The ability of a material to arrest a fast-running brittle crack is vital for structures where cracks can initiate in regions of high local stress or low toughness. This is essential in industries such as oil and gas, offshore wind and shipbuilding where a structural failure can cause huge loss of life and replacement of expensive assets.
The results of small-scale testing can be used to predict structural behaviour using a number of empirical relationships. However, as the plates used for many applications increase in toughness and thickness, these empirical relationships begin to exceed their limits of validation, and the crack arrest behaviour may not be fully understood.
This project looks at developing test procedures in order for appropriate certification of materials and vessels to be possible. Additionally current test procedures need to be optimized for this purpose, to ensure compliance with one another and more confidence in results.