Understanding asteroidal failure through quasi-static compression testing and 3-D digital image correlation of the Aba Panu (L3) chondrite

M. F. Rabbi, L. A. J. Garvie, D. Cotto-Figueroa, E. Asphaug, K. H. Khafagy, S. Datta, A. Chattopadhyay

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Version of Record online: 11 November 2021


“A comprehensive understanding of the mechanical strength and failure mechanisms of asteroids is essential for the development of hazard mitigation strategies and in situ resource extraction. In this study, the Aba Panu (L3) ordinary chondrite meteorite is investigated to understand its failure response under compressive loading. Compression experiments were conducted on ten 1 cm cubes under quasi-static conditions in constant displacement control mode at room temperature. Three-dimensional (3-D) digital image correlation (DIC) was used to measure the full-field deformation and strain. These data were used to determine the elastic modulus and local strain distribution, and investigate the effects of the mineralogical and structural heterogeneity on the crack formation and growth sites. Aba Panu exhibits brittle failure during compression with a range of failure strength from 361.7 to 578.0 MPa. Axial splitting and multiple fracturing occur during the uniaxial compressive state of stress. Ultrasonic tests were used to calculate elastic moduli from sound speeds and compared with the results of L-type ordinary chondrites from the literature. Characterization results from electron microprobe analysis identified different elements and areal distribution of mineral phases and pre-existing cracks. In general, the DIC results did not show correlations between crack initiation and specific mineralogical or textural components in this meteorite, such as chondrules or metals/sulfide grains, suggesting that the pre-existing microcracks and porosity control the Aba Panu failure mechanisms.”