Microstructural investigation of subcritical crack propagation and Fracture Process Zone (FPZ) by the reduction of rock fracture toughness under cyclic loading

Erarslan, Nazife (2016) Microstructural investigation of subcritical crack propagation and Fracture Process Zone (FPZ) by the reduction of rock fracture toughness under cyclic loading. Engineering Geology, 208 181-190. doi:10.1016/j.enggeo.2016.04.035


Author Erarslan, Nazife
Title Microstructural investigation of subcritical crack propagation and Fracture Process Zone (FPZ) by the reduction of rock fracture toughness under cyclic loading
Journal name Engineering Geology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0013-7952
1872-6917
Publication date 2016-06-24
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.enggeo.2016.04.035
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 208
Start page 181
End page 190
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This study presents the results of laboratory diametrical compression tests performed on Brisbane tuff disc specimens to develop much-needed understanding of the micro-mechanical and micro-structural dynamics of sub-critical crack propagation. The strength variation in rocks under mechanical loading without corrosive chemical environment was investigated by investigating the mode-I (tensile) fracture toughness (KIC) response to static and cyclic loading. In some cases, cracks can grow at a lower load level compared to the static case. This phenomenon is called subcritical crack propagation and depends on the behaviour of the Fracture Process Zone (FPZ). The KIC response to cyclic loading was found to be different from that under static loading in terms of the ultimate load and the damage mechanisms in front of the chevron crack. A maximum reduction of the static KIC of 43% was obtained for the highest amplitude increasing cyclic loading test. Detailed Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) examinations were performed on the surfaces of the tips of the chevron notch cracks, revealing that both loading methods cause fatigue in the disc rock specimens. When compared with static rupture, the main difference with the cyclically loaded specimens was that intergranular cracks were formed due to particle failure under cyclic loading, while smooth and bright cracks along cleavage planes were formed under static loading. It is believed in this study that the rock texture characteristics such as interlocked and cemented grains, cement volume, cement mineralogy play very important role on damage behaviour of rocks and development of FPZ and subcritical cracking.
Keyword Subcritical crack
Fracture Process Zone (FPZ)
Rock fracture toughness
Rock fatigue
CCNBD
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
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