Tensile strength of rock samples is measured by direct and indirect tensile tests in accordance with standard guidelines. Due to the difficulties in performing direct tensile test, the indirect tensile (Brazilian) test is conventionally carried out to obtain the ultimate tensile strength. A limited number of studies have been conducted to investigate the role of sample size (length to diameter ratio = L/D) in the stress distribution of the Brazilian test using numerical and analytical methods. These investigations showed that the tensile stress distribution along the loading diameter is not uniform. They also indicated that the difference between the tensile stress at the middle part and at the sides of the sample with higher L/D ratio is greater than that in the other samples.

The objective of this study is to show the effect of tensile stress distribution on the fracture surface created by the Brazilian test from a morphological point of view on the samples with different L/D ratio. Hence, a series of fracture surfaces created using the Brazilian tests on the rock samples with L/D of 0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.25 and 1.5 were investigated.

In this study, all fracture surfaces were scanned by a 3D laser profilommeter. A number of roughness profiles parallel and perpendicular to loading axis have been selected from the samples with different L/D ratio and spacing of 1 mm. The results show that the roughness of the profiles perpendicular to the loading axis increases with an increase of L/D ratio, while the roughness of the profiles parallel to the loading axis decreases. Furthermore, some roughness profiles parallel to the loading axis were chosen and divided into three segments. The results revealed that the segment in adjacent to the upper loading platen possesses higher roughness than the other segments.

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