US Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Engineering Fracture Mechanics 77 (2010) 337–347;


Recent experimental and computational work by Link and associates has demonstrated that relatively small (W= 150 mm) single edge notched tension specimens (SE(T)) can be used to obtain crack arrest data high in the ductile-to-brittle transition of ferritic structural steel using dynamic computational techniques if a thermal gradient is utilized to aid in the crack arrest. Testing has been reported on two important navy structural steels that clearly defines the relative capability of the two materials to arrest rapidly growing cracks. The HY100 material demonstrated the expected large difference between the initiation and crack arrest toughnesses which has made it impossible in the past to measure crack arrest toughness for this material using the standard ASTM procedure (E1221). The HSLA-100 steel, however demonstrated a much higher crack arrest toughness and a correspondingly smaller drop in toughness below the initiation toughness. This small difference between initiation toughness and arrest toughness suggested that the E1221 procedure, using wedge loaded, compact crack arrest (CCA) specimens would be applicable to this material. Two important issues could then be investigated using this material. First, having completed the expensive and relatively complex testing of the SE(T) specimens using tensile loading and a thermal gradient, a second, quite different geometry could be tested using the E1221 procedure, allowing an important comparison between the crack arrest measurements made using these two distinct geometries. Historically, obtaining crack arrest results using one test configuration has been so difficult, that there have been very few reports of results for the same material using two different test geometries. Transferability of the laboratory results to structural applications has thus been a matter of conjecture. Furthermore, if the E1221 CCA specimens were strain gaged to obtain crack velocity data, and analyzed using the dynamic computational procedure used by Link on the SE(T) specimens, it would be possible to compare the results the E1221 static analysis with the results of the dynamic computation procedure to determine the degree of conservatism present in the E1221 standard procedure.

The results of this work have shown that the crack arrest toughness results obtained on these two specimen geometries are similar and hence insensitive to the test geometry and the difference resulting from the application of the complex dynamic computational procedure or the E1221 static analyses is small.