Anisotropy in the mechanical properties of rock is often attributed to layering or mineral texture. Here, results from a study on mode I fracturing are presented that examine the effect of layering and mineral orientation fracture toughness and roughness. Additively manufactured gypsum rock was created through 3D printing with bassanite/gypsum. The 3D printing process enabled control of the orientation of the mineral texture within the printed layers. Three-point bending (3PB) experiments were performed on the 3D printed rock with a central notch. Unlike cast gypsum, the 3D-printed gypsum exhibited ductile post-peak behavior in all cases. The experiments also showed that the mode I fracture toughness and surface roughness of the induced fracture depended on both the orientation of the bedding relative to the load and the orientation of the mineral texture relative to the layering. This study found that mineral texture orientation, chemical bond strength and layer orientation play dominant roles in the formation of mode I fractures. The uniqueness of the induced fracture roughness is a potential method for the assessment of bonding strengths in rock.

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