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Notch toughness is an indication of the capacity of a steel to absorb energy when a stress concentrator or notch is present. The notch toughness of a steel product is the result of a number of interactive effects, including composition, deoxidation and steelmaking practices, solidification, and rolling practices, as well as the resulting microstructure. All carbon and high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steels undergo a ductile-to-brittle transition as the temperature is lowered. The composition of a steel, as well as its microstructure and processing history, significantly affects both the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature range and the energy absorbed during fracture at any particular temperature.. Th article focuses on various aspects of notch toughness including the effects of composition and microstructure, general influence of manufacturing practices and the interactive effects that simultaneously influence notch toughness. With the exception of working direction, most of the same chemical, microstructural, and manufacturing factors that influence the notch toughness of wrought steels also apply to cast steels. The Charpy V-notch test is used worldwide to indicate the ductile-to-brittle transition of a steel. While Charpy results cannot be directly applied to structural design requirements, a number of correlations have been made between Charpy results and fracture toughness.

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G.J. Roe, B.L. Bramfitt, 1990. "Notch Toughness of Steels", Properties and Selection: Irons, Steels, and High-Performance Alloys, ASM Handbook Committee

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