Within the framework of the European research project VOCALIST, centre cracked tension, CC(T), specimens made of an RPV steel were tested and analysed to quantify the influence of local stress state on fracture toughness. The CC(T) specimens demonstrate a significant loss of crack tip constraint resulting in a considerable increase in fracture toughness as compared to standard fracture mechanics specimens. So, the master curve reference temperature, To, determined on the basis of CC(T) tests performed in this study is about 43°C lower than To obtained on standard C(T) specimens. Finite element analyses of the tests revealed that the above experimental finding is in a good agreement with the empirical correlations between the reference temperature shift and the crack tip constraint as characterised by the T-stress or Q parameter (Wallin, 2001; Wallin, 2004). The results of this work are consistent with a number of other tests performed within the VOCALIST project and contribute to the validation of engineering methods for the crack assessment in components taking account of constraint.

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