Strain-based design (SBD) pipelines are being considered to develop hydrocarbon resources in severe environments. As part of a research program to develop a SBD methodology, work was conducted to develop a suitable fracture mechanics test that can be used as part of a strain capacity prediction technique. The single edge notched tensile (SENT) specimen geometry has been chosen due to the similarity in crack-tip constraint conditions with that of defects in pipeline girth welds. This paper describes a single-specimen compliance method suitable for measuring ductile fracture resistance in terms of crack tip opening displacement resistance (CTOD-R) curves. The development work included investigation of the following items: specimen geometry, crack geometry and orientation (including crack depth effects), direct measurement of CTOD. The results demonstrate that toughness measurements obtained using a B = W configuration (B = specimen thickness, W = specimen width) with side grooves are similar to those using a B = 2W configuration without side grooves; however, specimens with side grooves and B = W geometry facilitates even crack growth. Studies of crack depth have shown that ductile fracture resistance decreases with increasing ratio of the initial crack depth to specimen width, a0/W. Studies of notch location and orientation (outer diameter (OD) and inner diameter (ID) surface notches and through-thickness notches) have shown an effect of this variable on the CTOD-R curves. This has been partly attributed to crack progression (tearing direction) with respect to weld geometry and this effect is consistent with damage modeling predictions. However the experimentally observed difference of CTOD-R curves between ID and OD notches is believed to be primarily due to the material variability through the pipe thickness.

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