Local approach methods are becoming increasingly popular as practical tools for cleavage fracture toughness prediction. Their application involves two distinct elements: calculation of ‘individual’ probabilities of failure, dictated by the local mechanical fields; and summation of these failure probabilities to predict the probability of component failure. In this work, we demonstrate that development of the local approach methods to date has been essentially focused on improving the criterion for predicting local failure as a function of the local mechanical fields. Yet, the existing methods fail to predict with sufficient accuracy the effects of irradiation and defect geometry on fracture toughness when the calculations are based on a common set of model parameters. A possible reason for this, common to all methods, is found in the calculation of the cumulative failure probability, which is based on the weakest-link argument. We discuss the implications of the weakest-link assumption, identify those situations where it needs to be reconsidered, and propose future work that will increase our understanding for improving the calculation of global failure probability.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.