Engineering critical assessment (ECA) is a procedure for evaluating the soundness of structures with flaws and has been widely applied for assessing the structural integrity. ECA procedure requires reliable fracture toughness data to assess the effect of defects. Ideal data are typically obtained from samples taken during construction of an engineering structure or from the structure afterward, but there are cases in which removal of the test samples is impossible due to the continued operation of the structure. To this end, Appendix J of the BS 7910 provides a procedure for estimating fracture toughness values from appropriate Charpy impact test data. However, the correlation between Charpy impact energy and fracture toughness is known to be overly conservative with not sufficient theoretical background in fracture mechanics perspective. In this regard, the revised BS 7910:2019 provides an improved method for calculating the reference temperature by applying the yield strength and the Charpy upper shelf energy based on empirical data.
The target of this study is to validate the master curve approach in the modified BS 7910 for two common offshore grade steels with explicit considerations for various groove shapes, heat inputs and welding processes. For the purpose, the master curves are compared in terms of the reference temperature calculated from Charpy impact test according to BS 7910:2013 and the newly revised 2019 version of BS 7910. The modified master curve resulted in less conservative fracture toughness values anticipated from the decreased reference temperature. The estimated fracture toughness values exhibited a good correlation with experimentally obtained toughness values. The influence of various groove shapes, heat inputs and welding processes in estimating fracture toughness based on the master curve approach is discussed. In addition, the effect of impact test sample locations within weld metals toward estimated fracture toughness values is evaluated.