A new rock mass failure criterion for biaxial loading conditions

P. H.S.W. Kulatilake, Jinyong Park, Bwalya Malama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


To simulate brittle rocks, a mixture of glastone, sand and water was used as a model material. Thin galvanized sheets of thickness 0.254 mm were used to create joints in blocks made out of the model material. To investigate the failure modes and strength, both the intact material blocks as well as jointed model material blocks of size 35.6 × 17.8 × 2.5 cm having different joint geometry configurations were subjected to uniaxial and biaxial compressive loadings. A new intact rock failure criterion is proposed at the 3-D level. This criterion is validated for biaxial loading through laboratory experimental results obtained on intact model material blocks. Results obtained from both the intact and jointed model material blocks are used to develop a strongly non-linear new rock mass failure criterion for biaxial loading. In this failure criterion, the fracture tensor component is used to incorporate the directional effect of fracture geometry system on jointed block strength. The failure criterion shows the important role, the intermediate principal stress plays on rock mass strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-888
Number of pages18
JournalGeotechnical and Geological Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Anisotropy
  • Biaxial loading
  • Fracture tensor
  • Intermediate principal stress
  • Rock mass failure criteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Soil Science
  • Geology


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