This paper presents the application of the Strain Energy Density (SED) criterion to the estimation of fracture loads on structural steel S355J2 operating at lower shelf temperatures (−196°C) and containing U-shaped notches. 24 fracture tests were performed on this material, combining 6 different notch radii: 0 mm (crack-like defect), 0.15 mm, 0.25 mm, 0.50 mm, 1.0 mm and 2.0 mm. The results obtained in cracked specimens (0 mm notch radius) were used to determine the material fracture toughness, which is an input parameter in the SED criterion, whereas the notched specimens were used to demonstrate the capacity and the limitations of the SED criterion to provide fracture load estimations in the analyzed conditions.

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