Correlation between steel initiation toughness and arrest toughness determined from small-scale mechanical testing

Jessica Taylor, Ali Mehmanparast, Rob Kulka, Philippa Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)


The ability of a material to arrest a fast-running brittle crack is vital in various industries such as offshore wind, oil and gas, and shipbuilding where cracks can initiate in regions of local stress and put lives at risk. Some modern steels show a high Charpy toughness, but low resistance to crack propagation - i.e. low crack arrest toughness. In this work, the relationship between initiation and arrest toughness is investigated in five different steels, including S355 structural steel, X65 pipeline steel and two high strength reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels. Small scale mechanical testing was carried out to determine the material properties, which were correlated against the microstructural characteristics of the materials. The test program included instrumented Charpy, drop weight Pellini, fracture toughess, tensile testing, and microscopy. Nil ductility transition temperature (NDTT) is used as a measure of arrestibility. Initiation toughness showed the expected correlations with upper shelf Charpy and grain size measurements, however these did not correlate with the arrest toughness. The arrest toughness is better correlated against the T27J temperature - i.e. the onset of the lower shelf. This relationship is valid even for steels where the NDTT lies on the upper shelf of the Charpy curve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-478
Number of pages7
JournalProcedia Structural Integrity
Early online date25 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2019
Event3rd International Conference on Structural Integrity - Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Duration: 2 Sept 20195 Sept 2019
Conference number: 3


  • crack arrest
  • crack arrest toughness
  • fracture mechanics
  • RPV steel
  • S355 steel
  • X65 steel


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