Finite element simulations of welding using ABAQUS

D.W.J. Tanner, A.H. Yaghi

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstract


Over the last seven years, finite element (FE) simulations of fusion welding have been performed using the ABAQUS software package at The University of Nottingham. These simulations (validated using experimental measurements) can give valuable information about welding-induced residual stresses and distortions, along with microstructure evolution. The results can be fed into heat treatment models, where the material properties can evolve and the residual stresses relax and redistribute. As a final step, input may then be provided for life assessment analyses.

A solid mechanics approach has been adopted, which models the global thermomechanical behaviour of welding using a heat source definition to apply heat flux. Sequentially-coupled nonlinear thermal and mechanical FE analyses are employed, both requiring temperature-dependent material property data. The element birth/quiet element technique is applied to simulate the laying of weld material.

Pre-heat, welding, interpass, cooling and subsequent post-weld heat treatment stages have been accurately reproduced. Peak temperatures are used to determine columnar, equiaxed (fine and coarse) grain regions. Solid state phase transformations (e.g. martensite↔austenite) and their effects on volume and yield stress have also been implemented.

Two case studies will be presented: 2D axisymmetric welding simulation for residual stress and microstructural analysis of multipass, thick-walled martensitic steel pipes for power plant applications; and 3D welding simulation for residual stress and distortion analysis of thin nickel-based superalloy plates for aero engine applications. The different challenges involved and the FE techniques used and their implementation in ABAQUS will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventSIMULIA Academic Forum - Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jul 2010 → …


SeminarSIMULIA Academic Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period27/07/10 → …


Dive into the research topics of 'Finite element simulations of welding using ABAQUS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this