A real crack to be assessed in a RPV is generally a shallow crack subjected to biaxial far-field stresses. However, the fracture toughness Kc or Jc, which is an important material property for the structural integrity assessment of RPV containing cracks, are usually tested on deep cracked compact tension [C(T)] or single-edged bending [SE(B)] specimens under uniaxial loading. The fracture toughness data do not reflect the realistic biaxial loading state that the cracks are subjected to. Cruciform bending [CR(B)] specimen is therefore developed to simulate the biaxial stress state. In this paper, a series of finite element (FE) simulations of the CR(B) specimens containing different semi-elliptical cracks are conducted. Stress-strain curves of materials of different yield strength and hardening behavior reflecting the variation in the mechanical properties of RPV steels due to aging or temperature change are implemented into the finite element models. The J-A2 theory is applied to analyze the crack tip constraint. The results show that the biaxial effect is material property dependent and affected by load levels.

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