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Published in: Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering 7/2020

08-04-2020 | Original Paper

Pure Mode I Fracture Toughness Determination in Rocks Using a Pseudo-Compact Tension (pCT) Test Approach

Authors: Andrea Muñoz-Ibáñez, Jordi Delgado-Martín, Miguel Costas, Juan Rabuñal-Dopico, Jose Alvarellos-Iglesias, Jacobo Canal-Vila

Published in: Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering | Issue 7/2020

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Abstract

Mode I fracture toughness (KIC) quantifies the ability of a material to withstand crack initiation and propagation due to tensile loads. The International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) has proposed four suggested methods for determining KIC. However, these methods present some drawbacks such as insufficient post-peak control, complex sample preparation and considerable material requirements. Here we present an alternative approach, called the pseudo-compact tension (pCT) method, to measure KIC in rocks using disc-shaped specimens loaded in pure tension. The pCT specimen has favourable features such as a simple geometry, small sample volume and minimal machining requirement. The tensile load is transmitted to the specimen through two high-strength, high-stiffness steel jaws that fit into a U-shaped groove cut in the specimen. An additional thin straight notch is introduced to act as a stress concentrator. The crack propagates from the notch tip along the ligament plane, splitting the specimen into two halves. The effects of specimen size and notch length on KIC are determined by testing specimens 100, 50 and 38 mm in diameter with different notch length ratios (0.1 ≤ a/b ≤ 0.4). Tests were performed under ambient conditions and a slow loading rate (0.1 mm/min). Our results show that the pCT method is convenient for the assessment of KIC of both fragile and ductile rocks. The method offers good control even beyond the maximum load, making it possible to study the post-peak behaviour of the material.
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Metadata
Title
Pure Mode I Fracture Toughness Determination in Rocks Using a Pseudo-Compact Tension (pCT) Test Approach
Authors
Andrea Muñoz-Ibáñez
Jordi Delgado-Martín
Miguel Costas
Juan Rabuñal-Dopico
Jose Alvarellos-Iglesias
Jacobo Canal-Vila
Publication date
08-04-2020
Publisher
Springer Vienna
Published in
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering / Issue 7/2020
Print ISSN: 0723-2632
Electronic ISSN: 1434-453X
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00603-020-02102-6

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