## Development of a Failure Criterion for Rock Masses Having Non-Orthogonal Fracture Systems

##### Author

Mehrapour, Mohammad Hadi##### Issue Date

2017##### Keywords

Anisotropic behavior of jointed rocksDiscrete Element Method (DEM)

Intermediate principal stress

Particle Flow Code (PFC)

Polyaxial compression test

Rock mass strength criterion

##### Advisor

Kulatilake, Pinnaduwa H. S. W.

##### Metadata

Show full item record##### Publisher

The University of Arizona.##### Rights

Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.##### Embargo

Release after 06-Sep-2019##### Abstract

Two new three-dimensional rock mass strength criteria are developed in this dissertation by extending an existing rock mass strength criterion. These criteria incorporate the effects of the intermediate principal stress, minimum principal stress and the anisotropy resulting from these stresses acting on the fracture system. In addition, these criteria have the capability of capturing the anisotropic and scale dependent behavior of the jointed rock mass strength by incorporating the effect of fracture geometry through the fracture tensor components. Another significant feature of the new rock mass strength criterion which has the exponential functions (equation 6.7) is having only four empirical coefficients compared to the existing strength criterion which has five empirical coefficients; if the joint sets have the same isotropic mechanical behavior, the number of the empirical coefficients reduces to two in this new strength criterion (equation 6.10). The new criteria were proposed after analyzing 452 numerical modeling results of the triaxial, polyaxial and biaxial compression tests conducted on the jointed rock blocks having one or two joint sets by the PFC3D software version 5. In this research to have several samples with the same properties a synthetic rock material that is made out of a mixture of gypsum, sand and water was used. In total, 20 joint systems were chosen and joint sets have different dip angles varying from 15 to 60 at an interval of 15 with dip directions of 30 and 75 for the two joint sets. Each joint set also has 3 persistent joints with the joint spacing of 42 mm in a cubic sample of size 160 mm and the joints have the same isotropic mechanical behavior. The confining stress combination values were chosen based on the uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) value of the modeled intact synthetic rock. The minimum principal stress values were chosen as 0, 20, 40 and 60 percent of the UCS. For each minimum principal stress value, the intermediate principal stress value varies starting at the minimum principal stress value and increasing at an interval of 20 percent of the UCS until it is lower than the strength of the sample under the biaxial loading condition with the same minimum principal stress value. The new rock mass failure criteria were developed from the PFC3D modeling data. However, since the joint sets having the dip angle of 60 intersect the top and bottom boundaries of the sample simultaneously, the joint systems with at least one of the joint sets having the dip angle of 60 were removed from the database. Thus, 284 data points from 12 joint systems were used to find the best values of the empirical coefficients for the new rock mass strength criteria. λ, p and q were found to be 0.675, 3.16 and 0.6, respectively, through a conducted grid analysis with a high R2 (coefficient of determination) value of 0.94 for the new criterion given by equation 6.9 and a and b were found to be 0.404 and 0.972, respectively, through a conducted grid analysis with a high R2 value of 0.92 for the new criterion given by equation 6.10. The research results clearly illustrate how increase of the minimum and intermediate principal stresses and decrease of the joint dip angle, increase the jointed rock block strength. This dissertation also illustrates how different confining stress combinations and joint set dip angles result in different jointed rock mass failure modes such as sliding on the joints, failure through the intact rock and a combination of the intact rock and joint failures. To express the new rock mass strength failure criteria, it was necessary to determine the intact rock strengths under the same confining stress combinations mentioned earlier. Therefore, the intact rock was also modeled for all three compression tests and the intact rock strengths were found for 33 different confining stress combinations. Suitability of six major intact rock failure criteria: Mohr-Coulomb, Hoek-Brown, Modified Lade, Modified Wiebols and Cook, Mogi and Drucker-Prager in representing the intact rock strength was examined through fitting them using the aforementioned 33 PFC3D data points. Among these criteria, Modified Lade, Modified Mogi with power function and Modified Wiebols and Cook were found to be the best failure criteria producing lower Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) values of 0.272, 0.301 and 0.307, respectively. Thus, these three failure criteria are recommended for the prediction of the intact rock strength under the polyaxial stress condition. In PFC unlike the other methods, macro mechanical parameters are not directly used in the model and micro mechanical parameter values applicable between the particles should be calibrated using the macro mechanical properties. Accurate calibration is a difficult or challenging task. This dissertation emphasized the importance of studying the effects of all micro parameter values on the macro mechanical properties before one goes through calibration of the micro parameters in PFC modeling. Important effects of two micro parameters, which have received very little attention, the particle size distribution and the cov of the normal and shear strengths, on the macro properties are clearly illustrated before conducting the said calibration. The intact rock macro mechanical parameter values for the Young’s modulus, uniaxial compression strength (UCS), internal friction angle, cohesion and Poisson's ratio were found by performing 3 uniaxial tests, 3 triaxial tests and 5 Brazilian tests on a synthetic material made out of a mixture of gypsum, sand and water and the joint macro mechanical parameter values were found by conducting 4 uniaxial compression tests and 4 direct shear tests on jointed synthetic rocks with a horizontal joint. Then the micro mechanical properties of the Linear Parallel Bond Model (LPMB) and Modified Smooth Joint Contact Model (MSJCM) were calibrated to represent the intact rock and joints respectively, through the specific procedures explained in this research. The similar results obtained between the 2 polyaxial experiments tests of the intact rock and 11 polyaxial experimental tests of the jointed rock blocks having one joint set and the numerical modeling verified the calibrated micro mechanical properties and further modification of these properties was not necessary. This dissertation also proposes a modification to the Smooth Joint Contact Model (SJCM) to overcome the shortcoming of the SJCM to capture the non-linear behavior of the joint closure varying with the joint normal stress. Modified Smooth Joint Contact Model (MSJCM) uses a linear relation between the joint normal stiffness and the normal contact stress to model the non-linear relation between the joint normal deformation and the joint normal stress observed in the compression joint normal stiffness test. A good agreement obtained between the results from the experimental tests and the numerical modeling of the compression joint normal test shows the accuracy of this new model. Moreover, another shortcoming associated with the SJCM application known as the interlocking problem was solved through this research by proposing a new joint contact implementation algorithm called joint sides checking (JSC) approach. The interlocking problem occurs due to a shortcoming of the updating procedure in the PFC software related to the contact conditions of the particles that lie around the intended joint plane during high shear displacements. This problem increases the joint strength and dilation angle and creates unwanted fractures around the intended joint plane.##### Type

textElectronic Dissertation

##### Degree Name

Ph.D.##### Degree Level

doctoral##### Degree Program

Graduate CollegeMining Geological & Geophysical Engineering