Experimental analysis of crack propagation in granite

J. F. Labuz*, S. P. Shah, C. H. Dowding

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


An experimental approach is used to demonstrate the concept of an effective crack length with double-edge-notched specimens of Charcoal and Rockville granite. Crack propagation in rock is characterized by microcracking around the crack tip and interlocking along a portion of the crack; this region is called the fracture process zone, and together with the fraction free length defines the effective crack length. Twenty closed-loop, strain-controlled fracture tests were conducted on Charcoal and Rockville granite. Crack growthwas monitored with a travelling behaviour of both granites, it is suggested that the process zone is larger for the larger grain-sized rock (Rockville). Conventional linear elastic fracture mechanics techniques are used to calculate the apparent fracture toughness of Charcoal granite at various crack lengths. In addition, a J-integral expression is derived for the double-edge-notched geometry in terms of the area under the load-displacement record. The shortcomings of both analyses are discussed. An attempt is made to explain the inadequacies by including the process zone in the calculations of the fracture toughness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences and
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Engineering(all)


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