Crack interaction with an interface in laminated elastic media

B. Nuller, M. Ryvkin, A. Chudnovsky, J. W. Dudley, G. K. Wong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper presents the exact solution of the linear elastic problem of crack interaction with an interface in a laminated media, and application of the solution to the problem of hydraulic fracture confinement. The effect of an interface on hydraulic fracture confinement in a laminated (stratified) medium has been addressed in a number of analytical and experimental investigations since the early 1960s. The problem of crack interaction with a bimaterial interface, that includes an identification of the power of the stress singularity and evaluation of the stress intensity factor (SIF), is conventionally reduced to a solution of singular integral equations. Numerical techniques are commonly employed in solving the problem. However, numerical solutions of a singular integral equation have in general certain limitations that can lead to numerical errors. Particularly, a recently published solution of the crack interaction with an interface presented in graphic form and tables convenient for applications contains significant numerical errors. The exact (analytical) solution of the problem presented in this paper has been obtained by means of the Weiner-Hopf method. An asymptotic representation of the stress field around the crack tip in a vicinity of an interface is extracted from the exact solution. Particularly, the SIF Green's function due to the unit double force applied at the crack faces is derived for arbitrary distance ϵ of the crack tip from the interface. This paper also introduces an interface toughness index (ITC) χ reflect the potential fracture confinement by the interface. ITC characterizes the crack approach to the interface as stable if χ > 1 (K1 → 0 with ϵ → 0), or unstable if χ < 1 (K1 → ∞ with e → 0). The interface toughness index χ is a function of both the shear moduli and Poisson's ratios of the materials on both sides of the interface. The stability conditions are different from those published previously. An experimental investigation of this proposition is outlined and various scenarios of fracture propagation and confinement based on crack stability analysis and stress distribution in the vicinity of the crack tip on both sides of the interface are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDC Rocks 2001 - 38th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics (USRMS)
Editors Elsworth, Tinucci, Heasley
PublisherAmerican Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9026518277, 9789026518270
StatePublished - 2001
Event38th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, DC Rocks 2001 - Washington, United States
Duration: 7 Jul 200110 Jul 2001

Publication series

NameDC Rocks 2001 - 38th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics (USRMS)


Conference38th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, DC Rocks 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited States


FundersFunder number


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