Loading rate of fracture toughness tests in transition regime

Research outputpeer-review


ASTM E1921-21, Standard Test Method for Determination of Reference Temperature, T0, for Ferritic Steels in the Transition Range, contains a limitation on the stress intensity factor loading rate (K˙) for the quasistatic loading. The specimens should be loaded at a rate such that K˙ during the initial elastic portion is between 0.1 and 2 MPa√m/s. However, based on recent improvements in the test technique, it should be possible to narrow the loading rate range in order to reduce variability and have more comparable results between laboratories. For all users to be able to achieve the reduced range, clear guidelines are needed, which are not yet available. The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN) has extensive experience in fracture toughness testing and has constructed a large database on which statistical studies were performed. This paper illustrates, using the SCK CEN database, that Wallin's theoretical displacement formulas can only be used in the case in which the compliance of the testing setup is taken into account. An improved equation is proposed, guidelines for implementing the equation are drawn up, and these are verified using the database. It is clear that the methodology is sufficiently robust to provide an average loading rate within the suggested range of 0.5 and 2 MPa√m/s. This methodology could thus be integrated into the testing standard ASTM E1921-21.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberJTEVAB
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Testing and Evaluation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science

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