Safe Design Selection of the right steel quality for a structure is a matter of major significance as regards both the safety and the economy of the constructional steelwork.
A document surveys different procedures which have been developed with this aim.
All these express, as a function of extreme service conditions applicable to a structure, a toughness level specified in terms of performance in the Charpy V test that the selected steel should fulfil, a transition temperature at the level of 28 J for instance.
Numerous comparisons between the outputs of those different approaches are reported which on the one hand highlight their consistency while on the other hand discuss the possible sources of discrepancies among the various so derived material requirements.
Such procedures are based on fracture mechanics concepts such as those of the stress intensity factor, the crack tip opening displacement or the full yield criterion.
As an introduction to the question, the document rapidly reviews the main aspects of resistance to brittle failure, with a close reference to a few basic documents that the reader would consult with great benefit for a more detailed approach to this important topic.