Investigation of Dynamic Crack Coalescence Using a Gypsum-Like 3D Printing Material

Chao Jiang, Gao Feng Zhao, Jianbo Zhu, Yi Xin Zhao, Luming Shen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Dynamic crack coalescence attracts great attention in rock mechanics. However, specimen preparation in experimental study is a time-consuming and difficult procedure. In this work, a gypsum-like material by powder bed and inkjet 3D printing technique was applied to produce specimens with preset cracks for split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) test. From micro X-ray CT test, it was found that the 3D printing technique could successfully prepare specimens that contain preset cracks with width of 0.2 mm. Basic mechanical properties of the 3D printing material, i.e., the elastic modulus, the Poisson’s ratio, the density, the compressive strength, the indirect tensile strength, and the fracture toughness, were obtained and reported. Unlike 3D printed specimens using polylactic acid, these gypsum-like specimens can produce failure patterns much closer to those observed in classical rock mechanical tests. Finally, the dynamic crack coalescence of the 3D printed specimens with preset cracks were captured using a high-speed camera during SHPB tests. Failure patterns of these 3D printed specimens are similar to the specimens made by Portland cement concrete. Our results indicate that sample preparation by 3D printing is highly competitive due to its quickness in prototyping, precision and flexibility on the geometry, and high material homogeneity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3983-3998
Number of pages16
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • 3D printing
  • Crack coalescence
  • High-speed camera
  • Split Hopkinson pressure bar
  • X-ray CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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