Small punch testing for assessing the fracture properties of the reactor vessel steel with different thicknesses

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Zhao-Xi Wang
  • Hui-Ji Shi
  • Jian Lu
  • Pan Shi
  • Xian-Feng Ma


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3186-3193
Journal / PublicationNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


Small punch (SP) tests have been performed at room temperature on round specimens with six kinds of thicknesses. Experimental results show that the SP energy, the fracture strain and the fracture toughness increase with the thickness of the SP samples. Fracture surface displays typical ductile fracture, and the outer surface of the hemispherical bulk part punched off is full of little bowings around which there are many microcracks caused by the stretch stress under biaxial strain/stress state. From the view point of the energy dissipation, the fundamental theoretical model of fracture toughness is proposed, according to which the ductile fracture toughness is obtained from the SP energy, the plastic deformation and the experimental fractography. The fracture strain and the fracture energy density criteria are introduced into the local failure model. With the continuum damage model, the FEA simulations provide the results of the crack propagation process which agree with the experimental results and can verify the fracture model. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.