Fracture # 1998 Gothenburg
The international standardisation of tests for Rapid Crack Propagation (RCP) is approaching completion, and requirements for product and systems standards x e well established. Yet some basic issues about RCP remain contentious. In contrast to slow crack growth, there is a near-absence of service failure data, and in this void extreme views have been expressed. At one end of the spectrum, it has been denied that RCP is a threat worth designing against. At the other, the extensive RCP test programme which underpinned this excellent record has been turned round to imply that PESO is inherently at risk! Avoiding details of analysis or of data, this keynote paper aims at a rational assessment of the status of RCP - a 'failure mode' which must never be allowed to cause failure - and to review the current state of knowledge about it.