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Prediction of Characteristic Length and Fracture Toughness in Ductile-Brittle Transition

[+] Author Affiliations
Z. X. Wang, H. M. Li

Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China

Y. J. Chao

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

P. S. Lam

Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC

Paper No. PVP2008-61608, pp. 131-138; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 27–31, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4829-6
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME and Washington Savannah River Company LLC


Finite element method was used to analyze the three-point bend experimental data of A533B-1 pressure vessel steel obtained by Sherry, Lidbury, and Beardsmore [1] from −160 to −45 °C within the ductile-brittle transition regime. As many researchers have shown, the failure stress (σf ) of the material could be approximated as a constant. The characteristic length, or the critical distance (rc ) from the crack tip, at which σf is reached, is shown to be temperature dependent based on the crack tip stress field calculated by the finite element method. With the J-A2 two-parameter constraint theory in fracture mechanics, the fracture toughness (JC or KJC ) can be expressed as a function of the constraint level (A2 ) and the critical distance rc . This relationship is used to predict the fracture toughness of A533B-1 in the ductile-brittle transition regime with a constant σf and a set of temperature-dependent rc . It can be shown that the prediction agrees well with the test data for wide range of constraint levels from shallow cracks (a/W = 0.075) to deep cracks (a/W = 0.5), where a is the crack length and W is the specimen width.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME and Washington Savannah River Company LLC



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