The local weld geometry and its quality can significantly impact the fatigue life of non-load-carrying welds in structures Therefore, optimizing the manufacturing processes to improve the local weld geometry can considerably affect the fatigue life of the structure.. Post-weld treatments such as burr grinding and High Frequency Mechanical Impact (HFMI) treatment are commonly used techniques to extend the fatigue life of a weld by modifying the local weld toe geometry. However, employing additional manufacturing processes can have an adverse effect on the Life-cycle cost of a welded structure by increasing production costs. On the other hand, extending the fatigue life of a structure can result in lower maintenance and replacement costs. Therefore, a thorough yet predictive life-cycle cost assessment is required to assess the viability of such treatments and design economically efficient weld structures.
This study assesses the life-cycle cost of welded joints. The fatigue life of the weld in this study is analyzed using the effective Notch Stress method (NSM). Furthermore, the weld is post-treated with an automated HFMI treatment to prolong its fatigue life. Moreover, the effect of weld quality on the production cost is analyzed. The results show that every phase of the weld’s life-cycle has a significant contribution to the life-cycle cost with the use-phase being the more dominant. The results also depict the impact of the changes in weld quality in the overall life-cycle cost.