Residual stress from 1953 to 2019

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It’s 1953 and Roy Woodward is a 25-year-old engineer trying to find an explanation for the causes of fatigue cracking and how these are linked to residual stress. Components are cracking prematurely and unexpectedly with no real understanding of why.
Residual stress describes the stress locked within a component or material when all the externally applied loads and forces acting on it are removed. It can add to, or subtract from, the applied stresses and lead to unexpected consequences, such as the early failure of a part or distortion out of required tolerances – it’s a common, but even today, often unidentified, side effect of many manufacturing processes.


  • residual stress
  • aluminium
  • fatigue cracking
  • Roy Woodward

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