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Pipelines are commonly used in process industry for transport of fluids, as well as granular solids, due to their numerous advantages in comparison to other transportation means. Pipe integrity is essential for a reliable work of the entire plant, as well as for safety assurance. Also, serious ecological consequences may follow the pipeline failure in some cases, i.e. due to the leak of toxic, flammable or otherwise dangerous fluids in a chemical or some other plant. Therefore, it is very important to examine the fracture behaviour of pipelines, which is done here by testing the recently proposed ring-shaped specimens exposed to bending. The specimens were fabricated from a seam pipe for pressure applications (allowed for usage on temperatures up to 300 °C). Initial defects, very narrow notches, were machined either in the base metal and weld metal (seam) or in the base metal only. Regardless of the defect position, ductile fracture mechanism is observed in all specimens. The results show that the ring-shaped specimen can be successfully used for fracture characterisation of pipeline material, especially for thin-walled pipes which are not suitable for production of standard fracture mechanics specimens due to the insufficient wall thickness.
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