Transverse cracking of rock with a dissimilar inclusion under tension: effect of loading rate and inclusion diameter

Minghe Ju, Jianchun Li, Jian Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The rate-dependent tensile failure of rock with a cement inclusion was experimentally and numerically investigated to reveal the coupled dynamic response of inclusion-containing heterogeneous rock structures. Brazilian discs (BDs) with differently sized inclusion cores made of Portland cement were compressed using a split Hopkinson pressure bar loading system. The inclusions in the BD specimens changed the observed failure patterns compared to the splitting results observed in traditional monolithic rock BDs. The failure patterns observed in the composite rock–cement depend on the loading rate, inclusion size, and material strengths. The tensile BD failure patterns fall into three classes: single and double deflection along the interface with the inclusion and direct penetration through the heterogeneous structure. As the inclusion diameter or loading rate is increased, the failure pattern of the BD generally evolves from single to double deflection to penetration. The mechanism underlying the formation of the different failure patterns was further investigated using discrete element modelling. This paper may improve our understanding of the effect of loading rate on the failure and fracture behaviour of heterogeneous rock structures under tension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5513–5534
Number of pages22
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2022


  • Brazilian disc
  • Composite structure
  • Loading rate effect
  • Rock inclusion
  • Tensile failure

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