Modeling of compression-induced splitting failure in heterogeneous brittle porous solids

C. A. Tang, R. H.C. Wong, Kam Tim Chau, P. Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Brittle solids, such as rock or concrete, may contain numerous randomly distributed micro-flaws (e.g. cracks, pores or weak inclusions). When they are loaded in compression, cracks may nucleate from these flaws. These cracks then continue to grow in a stable manner with the increasing axial compression, curving toward an orientation parallel to the direction of axial compression. Their propagation and interaction may lead to the collapse of the solid in a splitting mode. With a newly developed numerical code, MFPA2D(material failure process analysis), heterogeneous solids containing pre-existing single, triple and multi-pore-like flaws are numerically tested to study the mechanisms of compression-induced axial splitting. The interaction of growing cracks with the surfaces of the specimen and with each other in terms of stress field and failure modes is numerically analyzed in detail. Under uniaxial compressions, specimens containing holes in a diagonal array are more conducive to interaction than specimens containing holes arranged either in a horizontal or vertical array. Various parameters, such as hole diameter, specimen width, and the geometrical arrangement of hole locations, that characterize the growth process are quantified. Numerical results mimic the phenomena of experimentally observed splitting failure in brittle solids such as rocks in a realistic way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-615
Number of pages19
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005


  • Coalescence
  • Numerical simulation
  • Porous solid
  • Splitting
  • Wing crack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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