Hill Engineering Blog

Residual stress measurement techniques

Residual stresses exist in most materials and structures. Processes like forging, rolling, extruding, quenching, additive manufacturing, machining, and welding can cause residual stresses to develop. These stresses can influence the way that materials perform (e.g., fatigue, fracture, distortion, and corrosion). There are many different residual stress measurement techniques available to quantify residual stresses. The following are some examples of common measurement techniques.

Hole drilling is a residual stress measurement technique for measuring near-surface residual stress. This technique involves drilling a small hole into the surface of a part and measuring the deformation caused by the residual stress release during drilling. Hole Drilling is portable and can be applied under a variety of circumstances, including in the field.

X-ray diffraction is another near-surface residual stress measurement technique. This method uses the diffraction patterns created by x-rays interacting with the regular atomic lattice to quantify residual stress. Layer removal is often combined with X-ray diffraction measurements to measure residual stress at depths beyond the penetration distance.

One of the most capable bulk residual stress measurement techniques is the contour method. Through careful sectioning and precision inspection, this technique generates 2D maps of residual stress fields in a wide range of part geometries and materials.

Our final highlighted residual stress measurement technique for this post is the slitting method. Slitting determines residual stress as a function of depth from the surface of a part or coupon. The method has excellent precision and repeatability and is often used in simple coupons (blocks, disks, and cylinders) for process assessment, monitoring, or quality control.

For materials engineers, designers, and managers seeking residual stress measurements, Hill Engineering is a trusted source for a broad range of best-in-class measurement capabilities using a variety of residual stress measurement techniques.

Focusing on your engineering challenge, Hill Engineering works with you to determine the best residual stress measurement technique to address your needs, and we tell you exactly what to expect before we start the job.

Our laboratory maintains an active ISO17025 accreditation. Please contact us to let us know how we can support your residual stress measurement needs. Please visit the links above for additional information related to various residual stress measurement techniques.

Comparison of Slitting Method, Contour Method, and X-ray Diffraction with layer removal residual stress measurements on a laser shock peened titanium specimen