Subcritical crack growth of edge and center cracks in façade rock panels subject to periodic surface temperature variations

Kam Tim Chau, J. F. Shao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines subcritical cracking in a rock panel or slab containing either a pre-existing edge or a center crack perpendicular to the panel surface. The panel is subject to periodic surface temperature variation on one side of the panel while the other is kept at a constant temperature. The thermally induced stress intensity factors are determined using superposition technique by employing the fundamental point load solution for an edge crack or a center crack in a slab of finite thickness. Rock panel is modeled as a long elastic strip with either a free or a fully constrained lateral end condition. The temperature variations versus time at various depths of the rock panel appear roughly as a sinusoidal function. The lateral thermal stress for the free end case is larger than the constrained end case; whereas stress intensity factors for both edge and center cracks in the constrained end slab are 1000 times larger than that of free end case. Subcritical crack propagation in rock panels on façade is then estimated as a function of time. This subcritical crack propagation continues until a critical crack size is attained and the rock panel will fail under wind load. This new theoretical framework provides a new paradigm to examine the mechanisms of time-dependent cracking in rock panels on façade of buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-827
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006


  • Center crack
  • Edge crack
  • Periodic heating
  • Rock slab
  • Subcritical crack growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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