Confined Tensile Testing of Porous Sandstone

Ali Tarokh, Jacob D. Sharpe, Joseph F. Labuz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The confined tension region of a failure surface, where both tensile and compressive normal stresses are present, is experimentally challenging to investigate and consequently not fully characterized. In particular, strength tests of rock at stress states associated with low mean stress are rare. To address this limitation, axisymmetric extension experiments on dog-bone specimens are used in combination with axisymmetric extension and compression experiments on right-circular cylinders of Dunnville sandstone to define the confined tension region and evaluate linear (Mohr–Coulomb and Paul-Mohr–Coulomb) with tension cut-offs and non-linear (Hoek–Brown and Fairhurst) failure criteria. The strength tests indicate that a failure criterion that includes a tension cut-off best captures failure in the low mean stress regime, − T/3 < P < Co/3, where T = uniaxial tensile strength, P = mean stress, and Co = uniaxial compressive strength. Fracture surfaces of the dog-bone specimens were examined for failure mode based on surface roughness and it was found that there is a transition of decreasing roughness from tensile (opening) failure to hybrid (opening and sliding) failure to shear (sliding) failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6555-6566
Number of pages12
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially funded by the MSES/Miles Kersten Chair.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature.


  • Confined tension
  • Failure criteria
  • Low mean stress
  • Tension cut-off


Dive into the research topics of 'Confined Tensile Testing of Porous Sandstone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this