Experimental Study of the Dynamic Shear Response of Rocks Using a Modified Punch Shear Method

  • Ying Xu
  • Wei Yao
  • Kaiwen XiaEmail author
  • Hamed. O. Ghaffari
Original Paper


Cohesion and internal friction angle are the two material parameters used in the Coulomb model to predict rock failure in many rock engineering applications. Although these two parameters have been extensively quantified under static conditions using the direct shear or the triaxial compression methods, the effect of dynamic loading on these parameters is not yet clear. A dynamic punch shear method was proposed by Huang et al. (Rev Sci Instrum 82:053901., 2011) to measure the dynamic cohesion of rocks, and the dependence of cohesion on the loading rate has been revealed. To further investigate the effect of dynamic loading on the internal friction angle and thus the complete dynamic shear response of rocks, this method is extended in this study to include the normal stress by applying lateral confinement to a disc specimen. The confinement is realized by enclosing the specimen assembly in a 1.5 inch diameter Hoek cell. The dynamic load is applied by a split Hopkinson pressure bar system, which is modified to ensure that the specimen assembly remains intact in the Hoek cell during pressurization by applying a static axial pre-stress. Three groups of green sandstone specimens under confinements of 0, 10 and 20 MPa are tested with different loading rates. The results show that the dynamic shear strength exhibits significant rate dependency and it thus increases with the loading rate and the normal stress. The dynamic cohesion increases with the loading rate, while the internal friction angle remains constant.


Dynamic shear strength Coulomb criterion Punch shear method SHPB Stress equilibrium Green sandstone 

List of Symbols


Green sandstone


International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering


Material test system


Punch shear


Punch through shear


Split Hopkinson pressure bar


Block punch index


Cross-sectional area of bars (mm2)


Thickness of the punch shear specimen (mm)


Cohesion of rock (MPa)


Diameter of the bars (mm)


Young’s modulus of the bars (GPa)


Total force on incident end of the punch shear specimen (N)


Total force on transmitted end of the punch shear specimen (N)


Force on incident end of the punch shear specimen due to stress wave (N)


Force on transmitted end of the punch shear specimen due to stress wave (N)


Hydrostatic confining pressure (MPa)

\({\tau _{\text{s}}}\)

Shear strength of the green sandstone specimen (MPa)


One dimensional stress wave speed of the bar (m/s)


Velocity of the striker (m/s)


Density of the bars (kg/m3)


Normal stress applied on the specimen shear surface (MPa)


Axial pre-stress (MPa)


Coefficient of internal friction


Internal friction angle of rock (°)


Incident wave in strain


Reflected wave in strain


Transmitted wave in strain

\(\dot {\tau }\)

Loading rate of the dynamic punch shear test (GPa/s)


Fitting parameter



This work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 51704211) and Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin (no. 16JCQNJC07800). K.X. acknowledges financial support by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through Discovery Grant no. 72031326.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydraulic Engineering Simulation and Safety, School of Civil EngineeringTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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