Fracture mechanics is widely used to evaluate the fracture behavior of structural steels. However, the fracture toughness of structural steels is affected significantly by temperature, loading rate, and constraint. Because of the effect of these factors, the fracture behavior of structural steels varies considerably from linear elastic to general yielding. Accordingly, there are numerous fracture mechanics tests of structural steels—each of which is applicable to the general regime of linear-elastic, elastic-plastic, or general yielding behavior.
This paper describes the fracture testing and behavior of structural steels in each of these three general domains and briefly describes the ASTM test methods used in each domain.
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