Measurement of residual-stress distribution by the incremental hole-drilling method

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  • J. LU
  • J.F. Flavenot


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-188
Journal / PublicationJournal of Mechanical Working Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1985
Externally publishedYes


The hole-drilling method is widely used for the measurement of residual stresses in mechanical components. Recent developments have shown that strains measured on the surface during an incremental drilling can be related to residual-stress distribution. Researches, internationally, have proposed different methods of calibration which lead to results of varying degrees of accuracy.

The present paper discusses the different approaches used. A new method of calibration is proposed and it is shown how the finite element analysis can be used for the determination of the correlation coefficients. The variation of the strains measured on the surface for each increment is due, firstly to the residual stresses in the layer and secondly, to the change of the hole geometry. Most authors do not consider the latter aspect, but the presently reported results show that this causes a significant error in the experimental data. The finite-element method has been used for the computation of the coefficients for all types of strain-gauge rosettes when the hole diameter is pre-determinated.

Another problem of the hole-drilling method is the selection of the drilling tool. Two systems have been studied: the use of a ultra high-speed air-turbine and the use of a conventional milling machine.

The incremental hole drilling method has been applied to both shot-peened and water-quenched test specimens, and results have been successfully compared with those of the bending deflection and the X-ray method.