Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 50, Issue 10, pp 2659–2676 | Cite as

Influence of Radial Stress Gradient on Strainbursts: An Experimental Study

  • Guoshao Su
  • Shaobin Zhai
  • Jianqing Jiang
  • Gangliang Zhang
  • Liubin Yan
Original Paper


Strainbursts, which are violent disasters that are accompanied by the ejection failure of rocks, usually occur in hard brittle rocks around highly stressed underground openings. The release of the radial stress at excavation boundaries is one of the major inducing factors for strainbursts in tunnels. After excavation, the radial stress usually exhibits different but apparent gradient variations along the radial direction near the boundary within a certain depth under different in situ stress conditions. In this study, the influence of the radial stress gradient on strainbursts of granite was investigated using an improved true-triaxial rockburst testing system, which was equipped with an acoustic emission monitoring system. The stress state and boundary conditions (i.e., one face free, other faces loaded and increasing tangential stress) of the representative rock element in the vicinity of the excavation boundary were simulated. High-speed cameras were used to capture the ejection failure processes during strainbursts, and the kinetic energy of ejected fragments was quantitatively estimated by analyzing the recorded videos. The experimental results indicate that with an increasing radial stress gradient, the strength increases, the apparent yield platform prior to the peak stress on the stress–strain curves decreases, the failure mode changes from strainburst characterized by tensile splitting to strainburst characterized by shear rupture, and the kinetic energy of ejected fragments during strainbursts significantly increases.


Rockburst Strainburst Radial stress gradient True-triaxial test Kinetic energy 



The authors would like to express their gratitude for the financial support provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 41472329. The work in this paper was also supported by the Opening Fund of State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection (Chengdu University of Technology) under Grant No. SKLGP2017K022 and the Guangxi Natural Science Foundation under Grant No. 2016GXNSFGA380008.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guoshao Su
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shaobin Zhai
    • 1
  • Jianqing Jiang
    • 1
  • Gangliang Zhang
    • 1
  • Liubin Yan
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Disaster Prevention and Structural Safety of Ministry of Education, School of Civil and Architecture EngineeringGuangxi UniversityNanningChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengduChina

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