Ferritic steels, as other materials, have different failure modes depending on the temperature. At elevated temperatures, they behave as ductile materials, while at low temperatures they are brittle. There is an intermediate temperature region where these alloys have a failure mode resulting from the competition between cleavage and ductile mechanisms. This region is known as the ductile-to-brittle transition zone. The characterization of fracture resistance of ferritic steels in the ductile-to-brittle transition region is problematic due to scatter in results, as well as size and temperature dependences. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has standardized the determination of a temperature reference (T0) for the fracture toughness characterization of ferritic steels in this region. This chapter presents the evolution of the statistical treatment of fracture toughness data until the present, including some comments on T0 determination, and some aspects that require a deeper analysis.
Part of the book: Fracture Mechanics