Fracture toughness of steels is conventionally measured using bend specimens and provides a conservative estimate of toughness when the actual loading is in tension. There has been widespread interest in characterizing the toughness that occurs with reduced constraint to better reflect constraint conditions typical of a relatively shallow girth weld flaw. There is currently a standardized approach to measure fracture toughness in tension loaded specimens, however, it requires testing of multiple specimens to generate a resistance curve. Recent developments in fracture toughness testing and analysis of tension loaded specimens have led to publications by CANMET and Exxon Mobil Upstream Research Company toward development of a single-specimen procedure.

As part of an initiative to enhance the state of the art in strain based design and assessment methods, with the intent of providing support for the standardization of appropriate weld testing methods, BMT under a Pipeline research Council International (PRCI) project has combined the two single-specimen approaches and developed a recommended practice for fracture toughness testing using single-edge-notched tension SENT (or SE(T)) samples with fixed grip loading. The procedure has been assessed by means of a round robin test program involving laboratories from around the world. Girth welds were fabricated and base metal, heat affected zone and weld center line specimens were prepared and sent to round robin participants. For the round robin program all the participants used a double clip gauge arrangement for direct CTOD measurement and electric potential drop measurement or unloading compliance method for crack growth measurement. In this paper, the results of the round robin test program including comparison of J and CTOD resistance curves will be presented and discussed.

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