This work presents recent improvements in the micromechanical failure criterion based on the Weibull stress (σw) concept for prediction of cleavage fracture in ferritic steels. The model is applied in SE(B) specimens extracted from an ASTM A533 pressure vessel steel having different levels of stress triaxiality at the crack tip. Nonlinear 3D finite element models with dimensions matching the tested specimens were built to provide the necessary crack tip stresses at the fracture process zone for calculation of the σw-J evolution from wich the variation of characteristic toughness values (J0) between different cracked geometries can be estimated. Application of this methodology for the material used at this study is able to predict J0 for SE(B) specimens with very shallow crack size ratio a/W = 0.05, short crack a/W = 0.2 and deep crack a/W = 0.4. The reported fracture toughness values for specimens having very shallow crack size ratio is an additional contribution of this study.

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