Thermal Fracturing of Hard Rock

[+] Author and Article Information
P. J. Lauriello

Bell Laboratories, Whippany, N. J.

Y. Chen

Department of Mechanics and Materials Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N. J.

J. Appl. Mech 40(4), 909-914 (Dec 01, 1973) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3423186 History: Received August 01, 1972; Revised January 01, 1973; Online July 12, 2010


Thermal fracturing of hard crystalline in situ rock has been studied by solving the quasistatic uncoupled thermoelastic equations for a semi-infinite medium subjected to transient surface heating over a circular area by a constant flux or constant temperature convective heat source. The thermoelastic stress state is related to brittle fracture in rock according to an appropriate form of the Griffith and the modified Griffith theories. The predicted zone of weakening has been experimentally investigated by lasing samples of Barre granite. Measurements of the size of the in-depth fractures correlated well with the predicted results.

Copyright © 1973 by ASME
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