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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 959806, 13 pages
Research Article

Evaluating the Applicability of Fracture Criteria to Predict the Crack Evolution Path of Dolomite Based on SCB Experiments and FEM

1Key Laboratory of Energy Engineering Safety and Disaster Mechanics of Ministry of Education, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
2School of Architecture and Environment, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China

Received 2 October 2013; Revised 17 November 2013; Accepted 18 November 2013

Academic Editor: Goangseup Zi

Copyright © 2013 Cunbao Li 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.


Mixed mode fracture tests are conducted under various initial loading combinations of mode I and mode II (from pure mode I to pure mode II) on semicircular bend (SCB) specimens of dolomite rock. Damage zones are observed behind the fracture surfaces of the broken samples. Scanning electron microscope images of the fracture surfaces are used to study the failure manner. Using the conventional remesh method based on the finite element method (FEM), several widely accepted fracture criteria are employed to theoretically predict the fracture paths. These criteria include the maximum tangential stress criterion, minimum strain energy density criterion, maximum energy release rate criterion, maximum dilatational strain energy density criterion, and the distortional strain energy density criterion. The applicability of the five fracture criteria is examined. The results show that none of the criteria are successful in predicting the crack trajectories of the predominately mode II cracks; the differences among the predicted results of the crack growth paths are negligible for each crack inclined angle. The effect of Poisson’s ratio on the fracture criteria is also investigated and the results show that the predicted crack trajectories are not sensitive to Poisson’s ratio.