Fracture resistance is an important material property and characterized by a J-integral resistance curve (J-R curve) or a crack-tip opening displacement (CTOD) resistance curve. ASTM standard specimens with deep cracks are subject to bending dominant forces, leading to high crack-tip constraint conditions and conservative fracture resistance curves.
Actual cracks occurring in line pipes and welds are often shallow ones dominated by tensile forces, resulting in low constraint conditions. Shallow cracks have been shown to generate elevated fracture resistance curves in comparison to standard deep-crack results. To reduce the over-conservatism of standard resistance curves and to produce more realistic toughness properties to meet the needs of strain-based design approaches for pipelines, different procedures and technologies have been developed over the years to determine the low-constraint fracture resistance curves by use of the single edge-notched tension (SENT) specimens. This includes the multiple specimen method developed and standardized by DNV for J-R curve testing, the single specimen method developed by CanMet for J-R and CTOD-R curve testing, and the single-specimen method developed by ExxonMobil for CTOD-R curve testing. This paper delivers a technical review of existing fracture test methods using SENT specimens, and discusses the advantages and limitations of each method.