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The Contour Method for
Measuring Residual Stress

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   - make cut
   - measure surface
   - calculate stress
   - bent beam
   - weld plate
   - quenched steel
   - impacted plate
   - alum. forging
   - friction stir weld
   - Ti FSW
   - Railroad rails
More info
Residual Stress
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download pdf

The Contour Method, Michael B. Prime and Adrian T. DeWald, 2013, chapter 5 in Practical Residual Stress Measurement Methods, Gary S. Schajer, Editor, pp. 109-138. ISBN: 978-1-118-34237-4. DOI: 10.1002/9781118402832.ch5

See new discussion of embedded cutting on Making the cut page.

Measure full 2-D residual stress maps over a cross-section:

Forensic determination of residual stress
stresses in compressed forging
After a part has fractured.
Measure multiple stress components
stresses in compressed forging
Using multiple methods & superposition
residual stress map in friction stir weld
bent beam measurements
stresses in compressed forging
quenched steel plate stresses Stresses in friction stir welded Titanium stresses after impact weld plate measurements

principle Principle: How does this method work?

applications Applications: Some examples of measuring residual stresses
              - To see the method validated, check out the weld plate, bent beam, and friction stir weld
              - See the validations page for a full list of published validation experiments.

downloadable publications Publications: Download detailed publications.


Stressmap and Veqter in the UK are now providing measurement services with the contour method.

Hill Engineering has been licensed and performing contour method measurements in the USA since 2006.

Prime, M. B., 2018, "The Two-Way Relationship Between Residual Stress and Fatigue/Fracture," Fracture, Fatigue, Failure and Damage Evolution, Volume 7: Proceedings of the 2017 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics, J. Carroll, S. Xia, A. M. Beese, R. B. Berke, and G. J. Pataky, eds., Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 19-23. preprint (pdf)

"Residual stresses in metals operate under a cloak of mystery, as they have neither been seen in the laboratory nor detected by means of the microscope. In spite of their phantom-like nature, they frequently exert metallurgical effects that cannot be ignored."
- Kent R. VanHorn, Director of Research, ALCOA, 1953, Journal of Metals, Vol. 197, pp 405-422.

(Background image on this page is 3D FEM from forging application. Graphic by Chris Brigman.)



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Operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's NNSA
contact: Mike Prime at prime@lanl.gov | Copyright & Disclaimer
U.S. patent 6,470,756 | Last Modified: January 24, 2020

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