Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 52, Issue 7, pp 2175–2195 | Cite as

Dynamic Mechanical and Fracture Behaviour of Sandstone Under Multiaxial Loads Using a Triaxial Hopkinson Bar

  • K. Liu
  • Q. B. ZhangEmail author
  • G. Wu
  • J. C. Li
  • J. Zhao
Original Paper


Variations in stress conditions of rocks have been observed during blasting for excavation or large-scale seismic events such as an earthquake. A triaxial Hopkinson bar is developed to apply initial pre-stresses achieving various in situ stress conditions, including uniaxial (principal stresses σ1 > σ2 = σ3 = 0), biaxial (σ1 ≥ σ2 > σ3 = 0) and triaxial (σ1 ≥ σ2 ≥ σ3 ≠ 0) confinements, and then to determine properties of materials under multiaxial pre-stress states at high strain rate. A series of tests was conducted on sandstone specimens to investigate dynamic responses under multiaxial pre-stress states. A high-speed camera at the frame rate of 200,000 fps with a resolution of 256 × 256 pixels was used to capture the fracture characteristics rocks under biaxial compression tests. Experiments show that under the same impact velocity, dynamic properties (e.g. dynamic strength, elastic modulus, fracture modes) of sandstone exhibit confinement dependence. Dynamic strength decreases with increasing axial pre-stress σ1 along the impact direction, while it increases with the increase of lateral pre-stresses σ2 and σ3. The elastic modulus increases with the confinement varying from uniaxial, biaxial to triaxial compression. Rocks are pulverised into powder under uniaxial pre-stress impact, and fragments are ejected from the free face under biaxial compression, while they show slightly damaged or a macroscopic shear fracture under triaxial compression. The 3D imaging of fracture networks in the damaged/fractured specimens was acquired via the X-ray computed tomography system.


Triaxial Hopkinson bar Dynamic loading Triaxial compression Strain rate Multiaxial loads 



The triaxial Hopkinson bar and high-speed DAQ system were sponsored by Australian Research Council (LE150100058), and the corresponding author was mainly responsible for its development. We would like to thank Dr. Songlin Xu of University of Science and Technology of China and Mr. Xiaoyong Song of Luoyang Liwei Technology Co., Ltd. for helping us develop the triaxial Hopkinson bar. The costs of specimen preparation and CT scanning were supported by Engineering Seed Funding Scheme at Monash University 2018 and National Nature Science Foundation of China (no. 41525009). The first author acknowledges the financial support from Australian International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and Monash Graduate Scholarship.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Civil EngineeringSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina

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