Fracture mechanics analysis of cracked discs of anisotropic rock using the boundary element method

Chao Shi Chen, Ernian Pan, Bernard Amadei

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126 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is the second of a series of two papers dealing with the determination of the deformability, tensile strength and fracturing of anisotropic rocks by diametral compression (Brazilian test) of discs of rock. It is shown how a new formulation of the Boundary Element Method (BEM), proposed recently by the authors, can be used to determine the stress intensity factors (SIFs) and the fracture toughness of anisotropic rocks from the results of diametral compression tests on initially cracked discs. Crack initiation angles and propagation paths can also be predicted using a numerical procedure based on the BEM and maximum tensile stress criterion. Numerical examples of calculation of mixed mode SIFs are presented for both isotropic and anisotropic media. The calculated SIFs for the special isotropic case are found to be in good agreement with those reported by previous authors. Diametral loading tests were conducted on Cracked Straight Through Brazilian Disc (CSTBD) specimens of a shale in order to evaluate its fracture toughness, the angle of crack initiation and the path of crack propagation. It was found that the numerical simulations of crack initiation and propagation in the CSTBD specimens of the shale were in good agreement with the experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-218
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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