Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Rock Dynamic Fracture

Document Type: Research Paper


1 University of Tehran

2 University of Torento


Rapid development of engineering activities expands through a variety of rock engineering processes such as drilling, blasting, mining and mineral processing. These activities require rock dynamic fracture mechanics method to characterize the rock behavior. Dynamic fracture toughness is an important parameter for the analysis of engineering structures under dynamic loading. Several experimental methods are used for determination of dynamic fracture properties of materials. Among them, the Hopkinson pressure bar and the drop weight have been frequently used for rocks. On the other hand, numerical simulations are very useful in dynamic fracture studies. Among vast variety of numerical techniques, the powerful extended finite element method (XFEM) enriches the finite element approximation with appropriate functions extracted from the fracture mechanics solution around a crack-tip. The main advantage of XFEM is its capability in modeling different on a fixed mesh, which can be generated without considering the existence of discontinuities. In this paper, first, the design of a drop weight test setup is presented. Afterwards, the experimental tests on igneous (basalt) and calcareous (limestone) rocks with single-edge-cracked bend specimen are discussed. Then, each experimental test is modeled with the XFEM code. Finally, the obtained experimental and numerical results are compared. The results indicate that the experimentally predicted dynamic fracture toughness has less than 8 percent difference with calculated dynamic fracture toughness from extended finite element method