This paper presents a numerical study using the finite element method to assess the structural integrity of welded plates. Different levels of weld misalignment were introduced on the FEM models to investigate the influence of this welding imperfection parameter on the limit state of the structure. The models were loaded under displacement-controlled condition to introduce traction and torsion loads seeking to understand the effects of combined loads on the strain capacity of the misaligned welded structure. Surface elliptical cracks having different crack-size ratios were modeled to study the crack growth behavior by taking into account the misalignment of the weld and combined loads. The damage model is based on a failure surface and post-initiation behavior to model the ductile crack initiation and propagation steps, respectively. The models provide useful information to track the evolution of damage on the hot spot point of the welded structure. The model used is dependent on stress triaxiality and a Lode-based parameter and the damage level is driven by the plastic strain. The evolution of stress triaxiality and Lode parameter with loading are presented, and the influence of misalignment on them are shown. An exponential softening law was adopted to predict post-initiation failure behavior. The calibration steps of the parameters required for damage model application are shown for a A285 pressure vessel steel. Overall, the numerical models reveal the deleterious effects of weld misalignment and combined torsional and tensile loads on the strain capacity of the weld.

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