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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 7, Number 4, October 2014 , pages 375-401

Impact of rock microstructures on failure processes - Numerical study based on DIP technique
Qinglei Yu, Wancheng Zhu, Chun'an Tang and Tianhong Yang

    It is generally accepted that material heterogeneity has a great influence on the deformation, strength, damage and failure modes of rock. This paper presents numerical simulation on rock failure process based on the characterization of rock heterogeneity by using a digital image processing (DIP) technique. The actual heterogeneity of rock at mesoscopic scale (characterized as minerals) is retrieved by using a vectorization transformation method based on the digital image of rock surface, and it is imported into a well-established numerical code Rock Failure Process Analysis (RFPA), in order to examine the effect of rock heterogeneity on the rock failure process. In this regard, the numerical model of rock could be built based on the actual characterization of the heterogeneity of rock at the meso-scale. Then, the images of granite are taken as an example to illustrate the implementation of DIP technique in simulating the rock failure process. Three numerical examples are presented to demonstrate the impact of actual rock heterogeneity due to spatial distribution of constituent mineral grains (e.g., feldspar, quartz and mica) on the macro-scale mechanical response, and the associated rock failure mechanism at the meso-scale level is clarified. The numerical results indicate that the shape and distribution of constituent mineral grains have a pronounced impact on stress distribution and concentration, which may further control the failure process of granite. The proposed method provides an efficient tool for studying the mechanical behaviors of heterogeneous rock and rock-like materials whose failure processes are strongly influenced by material heterogeneity.
Key Words
    rock heterogeneity; digital image processing (DIP) technique; rock failure mechanism; numerical simulation
(1) Qinglei Yu, Wancheng Zhu, Tianhong Yang:
Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education on Safe Mining of Deep Metal Mines, Northeastern University, Shenyang, 110819, China;
(2) Qinglei Yu, Wancheng Zhu, Tianhong Yang:
Center for Rock Instability and Seismicity Research, Northeastern University, Shenyang, 110819, China;
(3) Chun'an Tang:
Center for Rock Instability and Seismicity Research, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China.

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