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Numerical evaluation of strength and deformability of fractured rocks
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
Stockholm University.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ISSN 1674-7755, Vol. 5, no 6, 419-430 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Knowledge of the strength and deformability of fractured rocks is important for design, construction andstability evaluation of slopes, foundations and underground excavations in civil and mining engineering.However, laboratory tests of intact rock samples cannot provide information about the strength anddeformation behaviors of fractured rock masses that include many fractures of varying sizes, orientationsand locations. On the other hand, large-scale in situ tests of fractured rock masses are economically costlyand often not practical in reality at present. Therefore, numerical modeling becomes necessary. Numericalpredicting using discrete element methods (DEM) is a suitable approach for such modeling because of theiradvantages of explicit representations of both fractures system geometry and their constitutive behaviorsof fractures, besides that of intact rock matrix. In this study, to generically determine the compressivestrength of fractured rock masses, a series of numerical experiments were performed on two-dimensionaldiscrete fracture network models based on the realistic geometrical and mechanical data of fracturesystems from field mapping. We used the UDEC code and a numerical servo-controlled program forcontrolling the progressive compressive loading process to avoid sudden violent failure of the models.The two loading conditions applied are similar to the standard laboratory testing for intact rock samplesin order to check possible differences caused by such loading conditions. Numerical results show thatthe strength of fractured rocks increases with the increasing confining pressure, and that deformationbehavior of fractured rocks follows elasto-plastic model with a trend of strain hardening. The stresses andstrains obtained from these numerical experiments were used to fit the well-known Mohr-Coulomb (MC)and Hoek-Brown (H-B) failure criteria, represented by equivalent material properties defining thesetwo criteria. The results show that both criteria can provide fair estimates of the compressive strengthsfor all tested numerical models. Parameters of the elastic deformability of fractured models during elasticdeformation stages were also evaluated, and represented as equivalent Young’s modulus and Poisson’sratio as functions of lateral confining pressure. It is the first time that such systematic numerical predictingfor strength of fractured rocks was performed considering different loading conditions, with importantfindings for different behaviors of fractured rock masses, compared with testing intact rock samples undersimilar loading conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 5, no 6, 419-430 p.
Keyword [en]
Strength, Deformability, Fractured rocks, Discrete element methods (DEM), Failure criteria
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155710DOI: 10.1016/j.jrmge.2013.09.002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84901324491OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-155710DiVA: diva2:762150
Note

QC 20141112

Available from: 2014-11-10 Created: 2014-11-10 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Strength and deformability of fractured rocks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strength and deformability of fractured rocks
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents a systematic numerical modeling framework to simulate the stress-deformation and coupled stress-deformation-flow processes by performing uniaxial and biaxial compressive tests on fractured rock models with considering the effects of different loading conditions, different loading directions (anisotropy), and coupled hydro-mechanical processes for evaluating strength and deformability behavior of fractured rocks. By using code UDEC of discrete element method (DEM), a series of numerical experiments were conducted on discrete fracture network models (DFN) at an established representative elementary volume (REV), based on realistic geometrical and mechanical data of fracture systems from field mapping at Sellafield, UK. The results were used to estimate the equivalent Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio and to fit the Mohr-Coulomb and Hoek-Brown failure criteria, represented by equivalent material properties defining these two criteria.

The results demonstrate that strength and deformation parameters of fractured rocks are dependent on confining pressures, loading directions, water pressure, and mechanical and hydraulic boundary conditions. Fractured rocks behave nonlinearly, represented by their elasto-plastic behavior with a strain hardening trend. Fluid flow analysis in fractured rocks under hydro-mechanical loading conditions show an important impact of water pressure on the strength and deformability parameters of fractured rocks, due to the effective stress phenomenon, but the values of stress and strength reduction may or may not equal to the magnitude of water pressure, due to the influence of fracture system complexity. Stochastic analysis indicates that the strength and deformation properties of fractured rocks have ranges of values instead of fixed values, hence such analyses should be considered especially in cases where there is significant scatter in the rock and fracture parameters. These scientific achievements can improve our understanding of fractured rocks’ hydro-mechanical behavior and are useful for the design of large-scale in-situ experiments with large volumes of fractured rocks, considering coupled stress-deformation-flow processes in engineering practice. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. xvi, 97 p.
Series
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2014:07
Keyword
Fractured crystalline rocks, Numerical experiments, Discrete element methods (DEM), Discrete fracture network (DFN), Representative elementary volume (REV), Coupled hydro-mechanical processes, Anisotropy, Effective stress, Failure criteria, Stochastic realizations
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155719 (URN)978-91-7595-324-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-11-25, F3, Lindstedsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20141111

Available from: 2014-11-11 Created: 2014-11-10 Last updated: 2014-11-11Bibliographically approved

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