Safety of structures can be assured, even if cracks initiate in localized regions of abnormally low toughness, and/or abnormally high stress (LT/HS), if the materials from which they are fabricated have a high enough crack arrest fracture toughness. When this requirement is met, fast-running cracks that initiate in LT/HS regions arrest when their tip encounters material having normal toughness and stresses. The work described in this paper was carried out to determine the crack arrest capability of LNG storage tanks by determining the longest LT/HS region in which a crack could initiate and still arrest when it leaves this region. The determination consisted of relating a fracture analysis with the measured full-thickness crack arrest fracture toughness of three 9-percent Ni plates which were reported in reference [1]. The calculations used a residual stress pattern, produced by welding, superimposed on a typical membrane stress. The residual stress was selected as an example of a localized high stress region. It was found that tanks built from the poorest of the three tested plates could arrest cracks about 3/4 m long, while tanks built from the two tougher plates could arrest cracks almost 2 m long.

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