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Welding is the main process to join structural components, being applied on a large scale and helping to increase productivity. However, the weld thermal cycles generate residual stresses and deformation, which act as pre-existing loads, and may cause premature failure. Existing methods only conservatively quantify these efforts on a limited number of geometries. In this work a numerical methodology was developed using the finite element method to simulate welding components, focusing on the stress, strains and distortions caused by process. The models studied dealt with the joining of elements such as plates and panels, the manufacturing of tubular elements such as pipelines and their assembly in the field, and the union by welding of parts of a pressure vessel.To understand the behavior of the structure the influence of various parameters were studied such as: number of weld beads, welding speed, material behavior, and the influence of a stress relief mechanical treatment through the simulation of hydrostatic tests applied to the tubular components and to the pressure vessel. In the two cases of the plates joined by welding and the pipes manufactured by this process, the validation of the results was performed by experimental measurements conducted using the blind hole, elliptical cut and X-ray diffraction techniques. Good agreement between the numerical and experimental results were verified, when was possible the knowledge of experimental results for comparison. The simulations indicated values of residual stress, sometimes in the order of the yield strength of the material, being observed traction in the weld bead and compression in its vicinity. This result is expected since that in the weld bead are located the largest temperature gradients and major restrictions on volume expansion. The simulations showed that the application of a hydrostatic test induces a beneficial effect to the component redistribution of residual stress, with consequent reduction of the tensile residual stresses in the weld beads. The degree of relief of tensile stress is influenced by the test pressure value; and, in general, it was found that the greater the test pressure, the greater the stress redistribution.