The size effect in brittle fracture of rock-type materials is studied by conducting a comprehensive experimental program with concrete specimens of different sizes from materials with different aggregates. Fracture behavior in single edge notched specimens subjected to forces, splitting and compressive along the plane, under displacement control conditions is observed. Based on experimental data and numerical analysis, the stress intensity factor and energy release rate, KIC and GIC, are obtained at the onset and in the course of crack growth. It is established that: (1) the fracture toughness to crack initiation weakly increases with increase in specimen and aggregate sizes; (2) the toughness significantly increases with fracture length. These trends are attributed interaction of crack surfaces (aggregate interlock effect) due to the presence of compressive force along the crack plane. A model of the interlock effect is discussed.
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