This article describes an investigation into the ability of a number of different fracture mechanics approaches to predict failure by brittle fracture under general elastic/plastic loading. Data obtained from C(T) specimens of A508 ferritic steel subjected to warm pre-stressing and side punching were chosen as such prior loadings produce considerably non-proportionality in the resulting stress states. In addition, failure data from a number of round notched bar specimens of A508 steel were considered for failure with and without prior loading. Failure prediction, based on calibration to specimens in the as received state, was undertaken using two methods based on the J integral and two based on local approach methodologies.

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