Abstract：Residual welding stresses affect the strength of drive axle housings. The residual welding stresses in axle housings are difficult and expensive to measure, especially the residual stress distribution over the entire structure. This study simulated the residual welding stresses in a drive axle housing of a commercial vehicle using a finite element analysis, including the effects of the strength and volume changes caused by the phase change during welding. The predicted stresses near the weld compared well with experimental data from neutron diffraction measurements, which verified the accuracy of the simulated results. This method can be used to determine the residual welding stress distribution throughout the axle housing and provide guidance for the optimal design of axle housing.
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