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Virtual Prototyping Tools for Welded Structures

Project Code: 0901-05


Development of software for the non-expert allowing prediction of distortion and fatigue life for welded structures.

Project Outline

The OPTWELD project contains the following technical work packages:

Identification of design requirements and specification of virtual welding system.

Development of virtual welding system.

Fatigue design methods and implementation.

Dimensional accuracy management, validation and implementation.

Artificial neural network.

Parallel computing.

The CRP will provide input to work packages 1, 2, 3 and 4 as follows:

Survey of the TWIs worldwide members needs on design requirements and specification of virtual welding system.

In-depth review of methods for predicting fatigue in welded structures, including outcomes of recent TWI work on the use of finite element analysis in fatigue assessment.

Implementation of fatigue methods within the virtual welding system.

In-depth review of advanced distortion simulation methods for large welded structures.

Implementation of suitable distortion prediction methods within the virtual welding system.

The virtual welding system will be validated using a range of test cases, and training material will be developed so that the software is suitable for non-expert users.

Relevant Industry Sectors

Shipbuilding, Rail, Off-road Vehicles, Road Transport

Technical and Economic Benefits

This project will increase productivity and improve quality for manufacturers of welded structures fabricated from relatively thin sheet material

Three typical examples of costs currently incurred in industry are as follows, demonstrating that a relatively small reduction in distortion during manufacturing will yield significant financial benefits: rework due to distortion arsing from a single press tool in the automotive industry can cost 100k; 5 man hours per tonne of steel are needed for resolving distortion issues; distortion during manufacture of a Type 45 ship cost approximately 2.5M.

Industrial Member Report

Access the Industrial Member Report resulting from this programme:

Review of Recent Advances in Computer Based Prediction of Weld Distortion


For more information please email: