The article utilizes plane strain elastic-plastic finite element analysis and a local criterion for cleavage fracture to establish specimen size requirements for the ductile-brittle transition region. Critical J and CTOD values, relative to the small-scale yielding value, were predicted as a function of specimen size, strain hardening exponent, and a/W. These analyses predict an increase in the apparent toughness with decreasing specimen size due to a loss in crack tip constraint; this effect is particularly pronounced in shallow notched specimens and low hardening materials. For deeply notched bend and compact specimens, the following size requirement must be met for critical J values for cleavage to be size independent:
The constraint loss in shallow notched specimens is usually far too rapid to obtain J-controlled cleavage fracture, but the analyses presented in this article provide a means for correcting fracture toughness data for constraint loss. Predictions of the effect of a/W on toughness in the transition region agree favorably with experimental data.
Future work will consider the effects of specimen thickness and ductile tearing on transition region toughness.
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