The purpose of the paper is to describe a damage constitutive model adopted for the description of the nonlinear mechanical behaviour of brittle rocks subjected to different stress paths. The main feature of the model consists in the introduction of a damage tensor which allows for representing stress induced anisotropy effects related to anisotropic crack development and propagation.

The model is used first for the simulation of testing of a hollow cylinder, loaded from the outer boundary. Then, consideration is given to borehole stability, when studying the creation of a circular cavity in a rock mass under a hydrostatic stress field. In both cases, the solution of the problem is attained by using a numerical procedure for the integration of the equilibrium equations. It is shown how the results are dependent upon the stress path associated with the specific problem being analyzed.

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