Tension Softening and Size Effects on the Fracture Determination of Geomaterials

Conference paper


While the linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) based KIc fracture toughness test has been well established for metals, its direct application to toughness testing of most quasi-brittle geomaterials has not been consistently successful. In this paper we briefly review experimental and field observations of KIc size dependence in concrete and rock, and suggest that a valid KIc test for some such materials may require unpractically large specimen sizes. An alternative material tensile property - the tension softening curve - is given prominence in its ability to characterize crack formation and growth in geomaterials, and could be determined in the laboratory with reasonable specimen sizes. An experimental technique, originally developed for concrete, is suggested to be of value in determining the tension-softening curves for rocks.


Fracture Toughness Hydraulic Fracture Process Zone Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanic Fracture Toughness Test 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Department of Civil EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

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