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Title: Influence of grain size on strength of polymineralic crystalline rock : new insights from DEM grain-based modeling
Authors: Peng, Jun
Wong, Louis Ngai Yuen
Teh, Cee Ing
Keywords: Engineering::Civil engineering
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Peng, J., Wong, L. N. Y. & Teh, C. I. (2021). Influence of grain size on strength of polymineralic crystalline rock : new insights from DEM grain-based modeling. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 13(4), 755-766.
Project: RG112/14
Journal: Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Abstract: Grain size effect on rock strength is a topic of great interest in geotechnical engineering. A consensus obtained from earlier laboratory tests is that rock strength generally decreases with the increase of grain size for both silicate and carbonate rocks; however, some recent numerical results conflict with such laboratory test results. To address this intriguing issue, the effect of grain size on strength of polymineralic crystalline rock with low porosity is investigated numerically using the grain-based modeling (GBM) approach in discrete element method (DEM) by interpreting micro-cracking process in response to loading. In agreement with some previous DEM simulation results, the simulated rock strength is found to increase with increasing grain size for both homogeneous and heterogeneous models, even when the number of assembled disks in one mineral grain changes. The mechanism of strength increase with increasing grain size is mainly associated with the number of assembled smooth-joint contacts along grain interfaces and the generation of grain boundary cracks in response to loading. The grain interfaces significantly weaken the integrity of the rock model, which is similar to effects of inherent defects in real rock. As the grain size increases, fewer grain interfaces are built in the model and the rock strength becomes much higher. Hence, by solely changing the mineral grain size in a model, the mechanism of grain size effect as observed in laboratory tests cannot be replicated. To address this issue, a method of degradation of grain boundary strength parameters is used to mimic the possible mechanism of grain size effect. The simulated strength using the method becomes comparable with those obtained from laboratory tests when the heterogeneity in the rock is considered. Degradation of grain boundary parameters with increasing grain size provides a plausible explanation for the grain size effect on rock strength.
ISSN: 1674-7755
DOI: 10.1016/j.jrmge.2021.01.011
Rights: ©2021 Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Production and hosting byElsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:CEE Journal Articles

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