Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 1135–1151 | Cite as

Tensile Fracture Strength of Brisbane Tuff by Static and Cyclic Loading Tests

  • N. Erarslan
  • H. Alehossein
  • D. J. Williams
Original Paper


This research presents the results of laboratory experiments during the investigation of tensile strength–strain characteristics of Brisbane tuff disc specimens under static and diametral cyclic loading. Three different cyclic loading methods were used; namely, sinusoidal cyclic loading, type I and II increasing cyclic loading with various amplitude values. The first method applied the stress amplitude−cycle number (s–n) curve approach to the measurement of the indirect tensile strength (ITS) and fracture toughness (K IC) values of rocks for the first time in the literature. The type I and II methods investigated the effect of increasing cyclic loading on the ITS and K IC of rocks. For Brisbane tuff, the reduction in ITS was found to be 30 % under sinusoidal loading, whereas type I and II increasing cyclic loading caused a maximum reduction in ITS of 36 %. The maximum reduction of the static K IC of 46 % was obtained for the highest amplitude type I cyclic loading tested. For sinusoidal cyclic loading, a maximum reduction of the static K IC of 30 % was obtained. A continuous irreversible accumulation of damage was observed in dynamic cyclic tests conducted at different amplitudes and mean stress levels. Scanning electron microscope images showed that fatigue damage in Brisbane tuff is strongly influenced by the failure of the matrix because of both inter-granular fracturing and trans-granular fracturing. The main characteristic was grain breakage under cyclic loading, which probably starts at points of contact between grains and is accompanied by the production of very small fragments, probably due to frictional sliding within the weak matrix.


Brazilian indirect tensile strength Increasing cyclic loading Rock fatigue Rock fracture toughness CCNBD 



Acknowledgement is made to Leighton Contractors who provided core samples of Brisbane tuff from the CLEM7 Project and to Professor Ted Brown, Les McQueen, Mark Funkhauser and Rob Morphet of Golder Associates Pty Ltd for their assistance and advice. The work described forms part of the first author’s PhD research carried out within the then Golder Geomechanics Centre at The University of Queensland. The first author was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award/UQRS and the Golder Geomechanics Centre.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geotechnical Engineering Centre, School of Civil EngineeringThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.CSIROBrisbaneAustralia

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