In fracture mechanics, several J-estimation schemes are based on the reference stress approach. This approach has been developed initially in the frame of the R5 rule for creep and R6 rule for elasto-plastic fracture assessments. Later other methods, based on the reference stress concept, where derived like the Js method introduced in the French RSE-M code en 1997 and the Enhanced Reference Stress (ERS) method in Korea around 2001. However these developments are based on the J2 deformation plasticity theory and well established for a pure power hardening law. Even in this latter case, the reference stress depends on the hardening exponent. Js and ERS attempt to minimize this dependence and propose some corrections for recorded behavior laws which cannot be fitted by a power law. However their validation has been established mainly on cases where the material behavior is governed by a Ramberg-Osgood (R0) law. The question may be raised, as for the bilinear hardening law case, of the existence of a reference stress for non RO laws.

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