ISO 12135:2016 specifies methods for determining fracture toughness in terms of K, δ, J and R-curves for homogeneous metallic materials subjected to quasistatic loading. Specimens are notched, precracked by fatigue and tested under slowly increasing displacement. The fracture toughness is determined for individual specimens at or after the onset of ductile crack extension or at the onset of ductile crack instability or unstable crack extension. In some cases in the testing of ferritic materials, unstable crack extension can occur by cleavage or ductile crack initiation and growth, interrupted by cleavage extension. The fracture toughness at crack arrest is not covered by this document. In cases where cracks grow in a stable manner under ductile tearing conditions, a resistance curve describing fracture toughness as a function of crack extension is measured. In most cases, statistical variability of the results is modest and reporting the average of three or more test results is acceptable. In cases of cleavage fracture of ferritic materials in the ductile-to-brittle transition region, variability can be large and additional tests may be required to quantify statistical variability. Special testing requirements and analysis procedures are necessary when testing weldments and these are described in ISO 15653 which is complementary to this document.
When fracture occurs by cleavage or when cleavage is preceded by limited ductile crack extension, it may be useful to establish the reference temperature for the material by conducting testing and analysis in accordance with ASTM E1921.