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A Numerical and Experimental Study of the Cleavage Fracture Behaviour of Non-Sharp Defects

[+] Author Affiliations
Anthony J. Horn

Corus Research, Development and Technology, South Yorkshire, UK

Andrew H. Sherry

University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Paper No. PVP2008-61261, pp. 967-973; 7 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 Corus


Structures containing non-sharp defects exhibit a higher apparent resistance to cleavage fracture than sharp cracks. This paper presents a numerical and experimental study of the cleavage fracture behaviour of single edge notch bend SE(B) specimens with cracks and notches with varying notch root radii. The experimental study demonstrates the increasing resistance to fracture that occurs with increasing notch root radius. This is complemented by a numerical study that quantifies the elastic-plastic stress field ahead of the crack or notch tip. The results of the numerical and experimental studies are used together to show that the cleavage initiation sites, identified using scanning electron microscopy, are located close to the peak tensile stress field occurring ahead of the notch. This implies that a tensile stress criterion is the main controlling factor for cleavage fracture in the notched specimens analysed.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME and Corus



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