Review of research progresses and applications of Hoek-Brown strength criterion

Hehua Zhu, Qi Zhang, Lianyang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


E. Hoek and E. T. Brown proposed the Hoek-Brown(H-B) strength criterion in 1980. This strength criterion is now widely accepted and studied by researchers and engineers in rock mechanics and engineering field, and is now widely applied to rock mass engineering. In this paper, a systematic review is performed on the progresses of the H-B strength criterion firstly, which are the work by E. Hoek and E. T. Brown, the studies on the three-dimensional H-B strength criteion, the parameters used in this criterion, and the criterion related to anisotropy of rocks with layered joints. Then, the applications of the H-B strength criterion during the past 30 years to different rock mass engineering problems were reviewed. Finally, the progresses of the H-B strength criterion carried out by the authors are introduced. A generalized three-dimensional H-B strength criterion has been proposed and modified by utilizing three different Lode dependences, so it can be directly applied to construct constitutive model and be embedded in numerical software. Based on three-dimensional numerical simulations with particle flow model, the parameters of rock and rock mass used in H-B strength criterion are studied in microscopic scale and a multi-scale relationship is found for providing a more reliable basis for determination of these parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1945-1963
Number of pages19
JournalYanshilixue Yu Gongcheng Xuebao/Chinese Journal of Rock Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Application
  • Hoek-Brown(H-B) strength criterion
  • Research progress
  • Review
  • Rock mass
  • Rock mechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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