This paper derives from a study of grinding wheel break-up behavior due to impact. The impact fracture characteristics of circular disks of plaster of Paris with a concentric central hole were studied experimentally [1] for three types of loading: (a) when the disks were suspended freely and loaded intensely at one point on their circumference by an explosive detonator; (b) when the disks were allowed to fall under gravity from a certain height on to a rigid base; and (c) when a disk, resting on a rigid base, was struck by a flat ended rigid body which was dropped on to it from a certain height. Quasi-static flattening tests on the disks were also carried out. The paper describes a theoretical investigation into the stress analysis of disks under impact, classifies the relevant damage sustained by them and attempts to unify the “gross” impact fracture patterns which arise in different modes of dynamic loading. The extent of local flattening of the quasi-statically loaded disks before fracture, is also reported. Good correlation between the theory and experimental results is obtained, especially for rings of diameter ratio (Di/D0) of around 0.5.

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