3D numerical analysis of crack propagation of heterogeneous notched rock under uniaxial tension

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Tectonophysics, 2016, 677-678, pp. 45-67
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Macroscopic notches play an important role in evaluating the fracture process zone (FPZ) and the strengths of a heterogeneous rock mass. Crack initiation, propagation and coalescence for unnotched, single-notched and double-notched rock specimens are numerically simulated in a 3-D numerical model (RFPA3D). A feature of the code RFPA3D is that it can numerically simulate the evolution of cracks in three-dimensional space, as well as the heterogeneity of the rock mass. For the unnotched case, special attention is given to the complete stress–strain curve and the corresponding AE events for the failure process of rock specimen. By comparing with published experimental results, the simulation results from RFPA3D are found to be satisfactory. For the single-notched case, the effect of the length and the depth of the single notch and the thickness of the specimen on the failure mode and peak stress are evaluated. The 3D FPZ is very different from that in two dimensions. For the double-notched case, the effects of the separation distance and overlap distance of the double notches, as well as influence of the homogeneity index (m) are also investigated. As the overlap distance increases, the direction of the principal tensile stress at each notch-end changes from a perpendicular direction (tensile stress field) to a nearly parallel direction (compressive stress field), which affects the evolution of the cracks from the two notches.
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