An Engineering Critical Assessment (ECA) of a pipeline containing an axial defect is usually conservative if standard fracture test pieces are used for the fracture toughness testing. Conventional fracture toughness testing standards employ specimens containing deep cracks in order to guarantee conditions leading to high stress triaxiality and crack-tip constraint. In the current work, single edge notch bend (SENB) and single edge notch tension (SENT) test specimens of two different a/W (crack depth/specimen width) ratios (0.15 and 0.6) were used to obtain HAZ fracture toughness of a seam weld. The influence of specimen geometry and a/W ratio on fracture toughness was investigated. The Master Curve methodology was employed to characterise HAZ fracture toughness of the seam weld in the ductile-to-brittle transition region. The reference temperature T0 was estimated using the test results obtained on specimens of different geometries and constraint levels. A series of ECAs of the pipe containing a surface axial flaw was performed and the benefits of a constraint based fracture mechanics analysis were demonstrated.

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