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Weld Residual Stress and Distortion Analysis of the ARES I-X Upper Stage Simulator (USS)

[+] Author Affiliations
Frederick W. Brust

Engineering Mechanics Corporation of Columbus (EMC2 ), Columbus, OH

Ivatury Raju

NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Derrick Cheston

NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

David Dawicke

Analytical Services & Materials, Inc., Hampton, VA

Dawn Phillips

Lockheed Martin, Hampton, VA

Paper No. PVP2008-61247, pp. 337-348; 12 pages
  • ASME 2008 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 27–31, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4829-6
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME and U.S. Government


An independent assessment was conducted to determine the critical initial flaw size (CIFS) for the flange-to-skin weld in the Ares I-X Upper Stage Simulator (USS). The Ares system of space launch vehicles is the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s plan for replacement of the aging space shuttle. The new Ares space launch system is somewhat of a combination of the space shuttle system and the Saturn launch vehicles used prior to the shuttle. Here, a series of weld analyses are performed to determine the residual stresses in a critical region of the USS. Weld residual stresses both increase constraint and mean stress thereby having an important effect on fatigue and fracture life. While the main focus of this paper is a discussion of the weld modeling procedures and results for the USS, a short summary of the CIFS assessment is provided.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME and U.S. Government
Topics: Stress



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