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Effects of geometrical factors on fracture toughness using semi-circular bending type specimens

Het, Kıvanç
Semi-circular specimens (SCB) under three point-bending which are commonly used for fracture testing of rocks were used here for fracture mechanics tests. A total of 65 specimens were tested by using Ankara andesite rock. Investigations including the effects of initial notch thickness, different loading span ratios (S/R), flattened loading end, and little dimensional variations when preparing the specimens were carried out. Stress intensity factors for specimens with different geometries were computed individually by using a 3D finite element program ABAQUS. Specimens with a preliminary notch thickness varying from 0.84 to 3.66 mm were tested under three point bending. For a second group of specimens loading span was changed and fracture toughness variation was studied. Another change in the specimen geometry was made by machining a flat loading end at the upper load application point. Fracture toughness values were computed using the stress intensity values computed from numerical modeling and failure loads from the experiments. It was found that up to 2 mm fracture toughness was not affected by variations in the thickness of preliminary notches. Fracture toughness was not affected by changing the loading span. For specimens with flat loading ends, fracture toughness was about 16% lower than the value found from regular SCB type specimens loaded at a point at the top by a steel roller. As a result of about 46 experiments average fracture toughness of Ankara Gölbasi andesite was found as 1.36 MPa.