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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 192978, 7 pages
Research Article

Fracture Property of Y-Shaped Cracks of Brittle Materials under Compression

Department of Engineering Mechanics, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China

Received 11 March 2014; Accepted 23 May 2014; Published 9 June 2014

Academic Editor: Xiao-wei Gao

Copyright © 2014 Xiaoyan Zhang 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 investigate the properties of Y-shaped cracks of brittle materials under compression, compression tests by using square cement mortar specimens with Y-shaped crack were conducted. A true triaxial loading device was applied in the tests, and the major principle stresses or the critical stresses were measured. The results show that as the branch angle between the branch crack and the stem crack is 75°, the cracked specimen has the lowest strength. In order to explain the test results, numerical models of Y-shaped cracks by using ABAQUS code were established, and the J-integral method was applied in calculating crack tip stress intensity factor (SIF). The results show that when the branch angle increases, the SIF of the branch crack increases from negative to positive and the absolute value of the branch crack first increases, and as is 50°, it is the maximum, and then it decreases. Finally, in order to further investigate the stress distribution around Y-shaped cracks, photoelastic tests were conducted, and the test results generally agree with the compressive test results.