A procedure for shear testing of butt welds has been developed to enable a realistic observation of the response of actual-size groove-welded joints to in-plane pure shear loading. It has been found by means of experimental stress analysis and finite element analysis that with this method, a situation very close to the condition of pure shear can be created along the shear section. The applicability of the method in the presence of an unfavorable crack lying in the shear section has been verified numerically. The actual effectiveness, applicability, and suitability of the method have been demonstrated experimentally. Satisfactory performance has been observed during testing of actual butt joints with their inherent defects. The method can be used for destructive testing and evaluation of groove-welded joints—fabricated in factory or on site, or taken from existing structures—and for assessing a proposed welding detail and procedure with the use of purpose-made specimens. The idea can be extended to fatigue testing of butt joints and flat metals under mode II fatigue loading.
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