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From Charpy to Present Impact Testing

D. Franqois and A. Pineau (Eds.)

9 Minister of Natural Resources, Canada. 2001. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. and ESIS.
All rights reserved. 325



Materials Technology Laboratory, CANMET
Natural Resources Canada
568 Booth St., Ottawa, Canada K IA 0G1

* e-mail:


There have been many attempts to correlate CVN with other fracture parameters
such as KIr and J or CTOD. Most of these have been empirical or semi-theoretical,
shedding little light on the fundamental reasons underlying any correlation.

In the present work, the basic definition of the J integral, including correction for
crack growth, has been used to derive relations between the J resistance curve and
Charpy V-notch test parameters. R curves have been measured on a linepipe steel in the
upper shelf region for V-notched and fatigue pre-cracked Charpy samples at quasi-static
and impact loading rates. The effect of notch acuity on the absorbed energy was small,
but the effect of loading rate was found to be large. Comparisons of these results are
made with earlier experiments on linepipe steels.

Keywords: CVN absorbed energy, J integral, toughness correlation, resistance curve,

crack growth


There have been many attempts in the past to correlate Charpy absorbed energy
with more "fundamental" fracture toughness parameters such as K or J. The reasons for
this are evident: the Charpy test has been used more than any other to characterize the
resistance of materials to fracture, but the results (Charpy absorbed energy, or CVN) are
not directly useful for calculating the critical load that a structure can withstand before
fracture. For the latter purpose, fracture mechanics assessment is required for which the
material parameters required are K or J. In many cases, the only information available is
the CVN. Also, the Charpy test will continue to be used routinely at least for quality
control. For all of these reasons, it would be desirable to be able to estimate the fracture
toughness from CVN.

Correlation of CVN with toughness is fraught with several complications,

primarily differences in loading rate and in notch sharpness. These two factors make
correlations problematic in the case of brittle fracture (cleavage). Cleavage fracture is

well known to be very sensitive to constraint (e.g. notch sharpness) and strain rate, and so
these effects must be taken into account in the process of correlation. A technique that is
often used to account for strain rate effects is to shift the transition curve along the
temperature axis, but accounting for notch sharpness effects is more difficult.

If fracture occurs by ductile processes, the onset of crack growth is much less
sensitive to constraint and temperature than is the case for cleavage. Hence, if correlation
between toughness and CVN is possible, it would be more likely to be found for ductile
than for brittle fracture - in particular, in the upper shelf for structural steels. Empirical
correlations for the upper shelf have been reported previously; Leis and Brust [1]
suggested a linear relation between CVN and J02 in the upper shelf, and Mak and Tyson
[2] found a similar relation for linepipe steels, llowever, it is only recently that a
theoretical framework that would explain these results has been sought. One notable
approach to the problem has been reported by Schindler [3], in which it was proposed
that the resistance (R) curve could be evaluated from the Charpy test as

J(Aa) =_. 11.44 x CVNx Ag,' ~ x Aa :3 (1)

with J in N/mm and CVN in Joules, where Aa is the crack extension and Agt is the
uniform strain at maximum load in a uniaxial tensile test. This approach seems to be
promising in that it agrees quite well with experimental data for linepipe steels.

The present work was initiated to examine in detail the fracture mechanics
description of the Charpy test. In particular, it was intended to take account of crack
growth in deriving a correlation between toughness and CVN. Also, since the
information available from instrumented impact testing is normally limited to the energy
absorbed at maximum load Em and the total absorbed energy CVN, a relation between
these parameters and the resistance curve was sought.


Fracture toughness is now measured conventionally using single-specimen

methods, such as standardized in ASTM E 1820 [4]. E 1820 contains two definitions for
the J-integral, termed here a "simple J" measured by a basic test method and a
"deformation J" measured by a resistance curve test method. The latter takes account of
crack growth and results in a J value that depends only on the load and the amount of
crack growth, as described in detail by Anderson [5]. We will assume in the following
derivation that J may be written as a power-law relation

J = Jo(ga) p (2)
The "simple J" is defined by

J - nA~. (3)
where Apl is the plastic work, B is the sample thickness, and b0 is the ligament size. For
deeply-notched bend specimens, 1"1=2. A smaller value of r I is appropriate for shallow
cracks (a/W<0.28). For a Charpy specimen a/W=0.2 and r1=1.54, but after only 0.8 mm
Correlation Between J and CVN in Upper Shelf 327

of crack growth the appropriate value of 1"1is 2.0 and it was found adequate in the present
work to use rl=2 from the start of loading. At complete fracture we may use eqns. (2) and
(3) to find Jf (the J value at fracture) by inserting ApI=CVN and Aaf(=8.0 mm). Similarly,
at maximum load we find Jm (the J value at maximum load) by inserting Apt=Em at Aam.

CVN, (Aaf) P (4)

Em Aam]
Then, taking the ratio Jf/Jm we have
This equation may be solved for p provided Aam is known; then J0 may be found from
eqn. (3) using appropriate values of the variables at fracture or at maximum load.

Derivation of a relation for the "deformation J" is somewhat more complicated, but
straightforward. The procedure outlined by Anderson may be followed, after some steps,
to give the general relation for the value of J at a "final" state

rl IdApl
,n,,,~ (5)
J fin~ = _( p- 1
b ~ - p - ~ AafinaJ

Again, this equation may be evaluated at fracture and at maximum load to give values of
J at Aaf and Aam. Taking the ratio of these values to eliminate J and rearranging, we find

Aam] 1CVN Aaf) r' (6)

P+I+(1-P) bo j q g~ - Aam]
Eqn. (6) may be used to solve for p by iteration when CVN, Era, Aaf (=8 mm) and Aam are

Evidently, to solve eqns. (4) and (6) it is necessary to know the amount of crack growth
at maximum load Aa~. In the present work, the "key curve" method was used to estimate
Aam and compared with values from elastic compliance unloading (possible only for
quasi-static loading). In the key curve method, described by Ernst et al. [6], the load P is
related to the plastic load-line displacement Ap by
b2/W- k (7)
where b is the ligament size, k is a material constant, and n is the work hardening
coefficient. In the present work, n was found from the stress-strain curve. The value of k
was obtained by fitting eqn. (7) to the experimental load-displacement data during initial
loading (from yield to half way to maximum load) when it could be safely assumed that
there would be no crack growth and b=b0=constant. It follows from eqn. (7) that at
constant Ao we have p/b2=paa=o/bo2 and it follows directly that

Aa = b o 1- (8)


Tests were done using samples of standard Charpy geometry under quasi-static
and impact loading. The effect of notch acuity was assessed by using standard V-notched
and fatigue pre-cracked (a/W=0.2) samples. For quasi-static loading, the crack length
was estimated using elastic unloading compliance (modified for short cracks [7]) to
compare with the key curve method. Simple and deformation J-integrals were found
using the standard equations in E 1820 (modified for short cracks following Sumpter [8]
and Ernst et al. [9]).

The material used was an X-52 grade linepipe steel with yield and ultimate tensile
strengths of 376 and 510 MPa respectively and work hardening coefficient n=0.129 (all
in the transverse direction). The 20 J transition temperature of standard transverse
through-thickness-notched (C-L) Charpy specimens was found to be -47~ and the
upper shelf started near room temperature. To enable comparison with previous work,
notches and cracks for samples used in the present work were made parallel to the
surface, i.e. samples were of C-R type (surface-notched transverse specimens). For ease
of identification, samples were coded as P (pre-cracked), V (V-notched), S (tested at slow
quasi-static rate), and F (tested at fast impact rate).


Quasi-static tests were performed following the procedures of E 1820 with the
modifications noted above. Crack lengths were measured by CMOD compliance
unloading with the clip gage seated in integral knife-edges and by the key-curve method.
The compliance data is compared with physical measurements in Table I. The
experimental data and key curve for sample V S1 are shown in Fig.l, and the crack
extension measurements by the two methods are compared in Fig.2. Results of the tests
are reported in Tables 2 and 3. The value of the energy at maximum load E,, is the total
value uncorrected for elastic energy; the elastic component is approximately 4% of Em for
the slow tests and about 7% for the impact tests.

Table 1. Crack length measurements

ao (mm) ar(mm)
Sample Notch
Compliance Physical Compliance Physical
PSI 1.82 1.69 7.91 8.74
PS2* 2.01 1.81 2.57 2.36

VS1 2.40 2.01 7.79 8.77

VS2 2.37 2.01 7.95 8.81
*Unloaded at maximum load
Correlation Between J and CVN in Upper Shelf 329

9 9149149 eee 9

12000 - - 1 1 hne

9 Experimental data 9 Crack extension 9 , "

10000 o**: o
9 Key-curve fitting E estimation 9 1 4 9, . "
~" 8000

-J 8000
61 Ar


0 I 2 3 4 5 8 2 4 6
Plastic LLD (mm) Crack extension by complisnce method ( r a m )

Fig 1 Slow-loading results: VS1 Fig 2 Crack length estimation: VS2

Table 2. Results of quasi-static tests

Etot (J) Em (J) Aa~ (mm)

Avg. Avg. Compliance Key curve Physical
PSI 32.4 32.4 10.9 10.7 0.34 0.25
PS2 10.4 0.47 032 0.55
VS1 34.2 32.1 10.6 11.1 0.10 009
VS2 29.9 11.6 0.23 016

Table 3. Results of instrumented impact tests

CVN (J) Em (J) Aam (mm)

Av~. Avg. Key curve
PFI 59 18.2 0.91
59.5 20.5
PF2 60 22.7 0.84
VF1 65 23.3 0.45
65.5 23.3
VF2 66 23.3 0.31

R curves were found using the standard equations given in E 1820, with crack
length estimated by unloading compliance for the quasi-static tests and by the key-curve
method for the impact tests. Results (plotted as points) for the simple J are shown in
Fig.3, and for the deformation J (which takes crack growth into account) in Fig.4.
Included is an R curve for a deep-cracked sample tested in slow bending (Figs.3 and 4)
and another calculated from Schindler's eqn. (1) (Fig.4). R curves were calculated using
the equations developed in the introduction which require information only on Etot, Era,
and Aam for both quasi-static and impact tests, and are plotted in Figs. 3 and 4 as dashed

& PF 1 data
9 PS 1 data
1800 o VF1 data 0 o o o
9 VS2 data O
Deep cracked slow bend o
- - - Pre-cracked slow bend 0 & &
I IV-notched slow rate 0 & &
I . Pre-cracked impact & ~
9- - - V-notched ompact 0 & ~ ~
1400 S c h i n d l e r e q n ( V F 1)
'r & ~ ~ ~

A o o

.~ 1200

"~ 1 0 0 0 0

"cT 800 ,I
0 -- h / "" "' - " l & l Am&& &&

o/ / ~" ......:.i-':i
"__~--~--_--_-- - - --------'---. . . . .
/ /
~. ~C.'- -" ""
400 /'o ,fw"


0 1 2 3 4 5 6
Crack extension (mm)

Fig. 3. R curves based on "simple J"

PSl data
PF 1 d a t a
VS2 data
VF 1 data
1200 Deep cracked slow bend o
Ipre-cracked slow bend A O
- - - V-notched slow bend I A s 9
9,--- - P r e . c r a c k e d i m p a c t A O . S "
m . V-notched 0mpact A ~ ~
1000 0 A
~ 0

0 & ~ ~ ~ A 0 0

... o ~ O0
._. 800

~ 600

I ./'/'"." ,, , " - ,-" 9 ,.- -,, - . , ,,,, 9 , =. . . . .

400 I! ,'" .
I I -'o
.... =.-'=""
..,_.___.-.-. ..... --~- ',ji"~--', .....
I,.I 9 . ,.A,,.. - -,,,~ ~,,," ~ , , ; ~ -

200 9 "

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
Crack extension (mm)

Fig. 4. R curves based on "deformation J"

Correlation Between J and CVN in Upper Shelf 331


Is it possible to estimate the toughness of a material, i.e. its size-independent R

curve, using Charpy-size specimens? The "measurement capacity" of a fracture
toughness specimen is Jmax=b0Gy/Mwhere M~20 for ductile tearing [4]. For the present
material, for quasi-static loading where Gy=376 MPa, the maximum capacity is---94
kJ/m 2. This means in effect that only the very early parts of the R curves in Figs.3 and 4
are "valid" in the sense of being size-independent. This does not mean that these results
are useless, only that they must be interpreted with caution and that they apply to the
material of the same dimensions as the Charpy specimen.

The equations proposed in this paper for estimating the R curve are reasonable for
the "simple J" (Fig.3). However, they cannot describe the shape of the "deformation J"
curves. The reason for this is obvious: the actual R curves in Fig.4 pass through a
maximum and do not have the assumed form of eqn. (2). This is doubtless a result of the
limited size of the Charpy specimen and the resulting loss of constraint when the crack
extends beyond a few mm; indeed, most standards restrict the measurement of J to the
region Aa<b0/4 (e.g. [4]). In order to account for the actual shape of the R curve, a more
complex equation than eqn. (2) would have to be used. For this reason, the "simple J" is
a more useful quantity.

Comparison of the measured curves in Fig.3 with Schindler's equation [3] shows
that the latter yields a curve of the correct order, but to obtain better agreement it would
be necessary to account for rate effects. Schindler's approach implies that the impact
CVN can be used with tensile properties to deduce quasi-static R curves in the upper
shelf, but the work reported here shows that there is a significant effect of loading rate.

Similarly, comparison with the deep-cracked slow-bend results for the same
material shows that the Charpy samples with a/W=0.2 are much higher. This is
consistent with other results in the literature reporting a strong effect of a/W on R curves,
reflecting a loss of constraint and resulting increase in toughness for shallow-notched
specimens [7].

The results in Fig.3 show that the effect of notch acuity is not large, but that there
is a marked effect of loading rate on the tearing resistance. Tables 2 and 3 show that there
is a large difference in absorbed energy between quasi-static and impact rates.

The extent of crack growth at maximum load varies over quite a large range, and
is significantly smaller for V-notched than for fatigue pre-cracked samples. The values
of Aam seem to be somewhat larger for impact than for slow loading, but this may reflect
inaccuracies of the key-curve method. The method relies on curve-fitting in the early
part of the load-displacement curve, and because of oscillations in the measured load in
the impact test it is difficult to smooth the curve objectively. With this proviso, it may be
concluded that the amount of crack growth at maximum load for the steel investigated in
this work varies between 0.1 and 0.9 mm, with a typical value of 0.3 mm for quasi-static
loading and 0.6 mm for impact loading.

Finally, these results can be compared with data on linepipe steels pre-cracked to
a/W=0.5. For the "simple J", at quasi-static rate we have for a Charpy sample (assuming
that the material studied here gives typical data) E~CVN/2, Aaron0.3 mm, and Em/Ef'z-_-l/3.
Then eqns. (2) to (4) give p=0.33 and Jo_=6.2CVN (with Aa in mm). Allowing for a
lowering of the R curve by a factor of two to account approximately for constraint
effects, we have J~3.1CVN(Aa) ~ Then at Aa=0.2 mm, J02___-I.8CVN. This compares
favourably with the experimental result for a number of linepipe steels J0 2=2.2CVN [2].


I. The "simple J" results were adequately estimated by simple equations requiring
measurement only of the total absorbed energy, energy at maximum load, and crack
extension at maximum load.
2. The extent of crack growth was measured using a simple version of the "key curve"
method, but owing to difficulties in smoothing the instrumented impact load-
displacement data, the accuracy of the results at small amounts of growth was limited.
3. The effect of notch acuity on the absorbed energy was small, but the effect of loading
rate was large.


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Pipe Steels", Amer. Gas Assoc., NG-18 Report No. 183.
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Line-Pipes", Proc. Int. Pipeline Conf., ASME, Calgary, Vol. II, pp. 711-721.
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EMAS, Sheffield, pp. 841-846.
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