The fracture clauses of BS 7910 and R6 present a hierarchy of assessment methods. Depending on the data available, the user may adopt the simplest approach (Option 1), or the higher Options (2 & 3), allowing increasing accuracy and decreasing conservatism. Additional assessment procedures are available via the Annexes of BS 7910 and via Chapter III of R6, which address the inclusion of welding residual stress, crack tip constraint, weld strength mismatch and warm prestress.
This paper illustrates the application of both basic and advanced fracture assessment procedures to a set of welded wide plate test data. The tests featured extensive materials testing, along with detailed characterisation of welding residual stress both in the as-welded condition and after a warm prestress treatment.
The study shows how the accuracy of the assessment increases as the more advanced assessment methods are employed. A tailored assessment of the uniaxial tests using elastic-plastic FEA was also carried out, allowing a comparison between the analytical formulae given in BS 7910/R6, numerical analysis and experimental results.