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Experimental Study on the Growth, Coalescence and Wrapping Behaviors of 3D Cross-Embedded Flaws Under Uniaxial Compression

Abstract

The crack initiation, growth, wrapping and coalescence of two 3D pre-existing cross-embedded flaws in PMMA specimens under uniaxial compression are investigated. The stress–strain curves of PMMA specimens with 3D cross-embedded flaws are obtained. The tested PMMA specimens exhibit dominant elastic deformation and eventual brittle failure. The experimental results show that four modes of crack initiation and five modes of crack coalescence are observed. The initiations of oblique secondary crack and anti-wing crack in 3D cracking behaviors are first reported as well as the coalescence of anti-wing cracks. Moreover, two types of crack wrapping are found. Substantial wrapping of petal cracks, which includes open and closed modes of wrapping, appears to be the major difference between 2D and 3D cracking behaviors of pre-existing flaws, which are also first reported. Petal crack wraps symmetrically from either the propagated wing cracks or the coalesced wing cracks. Besides, only limited growth of petal cracks is observed, and ultimate failure of specimens is induced by the further growth of the propagated wing crack. The fracture mechanism of the tested PMMA specimens is finally revealed. In addition, the initiation stress and the peak stress versus the geometry of two 3D pre-existing cross-embedded flaws are also investigated in detail.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Project 973 (Grant No. 2014CB046903) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51325903 and 51679017).

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Correspondence to Xiao-Ping Zhou.

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Zhou, XP., Zhang, JZ. & Wong, L.N.Y. Experimental Study on the Growth, Coalescence and Wrapping Behaviors of 3D Cross-Embedded Flaws Under Uniaxial Compression. Rock Mech Rock Eng 51, 1379–1400 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00603-018-1406-4

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Keywords

  • 3D cross-embedded flaw
  • Petal crack
  • Crack propagation
  • Crack wrapping
  • Crack coalescence