The present work summarizes some recent experimental, theoretical and numerical results on brittle fracture of isostatic polycrystalline graphite. The analyses have been carried out on V-notched samples under mixed mode (I+II), torsion and compression loading, considering various combinations of the notch tip radius, opening angle and notch tilt angle. The static strength of the considered specimens is assessed through an approach based on the strain energy density averaged over a control volume. The center of the control volume is located on the notch edge, where the principal stress reaches its maximum value. The correct orientation is obtained by a rigid rotation of the crescent-shaped volume while the size depends on the fracture toughness and the ultimate strength of the material. This methodology has been already used in the literature to analyze U- and V-shaped notches subject to mode I loading with very good results and advantages with respect to classic approaches. The results reported in this new work show, also under mixed mode loading conditions, good agreement between experimental data and theoretical predictions.
One of the specimens to investigate the mode-I fracture toughness of rock and geo-materials is semi-circular bend (SCB) specimen. In general, initial cracks in rock test specimens are produced in two shapes: straight-edge cracks and chevron notches. The ISRM suggested SCB specimen has straight shaped notch. However, use of V-shaped (or chevron) notch in the SCB specimen is preferred because of some technical difficulties associated with making a sharp crack or creating pre-crack to conduct the experimental tests. In this paper, the minimum dimensionless stress intensity factor of cracked chevron notched semi-circular bend (CCNSCB) specimen is determined using finite element analysis with ABAQUS software. An analytical method, (i.e. Bluhm’s slice synthesis method) is used to verify the results. It is shown that a good agreement exists between the numerical data and theoretical results.