Fracture of rock: Effect of loading rate

Zdeněk P. Bažant*, Bai Shang-Ping, Gettu Ravindra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Fracture parameters of limestone at loading rates ranging over four orders of magnitude in the static regime are determined using the size effect method. Three sizes of three-point bend notched specimens were tested under crack-mouth opening displacement control. The fracture toughness and nominal strength decrease slightly with a decrease in rate, but the fracture process zone length and the brittleness of failure are practically unaffected. The effect of material creep on the fracture of limestone is negligible in the time range studied here. However, the methodology developed for characterizing rate effects in static fracture can be easily applied to other brittle-heterogeneous materials. The decrease of fracture toughness as a function of the crack propagation velocity is described with a power law. A formula for the size- and rate-dependence of the nominal strength is also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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