Initiation and propagation of a single internal 3D crack in brittle material under dynamic loads

Zhenyu Han, Jianchun Li, Haijun Wang, Jian Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Different defects are widely distributed inside natural rock masses, and the development of these defects poses a potentially severe threat to the entire structural stability and safety. Most studies at present are concentrated on the propagation of two-dimensional (2D) penetrated cracks under static loads. In this paper, a series of tests were carried out on cubic glass specimens containing a closed pre-crack using a split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) system, aiming to investigate the internal three-dimensional (3D) crack growth under dynamic compression. The results indicate that the dynamic compressive strength of the cubic specimen is influenced by the inclination direction of the 3D pre-crack. Theoretical analysis of the circumferential stress field at the pre-crack tip reveals the mechanism behind dominant crack initiation and favorable direction, which are also affected by non-singular T stress along and perpendicular to the pre-crack plane, as well as friction between crack planes. Through the post-mortem examination, the mode III fracture characteristics, crack bifurcation and Wallner lines are observed in fracture morphology. The terminal length of wrapped wing cracks subjected to dynamic loads is sensitive to pre-crack inclination angle, while it is approximately 1–1.5 times the pre-crack radius under static compression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109299
Number of pages20
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2023


  • Brittle solids
  • Fractography
  • Fracture
  • SHPB
  • Three-dimensional crack growth

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