A review of the literature on testing of notched specimens is provided with emphasis on short-term notched bar tension tests. The effects of notch geometry, stress state, and smooth-bar tensile properties on notched ductility, notch sensitivity, and mode of fracture are discussed. For design against failure due to notch weakening, a simple criterion based on a limiting value of notched ductility is proposed. Notched ductility for the metals considered in this study, can be approximated by the reduction in and from a smooth tension test divided by a tensile stress triaxiality factor that is proportional to the ratio of hydrostatic to octahedral shearing stresses associated with the notch.

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