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ArticleName Physical sense of rock brittleness in compression and the associate universal brittleness criterion
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2022.01.03
ArticleAuthor Tarasov B. G.

Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia:

B. G. Tarasov, Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences,


Brittleness is one of the critical characteristics of rocks as it governs their fracture mode (steady-state or spontaneous) and dynamics, which is very important for the mining practice. This article discusses the brittleness criteria under triaxial and uniaxial compression. A whole series of criteria were proposed for this important characteristics at different time. These criteria include different parameters which are determined experimentally in compression tests of rock samples, for example, elastic, irreversible and total strain at pre- and post-limit strength; elastic and post-limit moduli; values of different type energy (elastic, free and destructive) in pre- and post-limit fracture, etc. This study aims to attract attention of the geomechanical society to the universal brittleness criterion, which, unlike many other criteria, has a rigorous physical substantiation and enables an unambiguous definition of frangibility of rocks under different type compression (uniaxial, biaxial, triaxial) and in any variation range of lateral pressure. It is based on the balance of fracture energy beyond the strength limits and characterizes the ability of rocks to fracture spontaneously, owing to the elastic energy accumulated in the material before the limit strength. The criterion makes it possible to construct a unified scale which unambiguously defines variation of brittleness in a range from absolute brittleness to absolute quasi-plasticity subject to variation in the post-limit modulus. The experimental results described in this article demonstrate a dramatic increase in brittleness of strong rocks under triaxial compression which complies with the depth-related seismicity.

keywords Rocks, uniaxial and triaxial compression, spontaneous and steady-state fracture, post-limit fracture, energy balance, post-limit modulus, brittleness

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