Cracking and Stress–Strain Behavior of Rock-Like Material Containing Two Flaws Under Uniaxial Compression

Yanlin Zhao, Lianyang Zhang, Weijun Wang, Chengzhi Pu, Wen Wan, Jingzhou Tang

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203 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the cracking and stress–strain behavior, especially the local strain concentration near the flaw tips, of rock-like material containing two flaws. A series of uniaxial compression tests were carried out on rock-like specimens containing two flaws, with strain gauges mounted near the flaw tips to measure the local strain concentration under the uniaxial compressive loading. Four different types of cracks (wing cracks, anti-wing cracks, coplanar shear cracks and oblique shear cracks) and seven patterns of crack coalescences (T1 and T2; S1 and S2; and TS1, TS2 and TS3) are observed in the experiments. The type of crack coalescence is related to the geometry of the flaws. In general, the crack coalescence varies from the S-mode to the TS-mode and then to the T-mode with the increase of the rock bridge ligament angle. The stress–strain curves of the specimens containing two flaws are closely related to the crack development and coalescence process. The strain measurements indicate that the local tensile strain concentration below or above the pre-existing flaw tip causes wing or anti-wing cracks, while the local compressive strain concentration near the flaw tip is related to the shear crack. The measured local tensile strain shows a jump at the initiation of wing- and anti-wing cracks, reflecting the instant opening of the wing- and anti-wing crack propagating through the strain gauge. During the propagation of wing- and anti-wing cracks, the measured local tensile strain gradually increases with few jumps, implying that the opening deformation of wing- and anti-wing cracks occurs in a stable manner. The shear cracks initiate followed by a large and abrupt compressive strain jump and then quickly propagate in an unstable manner resulting in the failure of specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2665-2687
Number of pages23
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Crack coalescence
  • Crack propagation
  • Flawed specimen
  • Strain concentration
  • Strain jump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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