Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 52, Issue 11, pp 4189–4202 | Cite as

Effect of Open-Fire-Induced Damage on Brazilian Tensile Strength and Microstructure of Granite

  • Song Sha
  • Guan RongEmail author
  • Jun PengEmail author
  • Bowen Li
  • Zhijun Wu
Original Paper


Deformation and stability of surrounding rock of a tunnel could be significantly affected by the fire accident-induced open-fire damage. In this study, the influence of open-fire damage on the P-wave velocity, Brazilian tensile strength (BTS), and the associated microstructure evolution of granite is investigated. The open-fire damage is generated by heating the rock sample with charcoal fire for 3 h prior to the subsequent tests. P-wave velocity of intact and heated specimens is measured. The microstructure of specimens with different distances to the open fire is observed utilizing a polarizing microscopy. Brazilian splitting tests on the heated specimens are then conducted combined with high-speed camera for monitoring the failure process. Both P-wave velocity and BTS are found to increase rapidly as the distance from the specimen to the open fire increases. When the distance between the specimen and the open fire is larger than 125 mm, the values of P-wave velocity and BTS tend to level off at the values of unheated specimen. The degradation of P-wave velocity and BTS with increasing open-fire damage is mainly attributed to the induced microcracks in the process of approaching the open fire. The trans-granular microcracking is found to be an effective indicator to evaluate the degree of open-fire damage. Two negative exponential models are proposed for the variation of the P-wave velocity and BTS with the damage distance from the specimen to the open fire. The proposed model is validated by the reasonable agreement between model predictions and experimental results.


Open-fire damage P-wave velocity Brazilian strength tensile (BTS) Failure process Microscopic observation 

List of Symbols


Brazilian tensile strength


Failure load


Diameter of disk specimen


Thickness of disk specimen


Predicted value of P-wave velocity


Initial value of P-wave velocity


Maximum increment of P-wave velocity


Predicted value of Brazilian tensile strength


Initial value of Brazilian tensile strength


Maximum increment of Brazilian tensile strength


Distance from the rock specimen to the open fire


Model parameter



The research work presented in this paper is in part supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos. 41772305, 51609178, and 51579189), the Nature Science Foundation of Hubei Province (Grant no. 2018CFB593), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant nos. 2015M582273 and 2018T110800). The authors are grateful to these financial supports.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering ScienceWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Rock Mechanics in Hydraulic Structural Engineering, Ministry of EducationWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.School of Civil EngineeringWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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