Influence and evaluation of constraint on fracture toughness in pipeline research

  • Matthias Verstraete
  • Stijn Hertelé
  • Wim De Waele
  • Rudi Denys


Accessing nowadays fossil fuel reserves requires a strain-based design approach. Within suchdesign, the ductile tearing resistance is a key parameter in assessing the defect tolerance. To determinethis tearing resistance, full scale (pressurized) tests can be performed. However, such approach would becostly and time consuming. Consequently, effort is made to select appropriate small scale test specimens.Most research has focused so far on the single edge notch bend (SENB) and tensile (SENT) specimen. Toevaluate the suitability of these test specimens, the crack tip stress fields can be examined or theresistance curves compared with full scale structures. This paper aims at comparing the trends observedusing these techniques. Furthermore, the suitability of the small scale test specimens is evaluated. It isconcluded that sufficiently long (length-to-width ratio equal to ten) clamped SENT specimens have thepotential to predict the tearing resistance of full scale pipes. In addition, the internal pressure does notsignificantly affect the fracture toughness. These conclusions are stated by both experimental results andfinite element simulations.

How to Cite:

Verstraete, M., Hertelé, S., De Waele, W. & Denys, R., (2012) “Influence and evaluation of constraint on fracture toughness in pipeline research”, International Journal of Sustainable Construction and Design 3(1), 25-35. doi:

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Published on
05 Nov 2012
Peer Reviewed