Fracture of rock from wedge indentation

J. F. Labuz, L. H. Chen, S. Cattaneo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


This paper presents an experimental examination of the initiation of tensile fracture under a two-dimensional normal wedge indentor. In addition, the nondestructive technique of electronic speckle pattern interferometry (ESPI) monitored the failure process in medium strength (Berea sandstone, 50 MPa) and high strength (Sioux quartzite, 400 MPa) rock. The results show a good agreement between the cavity expansion model and the experiments in terms of indentation pressure and size of the damage zone located beneath the indentor. A localization of microcracking was identified from the high-resolution image of ESPI. It appeared that an intrinsic length, which may be interpreted as a material parameter, developed during indentation. This intrinsic flaw or defect length controlled tensile crack initiation at the interface between the damaged and intact rock. For successful fragmentation, the initiation of tensile cracks must eventually lead to progressive chipping. Therefore, the intrinsic length could be used as an index property to evaluate the cuttability of rock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDC Rocks 2001 - 38th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics (USRMS)
Editors Elsworth, Tinucci, Heasley
PublisherAmerican Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9026518277, 9789026518270
StatePublished - 2001
Event38th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, DC Rocks 2001 - Washington, United States
Duration: Jul 7 2001Jul 10 2001

Publication series

NameDC Rocks 2001 - 38th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics (USRMS)


Other38th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, DC Rocks 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS--Partial support was providedb y the National ScienceF oundationG rant

Funding Information:
Partial support was provided by the National Science Foundation Grant Number CMS-0070062 and 9612035.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2001 Swets & Zeitlinger Lisse.


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