Infoscience

Journal article

3D finite element and experimental study of the size requirements for measuring toughness on tempered martensitic steels

The fracture properties of the tempered martensitic steel Eurofer97, which is among the main candidates for fusion power plant structural applications, were studied with two sizes of pre-cracked compact specimens (0.35T C(T) and 0.87T C(T)). The fracture toughness behavior was characterized within the temperature range -80 to -40 ºC. The ductile-to-brittle transition reference temperature, as defined in the ASTM standard E1921, was around T0 ≈ -75 ºC. At -60 °C, it was found that two sets of toughness data obtained with 0.35T and 0.87T C(T) specimens are not consistent with the size adjustments recommended in the ASTM standard. It was then shown that the underlying reason of this inconsistency is an inappropriate specimen size limit of the ASTM standard for this type of steel. From published fracture toughness data on the tempered martensitic steel F82H steel, similar results were also highlighted. 3D finite elements simulations of the compact specimens were performed to compare the stresses and deformations at the onset of fracture. A local approach model based on the attainment of a critical stress and a critical volume was used to study the constraint loss phenomenon. Within the framework of this model, the strong toughness increase by reducing the specimen size could be satisfactorily explained.

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