Weld residual stresses can significantly impact the performance of structural components. Tensile residual stresses are of particular concern due to their ability to accelerate failure. For example, the presence of tensile residual stress can cause initiation and accelerate growth of primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC). The contour method is a residual stress measurement technique capable of generating two dimensional maps of residual stress, which is particularly useful when applied to welds since they typically contain spatially varying residual stress distributions. The two-dimensional capability of the contour method enables detailed visualization of complex weld residual stress fields. This data can be used to identify locations and magnitude of tensile residual stress hot-spots. This paper provides a summary of the contour method and presents detailed results of contour method measurements made on a mock-up from the NRC/EPRI weld residual stress (WRS) program [1].

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