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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 418729, 9 pages
Research Article

Rock Mechanical Property Influenced by Inhomogeneity

State Key Laboratory of Mine Disaster Prevention and Control, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Shandong, Qingdao 266590, China

Received 26 March 2012; Revised 6 April 2012; Accepted 10 April 2012

Academic Editor: Amit Bandyopadhyay

Copyright © 2012 Yunliang Tan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to identify the microstructure inhomogeneity influence on rock mechanical property, SEM scanning test and fractal dimension estimation were adopted. The investigations showed that the self-similarity of rock microstructure markedly changes with the scanned microscale. Different rocks behave in different fractal dimension variation patterns with the scanned magnification, so it is conditional to adopt fractal dimension to describe rock material. Grey diabase and black diabase have high suitability; red sandstone has low suitability. The suitability of fractal-dimension-describing method for rocks depends on both investigating scale and rock type. The homogeneities of grey diabase, black diabase, grey sandstone, and red sandstone are 7.8, 5.7, 4.4, and 3.4, separately; their average fractal dimensions of microstructure are 2.06, 2.03, 1.72, and 1.40 correspondingly, so the homogeneity is well consistent with fractal dimension. For rock material, the stronger brittleness is, the less profile fractal dimension is. In a sense, brittleness is an image of rock inhomogeneity in macroscale, while profile fractal dimension is an image of rock inhomogeneity in microscale. To combine the test of brittleness with the estimation of fractal dimension with condition will be an effective approach for understanding rock failure mechanism, patterns, and behaviours.