In order find a general platform/environment for simulation of in-service welding operations, a review and analysis of non-linear Finite Element Analysis, FEA, programs have been performed. Free and commercial softwares have been considered and the programs that have been reviewed and evaluated are ABAQUS, CALCULIX, CODE-ASTER, MARC and SYSWELD. Different platforms, i.e. workstation configurations with the associated Operative System, OS, has also been investigated to find an optimised simulation platform solution. To facilitate the selection of a suitable simulation platform, the performance and durability of ABAQUS has been evaluated by means of an in-service weld simulation. The residual weld hoop stresses of the weld simulation have been compared with the results of girth weld experiments from bibliographic sources. To enhance the evaluation process as well as gain experiences of measuring residual weld stresses, two (2) girth welds with measurement of the weld hoop stresses have been carried out. The maximum solving performance of ABAQUS was obtained by means of a tailor-made workstation, configured with the OS Slackware Linux 9.1 and a specially compiled Linux kernel. The findings of the research will be utilized on selection of a FEA-simulation platform that will be used for the purpose of scientific research and industrial development in the field of inservice welding operations.

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