Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 61–69 | Cite as

Numerical Study on Crack Propagation Characteristics Under Different Loading Conditions by FRACOD2D Approach

  • X. Z. SunEmail author
  • J. Z. LiEmail author
Original Paper


The fracture of rock mass is affected by different stress state in underground engineering. It is important to understand the crack propagation characteristics and stress distribution under different loading conditions. In this study, the FRACOD2D (the fracture propagation code) numerical modeling was conducted to analyze the propagation characteristics and stress distribution of rock-like material specimen under different loading conditions and crack geometric distribution. Crack propagation characteristics were distinct under different loading conditions, namely the tensile crack propagation under the uniaxial loading and shear crack propagation under the biaxial loading. In the uniaxial loading, the wing crack initiated at an angle of 90°, and then propagated along the maximum principal stress direction. The stress concentration occurred at the pre-existing crack tips. The coalescence of Model 1 rock bridge was caused by wing cracks and pre-existing cracks, while there was no coalescence occurred in the Model 2 or Model 3 rock bridge. Under the biaxial loading condition, shear cracks initiated at an angle of 150°, which developed from the pre-existing crack tips and propagated perpendicularly along the pre-existing cracks gradually. Moreover, secondary cracks propagated largely, whose stress concentration increased gradually with their propagation. Secondary shear cracks were interconnected, which led to the coalescence of Model 1 rock bridge The corrugated propagation of secondary cracks was observed instead of rock bridge coalescence in the Model 2 rock bridge. Pre-existing cracks of Model 3 propagated into two independent systems without cracks initiation in the rock bridge. Numerical modeling results were evidenced by laboratory tests.


FRACOD2D software Crack propagation Loading conditions Rock bridge coalescence Stress distribution 



This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51704152), Taishan Scholar Talent Team Support Plan for Advantaged and Unique Discipline Areas, Key Laboratory Open Foundation of Deep Coal Mine Excavation Response and Disaster Prevention and Control (No. KLDCMERDPC17108), National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2017YFC0804202) and Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation (No. 1808085QE177).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Mining Disaster Prevention and Control Co-founded by Shandong Province and the Ministry of Science and TechnologyShandong University of Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Deep Coal Mine Excavation Response and Disaster Prevention and ControlAnhui University of Science and TechnologyHuainanChina

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