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# How do Charpy values determined using sub-size specimens relate to results from full-size specimens?

Full-size Charpy specimens are 10mm thick by 10mm wide. Sub-size Charpy specimens referred to in the following are defined as those of identical width but smaller thickness.

When relating sub-size Charpy results to full-size values, there are two issues of concern. One is the value of impact energy and the generally accepted method adopts a simple net section area-scaling rule to calculate impact energy values for thinner specimens. The second issue is the inherent shift (for identical material) in brittle-to-ductile transition for thinner ferritic steel.

Two relations have been developed to address this issue, based on the measured transition temperature shift for normalised Charpy energies between 25J/cm2 and 50J/cm2 (corresponding to 20J to 40J in full-size specimens).

The relations are given below:

 ΔT1 = -0.7 (10-t)2 (Ref.1) ΔT2 = 51.4 ln (2 (t/10)0.25 -1) (Ref.2, Ref.3)

Both give similar results in thickness range between 2 and 10mm, see table below (T2 is recommended in BS 7910).

Thickness, t
mm
ΔT1, °CΔT2, °C
9 -1 -3
7.5 -4 -8
5 -18 -20
2.5 -39 -45

Although it is possible to simply normalise the impact energy by the cross section area of the respective specimens and apply the test temperature shift, Wallin (Ref 3) proposes a method to adjust Charpy values which is applicable to the full ductile to brittle transition curve, based on knowing the upper-shelf energy of a 10m thick Charpy specimen (KV10-US­). His method is illustrated in Figure 1, and the equation to calculate the relative Charpy energy between subsize and 10mm thick specimens is given below:

Figure 1 Energy and temperature conversion graph for different thickness CVN specimens (from Ref 3)

## References

1. Towers O L: 'Testing of sub-size Charpy specimens: Part 1 - the influence of thickness on the ductile/brittle transition'. Metal Construction, March 1986, 18, (3), No. 171R-176R.
2. Wallin K: 'Methodology for selecting Charpy toughness criteria for thin high strength steels: Part 1 - determining the fracture toughness'. Jernkontorets Forskning, Report from Working Group 4013/89, 28 December 1994.
3. Wallin K, Karjalainen-Roikonena P, and Suikkanenb P, ‘Sub-sized CVN specimen conversion methodology’, 21st European Conference on Fracture, ECF21, 20-24 June 2016, Catania, Italy.
4. BS 7910:2005 'Guidance on methods for assessing the acceptability of flaws in metallic structures'. London, British Standards Institution, 2005 (including Amendment No.1).