A recently implemented fracture control plan for structural steel high-way bridges makes use of a linear relation to describe the effect of strain rate on the ductile/brittle transition temperature as a function of yield strength. Literature data show that the predictions of the aforementioned relation are not general. An alternative analysis is offered along with a qualitative model for understanding the phenomenon. Results of an experimental program investigating microstructural effects on the ductile/brittle strain rate dependence are also presented. The results exhibit linear behavior of ΔTdb versus Δσ/σ, where ΔTdb is the transition temperature shift, σ is the yield stress, and Δσ is the change in yield stress caused by strain rate. The magnitude of the temperature shift, however, is dependent upon the test specimen used. Factors discussed include microstructure, type of test specimen (Charpy V-notch, nil ductility temperature [NDT], modified NDT, or compact toughness), crack initiation versus crack propagation, and implications for regulatory bodies.
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