Shear fracture in sandstone under plane-strain compression

J. F. Labuz, J. J. Riedel, S. T. Dai

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23 Scopus citations


Experiments on Berea sandstone at 5 MPa confinement were conducted to investigate shear banding under plane-strain compression. Locations of acoustic emission showed propagation of a shear band during post-peak response. The eventual failure surface consisted of two distinct regions called primary and kinked fractures, with evidence of a process zone at the termination of the primary fracture. Features identified using thin-section microscopy suggested that the primary fracture was formed in shear while the kinks displayed mixed-mode qualities. A linear analysis of a closed crack demonstrated that part of the post-peak response could be explained as shear-crack growth, with Berea sandstone having a mode II fracture toughness of 3 MPa√m.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-828
Number of pages9
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partial support was provided from NSF grant number CMS-0070062.


  • Acoustic emission
  • Process zone
  • Shear band
  • Shear fracture


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