A finite element analysis has been performed to investigate the effects of warm prestressing of a pre-cracked PTS-D (Pressurized Thermal Shock Disk) specimen, for comparison with the experimental work conducted by the Belgium SCK-CEN organisation under the European NESC VII project. The specimen was loaded to a maximum loading at −50 °C, unloaded at the same temperature, cooled down to −150 °C, and then re-loaded to fracture at −150 °C. This is a loading cycle known as a LUCF cycle. The temperature-dependant tensile stress-strain data was used in the model and the finite element software ABAQUS was used in the analysis. The finite element results were used to derive the apparent fracture toughness by three different methods: (1) Chell’s displacement superposition method; (2) the local stress matching method; and (3) Wallin’s empirical formula. The apparent fracture toughness values were derived at the deepest point of the semi-elliptical crack for a 5% un-prestressed fracture toughness of 43.96 MPam1/2 at −150 °C. The detailed results were presented in the paper.

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