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Modifications were made to a conventional Charpy machine to accommodate the miniaturized Charpy V-Notch (MCVN) specimens which were fabricated from an archived reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steel. Over 100 dynamic MCVN tests were performed and compared to the results from conventional Charpy V-Notch (CVN) tests to demonstrate the efficacy of the miniature specimen test. The optimized sidegrooved MCVN specimens exhibit transitional fracture behavior over essentially the same temperature range as the CVN specimens which indicates that the stress fields in the MCVN specimens reasonably simulate those of the CVN specimens and this fact has been observed in finite element calculations. This result demonstrates a significant breakthrough since it is now possible to measure the ductile-brittle transition temperature (DBTT) using miniature specimens with only small correction factors, and for some materials as in the present study, without the need for any correction factor at all. This development simplifies data interpretation and will facilitate future regulatory acceptance. The non-sidegrooved specimens yield energy-temperature data which is significantly shifted downward in temperature (non-conservative) as a result of the loss of constraint which accompanies size reduction.
miniaturized Charpy V-Notch, Charpy V-Notch, impact testing, instrumented impact testing, reactor pressure vessel, absorbed energy, percent shear fracture area, lateral expansion
President, MPM Research & Consulting, Lemont, PA