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This article describes the fracture toughness behavior of austenitic stainless steels and their welds at ambient, elevated, and cryogenic temperatures. Minimum expected toughness values are provided for use in fracture mechanics evaluations. The article explains the effect of crack orientation, strain rate, thermal aging, and neutron irradiation on base metal and weld toughness. It discusses the effect of cold-work-induced strengthening on fracture toughness. The article examines the fracture toughness behavior of aged base metal and welding-induced heat-affected zones. It concludes with a discussion on the Charpy energy correlations for aged stainless steels.

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