Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 853–868 | Cite as

Fracture Processes in Granite Blocks Under Blast Loading

  • Li Yuan ChiEmail author
  • Zong Xian Zhang
  • Arne Aalberg
  • Jun Yang
  • Charlie C. Li
Original Paper


The fracturing of six granite cubes (400 × 400 × 400 mm3) in response to blast loading was investigated using a combination of data collected from strain gauges and generated by digital image correlation (DIC) of pictures captured using a high-speed camera. This instrumentation permits the observation of the crack initiation, crack opening velocity, fracture pattern, full-field strain variation, and fragment movement at the cube’s surface. In each experiment, an explosive charge was positioned at the center of the block in a vertical drill hole. Two charge weights, 6 g and 12 g, of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) were used. Using the high-speed camera, dominant vertical cracks were found to initiate on the surface of the cubes within 250 µs of the charge detonation. Two or three dominant vertical cracks appeared in specimens with a 12 g charge, while a single dominant vertical crack came into view in specimens with a 6 g charge. In addition, a single dominant horizontal crack was observed in all specimens, irrespective of charge weight. The maximum concentration of strain obtained from a DIC analysis agreed well with the dominant cracks and fracture patterns observed in the specimens. By combining the results from the strain gauges and the results from the DIC analysis for the specimen with a 12 g charge, the first crack initiation was found to occur at 67 µs after detonation. The crack opening velocities were determined using a boundary identification method and ranged from 5.0 to 7.6 m s−1, whereas the observed in-plane fragment velocities were slightly less. These experiments may contribute to a better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of the rock fracture by blasting.


Blasting Rock fracture Crack opening Fragment movement DIC analysis 

List of Symbols

Δεxx, Δεyy

Strain errors for the x component and y component

ε1st, εcr

First principal strain and critical strain

α, β

Crack direction angles


Angle of fragment movement


Fragment velocity


Object distance and out-of-plane displacement



This work was financially supported by the University Centre in Svalbard. The authors wish to thank Dr. G. Gilbert at the University Centre in Svalbard for valuable inputs to manuscript, and Mr. C. L. He, Mr. Z. Y. Cheng, Mr. Z. S. Zhou and Mr. Feng at the Beijing Institute of Technology for the support in performing the experiments at the State Key Laboratory of Explosion Science and Technology. The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.


  1. Ainalis D, Kaufmann O, Olivier JT, Kouroussis G (2017) Modelling the source of blasting for the numerical simulation of blast-induced ground vibrations: a review international organisation for standardisation. Rock Mech Rock Eng 50:171–193. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Banadaki MMD (2010) Stress-wave induced fracture in rock due to explosive action. University of Toronto, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  3. Bergmann OR, Riggle JW, Wu FC (1973) Model rock blasting-effect of explosives properties and other variables on blasting results. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 10:585–612. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bieniawski ZT (1968) Fracture dynamics of rock. Int J Fract Mech 4:415–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bornert M, Brémand F, Doumalin P et al (2009) Assessment of digital image correlation measurement errors: methodology and results. Exp Mech 49:353–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bornert M, Vales F, Gharbi H, Nguyen Minh D (2010) Multiscale full-field strain measurements for micromechanical investigations of the hydromechanical behaviour of clayey rocks. Strain 46:33–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cadoni E (2010) Dynamic characterization of orthogneiss rock subjected to intermediate and high strain rates in tension. Rock Mech Rock Eng 43:667–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chi L, Aalberg A, Zhang ZX et al (2018) An experimental investigation on dynamic responses of granite blocks under blast loading. In: Li C, Li X, Zhang Z (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on rock dynamic and applications. Taylor & Francis Group, Trondheim, pp 623–628Google Scholar
  9. Chiapetta RF, Borg DG (1983) Increasing productivity through field control and high-speed photography. In: Proceedings, 1st international symposium on rock fragmentation by blasting, Lulea, Sweden, pp 301–331Google Scholar
  10. Chou PC, Koenig HA (1966) A unified approach to cylindrical and spherical elastic waves by method of characteristics. J Appl Mech 33:159–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dai F, Xia K (2010) Loading rate dependence of tensile strength anisotropy of Barre granite. Pure Appl Geophys 167:1419–1432. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dai F, Huang S, Xia K, Tan Z (2010) Some fundamental issues in dynamic compression and tension tests of rocks using split Hopkinson pressure bar. Rock Mech Rock Eng 43:657–666. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Field JE, Ladegaard-Pedersen A (1971) The importance of the reflected stress wave in rock blasting. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 8:213–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fourney WL (2015) The role of stress waves and fracture mechanics in fragmentation. Blasting Fragm 9:83–106Google Scholar
  15. Fourney WL, Dally JW, Holloway DC (1974) Stress wave propagation from inclined line charges near a bench face. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 11:393–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goldsmith W, Sackman JL, Ewerts C (1976) Static and dynamic fracture strength of Barre granite. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 13:303–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grimsmo EL, Clausen AH, Aalberg A, Langseth M (2017) Fillet welds subjected to impact loading—an experimental study. Int J Impact Eng 108:101–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hedan S, Cosenza P, Valle V et al (2012) Investigation of the damage induced by desiccation and heating of Tournemire argillite using digital image correlation. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 51:64–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Holloway DC (1982) Application of holographic interferometry to stress wave and crack propagation problems. Opt Eng 21:213468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Isaac P, Darby A, Ibell T, Evernden M (2017) Experimental investigation into the force propagation velocity due to hard impacts on reinforced concrete members. Int J Impact Eng 100:131–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kim H, Lee J, Ahn E et al (2017) Concrete crack identification using a UAV incorporating hybrid image processing. Sensors 17:2052CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kutter HK, Fairhurst C (1971) On the fracture process in blasting. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 8:181–202. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lattanzi D, Miller GR (2012) Robust automated concrete damage detection algorithms for field applications. J Comput Civ Eng 28:253–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lenoir N, Bornert M, Desrues J et al (2007) Volumetric digital image correlation applied to X-ray microtomography images from triaxial compression tests on argillaceous rock. Strain 43:193–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Munoz H, Taheri A (2017) Local damage and progressive localisation in porous sandstone during cyclic loading. Rock Mech Rock Eng 50:3253–3259. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Munoz H, Taheri A, Chanda EK (2016a) Fracture energy-based brittleness index development and brittleness quantification by pre-peak strength parameters in rock uniaxial compression. Rock Mech Rock Eng 49:4587–4606. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Munoz H, Taheri A, Chanda EK (2016b) Pre-peak and post-peak rock strain characteristics during uniaxial compression by 3D digital image correlation. Rock Mech Rock Eng 49:2541–2554. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. O’keefe SG, Thiel DV (1991) Electromagnetic emissions during rock blasting. Geophys Res Lett 18:889–892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Olsson M, Nyberg U, Fjelborg S (2009) Controlled fragmentation in sublevel caving—first tests. Swebrec Rep 2:37 (in Swedish) Google Scholar
  30. Onederra IA, Furtney JK, Sellers E, Iverson S (2013) Modelling blast induced damage from a fully coupled explosive charge. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 58:73–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Raina AK, Murthy V, Soni AK, Soni AK (2015) Estimating flyrock distance in bench blasting through blast induced pressure measurements in rock. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 76:209–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Reu PL, Miller TJ (2008) The application of high-speed digital image correlation. J Strain Anal Eng Des 43:673–688. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sanchidrián JA, Segarra P, López LM (2007) Energy components in rock blasting. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 44:130–147. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Seah CC (2006) Penetration and perforation of granite targets by hard projectiles. Department of Structural Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, TrondheimGoogle Scholar
  35. Segarra P, Sanchidrián JA, López LM (2003) Analysis of bench face movement in quarry blasting. In: Holmberg R (ed) The 2nd world conference on explosives and blasting technique. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 485–495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sun C (2013) Damage zone prediction for rock blasting. Department of Mining Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake CityGoogle Scholar
  37. Sutton MA, Yan JH, Tiwari V et al (2008) The effect of out-of-plane motion on 2D and 3D digital image correlation measurements. Opt Lasers Eng 46:746–757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sutton MA, Orteu JJ, Schreier H (2009) Image correlation for shape, motion and deformation measurements: basic concepts, theory and applications. Springer Science & Business Media, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  39. Taylor LM, Chen E-P, Kuszmaul JS (1986) Microcrack-induced damage accumulation in brittle rock under dynamic loading. Comput Methods Appl Mech Eng 55:301–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tilert D, Svedbjörk G, Ouchterlony F et al (2007) Measurement of explosively induced movement and spalling of granite model blocks. Int J Impact Eng 34:1936–1952. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wang L (2011) Foundations of stress waves. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  42. Wang C, Ding J, Tan S, Han W (2015a) High order numerical simulation of detonation wave propagation through complex obstacles with the inverse Lax–Wendroff treatment. Commun Comput Phys 18:1264–1281. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wang C, Dong X, Shu CW (2015b) Parallel adaptive mesh refinement method based on WENO finite difference scheme for the simulation of multi-dimensional detonation. J Comput Phys 298:161–175. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wilson WH, Holloway DC (1987) Fragmentation studies in instrumented concrete models. In: 6th ISRM congress. International Society for Rock Mechanics, SalzburgGoogle Scholar
  45. Wimmer M, Nordqvist A, Ouchterlony F et al (2012) Burden movement in confined drift wall blasting tests studied at the LKAB Kiruna SLC mine. In: International symposium on rock fragmentation by blasting: 24/11/2012-29/11/2012. CRC Press/Balkema, Boca Raton/Avereest, pp 373–383Google Scholar
  46. Zhang ZX (2016) Rock fracture and blasting: theory and applications. Butterworth-Heinemann, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  47. Zhang ZX (2017) Kinetic energy and its applications in mining engineering. Int J Min Sci Technol 27:237–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhang QB, Zhao J (2013) Determination of mechanical properties and full-field strain measurements of rock material under dynamic loads. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 60:423–439. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhang QB, Zhao J (2014) A review of dynamic experimental techniques and mechanical behaviour of rock materials. Rock Mech rock Eng 47:1411–1478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zhang ZX, Kou SQ, Yu J et al (1999) Effects of loading rate on rock fracture. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 36:597–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Yuan Chi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zong Xian Zhang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Arne Aalberg
    • 1
  • Jun Yang
    • 4
  • Charlie C. Li
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Arctic TechnologyThe University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)LongyearbyenNorway
  2. 2.Department of Geoscience and PetroleumNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Oulu Mining SchoolUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Explosion Science and TechnologyBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations