The ductile brittle transition temperature is the minimum temperature in which a given material has the ability to absorb a specific amount of energy without fracturing.
As temperatures decrease, a material’s ability to deform in a ductile matter decreases. This is usually measured using on a case-by-case basis using a Charpy impact test. This is particularly important in Canada as temperatures often fall below -20 degrees and into a zone where common structural steels start to behave in a brittle matter. The danger from this is that brittle failure comes quickly and without much warning. Extra safety precautions should be taken when working in crane or oilfield applications.