Significance and Use
The parameters KEAC or KIEAC determined by this test method characterize the resistance to crack growth of a material with a sharp crack in specific environments under loading conditions in which the crack-tip plastic region is small compared with the crack depth and the uncracked ligament. The less restrictive thickness requirements of KEAC are intended for those conditions in which the results are a strong function of the thickness of the specimen and the application requires the testing of specimens with thickness representative of the application. Since the chemical and mechanical influences cannot be separated, in some material/environment combinations, the thickness must be treated as a variable. A KEAC or KIEAC value is believed to represent a characteristic measurement of environment-assisted cracking resistance in a precracked specimen exposed to an environment under sustained tensile loading. A KEAC or KIEAC value may be used to estimate the relationship between failure stress and defect size for a material under any service condition, where the combination of crack-like defects, sustained tensile loading and the same specific environment would be expected to occur. (Background information concerning the development of this test method can be found in Refs (3-18).
1.1 This test method covers the determination of the environment-assisted cracking threshold stress intensity factor parameters, KIEAC and KEAC, for metallic materials from constant-force testing of fatigue precracked beam or compact fracture specimens and from constant-displacement testing of fatigue precracked bolt-load compact fracture specimens.
1.2 This test method is applicable to environment-assisted cracking in aqueous or other aggressive environments.
1.3 Materials that can be tested by this test method are not limited by thickness or by strength as long as specimens are of sufficient thickness and planar size to meet the size requirements of this test method.
1.4 A range of specimen sizes with proportional planar dimensions is provided, but size may be variable and adjusted for yield strength and applied force. Specimen thickness is a variable independent of planar size.
1.5 Specimen configurations other than those contained in this test method may be used, provided that well-established stress intensity calibrations are available and that specimen dimensions are of sufficient size to meet the size requirements of this test method during testing.
1.6 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.