ASTM E208 - 06(2012)

    Standard Test Method for Conducting Drop-Weight Test to Determine Nil-Ductility Transition Temperature of Ferritic Steels

    Active Standard ASTM E208 | Developed by Subcommittee: E28.07

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.01


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    ASTM E208

    Significance and Use

    5.1 The fracture-strength transitions of ferritic steels used in the notched condition are markedly affected by temperature. For a given “low” temperature, the size and acuity of the flaw (notch) determines the stress level required for initiation of brittle fracture. The significance of this test method is related to establishing that temperature, defined herein as the NDT temperature, at which the “small flaw” initiation curve, Fig. 1, falls to nominal yield strength stress levels with decreasing temperature, that is, the point marked NDT in Fig. 1.

     Generalized Fracture Analysis Diagram Indicating the
Approximate Range of Flaw Sizes Required for Fracture Initiation at
Various Levels of Nominal Stress, as Referenced by the NDT Temperature
    FIG. 1 Generalized Fracture Analysis Diagram Indicating the Approximate Range of Flaw Sizes Required for Fracture Initiation at Various Levels of Nominal Stress, as Referenced by the NDT Temperature3 , 4

    5.2 Interpretations to other conditions required for fracture initiation may be made by the use of the generalized flaw-size, stress-temperature diagram shown in Fig. 1. The diagram was derived from a wide variety of tests, both fracture-initiation and fracture-arrest tests, as correlated with the NDT temperature established by the drop-weight test. Validation of the NDT concept has been documented by correlations with numerous service failures encountered in ship, pressure vessel, machinery component, forged, and cast steel applications.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of the nil-ductility transition (NDT) temperature of ferritic steels, 5/8 in. (15.9 mm) and thicker.

    1.2 This test method may be used whenever the inquiry, contract, order, or specification states that the steels are subject to fracture toughness requirements as determined by the drop-weight test.

    1.3 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as the standard.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 77.040.10 (Mechanical testing of metals)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E0208-06R12

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