Crack-tip opening displacement (CTOD) is an important fracture mechanics parameter. Due to different definitions, existing CTOD test methods may determine different CTOD toughness for stationary and growing cracks even for a standard specimen, such as single edge notched bend (SENB) specimen. In the USA, ASTM 1820 uses the J-integral conversion method to determine CTOD, whereas in the UK, BS 7448 adopts the plastic hinge model to determine CTOD. In contrast, ISO 12135 uses the plastic hinge model to determine the initiation CTOD, but the J-conversion method to determine a CTOD-R curve. Thus, those standards may determine different CTOD values for the same material, leading to a long-time dispute. Recently, a double clip gage (DCG) method was used in the oil and gas industry to measure CTOD. As such, there are three typical CTOD test methods: plastic hinge model, J-conversion method, and DCG method.

To better understand those CTOD test methods for SENB specimens, the present paper first gives a brief review of CTOD standard test methods. This includes the CTOD definitions, plastic hinge model, J-conversion method, modified plastic hinge model, and DCG method, BS 7448, ASTM E1820, and ISO 12135. Those CTOD test methods are then evaluated using available test data for various ductile steels in literature. The experimental results of CTOD at fracture initiation and crack tearing are compared, and the differences are discussed.

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