Measuring plastic strains is very useful method for validating finite element model of weld residual stress, which is very important for understanding welding process and facilitating other engineering applications. In this work, the distribution of plastic strains in a multi-pass dissimilar metal weld comprised of Nickel Alloy 82 and austenitic stainless steel 304L is evaluated quantitatively through micro-hardness mapping. An experiment procedure was developed to separate the contribution to hardness from the plastic strain (work hardening) that forms the chemistry variation in the dissimilar metal weld. It is found that high equivalent plastic strains are predominately accumulated in the buttering layer, the root pass, and the heat affected zone, which experience multiple welding thermal cycles. The final cap passes, experiencing only one or two welding thermal cycles, exhibit less plastic strain accumulation. Moreover, the experimental residual plastic strains are compared with those predicted using an existing weld thermo-mechanical model with two different strain hardening rules.

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