This work addresses an experimental investigation on the cleavage fracture behavior of an ASTM A572 high strength, low alloy structural steel using standard and non-standard SE(B) specimens, including a non-standard PCVN configuration. One purpose of this study is to develop a fracture toughness test procedure applicable to bend geometries with varying specimen span over width ratio (a/W) and loaded under 3-point and 4-point flexural configuration. We provide a new set of plastic η-factors applicable to these non-standard bend geometries which serve to estimate the experimentally measured toughness values in terms of load-displacement records. Another purpose is to investigate the effects of geometry and loading mode in fracture tests using non-standard bend specimens. Fracture toughness testing conducted on various bend specimen geometries extracted from an A572 Grade 50 steel plate provides the cleavage fracture resistance data in terms of the J-integral at cleavage instability, Jc. The experimental results show a potential effect of specimen geometry and loading mode on Jc-values which can help mitigating the effects of constraint loss often observed in smaller fracture specimens. An exploratory application to determine the reference temperature, T0, derived from the Master Curve methodology also provides additional support for using non-standard bend specimens in routine fracture applications.

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