Fracture toughness of the divertor armor in ITER needs to be elucidated for prediction of the response of armor materials to intense heat loading. The present study has been performed to establish a method for inserting a well, defined fatigue precrack into the test specimens and measure the reliable fracture toughness values of tungsten (W) materials that exhibit low temperature brittleness. Sub-sized, single edge notched bend (SENB) specimens with two orientations, L-T and T-L, taken from a commercially available pure W plate manufactured in accordance with the ITER material specifications (ITER specification W, ALMT-grade), were precracked in two-step fatigue loading: fully uniaxial compression fatigue to provoke a crack from the notch tip, and subsequent 3-point bend (3 PB) fatigue to extend the crack length for the minimization of influence of the residual tensile stresses generated by compression fatigue. During compression and 3 PB fatigue loading the fatigue crack was closely monitored by continuous in-situ observations on the notch tip. Continuous tracing of the crack tip position has enabled capture of the fatigue cracking behavior as a kinematic response in a rolled W material, disclosing a marked difference in crack inducement and extension between the two orientations. 3 PB fracture testing of the precracked specimens at room temperature (RT) yielded ~10 MPa√m for the T-L and 12~13 MPa√m for the L-T orientation as fracture toughness: anisotropic variation in fracture toughness of the W plate is comparatively small. Fracture surface observations reveal that a crack path is entirely transgranular for the L-T, while crack propagation involves intergranular fracture to a large extent for the T-L orientation. These results obtained are discussed and compared with the literature data.
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