A Unified Constitutive Model for Rock Based on Newly Modified GZZ Criterion

Haohua Chen, Hehua Zhu, Lianyang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper proposes a unified constitutive model for rock based on the newly modified generalized Zhang-Zhu (GZZ) criterion. The constitutive model adopts a non-associated plastic flow rule and a continuous potential function that takes the three effective principal stresses into account. To reflect strain-softening, strain-hardening, and elastic-perfectly plastic behavior of rock in a unified way, a general expression is proposed to model the post-failure behavior of rock using the deviatoric plastic shear strain as the fundamental variable. The proposed constitutive model has been successfully implemented in a 3D finite-difference code and validated using it to simulate the true triaxial test of two types of rocks and comparing the simulation results with the experimental data. Finally, a 3D numerical model based on the proposed constitutive model is constructed to simulate a highway rock tunnel during construction. The results show that the predicted displacements of the rock tunnel are in good agreement with the field measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • 3D hoek–brown criterion
  • Constitutive model
  • Rock
  • Strain-hardening
  • Strain-softening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

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