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Experimental and numerical studies on dynamic crack growth in layered slate rock under wedge impact loads: part I—plane strain problem

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The experimental and numerical investigations presented in this paper were carried out to determine the splitting forces and crack propagation scenarios of naturally bedded layered slate rock. Splitting loads were determined by impact splitting of regular-sized slate blocks under plane strain test loading conditions, using a hydraulic actuator with a wedge-shaped indenter. The mechanical properties of slate blocks required for numerical analyses were obtained from detailed experimental testing. The velocity of dynamic crack propagation in slate blocks under indenting wedge impact loading was determined using a series of strain gauge sensors. Numerical studies were carried out using ABAQUS, a general purpose, finite element analysis (FEA) program. Mode I dynamic crack propagation was simulated numerically by the gradual releasing of the restrained node on the symmetric plane of the specimens. Mode I stress intensity factors were computed for different crack lengths and the results were compared with the plane strain material fracture toughness obtained from earlier experiments/FEA. Very good agreement was obtained between analysis results and the measured fracture toughness value of slate, for the applied impact splitting load. Using the equation derived from a parametric study, of results obtained from the numerical analysis of different sizes of slate blocks, the maximum theoretical impact splitting force was determined using the plane strain fracture toughness value obtained from FEA. The difference between the loads obtained from the experimental studies and the derived empirical equation, varied between + 4.96% and −32.34%.

Keywords: Dynamic crack propagation; finite element analysis; fracture toughness; impact splitting; slate; stress intensity factor; wedge-shaped indenter

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, Canada A1B 3X5

Publication date: 2007-09-01

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