Residual strength and fracture energy from plane-strain testing

Joseph F Labuz, S. T. Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Field observations indicate that failure in soft rock is often associated with a slip surface or shear band, where deformation is concentrated in a narrow zone; displacements occur with decreasing stress within the shear band, whereas outside the band the material appears to be intact. In examining the propagation of the shear band, it is useful to establish the relation between shear stress and slip displacement. This was accomplished within a laboratory setting with a plane-strain compression apparatus, developed to study localized failure under controlled conditions. Tests on a soft rock, a sandstone with a uniaxial compressive strength of 10 MPa and a modulus of 2 GPa, were conducted to estimate fracture energy G(IIC), a quantity used to evaluate energy dissipation of the failure process. G(IIC) was found to decrease by a factor of 3 when considering the actual displacements, rather than assuming tangential displacement only, that is, no displacement normal to the shear band. The experiments showed that the shear band was not completely formed until after peak strength and that sliding along the band during softening was associated with compaction; residual behavior exhibited virtually no volume change. The shear strength at peak stress was nonlinearly related to the normal stress, but the shear strength at the residual state displayed a linear relationship. For normal stresses less than the uniaxial strength, those typical of civil engineering practice, the response can be described as cohesion softening, with friction remaining constant in going from the peak to the residual stress states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-889
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2000


Dive into the research topics of 'Residual strength and fracture energy from plane-strain testing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this