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The present paper reports the treatment of fracture toughness data in the ductile-to-brittle transition regime by using Charpy size specimens. Size effect and statistical variation are taken into account according to a statistical model associated to the weakest link model. The methodology is first calibrated on a reference reactor pressure vessel material, for which fracture toughness data obtained on large samples are available. This methodology is successfully applied to a number of RPV steels to determine the fracture toughness behaviour in the transition regime. Monte Carlo simulations are performed to determine the confidence interval of the reference temperature as derived from a small number of tests.
fracture toughness, Charpy, transition, crack extension, scatter, probability of failure, reactor pressure vessel steel, Weibull statistics, size effect, Monte Carlo, reference temperature
Research scientist, SCK∙CEN, Reactor Materials Research, Mol,