A bonded particle model simulation of shear strength and asperity degradation for rough rock fractures
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Different failure modes during fracture shearing have been introduced including normal dilation or sliding, asperity cut-off and degradation. Attempts have been made to study these mechanisms using analytical, experimental and numerical methods. However, the majority of the existing models simplify the problem, which leads to unrealistic results. With this in mind, the aim of this paper is to simulate the mechanical behaviour of synthetic and rock fracture profiles during direct shear tests by using the two-dimensional particle flow computer code PFC2D. Correlations between the simulated peak shear strength and the fracture roughness parameter DR1 recently proposed by Rasouli and Harrison (2010) are developed. Shear test simulations are carried out with PFC2D and the effects of the geometrical features as well as the model micro-properties on the fracture shear behaviour are studied. The shear strength and asperity degradation processes of synthetic profiles including triangular, sinusoidal and randomly generated profiles are analysed. Different failure modes including asperity sliding, cut-off, and asperity degradation are explicitly observed and compared with the available models. The DR1 parameter is applied to the analysis of synthetic and rock fracture profiles. Accordingly, correlations are developed between DR1 and the peak shear strength obtained from simulations and by using analytical solutions. The results are shown to be in good agreement with the basic understanding of rock fracture shear behaviour and asperity contact degradation.
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