In the past, the selection of suitable steels has been carried out primarily based on the mechanical properties of different steels. One of these properties is the resistance against crack propagation. For many constructions, this value plays an important role, because it can compare the impact toughness of different steel grades easily and gives information about the loading capacity of the specific materials. For thin sheets, impact toughness properties were usually not considered. One of the reasons for this is that the Charpy-impact test is not applicable for sheets with thicknesses below 2 mm. For a long time, this was not relevant because conventional steels had a sufficient impact toughness in a wide temperature range. However, since new multiphase steel grades with improved mechanical property exploitations are available, it turned out that impact toughness properties need to be considered during the component design phase, as the activation of the cleavage fracture mechanism is observed under challenging loading conditions. Therefore, this work aims to provide a new and practical testing procedure for sheet material or thin walled structures. The new testing procedure is based on tensile tests conducted in an impact pendulum similar to the Charpy impact hammer. A new standard geometry is provided, which enables a comparison between different steels or steel grades. A connection to the conventional Charpy test is presented using a damage mechanics model, which predicts material failure with consideration of to the stress state at various temperatures. Different specimen geometries are analysed to cover manifold stress states. A special advantage of the damage mechanics model is also the possibility to predict the materials behaviour in the transition area. To verify the method a conventional steel was tested in Charpy tests as well as in the new tensile impact test.

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