Analysis of stress and failure in rock specimens with closed and open flaws on the surface

Amin Manouchehrian, Pinnaduwa H.S.W. Kulatilake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The influence of closed and open surface flaws on the stress distribution and failure in rock specimens is investigated. Heterogeneous finite element models are developed to simulate the compression tests on flawed rock specimens. The simulated specimens include those with closed flaws and those with open flaws on the surface. Systematic analyses are conducted to investigate the influences of the flaw inclination, friction coefficient and the confining stress on failure behavior. Numerical results show significant differences in the stress, displacement, and failure behavior of the closed and open flaws when they are subjected to pure compression; however, their behaviors under shear and tensile loads are similar. According to the results, when compression is the dominant mode of stress applied to the flaw surface, an open flaw may play a destressing role in the rock and relocate the stress concentration and failure zones. The presented results in this article suggest that failure at the rock surface may be managed in a favorable manner by fabricating open flaws on the rock surface. The insights gained from this research can be helpful in managing failure at the boundaries of rock structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1222-1237
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • circular hole
  • heterogeneity
  • numerical modeling
  • relative displacement
  • surface flaw

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture


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