Special fixtures and test methods have been developed for testing small disk compact specimens (12.5 mm in diameter by 4.6 mm thick). Both unloading compliance and potential drop methods have been used to monitor crack extension during the J-integral resistance (J-R) curve testing. Provisions have been made to allow the necessary probes and instrumentation to be installed remotely using manipulators for testing irradiated specimens in a hot cell. Laboratory trials showed that both unloading compliance and potential drop gave useful results. Both techniques gave similar data and predicted the final crack extension within allowable limits. The results from the small disk compact specimens were similar to results from conventional compact specimens 12.7 mm thick. However, the slopes of the J-R curves from the larger specimens were lower, suggesting that the smaller disk compact specimens may have lost some constraint due to their size. The testing shows that it should be possible to generate useful J-R curve fracture toughness data from the small disk compact specimens.
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