased

is weld load allowables based on trans-

verse/longitudinal load orientation. This

Tx σ xx σ xy σ xz uj transverse/longitudinal orientation is

x available with these results. Caution

Ty = σ yx σ yy σ yz ujy should be exercised, however, because

although joints with transverse in-plane

σ zz

Tz σ zx σ zy ujz

loading have greater strength, they have

Fig. 7 — Element and node activation for list- less ductility and energy absorption

ing part stresses at weld joint. One way to resolve the traction into than longitudinally-loaded joints. Refer

to AWS D1.1 Fig. C26 Commentary Step 4: From the formulas appropriate for The resulting calculated stresses from

(Ref. 3). the weld joint and the desired stress level, bending loads in double-sided fillet

solve for the required throat size. welds treated as lines is more conserva-

For the T-bracket, the stresses are

listed in coordinate system 3, which has tive. There is a dearth of references on

Three weld configurations are consid-

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the z-axis aligned with the weld joint this subject — most published investiga-

normal. The preceding analysis simpli- ered: 1) double-sided fillet weld, 2) dou- tions of fillet weld strength involve lap

fies as ble-sided partial penetration groove joints loaded in plane (Ref. 5). In the

weld and 3) single-sided welds — fillet or absence of illumination, the safer path

uj = uz partial penetration groove welds. The ex- was chosen.

pressions for weld throat stress are differ-

ent for each of these three and cover most Double-Sided Partial Penetration Groove

Tx σ xx σ xy σ xz 0 σ xz cases. Weld

The analysis will be presented first

Ty = σ yx σ yy σ yz 0 = σ yz

by developing the expression for weld The section modulus for a double-

Tz σ zx σ zy σ zz 1 σ zz throat stress given the weld loads, the sided partial penetration groove weld is

joint geometry and the weld size. Next, calculated using the geometrical section

the solution for the weld throat size of the weld throat. The formulation

For node 340 of the T-joint (refer to

given the allowable stress will be de- shown is for the simple case of a weld

Fig. 8), the top and bottom stress tractions

scribed. Finally, the weld size require- with the weld size on both sides of

through the weld joint are

ments for the steel bracket T-joint will be the joint being equal and no fillet weld

evaluated. reinforcement.

Tx 0 384.8 −390.2 0

= 384.8 −2, 530

Single-Sided Welds

Ty 4, 468 0 Weld Section Properties

Tz TOP −390.2 −2, 530 19, 560 1 Figure 10 presents the expressions No differentiation is made between

340

used for weld area and section modulus fillet and partial penetration groove

Tx −390.2 about the weld axis for the three cate- welds for analyzing single-sided welds.

The section modulus for a single weld is

Ty = −2, 530 gories considered.

Tz TOP 19, 560 Double-Sided Fillet Weld

340

for the double-sided fillet

Ty = 384.8 2, 531 −1, 210 0

weld is unique in this

Tz BOT −390.2 −1, 210 7, 884 1 presentation because it is

340 calculated assuming the

Tx −390.2 centroid of the of the weld Resolution of Weld Loads, Node 340:

throat on each side is at

Ty = −1, 210 the part outer edge in- 3

tb = ⋅ in. Base Material Thickness

Tz BOT 7, 884 stead at the physical cen- 8

340 troid of the throat — Fig.

10. This is drawn from σ t = 19 ,560 psi Normal Stress at Top of Joint

The extraction of stress tractions re- the classical method of

σ b = 7884 psi Normal Stress at Bottom of Joint

sulting from loads transmitted through treating the weld as a line

the weld joint is complete. to develop properties τ zx_avg = −390.2 psi Average Shear Stress in Joint

(Ref. 4).

When developing the −2530 psi − 1210 psi

Step 3: From the tractions and the part thick- τ yz_avg =

ness, solve for the normal load (lb/in.), bend- properties for a weld 2

ing load (in.-lb/in.), and joint shear (lb/in.). group using classical

analysis, the method of 2 2

τ avg = τ zx_avg + τ yz_avg τ avg = 1910 psi

The equations used to determine part treating a weld as a line

top and bottom stress due to bending, does not differ much from Joint Normal Load:

normal and shear loads are easily re- calculating the properties

versed to determine bending, normal and using the actual weld cen- σt + σb lbf

P = ⋅ tb P = 5146

shear loads from the stresses. For node troid because compared 2 in.

340, the calculation is presented in to the overall geometry,

Joint Bending Load:

Fig. 9. the distance from the

This calculation determines the load weld centroid to the part σt − σb t b2 in. lbf

per inch of weld joint. Columns 2–4 in wall is small. Treating the M = ⋅ M = 136.8

2 6 in.

Fig. 8C show the results of these calcula- weld as a line results in a

tions for the T-joint of the steel bracket. much simpler calculation Joint Shear Load:

For comparison with classical analysis, With a double-sided fillet

weld of a plate in a T-joint, lbf

the values for joint normal load, P and V = τ avg t b V = 716.4

joint shear load, V are divided by 2 to ob- however, the difference in.

tain load per inch of weld, since there are between the two methods

two welds in the joint. is significant. Fig. 9 — Load calculation for one node.

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Fig. 10 — Weld section properties.

and this can be solved explicitly for the

V required throat size:

fshear =

Aw For the double-sided fillet weld on the

steel bracket at node 340, the formula-

Total stress magnitude: tion is as follows:

(f ) M

2

2

V

2

+ (fshear )

2 1 P

f weld = + fnormal tw = ⋅ + +

bending MIN

Fa tb 2 2

Fig. 11 — Components of weld throat stress

137 in. - lb 716.4 lbf

2 2

5146

equation that the bending and normal in.

+

in.

+

in.

stresses are combined so that their mag- 0.375 in. 2 2

nitudes are additive — this will always be

calculated using the geometrical section tw =

of the weld throat. the case on one side of the joint. MIN

13, 200 psi

For evaluation of the weld size, the tw = 0.224 in.

Weld Throat Stress total traction magnitude is compared to MIN

The calculation for the total weld For an equal leg fillet weld, the weld

From the weld load components de-

throat traction just presented is of practi- size, S, is equal to the square root of 2

termined in step three and the weld sec-

cal use for determining stress levels of ex- times the throat,

tion properties for a given weld size, the

weld throat stress components can be de- isting designs. For new design, a method

termined as follows: of calculating throat size requirements is S = 2 ⋅ tw

presented.

Stress due to normal load: = 2 ⋅ (0.224 in.)

Determination of Weld Size = 0.317 in. or 0.32 in.

P

fnormal =

Aw Given the weld loads determined in This is the value for S that should be

step 3, the joint type and geometry and used for the joint callout in Fig. 2.

the allowable shear stress, there will exist Figure 8C displays the results of the

Stress due to bending:

a throat size where the calculated mag- above calculation for every node in the

nitude of the weld throat stress traction joint. Figure 12 shows a plot of the weld

M

fbending = will equal the allowable shear stress. For throat stress as a function of the weld

Sw double-sided fillet welds treated as lines, throat size.

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Fig. 12 — Plot of weld throat stress vs. weld throat size for souble-sided Fig. 13: — Plot of weld throat stress vs. weld throat size for double-sided

fillet weld at node 340. partial penetration groove weld at node 340.

Blodgett, et al. (Refs. 3–5).

Refer to Figs. 2 and 3 for the joint ge- Normal Load, fnormal:

ometry and loads. The classical calcula-

tion is as follows:

P

fnormal =

Section Properties: Aw

3000 lb

Aw = 2 ⋅ d =

10 in.

= 2 ⋅ (5 in.)

Fig. 14 — Comparison of weld loads along = 300 lb / in.

= 10 in.

joint from FEA and classical calculations.

d2

Sw x =

3 Shear Load, fshear:

An explicit expression for a double-

sided partial penetration groove weld =

(5 in.)

2

fshear =

mial, while a single-sided weld results in = 8.33 in.2 Aw

a fourth-order polynomial that must be Sw y = b ⋅d

2814 lb

= (0.375 in.) (5 in.)

solved. Rather than pursue these, it was =

more expedient to implement an iterative 10 in.

search in the computer program. The = 1.88 in.2

= 281 lb / in.

weld throat size, tw, is adjusted until the

calculated throat traction equals the

allowable shear stress for the electrode. Applied Loads: Bending Load About x, fbx:

This method is employed for both double-

sided partial penetration groove welds Normal Load, P:

and single-sided welds. Figure 13 shows Mx

P = 3000 lb fbx =

a plot of the weld throat stress as a func- Sw x

tion of the weld throat size at node 340 Shear Load, V:

of the T-joint, if it were a double-sided, 14, 050 in. − lb

=

partial penetration groove weld. The re- 8.33 in.2

sulting throat size for a maximum throat V = (146 lb)2 + (−2810 lb)2

= 1690 lb / in.

traction of 13,200 psi is 0.304 in.

This concludes the calculation of the = 2814 lb

weld throat size of the steel bracket T-

Bending Load About x, Mx: Bending Load About y, fby:

joint based on the results of finite element

analysis. For comparison, the same joint

Mx = (2810 lb) (5 in.) My

is now analyzed using classical methods.

fby =

= 14,050 in.-lb Sw y

Determination of T-Joint Weld Size

Using Classical Analysis Bending Load About y, My: 730 in. − lb

=

My = (146 lb) (5 in.) 1.88 in.2

The T-joint double-sided fillet weld

will be evaluated using the method of = 730 in.-lb = 388 lb / in.

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Fig. 15 — T-joint welded to matching channel. Fig. 16 — Von Mises stresses in part 1 welded to channel.

Total Weld Load, fw: 2) Uneven distribution of the load loading on this weld joint is similar to the

path due to the bolts and the non-linear weld loading on a double lap joint.

effects of out-of-plane forces on part 2. In contrast, the steel T-joint bracket

fw = (f

normal

+ fbx + fby ) + (f )

2

shear

2

The FEA accounts for these effects, recommended for a single-sided joint

300 lb 281 lb

2 2

lb lb while the classical analysis used does without careful consideration of the ap-

= + 1690 + 388 +

in. in. in. in. not. The difference between these meth- plied loads and the resulting resistance to

ods for this joint design is not great and failure. The three loading directions will

= 2390 lb / in. this steel T-bracket is a good candidate be considered separately.

for classical evaluation. If Px can put the root of the joint in

Required Weld Throat Size, tw: The finite element analysis method of tension and is unrestrained, no amount of

determining weld loads becomes useful deformation will take the weld out of

when estimating weld loads using classi- bending and stop continued deforma-

fw cal analysis is difficult. tion. This condition has the lowest resis-

tw =

Fa For a quick, simple example, Fig. 15 tance against failure.

shows the same 0.375-in. thick part 1 When Px puts the root of the weld in

2390 lb

= bracket welded to a matching 5 x 9 lb/ft compression, the weld will not have de-

13,200 psi channel. By inspection, most of the ap- graded resistance based on calculated

plied normal and bending load will be weld stresses.

= 0.188 in.

transferred from the part 1 bracket to the The application of a tensile Pz load

channel near the channel flanges. again puts the weld in bending with the

The required weld throat size as cal- Figures 16 and 17 confirm this. This root in tension. The bending load will be

culated using classical analysis is 20% design is not suitable for the classical equal to the load times the distance be-

smaller that the value calculated using beam formulas. More advanced classical tween the centerline of the part and the

the loads from the FEA. Figure 14 com- analysis similar to that presented for rec- weld centroid. Therefore, fillet welds will

pares the weld loads calculated using tangular tubular structures (Ref. 3) or see more severe induced bending than a

FEA and classical analysis. The results are conservative assumptions would be partial penetration groove weld. Of note

reasonably close. Some causes of the dif- appropriate. with this loading is that the joint will see

ference are: bending deformation only until the ap-

1) Poisson Effect — Part 2 of Fig. 2 Design of Single-Sided Welds plied load is in line with the weld

(0.75-in. thick) restrains part 1 (0.375-in. centroid.

thick) from the lateral contraction/expan- Design of single-sided welds where The application of Py puts the joint in

sion associated with the Poisson Ratio, the root of the weld is subject to tension bending about its strong axis. One end of

due to normal loads at the weld joint. requires careful study of joint restraint, the joint will experience tension and the

This induces a shear load that is carried loading geometry and has limitations. other will see compression. The moment

through the weld. The loads obtained Figure 18 depicts a pipe welded in a from the load offset at the tensile end will

from FEA account for this for fnormal, T-joint loaded in bending. This is an ac- induce the part to rotate so that the weld

while it is not accounted for in the beam ceptable single-sided joint with the root root opens, while the load offset at the

formulas used with classical analysis. in tension. Figure 19 is a diagram of the compression end will induce the part to

(With the current implementation, the joint, loading and restraint through the rotate so that the weld root closes. This

Poisson effect due to bending about the top section, where the single-sided weld creates a warping, twisting load in the

weld-weak axis is ignored, because the is subject to tension. The weld in this sec- part. A shorter, stubbier part will provide

shear stresses are opposite and they tion is not subject to severe bending, be- more restraint against opening the weld

cancel each other in the shear load cause the section of the pipe adjacent to root at the tensile end than will a long

calculation.) the weld is restrained from rotating. The thin part. Again, special investigation of

weld. Specifically, because the post is

fabricated of plates with overhang of part

4 with respect to part 2, the x direction

load combined with the overhang induce

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of the single sided weld — Fig. 23. The

distribution of the load transmitted

through weld #01 (V14 and M14) along

the joint is difficult to calculate using

classical analysis. Conservative assump-

tions would be required, resulting in

larger welds and thicker material

requirements.

Special care is required when creating

a finite element model of lap joints with

Fig. 21 — Finite element model of fall arrest either shell or solid elements. It must be

platform. ensured that only the nodes of the weld

joint in the two parts are merged (joined).

Fig. 17 — Weld loads in T-joint with channel.

The nodes on the faying surfaces that are

the joint against the desired resistance to not part of the weld joint must be re-

failure is required. moved from the selection set or layer

Configurations with one-sided fillet before merging is performed — Fig. 24.

welds where the root is in unconstrained For weld 1, the terminated piece is

tension are good candidates for redesign. part 4, the post side (Fig. 22). Coordinate

The single-sided formulation is used system 15 was used to evaluate the loads

for double fillet welded lap joints as in weld 1 — Fig. 25. The elements of part

shown in Fig. 20. Even though this is a 4 and the nodes of weld 1 are shown in

double weld joint, each weld is evalu- Fig. 26. The results are plotted in Fig. 27.

ated individually Finite element analysis provided a

reasonable estimation of loads for this

Weld Size Requirement for a Lap analysis that would have been difficult to

Joint of a Fall Arrest Lug estimate using classical methods. Also,

FEA was of value determining the con-

Figure 21 is a depiction of a fall arrest figuration of the lug to avoid hot spots at

platform. This platform is designed to the top and bottom.

Fig. 18 — Pipe T-joint welded on one side, withstand the most severe type of fall ar-

loaded in bending.

rest system — that of a simple lanyard al-

lowing a maximum free-fall of six feet. Intermittent Welds

OSHA (Ref. 8) stipulates by the simplest

method that the structure for such a fall On the first cut when modeling struc-

arrest system must withstand a lanyard tures with intermittent welds, it is expe-

load of 5000 pounds without failure. dient to merge (connect) all of the nodes

This structure is fabricated from 5086- along the weld joint. The results of the

H112 Aluminum with 5356 electrode. weld analysis will predict a required

The published minimum tensile strength weld size for a continuous weld. This

of 5086-H112 is 31,500 psi and the pub- gives the designer the distribution of the

lished minimum shear strength for 5356 load along the joint for refinement of

electrode is 17 ksi (Ref. 9). weld deposit requirements. If the joint is

There were 54 welds evaluated for 13 uniformly loaded and designed against

load cases. Ten load cases were used to static failure, it may be reasonable to use

evaluate fall arrest loads at various loca- this result to size the intermittent weld by

Fig. 19 — Section through top of pipe T-joint, tions and three load cases were used to providing the same throat area as the pre-

loaded in tension. evaluate the floor and structure for the fa- dicted continuous weld.

tigue loading of day-to-day usage. This On the other hand, if the loads exhibit

analysis was highly automated and nu- non-uniform distribution or the structure

merous platform material sizing and ge- is to be cyclically loaded, it is recom-

ometry variations could be evaluated mended that further models be built with

overnight with batch processing. the nodes merged at only the locations of

Weld #01 of the fillet welds in the lap welded connection.

joint between the fall arrest lug (part 1)

and the support post side (part 4) is ana-

lyzed for demonstration — Fig. 22, De- Applicability and Limitations

tail A. This is the inside weld between the

lug (part 1) and the post side (part 4). This form of design evaluation is

Fig. 20 — Welds of double fillet-welded lap The geometry of this joint has some based on elastic behavior only. Depend-

joint are evaluated individually. features that increase the load in this ing on the expected failure mode and the

RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Fig. 22 — Details of the fall arrest anchor and post. Fig. 23 — Loading aiagram of the fall arrest post side.

Fig. 24 — Finite element model of lap joint. Fig. 25 — Coordinate systems used for post weld joints.

definition of failure, elastic analysis is entirely appropriate and accurately pre- regarding the design intent. Under this

either a reasonable model or is conser- dicts the onset of yield. For applications latter case, non-linear plastic analysis or

vative (in terms of rupture strength). Elas- where loss of function occurs when load- the use of tabulated plastic factored re-

tic stress ranges are a very meaningful bearing capacity is lost, but large plastic sistances provide a better prediction of

predictor of resistance to fatigue. For deformation can be tolerated and may be behavior.

static, ductile failure resistance, the defi- desired — as in seismic design or auto-

nition of failure determines the applica- motive frames — elastic analysis with a The Choice of Shell Elements

bility of elastic analysis. For design where safety factor against ultimate strength will

meaningful change in geometry would generate conservative strength results An alternative to using shell elements

cause loss of function (as for most me- and is not likely to provide an accurate for generic analysis of weldments with

chanical equipment), elastic analysis is prediction of the behavior of the structure FEA is the use of solid elements.

RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

plate with nodes of weld 01 displayed.

weld 01. Fig. 28 — FEWELD database.

Reasons for Not Modeling Welds with Solid 2) For structures where the stiffness Future Development

Elements difference between the actual weld ge-

ometry and a shell element representa- With the information that the finite el-

1) The published strength data for

tion of the joint would be meaningful. ement analysis results readily provide,

static and fatigue failure is in terms of

3) For situations where plastic be- that is, the orientation and magnitude of

nominal throat stress. This information is

havior of the weld itself is of interest. the traction at the root and face of the

not easily presented or extracted from a

solid element model. weld, improved failure prediction may

2) The size of the weld would have to The Present System be possible compared to the method of

be known a priori. The benefit of using comparing the weld shear allowable to

shell elements as presented is that the re- the magnitude of the traction divided by

Presently, this analysis is performed the throat area. This would result in more

quired weld size can be calculated from

external to the finite element analysis efficient designs — less material used for

the results of the FEA analysis.

software. A database of welds is created a given reliability.

3) The effort required to build solid

that contains the necessary information:

models of welds and the computational

part thickness, weld type, allowable

resources needed to solve such models Solicitation

throat stress and definition of the shell el-

make their use uneconomic for most de-

ements and nodes by surfaces and weld

signs within most organizations.

end points to be evaluated for weld loads The author is interested in comments

Situations Where a Solid Model of the Weld — Fig. 28. A database such as this orga- on this method and recommendations for

is Appropriate nizes the work to automate many of the improvement. He can be reached

tasks; however, improvements in pro- through email at mw@weavereng.com

1) Solid modeling can provide useful ductivity can be obtained from improve- or at Weaver Engineering, 1219 Westlake

predictions of notch stresses for fatigue ments in the modeling environment. Avenue N, Suite 210, Seattle, WA 98109.

evaluation if the weld profile and pene- More of the manual effort of building the Related information is available on the

tration can be modeled to accurately. database can be automated. internet at www.weavereng.com.

References able stress is based on a safety factor will be attenuated and further investiga-

ranging from 2.2 for in-plane longitudi- tion is suggested. Also, in the case of

1. Blodgett, O. W. 1995. Details to In- nal shear to 4.6 for in-plane transverse plastic design where the base material is

crease Ductility in SMRF Connections. The

loads based on test results (Ref 5). These expected to see large deformation, the

Welding Innovation Quarterly XII (2). The

RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation. tests were performed on lap joints loaded combined effects of axial and through

2. Lemaitre, J., and Chaboche, J. -L. 1990. in-plane. Based on this datum, the mini- weld elongation must be considered in

Mechanics of Solid Materials. Cambridge Uni- mum ultimate shear strength for steel the resistance of the joint. A high, tensile

versity Press. electrode used for analysis is taken as hydrostatic stress state (associated with

3. ANSI/AWS D1.1-96, Structural Weld- 0.66 (= 0.3 x 2.2) times the electrode large welds combined with severe cross-

ing Code — Steel, 15th Ed. 1996. American

minimum tensile strength. Because out- section or load path discontinuities, such

Welding Society, Miami, Fla.

4. Blodgett, O. W. 1963. Design of Weld- of-plane loading was not evaluated in the as mismatched base metal sizes) will

ments. The James F. Lincoln Arc Welding testing referenced by the AWS D1.1 and cause a crack to propagate across the

Foundation. very few testing results of out-of-plane joint before its theoretical ductile limit is

5. Higgins, T. R., and Preece, F. R. 1968. loading have been published, the lower reached. It is good to remember that fil-

Proposed working stresses for fillet welds in safety factor of 2.2 is used to estimate let and partial penetration welds are

building construction. Welding Journal

joint strength by the author for all joints brought into this world with the equiva-

47(10): 429-s to 432-s.

6. Shigley, J. E., and Mischke, C. R. 1989 loaded out of plane. For E60XX elec- lent of a crack at the root.

Mechanical Engineering Design, 5th Ed. trode, this results in an ultimate shear The method used to size fillet welds

McGraw-Hill Book Company. strength of 39.6 ksi. For tubular structures against ductile failure is based on the

7. Welding Handbook. 8th Ed., Vol. 1. welded with 60 or 70 ksi electrode, the practical approach of comparing the

1987. American Welding Society, Miami, Fla. strength is taken as 2.67 times the magnitude of the stress resulting from

8. 29 CFR 1910.66 Appendix C. 1997.

allowable stress, per 2.40.1.3. loads passing through the weld joint to

Occupational Safety and Health Administra-

tion. Office of the Federal Register, National This is useful when designing for the electrode and base metal shear

Archives and Records Administration. U.S. compliance with codes and specifications strengths. From the standpoint of the me-

Government Printing Office. requiring other safety factors for static chanics discipline of physics, this ap-

9. Specifications for Aluminum Structures, loading. For example, ANSI/ALI proach is close for a joint in pure

5th Ed. 1986. The Aluminum Association. B153.1-90, American National Standard longitudinal shear only. In general, for

10. Lesik, D. F., and Kennedy, D. J. L.,

for Automotive Lifts — Safety Require- other loading geometries, this approach

1990. Ultimate strength of fillet welded con-

nections loaded in plane. Canadian Journal of ments requires a safety factor of 3.0 results in a more conservative (earlier

Civil Engineering. 17: 55–67. against ultimate failure for ductile material failure) prediction than other ductile fail-

11. Fisher, J. W., Frank, K. H., Hirt, M. A., while deferring to “ANSI/AWS D1.1-90 ure theories. However, factors such as

and McNamee, B. M. 1970. Effect of Weld- Sections 1 through 7, Section 8 where ap- the high-stress concentration at the weld

ments on Fatigue Strength of Steel Beams. Re- plicable, …”, “… and the Commentary on root, residual stresses and distortion in-

port No. 102. National Cooperative Highway

Structural Welding Code — Steel, (Part of duced by the welding process, and weld

Research Program, Transportation Research

Board, National Academy of Sciences. ANSI/AWS D1.1)” for welding techniques defects call for a conservative approach.

12. Fisher, J. W., Albrecht, P. A., Yen, B. T., and weld joint design. The resulting al- Per AWS D1.1-96 for dynamically-

Klingerman, D. J., and McNamee, B. M. 1974. lowable weld throat shear stress used for loaded structures (fatigue), the allow-

Fatigue Strength of Steel Beams with Welded design with this code is 13.2 ksi (= 1/3.0 · ables for stress range in the fillet weld are

Stiffeners and Attachments. Report No. 147. 39.6 ks) for E60XX electrode. also in terms of shear on the weld throat

National Cooperative Highway Research Pro-

Of note is the evaluation of only the (Category F, Table 2.4 and Figs. 2.9 and

gram, Transportation Research Board, Na-

tional Academy of Sciences. stresses due to loads carried through the 2.10). The values for redundant struc-

weld joint. Stresses along the axis of the tures correspond to the underlying study

Appendix weld from loads not passing through the referenced in the commentary (Refs. 11,

weld are not used (see note 3 in Table 2.3 12), where the recommendations are

Stress Criteria for Fillet Welds of AWS D1.1-96). With respect to static drawn for a 95% survival rate at a 95%

with AWS D1.1 loading resistance, these axial stresses confidence level from the underlying test

will participate in the onset of yield, in- data. These studies are oriented directly

The following is the method and ratio- creasing or decreasing the load at which at bridge construction. The total stress

nale of applying the requirements of AWS yield initiates depending on the load ge- state in a fillet weld — not just the trac-

D1.1 (Ref. 3) for weld size determination. ometry. A justification for this approach tion through the throat — will contribute

The shear stress allowable for static can be made for fillet and partial pene- to fatigue failure; however, the traction

loading in the Structural Welding Code, tration welds, where the weld cross sec- through the throat is subject to the stress

AWS D1.1, is 0.3 times the electrode ten- tion is less than the base metal cross concentration at the root, while stresses

sile strength for fillet welds and partial section for axial loads and the weld sizes along the weld axis are not. Because the

penetration groove welds not in bearing, are not great. As far as the weld is con- root is essentially a crack, the weld is

except fillet welds of lap joints loaded in cerned, these axial stresses are seen as born into stage 2 fatigue with respect to

plane with a transverse load component applied axial strains and a small amount loads through the weld while the weld is

have an increased allowable per 2.14 of of yielding will relieve the stresses asso- closer to stage 1 fatigue for loads along

AWS D1.1-96. See also Lesik (Ref. 10). ciated with them, while the base metal the weld axis. Additionally, there are sep-

The increased allowable is new with the remains in an elastic state. This is true, arate allowables for stresses in the base

1996 code. There are no directly pub- because the weld will be constrained to metal adjacent to weld joints that are

lished shear strengths for steel electrodes strain in the axial direction by the same near the same range as the allowables for

in AWS D1.1 or AWS electrode specifi- amount as the base material adjacent to the weld throat shear (Categories B

cations; however, the commentary for the weld. If the weld cross section is sig- through E, Table 2.4 of AWS D1.1-96).

section 2 (section 8 for pre-1996 versions nificant compared to the base metal cross- These account for the load path discon-

of AWS D1.1) does reveal that the allow- section for axial load, this assumption tinuity at the welds and notch effect.

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