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This study investigates the applicability of the J-integral test procedure to test short crack specimens in the temperature region below the initiation of ductile tearing where JIc cannot be measured. The current J-integral test procedure is restricted to determining the initiation of ductile tearing and requires that no specimen demonstrates brittle cleavage fracture. The JIctest specimen is also limited to crack-depth to specimen-width ratios (a/W) between 0.50 and 0.75. In contrast, the crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) test procedure can be used for testing throughout the entire temperature-toughness transition region from brittle to fully ductile behavior. Also, extensive research is being conducted to extend the CTOD test procedure to the testing of short crack specimens (a/W ratios of approximately 0.15).
The CTOD and J-integral fracture parameters are compared both analytically and experimentally using square (cross-section) three-point bend specimens of A36 steel with a/W ratios of 0.50 (deep crack) and 0.15 (short crack). Three-dimensional elastic-plastic finite element analyses are conducted on both the deep crack and the short crack specimens. The measured J-integral and CTOD results are compared at various levels of linear-elastic and elastic-plastic behavior. Experimental testing is conducted throughout the lower shelf and lower transition regions where stable crack growth does not occur. Very good agreement exists between the analytical and experimental results for both the short crack and deep crack specimens.
Results of this study show that both the J-integral and the CTOD fracture parameters work well for testing in the lower shelf and lower transition regions where stable crack growth does not occur. A linear relationship is shown to exist between J-integral and CTOD throughout these regions for both the short and the deep crack specimens. These observations support the consideration to extend the J-integral test procedure into the temperature region of brittle fracture rather than limiting it to JIc at the initiation of ductile tearing. Also, analyzing short crack three-point bend specimen (a/W < 0.15) records using the load versus load-line displacement (LLD) record has great potential as an experimental technique. The problems of accurately measuring the CMOD of short crack specimens in the laboratory without affecting the crack tip behavior may be eliminated using the J-integral test procedure.
J, -integral, CMOD, CTOD, elastic-plastic fracture mechanics, short crack, finite element analysis, transition fracture toughness
Research engineer, Exxon Production Research Company, Houston, TX
Associate professor, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
Professor, Civil Engineering, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS