Two primary coolant pipes were narrow-gap multipass circumferentially butt welded by shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) method and then subjected to micro-hardness tests to distinguish the base metal (BM), heat affected zones (HAZs), fusion zones (FZs) and weld metal (WM). Subsequently, uniaxial tensile tests were performed to investigate the tensile properties on each area in SMAW welded joints. The fracture toughness has been investigated at the above four different locations of the SMAW welded joints. Then the 0.2mm offset line method and the stretch zone width method have been both employed to determine the critical initial fracture toughness Ji. The results indicate that the fusion zones (FZs) have the worst fracture toughness compared with other locations over weld joints.

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