Structural integrity problems which deal with welded sections are common in the pressure vessel and piping industry. The current work uses continuum fracture toughness concepts to determine the structural integrity of a butt-welded plate with a lack of penetration defect in the weld material. The difference in weld and base metal properties are explicitly included in the computational simulation. The analysis technique presented does not require the analyst to assume a failure location. The critical strain energy density associated with fracture of a material at the continuum scale is used as the failure criterion.

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