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Computers and Concrete
  Volume 19, Number 1, January 2017, pages 099-110

Effect of normal load on the crack propagation from pre-existing joints using Particle Flow Code (PFC)
Hadi Haeri, Vahab Sarfarazi and Zheming Zhu

    In this paper, the effect of normal load on the failure mechanism of echelon joint has been studied using PFC2D. In the first step, calibration of PFC was undertaken with respect to the data obtained from experimental laboratory tests. Then, six different models consisting various echelon joint were prepared and tested under two low and high normal loads. Furthermore, validation of the simulated models were cross checked with the results of direct shear tests performed on non-persistent jointed physical models. The simulations demonstrated that failure patterns were mostly influenced by normal loading, while the shear strength was linked to failure mechanism. When ligament angle is less than 90o, the stable crack growth length is increased by increasing the normal loading. In this condition, fish eyes failure pattern occur in rock bridge. With higher ligament angles, the rock bridge was broken under high normal loading. Applying higher normal loading increases the number of fracture sets while dilation angle and mean orientations of fracture sets with respect to ligament direction will be decreased.
Key Words
    particle flow code; rock bridge angle; normal load; shear and tensile cracks
Hadi Haeri: Young Researchers and Elite Club, Bafgh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Bafgh, Iran
Vahab Sarfarazi: Department of Mining Engineering, Hamedan University of Technology, Hamedan, Iran
Zheming Zhu: College of Architecture and Environment, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China

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