Stress relaxation of welded joints can increase the safety of structures. Although it is not absolutely clear why it happens, several researches have proved the phenomenon. This work presents the application of the ultrasonic technique to evaluate the stress relaxation in welds of 5052 aluminum. A special geometry was developed, so each welded plate had uni-axial stresses in the measurement region. Twenty-two plates were tested, eleven in the rolling direction and the remaining in the perpendicular direction. The plates were stress relief using a heat treatment to set an initial stress free reference state. After that, they were welded to create the stress field in the area of investigation. A final step was to cut each of the samples after different periods of time from the welding. The stress was measured in the uni-axial stress region. A calendar of the process was established to record precisely the time for each step. Longitudinal critically refracted waves were used to measure the stresses. The results showed a clear effect of relaxation. The magnitude was not as pronounced as in steel, but kept the same relation with the ultimate strength of material.

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