Recently the Weibull stress is used as a fracture driving force parameter in fracture assessment. The Weibull stress is derived from a statistical analysis of local instability of micro cracks leading to brittle fracture initiation. The critical Weibull stress is expected to be a critical parameter independent of the geometrical condition of specimens. Fracture toughness test using 3-point bending and tensile tests of welded joint specimens with geometrical discontinuity were conducted in order to study the applicability of fracture assessment procedure based on Weibull stress criterion. Steel plates prepared for this study had tensile strength of 490 MPa for structural use. Two kinds of welded joint specimens, “one-bead welded joint” and “multi-pass welded joint” were prepared for fracture toughness test by using gas metal are welding. In tensile test specimen, corner flaws were introduced at the geometrical discontinuity part at where stress concentration is existed. Three dimensional elastoplastic finite element analyses were also carried out using the welded joint specimen models in order to calculate the Weibull stress. The critical loads for brittle fracture predicted by the Weibull stress criterion from CTOD test results of one-bead and multi-pass welded joint specimens show fairly good agreement with experimental results of welded joint specimens with geometrical discontinuity.

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