American Society of Civil Engineers

A Survey of CVN Toughness Requirements

by Farrel Zwerneman, (Manager, Technology Development, Mustang Engineering Inc., 16001 Park Ten Place, Houston, TX 77084)
Section: Fracture Toughness for Modern Steel, pp. 1-8, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Advanced Technology in Structural Engineering
Abstract: Fracture toughness for steels in civil structures is typically measured using the Charpy V-Notch (CVN) test. This test is specified in the overwhelming majority of cases where fracture is a concern, in spite of the fact that test conditions are generally not representative of service conditions. The high strain rate during this test is not representative of strain rates applied to structures in service and test temperatures do not match service temperatures. Additional complications occur when different codes, standards, and specifications require significantly different test temperatures and minimum toughnesses. As an extreme example, bridge design specifications require that CVN tests be conducted at temperatures above the LAST, while guidelines for design of offshore structures require that CVN tests be conducted at temperatures below the LAST. This paper provides a survey of several of the major codes, standards, and specifications and discusses difficulties than can result when requirements differ.

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