The collapse of overhanging rock is a common geological hazard in mountainous areas. The stability of overhanging rock is usually determined by the growth of a crack along a main structural plane. On the basis of linear fracture mechanics combined with the stress concentration coefficient, an analytical method to determine the stress intensity factor (SIF) of overhanging rock is developed to evaluate its stability. Experiments on pre-cracked sandstone were carried out to simulate failure of overhanging rock and verify the analytical solution to fracturing and failure of overhanging rocks. Additionally, numerical solutions using the finite element method are derived to compare with the experimental results. The J-integral and displacement extrapolation methods are used to determine stress changes at the crack tip in the overhanging rocks, and the results confirm that the analytical solutions are consistent with the results of the numerical solutions, including the displacement extrapolation used to analyze the SIF of the overhanging rock. The ratio of fracture toughness to effective SIF at the crack tip can be considered useful when examining the stability of overhanging rock.
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 5, 2017
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