The fracture toughness of laser beam welded ferritic steel has been measured in the ductile-to-brittle transition regime using precracked bend specimens. The precracked welded specimens showed a complex fracture behavior, which involves crack path deviation. It was found that the large scatter of the cleavage fracture toughness and its temperature dependence can be characterized by the Master Curve Method (MCM). The results promote the validity of Engineering Lower Bound Method (ELBM) to derive lower bound toughness of laser beam welded steel. To enable a successful application of the Methods, it was necessary to add fracture toughness data censoring to the method, which takes into account the phenomenon of crack path deviation. The application of the censoring criterion requires additional fracture surface investigations, which can be performed easily using a conventional low magnification light microscope.
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