Rock Mechanics Department, School of Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Assessment of the correlation between rock brittleness and rock fracture toughness has been the subject of extensive research works in the recent years. Unfortunately, the brittleness measurement methods have not yet been standardized, and rock fracture toughness cannot be estimated satisfactorily by the proposed indices. In the present study, statistical analyses are performed on some data collected from the literature to develop two equations for estimation of modes I and II fracture toughness. Then a probabilistic sensitivity analysis is performed to determine the impact of the input parameters on the output ones. Based on the results obtained for the probabilistic analysis, a new empirical brittleness index including tensile strength, uniaxial compressive strength, and elastic modulus is suggested for estimating modes I and II fracture toughness. The analyses results reveal that the proposed index is capable of estimating rock fracture toughness with more satisfactory correlation compared to the previous indices.