Residual Stress Measurement Standards and Good Practice Guides

Introduction

Achieving accurate measurements of residual stresses in materials is challenging. Measurement methods often involve multiple steps, which need to be followed systematically in order to obtain reliable results. Good practice guides and residual stress measurement standards offer invaluable information to both new and experienced practitioners. They help increasing reliability and reducing the variability between measurements, i.e. improving the accuracy and precision of the results. On this page, you will find a comprehensive list with the most relevant residual stress measurement standards, good practice guides, academic publications and books that offer guidance for residual stress measurement practitioners.

Contour method

Residual stress measurement in turbine disc made of nickel super alloy.

The contour method was first presented by Dr M. B. Prime at the 6th International Conference on Residual Stresses in Oxford in 2000. It has now been studied for almost 20 years and applied to a wide range of materials and processes to solve academic and industrial challenges. The Open University (OU), already renowned for its expertise in residual stress measurements at the time, quickly adopted the technique. The first academic publication from the OU on the method dates as early as 2002. The University actively studied, used and improved the method, leading to the launch of StressMap in 2013 to provide the benefits of residual stress measurements to industry on a shorter time-scale.

Learn more about the contour method.

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Contour Method Standards and Good Practice Guides

Currently there are no standard test methods or good practice guides explaining how to measure residual stress with the contour method.

The article closest to a good practice guide on the technique is a publication entitled:

  • Towards good practice guidelines for the contour method of residual stress measurement by our colleagues at the Open University, Foroogh Hosseinzadeh, Jan Kowal and P. John Bouchard, 2014. Find it here.

You can find below a list of key academic publications and books with important information on how to measure residual stress with the contour method.

Other publications

Due to the lack of a contour method standard, StressMap and the contour method community still rely heavily on academic publications, textbooks and (mostly) expertise to determine the best way to conduct residual stress measurements using the contour method. Here is a list with a few of the most relevant resources:

The principle behind the method and the experimental aspects and assumptions can be found in these two publications:

  • Cross-Sectional Mapping of Residual Stresses by Measuring the Surface Contour After a Cut, M. B. Prime, 2001. Find it here.
  • The Contour Method Cutting Assumption: Error Minimization and Correction, M. B. Prime and A. L. Kastengren, 2010. Find it here.

Other publications focus on the different steps of the method, such as:

  • Making the Cut for the Contour Method, P. John Bouchard, Peter Ledgard, Stan Hiller and Foroogh Hosseinzadeh, 2012. Find it here.
  • Controlling the Cut in Contour Residual Stress Measurements of Electron Beam Welded Ti-6Al-4V Alloy Plates, F. Hosseinzadeh, P. Ledgard, P. J. Bouchard, 2013. Find it here.
  • Laser surface-contouring and spline data-smoothing for residual stress measurement, M. B. Prime, R. J. Sebring, J. M. Edwards, D. J. Hughes, P. J. Webster, 2004. Find it here.

Extra reading

Check out a list of selected residual stress measurement examples in our projects page.

In addition, Dr M. B. Prime, the inventor of the contour method, serves a wealth of resources on Los Alamos National Laboratory’s website here.

X-Ray diffraction (XRD)

Photography of an x-ray diffractometer (XRD) set up to measure residual stresses in a welded pipe.

X-ray diffraction is a mature residual stress measurement technique that is relatively simple to apply and offers accurate near-surface residual stress measurements in polycrystalline materials. In addition, the method had its origins in the 1920’s, so it is not surprising that academia and industry widely use it and that standards and good practice guides have been available for some time.

XRD Standards

ASTM has published a few x-ray diffraction standards, which can be found in the links below:

  • ASTM E2860 – Standard Test Method for Residual Stress Measurement by X-Ray Diffraction for Bearing Steels. Find it here.
  • ASTM E915 – Standard Test Method for Verifying the Alignment of X-Ray Diffraction Instrumentation for Residual Stress Measurement. Find it here.
  • ASTM E1426 – Standard Test Method for Determining the X-Ray Elastic Constants for Use in the Measurement of Residual Stress Using X-Ray Diffraction Techniques. Find it here.

Although ASTM E2860 focuses on bearing steels, most of the principles described in the standard can be transferred to other polycrystalline materials with minor modifications.

XRD Good Practice Guides

The National Physical Laboratory has issued a Good Practice Guide on XRD measurements in 2005, which is available through their website at:

  • Determination of Residual Stresses by X-ray Diffraction, Issue 2, NPL. Find it here.

The last review of the guide was a relatively long time ago, but it is still relevant and includes a wealth of useful information. The document will help most practitioners conduct more accurate and repeatable XRD residual stress measurements.

Synchrotron Diffraction Standard

The same principles held for XRD can be applied to synchrotron diffraction, but for “stress-free” reference measurements, you may need to follow the guidelines presented in the neutron diffraction section, since it is not always possible to use the sine-squared-psi method for determining the reference lattice spacings.

Incremental Centre Hole Drilling (ICHD)

Photography of a residual stress measurement using the hole drilling in aerospace aluminium alloy.

Incremental centre hole drilling (ICHD) is another well-stablished residual stress measurement technique, which has also been widely studied, validated and documented over the years.

ICHD Measurement Standards

ASTM has published a standard method for residual stress measurements using incremental centre hole drilling with strain gauge, which can be found in the link below:

  • ASTM E837 – Standard Test Method for Determining Residual Stresses by the Hole-Drilling Strain-Gage Method. Find it here.

Although the standard focuses on the use of strain gauges, the document provides useful information on how to perform hole drilling residual stress measurements using optical strain measuring techniques (such as digital image correlation, ESPI, Moiré interferometry, etc.)

ICHD Good Practice Guides

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has issued a Good Practice Guide on hole drilling measurements in 2006, which is available through their website at:

  • The Measurement of Residual Stresses by the Incremental Hole Drilling Technique. Find it here.

Like the XRD Good Practice Guide, the incremental centre hole drilling guide was last reviewed a relatively long time ago. However, it is still relevant and includes a wealth of useful information on how to measure residual stresses using the incremental centre hole drilling technique. The document will help most practitioners conduct more accurate and repeatable measurements.

Neutron Diffraction

SScanSS simulation of a neutron diffraction measurement in a turbine housing featuring a complex geometry.

Neutron diffraction is another important residual stress measurement technique. The first article on record of measuring strains using neutron diffraction was published in 1985, so it is not as mature as XRD or hole drilling. One of the main advantages of neutron diffraction is that neutron beams can penetrate much deeper into materials than lab X-rays, enabling residual stress measurements deep inside polycrystalline materials.

Neutron Diffraction Standards

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been publishing and revising a neutron diffraction standard since 2005, which can be found in the link below:

  • ISO – Non-destructive testing – Standard test method for determining residual stresses by neutron diffraction. Find it here.

Although the standard was last reviewed in 2010, it is currently under review again (as of May/2018).

Neutron Diffraction Software

Researchers at The Open University in collaboration with ISIS neutron and muon source have developed SScanSS, which is a Strain Scanning Simulation Software, which is dedicated to simulating the residual stress measurements using neutron diffraction. The software can be downloaded and used by users of the ENGIN-X, (ISIS, UK), KOWARI, (ANSTO ,AUSTRALIA) and NRSF2, (ORNL ,USA) neutron diffraction facilities or any other person given permission to do so by the author. For more details, click here.

Slitting method

The slitting technique was first published in 1971. However, due to the technically difficult implementation before the advent of strain gauges, it was not widely applied until the second half of the 1980’s. Although the method has become more popular since a review was published by Dr M. B. Prime in 1999, standards or good practice guides remain non-existent. Therefore, StressMap and other slitting practitioners still rely heavily on textbooks, academic publications and (mostly) expertise to determine the best way to conduct residual stress measurements using the slitting method.

Slitting Method Standards and Good Practice Guides

Presently there are no standard test methods or good practice guides outlining the best practices on how to measure residual stress with the slitting method.

The report below is the closest publication we could find to a good practice guide:

  • Experimental Procedure for Crack Compliance (Slitting) Measurements of residual Stress, M. B. Prime, 2003. Find it here.

Though brief, the report outlines how to measure residual stress with the slitting method step-by-step and includes some views on good practice. In addition, although it is more than 10 years old, the report is still relevant, since the equipment and methods used remain virtually unchanged.

Other Publications About the Slitting Method

Below you can find a list of the most relevant resources about residual stress measurements with the slitting method:

  • Determination of Residual Stresses from Stress Intensity Factor Measurements, S. Vaidyanathan and I. Finnie, 1971. Find it here.
  • Residual Stress Measurement by Successive Extension of a Slot: The Crack Compliance Method, M.B. Prime, 1999. Find it here.
  • Three-Dimensional Constraint Effects on the Slitting Method for Measuring Residual Stress, C. C. Aydiner and M. B. Prime. Find it here.

Ultrasonic

The Ultrasonic method is capable of measuring approximate residual stress profiles non-destructively. Careful measurements can even approach the accuracy and precision of other methods on this list, but the technique currently presents some important limitations. The main challenges with ultrasonic methods are the calibration of the measurement system to account for compositional variations within the material and the determination of the directionality of the stress tensor, including shear stresses. Despite these limitations, ultrasonic residual stress measurements can be useful in some particular cases.

Standards and Good Practice Guides for Ultrasonic Residual Stress Analysis

There are no standards or good practice guides for ultrasonic residual stress measurements. However, you can find below a useful article that contains relevant information about an ultrasonic technique that claims to be capable of determining the magnitude and direction of the principal residual stress measurement.

  • Residual Stress Measurement and Analysis Using Ultrasonic Techniques, P. J. Noronha, J. R. Chapman and J. J. Wert, 1973. Find it here.

Magnetic

The magnetic residual stress measurement method is also capable of measuring approximate residual stress profiles in magnetic materials non-destructively. Based on changes in Barkhausen Noise intensity caused by residual stresses, this technique has similar limitations to the ultrasonic technique. For instance, the calibration of the measurement system to account for compositional variations within the material and the determination of the directionality of the stress tensor are also the main challenges for the magnetic residual stress measurement technique.

Standards and Good Practice Guides for Magnetic Residual Stress Analysis

The standard method for detecting grinding burns in high strength steel structures is the closest match to a residual stress measurement standard. The standard does take into consideration the effect of grinding burns on residual stresses, but there is no specific standard on how to measure residual stresses using the magnetic technique:

  • Barkhausen Noise Inspection for Detecting Grinding Burns in High Strength Steel Parts, SAE, 2010. Find it here.

There is, however, a good practice guide from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), which can be found on the link below:

  • Determination of Residual Stresses by Magnetic Methods, NPL. Find it here.

Other residual stress measurement methods

The list above covers the most relevant residual stress measurement techniques. However, there are many other methods for measuring residual stresses. If you could not find the resource you were looking for, you may want to follow the “general” standard method for residual stress measurements published by ASTM. It offers a general guidance on good practice related to the field of residual stress measurement:

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