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PWL#085 & 085B - Certified Robotic AW Operator, copper substitution, Aluminum Design, biomaterials
September 01, 2010
We hope you will find this Letter interesting and useful.
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AWS Certified Robotic Arc Welding Operator/Technician, copper tubing substitution, new Aluminum Design Manual, improved biomaterials, Hardness Test, Tack Welds, new Metals Information Database MI-21, new ASM Handbooks 22A and 22B and more...

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September 2010 - Practical Welding Letter - Issue No. 85


Mid September Bulletin

Please be advised that the Mid Month Bulletin is now integral with the regular PWL publication. You will find it further down, past the end of this PracticaL Welding Letter.
Don't miss it!

Important Announcement

For assembling at no cost your own Encyclopedia Online,
a rich collection of valuable information from expert Internet Sources, on
Materials, Volume 1,
and Metals Welding, Volume 2.
Order Now! at Metals-Knowledge.


1 - Introduction

2 - Article - How to become an AWS Certified Robotic Arc Welding Operator/Technician

3 - How to do it well: Change of material

4 - Aluminum Design Manual

5 - Online Press: recent Welding related Articles

6 - Terms and Definitions Reminder

7 - Article - Improved Metallic Biomaterials

8 - Site Updating: Hardness Test, Tack Welds

9 - Short Items

10 - Explorations: beyond the Welder

11 - Contributions: Metals Information Database MI-21

12 - Testimonials

13 - Correspondence: a few Comments

14 - Bulletin Board

(Sponsored Links)

1 - Introduction

Welcome back here again, after the vacations period, to this 85th issue of Practical Welding Letter. We open it with a short description and with an invitation to young and ambitious readers who did not yet decide, to explore and study if preparing for becoming a Certified Robotic Arc Welding Operator/Technician is likely to interest them. It seems to become a much required special craft, demanding but potentially most rewarding.

Then a story is reported where a material substitution was made in an application, in order to save on material costs. Expensive copper tubing was substituted with cheaper copper plated mild steel tubes. Unfortunately the manually brazed joints developed unacceptable leaks. Was it worth?

The brazing expert who analyzed the situation explained why the margins for an acceptable process became much tighter, to the point where the substitution gains, risk of being exceeded by process precautions. It seems to me that a general lesson can be drawn from this example. Readers with similar experience are invited to share it with our audience.

For those engaged in designing aluminum structures, the new edition of the Aluminum Design Manual should be good news as it puts in their hands an updated tool for their improved performance.

Then a short note reports on advances in biocompatible materials for medical application. Special centers of knowledge are available to interested readers for obtaining updated information.

A cooperative activity of European centers, with partial funding from the European Community, permitted the assembly of a most complete database related to welding and allied technologies, with special attention devoted to all kinds of consumables.

This database is made available online to all subscribers and permits to search information following different paths according to preferences and needs.

Finally two new pages have been added to the website, one on good old Hardness Tests which are generally the first piece of information sought, and the other on Tack Welds, with the firm requirement not to neglect the necessary high quality so that the main construction is not compromised.

The references to the online resources, assembled in this issue for the Mid Month Bulletin, that follows the regular issue, are devoted to Measuring Residual Stresses.

2 - Article - How to become an AWS Certified Robotic Arc Welding Operator/Technician

A good welding preparation is a must for becoming a good welder. A good welder will always find work because he/she is a valuable asset for the employer.

A competent Robotic Arc Welding Operator and Technician can be even more appreciated than a skilled welder simply because the amount of work potentially available from a well programmed, operated and controlled robotic welding cell is much larger than what the most experienced welders can perform.

A cursory search for Robotic Arc Welding Operators jobs will show that this career is much in demand.

This fact could encourage young people who selected welding as their job for life, but who did not yet make up their mind as to which specific activity should they choose, to prepare themselves for this gratifying specialization.

While the selection of one's job requires a very personal examination of wishes, interests, and opportunities, it seems safe to sustain that a career as a robotic welding cell technician could be most rewarding for the right person.

Prospective students of welding robotics will do well to gain or complete their own expertise in gas metal arc (or Mig) welding if necessary, as a most important prerequisite to their future speciality. That because an intimate knowledge of the interactions of different parameters on the welding outcome is essential to their success in obtaining acceptable results from the robotic cell.

Recommended useful instructional reference material can be found at:

The American Welding Society (AWS), following the requirements spelled out in
AWS D16.4 - Specification for the Qualification of Robotic Arc Welding Personnel
established a curriculum and formal examinations to grant Certification to suitable candidates fulfilling those requirements.

See: Certified Robotic Arc Welding Operator and Technician Examination

Lincoln Electric with FANUC Robotics jointly produced a Robotic Education Cell intended to provide the needed instructional means for supplying adequate hands-on education and familiarization training.

Robotic Welding Education Cell

An educational facility that adopted this material is described in an article on
Back to school with robotic welding

A list of authorized AWS Approved Testing Center (ATC)
for training and Certification testing of Operators and Technicians is available in page

Interested readers are urged to explore this possibility more in depth. Those with personal experience as Candidates or Certified professionals are asked to send us their thoughts using the form at Contact Us.

3 - How to do it well: Change of Material

A very interesting note was published on page 18 of The Welding Journal for August 2010. A reader reported on a high leak rate found in manually brazed distribution systems and asked for possible causes. Originally the systems were made of copper tubing. Recently however, in order to save on material costs, a switch had been made in some systems, substituting copper plated steel tubing for copper tubing.

In his very detailed and reasoned answer, Tim P. Hirthe, the brazing expert, while conceding that the material substitution could have been a good idea, warns on the differences in thermal conductivities, that could cause steel tubes to overheat. In that case the copper coating could become readily damaged or removed, compromising the brazing application.

Additional warnings concern the presence of phosphorus in certain silver base brazing filler metals, intended to deoxidize the copper surface, but producing brittle compounds if let to alloy with iron, and also the difference in Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE)(between copper and steel) making it quite difficult to maintain a suitable clearance between elements at brazing temperature.

The problem is multiplied by having a team of 15 persons performing manual brazing, difficult to train for the special requirements and difficult to supervise. A possible substitution of filler metal is proposed, one suitable for larger than usual clearances.

Summing up, the brazing expert, considering the stricter brazing procedures changes that should be made and the increased risks of failure, asks if it would not be more cost effective after all to stick with the old material.

While it is true that no progress would be possible if old procedures were never questioned, looking only for savings at the material level without taking into account possible process implications, risks to procure more damage than benefit.

Interested readers are urged to seek the original publication, whose details are described above.

4 - Aluminum Association's Aluminum Design Manual, 2010 Edition

Specification for Aluminum Structures: The 2010 Specification for Aluminum Structures is the first unified allowable strength design and load and resistance factor design aluminum Specification. It provides rules for determining the strength of aluminum structural components and minimum strengths for wrought, cast, and welded aluminum alloys and aluminum fasteners.

Commentary: discusses the provisions in the Specification for Aluminum Structures and provides references.

Material Properties: includes alloy and temper designation systems for wrought and cast aluminum alloys; comparative characteristics of wrought alloys; foreign alloy designations correlated with US alloy designations; and typical mechanical and physical properties, including thermal expansion, electrical conductivity, and density (all in US and SI units)

Design Guide: addresses structural design issues not included in the Specification for Aluminum Structures, including diaphragms, adhesive bonded joints, aluminum composite material, extrusion design, corrosion prevention, fire protection, sustainability, and design references for aluminum structural components in automobiles, bridges, rail cars, ships, pressure vessels, pipe, and storage tanks.

Section Properties: lists dimensions and section properties for aluminum channels, I-beams, angles, tees, zees, square and rectangular tube, round tube, pipe, and roofing and siding, as well as sheet metal and wire gauges

Design Aids: provides buckling constants, allowable stress tables for various alloys, allowable load tables for channels and I-beams in bending, tread plate, roofing and siding; fastener strengths, minimum bend radii for aluminum sheet and plate, wire, and rod, design stresses for groove and fillet welds, and beam formulas

Illustrative Design Examples: includes structural design calculation examples based on the Specification for Aluminum Structures.

The 2010 edition includes new or revised provisions concerning:

  • safety and resistance factors
  • design for stability and combined stresses
  • adding 6005A-T61 and 6082-T6
  • a glossary
  • shear yield strengths
  • shear strength of tubes
  • screw pull-over
  • screw slot pull-out strength
  • serviceability
  • evaluating existing structures
  • axial compressive strength of complex cross sections
  • fatigue strength of light pole bases
  • members subject to torsion
  • local buckling strength of welded elements
  • design for fire conditions
  • design of braces
Aluminum Design Manual, 2010 Edition
Aluminum Association / 2010 /
Click to Order.

5 - Online Press: recent Welding related Articles

Vermeer, Miller Electric team for lean welding process (3 pages)

Laser shortens welding process for heat-treatable steels,lang,2/oid,8918/ticket,g_u_e_s_t/~/Laser_shortens_welding_process_for_heat-treatable_steels.html

Rethinking weld shielding gas selection

Don’t Let Your Equipment Leave You Fuming

The Use of Crushed Slag as Welding Flux

6 - Terms and Definitions Reminder

Carbonitriding is a case-hardening process in which a suitable ferrous material (capable of producing carbides and nitrides) is heated above the lower transformation temperature in a gaseous atmosphere of such composition as to cause simultaneous absorption of carbon and nitrogen by the surface and, by diffusion, create a concentration gradient. The heat-treating process is completed by cooling at a rate that produces the desired properties in the workpiece.

Damping, the relative ability of a material to absorb vibration, is the loss in energy, as dissipated heat, that results when a material or material system is subjected to an oscillatory load or displacement. Grey cast iron displays high damping capacity. It is one of the most valuable qualities of this material, selected for this property when employed for machine bases and supports.

Ferromagnetic materials in general exhibit the phenomena of hysteresis and saturation. Their permeability is dependent on the magnetizing force. Microscopically, the elementary magnets are aligned parallel in volumes called domains. The unmagnetized condition of a ferromagnetic material results from the overall neutralization of the magnetization of the randomly oriented domains to produce zero external magnetization.

The guided bend test deforms the specimen by bending it to a definite shape by means of a punch (mandrel) and a bottom block. The lack or appearance of cracks in the bent specimen testifies to its ductility (or lack of it) as demanded by welding codes.

Lattice parameter is the length of any side of a unit cell of a given crystal structure. The term is also used for the fractional coordinates x, y, and z of lattice points when these are variable.

Maraging is a precipitation-hardening treatment applied to a special group of high-nickel iron-base alloys (maraging steels) to precipitate one or more intermetallic compounds and to develop suitable mechanical properties in a matrix of essentially carbon-free martensite.

Oxygen free copper is electrolytic copper free from cuprous oxide, produced without the use of residual metallic or metalloidal deoxidizers.

Paramagnetism is the property exhibited by substances that, when placed in a magnetic field, are magnetized parallel to the field to an extent proportional to the field (except at very low temperatures or in extremely large magnetic fields).

7 - Article - Improved Metallic Biomaterials

Periodic publication of advanced studies demonstrates the lively interest in improving the performance of artificial implants for increasingly advanced surgical interventions in the human body.

A review of short Abstracts of presentations at a Conference, was published at page 28 in the August 2010 issue of Advanced Materials and Processes (An ASM International publication).

The first deals with research intended to improve the mechanical properties of Titanium alloys for biomedical applications by addition if TiB2 or Y2O3.

The second note reports on corrosion tests performed on Magnesium Yttrium alloys with coatings of Organo-Silane in contact with biological fluids.

Another study compared microstructures and properties of solid bodies vs. reticulated mesh components and prototypes of Cobalt base alloys produced by additive manufacturing using electron beam welding. A large difference in density is reported, 8.4 g/cm3 vs. 1.5 g/cm3, but properties are not discussed in the abstract.

Porous metal oxides have been synthesized for self assembly. The complex technology produces the open fibrous network structure that was sought.

Interested readers are urged to read the original publication described above.

Readers should be aware that ASM International promotes initiatives for generating and distributing information on Materials and Processes for Medical Devices including Database, Seminars and Custom Training, Conference and Exposition, References, eNews. See:

8 - Site Updating: Hardness Test, Tack Welds

The Pages of this Month added to the website refer to two unrelated subjects.

The first page presents basic information and descriptions relative to the Hardness Test. Although the readers of this page could have downloaded a long time ago my book on Practical Hardness Testing Made Simple, it may be sitting in your hard disk all this time, without much attention from your part.

Having read it anew I can assure you that it is still valid, as the basic assumptions did not change in time. There may be some subtle changes (Brinell balls made exclusively of Tungsten Carbide, and deletion of the units in kg/mm2 as no more applicable) implemented in new editions of the applicable standards, but they should not affect practical applications.

I had just published this new page, available at Hardness Test, when it came to my knowledge that the recording of a recent Webinar on Hardness Testing in Real-World Applications was made available online by ASM International.

As I much enjoyed that Webinar exposition, that includes a few amazing and unexpected definitions of Hardness, I hastened to add the link to my above page and I urge all to see it. I am not sure it will remain online for a long time, therefore it would be wise to have a look at it as soon as possible.

The second page summarizes the knowledge related to the theory and practice of applying tack welds in preparation for complete welding operations in fabricating structures. In particular it is stressed once more that the utmost quality must be built into tack welds, to avoid compromising the main structure because of faulty tack welds.

Two techniques are described for making tack welds undistinguishable from the final weld passes: remelting and incorporating. Both are possible, but require different attentions. See the new page at Tack Welds and let us have your comments, as usual on the form of the Contact Us page.

To remain updated as new pages are added to the website, please subscribe to the RSS (follow instructions under the NavBar in each page), look at the Site Map, or review periodically the Welding Blog.

You are urged to inform your friends of this website: they may benefit from the quite extensive information available and can ask questions that may help them.

9 - Short Items

Fluoroscopy is an inspection procedure in which the radiographic image of the subject is viewed on a fluorescent screen, normally limited to low-density materials or thin sections of metals because of the low light output of the fluorescent screen at safe levels of radiation. More recently radiographies are viewed on a computer screen, after having been captured by a suitable digital camera.

Gas Classification is the separation of a powder into its particle size fractions by means of a gas stream of controlled velocity flowing counterstream to the gravity-induced fall of the particles. The method is used to classify submesh-size particles.

Microshrinkage is a casting imperfection consisting of interdendritic voids. It is detectable at magnifications not exceeding ten diameters, generally in the machining phase. Microshrinkage results from inadequate opportunity to supply filler to make up for the shrinkage from contraction during solidification. Alloys with wide ranges in solidification temperature are particularly susceptible.

Plastic Deformation is the permanent (inelastic) distortion of materials under applied stresses that strain the material beyond its elastic limit.

Radioactivity is the property of the nuclei of some isotopes to spontaneously decay (lose energy). Usual mechanisms are emission of alpha, beta, or other particles, and splitting (fissioning). Gamma rays are frequently, but not always, given off in the process.

Seam is a discontinuity in the form of an unwelded fold or lap that appears as a crack on a metal surface. Also a surface defect on a casting, related to, but of lesser degree than a cold shut.

10 - Explorations: beyond the Welder

How Can You Control Your Dreams?

Falcon 9 Flight 1 Mission - Highlights

Robot Pills

Searching for Earthlike Worlds

Pinnacle Point Man

11 - Contributions: Metals Information Database MI-21

A new comprehensive Materials Database of ferrous and nonferrous metals and welding, brazing, soldering, thermal spraying and surfacing consumables is now available to anyone who needs authoritative data.

It was built, with the help of Granta Design and the National Metals Technology Centre, upon the libraries of The Welding Institute and the World Metal Index of Sheffield Libraries and with partial funding from the European Community.

This information is available to metallurgists, engineers, sales and technical design staff, and engineering and materials students working across all industrial sectors from all over the world.

It can be used for engineering design, for testing and procuring, for Research and Development, for fabrication, repair, maintenance and restoration. It may be essential even for Reverse Engineering.

With its various search services of data in different combinations available to subscribers, MI-21 can provide online answers to subscribers looking for chemical compositions, names of suppliers, properties, equivalent materials and available specifications old and new.

The aim of the new database is to save industry time and money while looking for accurate data and sourcing products like old trade names, and trying to trace the evolution of materials and grades as the companies merge or separate, go out of business or change production ranges.


12 - Testimonials

From: John Whitehead
To: Welding Advisers
Date: 10 Aug 2010, 07:22:35 PM
Subject: Re: Thermite
Thanks for your reply
John Whitehead

From: Edison Ng
To: Welding Advisers
Date: 26 Aug 2010, 01:44:21 AM
Subject: Re: comparison
Hi Elia,
Thanks for the information which I appreciate!
I will go through your website again for more useful information.
Thanks once again!
Cheers =)


13 - Correspondence: a few Comments

13.1 - Why should anyone asking a question to obtain an answer, provide a faulty e-mail address? It happens, unfortunately, and the inquirer does not imagine why the answer does not come back. Just pay some more attention to this detail...

13.2 - Most common is insufficient information relative to the question itself; therefore the answers tend to be generic. When some tentative answer is offered, most of times there is no follow up.

13.3 - Innovative readers propose far reaching ideas, mostly without thorough preparation. Unfortunately basic knowledge is often lacking.

14 - Bulletin Board

14.1 - Following our recent articles on Simulations and Numerical Analysis of welding processes, I would like to inform readers of two recent Handbooks published by ASM:

ASM Handbook Vol. 22A: Fundamentals of Modeling for Metals Processing

ASM Handbook Volume 22A: Fundamentals of Modeling for Metals Processing Edited by: David Furrer and S. L. Semiatin 2010 Click to Order.


ASM Handbook Vol. 22B: Metals Process Simulation


14.2 - Jobs.

The American Welding Society (AWS) has recently modified its "Jobs in Welding" website. See it at

14.3 - Residual Stress Summit 2010
September 26-29, 2010.
Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge, Tahoe City, CA

14.4 - Previous Issues of Practical Welding Letter are available at the Index of Past Issues of PWL, while the Titles of important Articles published there appear in the page on Welding Topics.

14.5 - Don't miss the SBI! 2.0 Home Page (buildit)

Click on the following image to watch the SBI! TV Show!



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No better way to get to know SiteSell,
the Company that helps everybody build
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Ask the Experts. Go to:

Please continue to browse down hereafter for the Mid September Bulletin.

Copyright (©) 2010, by Elia E. Levi and
All Rights Reserved

* * *

Bulletin 53 - PWL#085B
September 2010

Keywords: Welding Residual Stress Measurements, Slot method, X-Ray Diffraction, Hole-Drilling Strain-Gauge Method, Ultrasonic Stress Measurement

PWL#085B - Resources on Welding Residual Stress Measurements, Crack Compliance Method, Incremental Slitting Measurements, X-Ray Diffraction, Synchrotron, and Neutron Diffraction, Hole-Drilling Strain-Gauge Method, Ultrasonic Stress Measurement, Image Correlation and Holographic Interferometry, Contour Method, Hertzian Indentation, ACSM Stressprobe and more...

Mid September Bulletin

September 2010 - Resources on Residual Stress Measurements - Bulletin 53

Important Announcement

For assembling at no cost your own Encyclopedia Online,
a rich collection of valuable information from expert Internet Sources, on
Materials, Volume 1,
and Metals Welding, Volume 2.
Order Now! at Metals-Knowledge


The Mid Month Bulletin is now integral with and appended to the regular PWL publication.

The subject of this 53rd Bulletin is a collection of Resources on Welding Residual Stress Measurements, which are a much studied subject for the implications such stresses may have on distortion and fatigue failures.

Welding shops incurring in difficult distortion problems while welding complex structures should know that special laboratories can perform the analysis for them and provide useful insight to reduce the unacceptable consequences.

Links to the Mid Month Bulletin Pages are listed in the regularly updated page on Welding Resources (Opens a new Window).

We urge our readers to Bookmark this page or to subscribe to our Welding Site Blog by clicking on the orange buttons under the NavBar in each Website page.
You may also click periodically on the Welding Blog button in the NavBar.

The Index of all previous Issues of the Mid Month Bulletins can be found in the page of Welding Resources.

The addresses reported hereafter were live and correct at the time of their publication. There is no guarantee that they will always be so, because they are administered by the sources themselves and are under their control.

Note: References to articles or other documents are given here in
one of two forms. If the links are "live" (usually underlined or otherwise highlighted) they are operated with a click of the mouse.

If they are URL's (Uniform Resource Locator), which is the analogue of an address, they begin with "http://..." or "www.". These are not live and must be copied and pasted entirely into the browser (after having selected them with the mouse or otherwise). If they are long they may be displayed in two or more lines. In that case one has to care that the URL be copied completely in a single line without any space, and Enter.

If the information is important to you as we hope, you may save the selected pages in a suitable folder on your Computer for easy reference. You are welcome to forward this page to those of your friends who may profit of this information.

* * *


Residual stress

Residual stresses

Residual Stress

*** Residual Stress Discussion Forums ***

Residual stress measurement by successive extension of a slot: The crack compliance method

The Slitting (Crack Compliance) Method for Measuring Residual Stress (with accessible downloads)

The Contour Method for Measuring Residual Stress (with downloads)

The Basic Theory For Incremental Slitting Measurements of Residual Stress

Residual stress measurement - an alternative solution

Novel optical system for residual stress measurement

Determination of residual stresses by X-ray diffraction

Measurement Of Residual Stresses in Diesel Components using X-ray, Synchrotron, and Neutron Diffraction (115 pages)

Nondestructive Characterization of Residual Stresses on Cylinder Liners and Blocks via X-ray Diffraction Techniques (Abstract)

Methodology of Measuring Residual Strain and Stress Distribution in Automotive Parts with Image Correlation and Holographic Interferometry (Abstract)

Three-directional grating and application in measuring residual stresses

Overview - Residual stress
Part 1 – Measurement techniques (11 pages)

Measurement of Residual Stresses by X-Ray Diffraction (presentation, 38 frames)

Residual Stress Measurement using the contour and the sectioning methods in a Mig weld:
Effects on the Stress Intensity Factor

Hole-Drilling Strain-Gauge Method: Residual Stress Measurement With Plasticity Effects

Residual Stress Measurement by Hertzian Indentation (8 pages)

Measurement of residual stress by load and depth sensing indentation with spherical indenters (12 pages)

Residual Stress Determination from a Laser-Based Curvature Measurement (8 pages);jsessionid=B99216ACA443C575B2576EB98BF6F0F2?purl=/758128-eV3PF9/webviewable/

Ultrasonic Measurement of Stress

Measurement of Residual Stresses by the Hole-Drilling Strain Gage Method

Recent advances in residual stress measurement (Abstract)

Residual Stress Mapping in Welds using the Contour Method
(6 pages)

Development of a Residual Stress Depth Profile Measurement Instrument

Residual Stress Measurements in Thin Coatings
(Presentation - 18 slides)

Application of Instrumented Indentation Technique to estimate Strength and Residual stress (6 pages)

Reliable Measurement of Residual Stress in Large Engineering Components (Summary)

Good Practice Guide & the Residual Stress Working Group (presentation - 18 slides)

Residual Stresses and Optimizing Machining Strategies for Aluminum Bars

Influence of Residual Stress and Heat Affected Zone on Fatigue Failure of Welded Piping Joints (Abstract)

ACSM Stressprobe: a new non contacting Stress Measurement Technique for the offshore industry

Publications for Sale

Accuracy evaluation of residual stress measurements.
(Report for sale)

A Review of Non-Destructive Residual Stress Measurement Techniques (Report for sale)

Analysis of Residual Stress by Diffraction using Neutron and Synchrotron Radiation (Book for sale)

Residual Stress Measurement by X-Ray Diffraction, 2003 Edition (Book for sale)

X-Ray Diffraction Residual Stress Measurement in Failure Analysis (Book for sale)

Commercial Publications

Disclaimer: - The following publications are originated by commercial Enterprises. They are reported here only for their information value. No recommendation or endorsement is intended. Readers should exert their judgement in evaluating their content.

Residual Stress Measurement (Many Links available)(Comm. Publ.)

Measurement of Residual Stresses using Ring-core Technique
(4 pages)(Comm. Publ.)

Current Applications of x-ray diffraction Residual Stress Measurement (8 pages)(Comm. Publ.)

Tensile Residual Stress Fields produced in Austenitic Alloy Weldments (6 pages)(Comm. Publ.)

Ultrasonic Technique and Device for Residual Stress Measurement
(7 pages) (Comm. Publ.)

Residual Stress Measurements at Macro- and Micro-Scales Using DIC (Digital Image Correlation)(Comm. Publ.)

Measurement of Residual Stresses by the Hole-Drilling* Strain Gage Method (15 pages)(Comm. Publ.)

* * *

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