AbstractsEarth & Environmental Science

Bonded-particle Modeling of Thermally Induced Damage in Rock

by Toivo Wanne

Institution: University of Toronto
Year: 2009
Keywords: coupled modeling; thermo-mechanical simulation; bonded-particle modeling; damage; brittle rock
Record ID: 1846628
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17840


The objective of the research presented in this thesis is to validate the parallel-bonded modeling method in the context of coupled thermo-mechanical simulations. The simulation results were compared with analytical and experimental data, in the attempt to assess the usability of this particular modeling method. Previous studies of numerical approaches that related to the thermal fracturing of hard rock had used continuum-based models with constitutive relations. The simulations in the thesis were conducted using Particle Flow Code (PFC) which was chosen for the research because of its several benefits. The code has unique features such as spontaneous damage development without imposed conditions, and emergent properties such as material heterogeneity, and dynamic behavior giving possibility to monitor synthetic seismic events. The basic code has been available since 1995 and research using the code has produced hundreds of publications. The thermal option for the code is a recent addition and lacked verification, validation and applications. The thesis is the answer for that. In the course of the research work new particle clustering and grouping routines were developed and tested. Three modeling studies were conducted varying from laboratory to field scales. The 2D modeling study of the heated cylinder experiment yielded similar results both in fracture-behavioral and acoustic emission (AE) magnitude ranges when compared with the laboratory data. The 3D cubic numerical specimens, created with breakable particle clusters, were heated, and the induced damage was observed by P wave velocity measurements. The results showed trends comparable to the laboratory data: P wave velocity decreases with rising temperatures of up to 250°C and cluster-boundary cracking occurs, comparable to grain-boundary cracking in the heated rock samples. The large 2D tunnel models captured the phenomena observed in-situ displaying the difference in the damage to the roof and floor regions, respectively. This damage was due to the filling material confinement of about 100 kPa on the tunnel floor. In general, the results of the thermo-mechanical simulations were in accordance with the experimental data. The modeled temperature evolutions during the heating and cooling periods were also in accordance with the experimental and analytical data.