The drop-weight tear test (DWTT) has been widely used to evaluate the resistance of linepipe steels against long brittle fracture propagation. However, there is an ambiguity in its evaluation if the inverse fracture appears (100% shear area prior to cleavage fracture from the notch) on the DWTT fracture surfaces. Although cause of the inverse fracture is not fully understood, compressive pre-straining near the impact hammer has been discussed as a possible cause.

In the present work, DWTTs for X65, X70 and X80 were performed. In addition to conventional DWTT specimen with a pressed notch (PN), PN specimen with a back slot and specimens with a chevron notch (CN) or a static pre-cracked (SPC) were examined. The fracture appearances were compared in the different strength and in the different initial notch type. The frequency of the inverse fracture appeared in these DWTTs were different in each material and each specimen type, but there were no cases free from the inverse fracture.

The inverse fracture was investigated by fractography and the hardness profiles along the under layer of the fracture surfaces. Also, the strain histories during impact in DWTTs were measured by the digital image correlation technique based on the high-speed camera images.

The DWTT specimen purpose is to evaluate the brittle crack arrestability of the material in a pressurized linepipe. The DWTT results should be examined with a manner of a running brittle crack in a pressurized linepipe. A large scale brittle crack arrest test, so called temperature gradient ESSO test was also performed for X65 mother plate. The shear area fraction measured in DWTT fracture appearance was compared with the local shear lip thickness fraction in ESSO test. The count of the inverse fracture was discussed in comparison with the long brittle crack arrest behavior in ESSO test.

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