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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR NUMERICAL AND ANALYTICAL METHODS IN GEOMECHANICS

Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234


Published online 23 April 2007 in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI: 10.1002/nag.619
Determining elastic constants of transversely isotropic rocks using
Brazilian test and iterative procedure
Yen-Chin Chou
1,
and Chao-Shi Chen
2,,,
1
Department of Resources Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, No. 1, Da-syue Road, Tainan City
70101, Taiwan, Republic of China
2
Sustainable Environment Research Center, National Cheng Kung University, No. 1, Da-syue Road, Tainan City
70101, Taiwan, Republic of China
SUMMARY
The elastic constants of rocks are the basic parameters for rock mechanics, and play a very important role
in engineering design. There are many laboratory methods to determine the elastic constants of transversely
isotropic rocks, and the Brazilian test is a popular method. This paper presented a method combination
of the Brazilian test, back calculation, and iterative procedure to evaluate the ve independent elastic
constants of transversely isotropic rocks in laboratory. The strain data at the centre of discs were obtained
using Brazilian test. The stresses at the centre of discs were computed using numerical programs. By
using back calculation, the temporary elastic constants were computed after the stresses and stains were
substituted into elastic mechanics equations. After iterative procedure, the convergent values of the elastic
constants can be obtained. One numerical example and three experimental cases were proposed to show
the applicability of this method. The convergent values of the ve independent elastic constants can be
obtained in no more than 10 iterative cycles. The results coming from numerical analysis method exhibited
satisfactory outcome in accordance with those of generalized reduced gradient method. The merits of
this method include convenient specimen preparation of the Brazilian test, simple iterative procedure,
and readily available commercially numerical programs, so that this method can be easily popularized in
research and engineering analysis. Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Received 9 November 2006; Revised 9 March 2007; Accepted 9 March 2007
KEY WORDS: transversely isotropic rock; elastic constants; Brazilian test; stress concentration factor;
iterative procedure

Correspondence to: Chao-Shi Chen, Sustainable Environment Research Center, National Cheng Kung University,
No. 1, Da-syue Road, Tainan City 70101, Taiwan, Republic of China.

E-mail: chencs@mail.ncku.edu.tw

Ph.D. Candidate.

Associate Professor.
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
220 Y.-C. CHOU AND C.-S. CHEN
INTRODUCTION
Many rocks exposed near Earths surface show well-dened fabric elements in the form of bedding,
stratication, layering, foliation, ssuring, or jointing. In general, these rocks have properties
(physical, dynamic, thermal, mechanical, and hydraulic) that vary with direction and are said to
be inherently anisotropic.
Rock anisotropic property plays an important role in various engineering activities. Evaluating
anisotropic mechanical properties helps predicting the behaviour of rock materials in analysis,
design, and construction, and improves the quality and safety. Elastic constants of anisotropic
rocks affect deformation analysis and design in engineering. It is important to estimate the elastic
constants of anisotropic rocks, rapidly and accurately.
Anisotropy is generally simplied to be orthotropic or transversely isotropic in engineering
analysis and research. In dealing with engineering analysis and research of transversely isotropic
rocks, the following ve constants, Youngs modulus E and Poisson ratio v of isotropic plane, and
Youngs modulus E

, Poisson ratio v

, and shear modulus G

of anisotropy, should be taken into


account.
There are several methods including in situ tests, laboratory tests, and numerical analysis methods
to evaluate elastic constants of rocks. The tests in laboratory can be divided into dynamic and
static methods. The dynamic methods include the resonant bar method and the ultrasonic pulse
method. Dynamic elastic constants E
d
, t
d
, and G
d
of isotropic rocks can be evaluated by using the
resonant bar method [1] and the ultrasonic pulse method [2]. The ve independent elastic constants
of transversely isotropic rocks can be evaluated by using the ultrasonic pulse method [3], and the
restriction is that the transversely isotropic plane has to be parallel to the longitudinal axis of the
specimen.
The static methods include the uniaxial compression test, conventional triaxial compression
test, true triaxial compression test, hollow cylinder test, bending test, torsion test, and diametral
compression test (Brazilian test). The uniaxial compression test [46], true triaxial compression
test [7, 8], hollow cylinder test [9, 10], and Brazilian test [11] have been employed to evaluate the
elastic constants of anisotropic rocks. The elastic constants of anisotropic rocks can be computed
by substituting loading force and strain data recorded in testing into stressstrain equations. To
evaluate the ve independent elastic constants of transversely isotropic rocks, two cylindrical spec-
imens with one loading direction are needed in uniaxial compression test. Two cubic specimens
with three loading directions are needed in true triaxial compression test. Two hollow cylindrical
specimens with two types of loading condition are needed in hollow cylinder test. And two discs
with one loading direction are needed in Brazilian test. The numbers and geometry of specimens
and types of loading condition needed in these methods are listed in Table I for comparison. Under
Table I. Comparison of specimens needed in tests applied to evaluate elastic constants
of transversely isotropic rocks.
Number of Type of loading for
Test Type of specimen specimen each specimen
Uniaxial compression Cylinder 2 1
True triaxial compression Cube 2 3
Hollow cylinder Hollow cylinder 2 2
Brazilian Disc 2 1
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
ELASTIC CONSTANTS OF TRANSVERSELY ISOTROPIC ROCKS 221
Figure 1. Brazilian disc under diametral loading.
such scenario, the diametral compression test (Brazilian test) seems to be the easiest method for
specimen preparation and experimental procedure, and for which the analysis of the test results is
relatively straightforward among those testing methods.
As far as deformability is concerned, Hondros [12] used the Brazilian test method to determine
Youngs modulus and Poissons ratio of concrete material, which was assumed to be isotropic. In
1979, Pinto [13] extended the method proposed by Hondros [12] to evaluate elastic constants of
anisotropic rocks, and conducted the Brazilian test on discs of schist. Closed-form solutions were
derived to relate the elastic constants of an anisotropic rock in a disc under diametral compression
(Figure 1) to the strains at the disc centre. It was assumed that the stress concentration at the centre
of a disc of an anisotropic rock was the same as that of isotropic rock. This assumption is correct
only if the disc surface is parallel to a transversely isotropic plane. In all other cases, however,
anisotropy needs to be taken into account. In 1983, Amadei [4] revised Pintos procedure and
successfully calculated the stress distribution of a disc of anisotropic rock by using the complex
variable function method. Amadei et al. [14] indicated that the stress concentration factors (SCFs)
in a disc of anisotropic rock are affected by E/E

(ratio of isotropic and anisotropic Youngs


modulus), E/G

(ratio of isotropic Youngs modulus and anisotropic shear modulus), : (half-


loading angle, Figure 1) and (inclination angle of transversely isotropic plane to horizontal
plane, Figure 2). In 1998, Chen et al. [11] combined the Brazilian test, complex variable function
method, and generalized reduced gradient (GRG) method to calculate the ve independent elastic
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
222 Y.-C. CHOU AND C.-S. CHEN
Figure 2. Geometry of anisotropic disc.
constants of transversely isotropic rocks. Chen et al. [11] developed a computer program and
pointed out that the stress distributions of a disc are affected seriously by the inclination angle of
the transversely isotropic plane to the horizontal plane.
Although the ve independent elastic constants of transversely isotropic rocks can be successfully
calculated by using the method proposed by Chen et al. [11], the theorem and mathematical
computation procedure are really complex. There are no commercial programs developed by using
the GRG method till now. It is hard to popularize this method without the original computer
codes developed by Chen et al. [11]. It will take a long time and is uneconomical to code a new
program for engineering analysis application because of the complexity of theorem. This paper
developed a method of combining the Brazilian test, a numerical program (e.g. nite difference
program, nite element program or boundary element program), and an iterative procedure to
determine the elastic constants of anisotropic rocks in the laboratory. Merits of this approach
are convenient preparation of the Brazilian test, simple iteration procedure, and readily available
commercial numerical programs. It will be easier to popularize this procedure, in engineering
analysis.
THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
Elastic anisotropic theorem
Consider a thin disc of a linearly elastic, homogeneous, continuous, and transversely isotropic
medium with the geometry shown in Figure 2. The disc has a thickness t and a diameter D. Let
x, y, and z be the three axes of a global Cartesian co-ordinate system and the z-axis is dened as
the longitudinal axis of the disc. A local co-ordinate system x

is attached to the plane of


the transversely isotropic medium. The x

-axis is perpendicular to the plane, the y

- and z

-axes
are contained within the plane and the z

-axis coincides with the z-axis. The angle is dened as


Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
ELASTIC CONSTANTS OF TRANSVERSELY ISOTROPIC ROCKS 223
the inclination angle between the plane of transverse isotropy and the x-axis. Then a generalized
plane stress formulation was used. The constitutive law is expressed as
_

_
c
x
c
y

xy
_

_
=
_
_
_
_
a
11
a
12
a
16
a
12
a
22
a
26
a
16
a
26
a
66
_

_
_

_
o
x
o
y
t
xy
_

_
(1)
where c
x
, c
y
, and
xy
are the strain components of any point in the disc; o
x
, o
y
, and t
xy
are
the stress components of any point in the disc; a
11
, a
12
, . . . , a
66
are the compliance components
calculated in the x, y co-ordinate system. These components vary with the angle and the elastic
constants in the x

co-ordinate system. For a transversely isotropic medium, E, v, E

, v

,
and G

are the ve independent elastic constants. E and E

are Youngs moduli in the plane of


transverse isotropy and in a direction perpendicular to it, respectively. v and v

are Poissons ratios


characterizing the lateral strain response in the plane of transverse isotropy to a stress acting parallel
and perpendicular to it, respectively. G

is the shear modulus in the plane that is perpendicular to


the plane of transverse isotropy. In Equation (1), a
11
, a
12
, . . . , a
66
are independent of v and are
affected by E, E

, v

, and G

. For a Brazilian disc of transverse isotropy, Amadei [4] proposed the


expression of a
i j
as
a
11
=
sin
4

+
cos
4

E
+
sin
2
2
4
_
1
G


2v

_
a
12
=
sin
2
2
4
_
1
E

+
1
E

1
G

_
cos
4
+ sin
4

_
a
16
=sin 2
__
sin
2


cos
2

E
_
+
_
1
2G

_
cos 2
_
a
22
=
cos
4

+
sin
4

E
+
sin
2
2
4
_
1
G


2v

_
a
26
=sin 2
__
cos
2


sin
2

E
_

_
1
2G

_
cos 2
_
a
66
=sin
2
2
_
1
E

+
1
E
+
2v

_
+
cos
2
2
G

(2)
where is the inclination angle of transverse isotropy; E and E

are Youngs moduli of isotropic


plane and transversely isotropic plane, respectively; v

is Poissons ratio of transversely isotropic


plane; and G

is the shear modulus of transversely isotropic plane.


If a disc with diameter D and thickness t is loaded by force W, the stresses o
x
, o
y
, and t
xy
can be written as the form of SCFs q
xx
, q
yy
, and q
xy
shown as [14]:
o
x
=
W
Dt
q
xx
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
224 Y.-C. CHOU AND C.-S. CHEN
o
y
=
W
Dt
q
yy
t
xy
=
W
Dt
q
xy
(3)
By substituting Equation (3) into Equation (1) and moving the constant from the right-hand side
to the left-hand side, Equation (1) can be rewritten as
Dt
W
_

_
c
x
c
y

xy
_

_
=
_
_
_
_
a
11
a
12
a
16
a
12
a
22
a
26
a
16
a
26
a
66
_

_
_

_
q
xx
q
yy
q
xy
_

_
(4)
Numerical program
It is important in this paper to obtain strain values and SCFs. Strain values can be recorded from
the strain gauge on Brazilian discs in test, and SCFs can be calculated from stresses obtained by
using numerical simulation.
The three well-known and popular numerical analysis methods are nite difference method
(FDM), nite element method (FEM), and boundary element method (BEM). These methods are
developed from elastic law, geometry law, constitutive law, and equilibrium equations. Through
discrete procedure, the boundary value problems can be simplied to nite meshes that are made
up of elements and nodes. The stresses of interest in this paper can thus be obtained through the
numerical simulation.
There are many useful commercial numerical programs like FDM software FLAC, FEM software
ANSYS, and BEM software GPBEST. In this paper, FLAC and ANSYS were adopted, and a BEM
code developed by one author of this paper, named BEM-code [11], was used to obtain the stress
state at the centre of the Brazilian disc in numerical simulation.
Iterative procedure
To evaluate the ve independent elastic constants of transversely isotropic rocks, back calculation
and iterative procedure were used. The operation sequences of iterative procedure were described
as follows, and the owchart is shown in Figure 3.
(a) Prepare a Brazilian disc specimen (disc type N) with central axis perpendicular to the plane
of transversely isotropy. The disc had a thickness t and a diameter D, and was loaded by the force
W. The strains c
0
, c
45
, and c
90
at the centre of disc can be recorded from the 04590 strain gauge
rosettes in the Brazilian test, and were transformed into c
x
, c
y
, and
xy
by using Equation (5). The
elastic constants E and v of isotropic plane can be computed by substituting strains c
x
and c
y
into
Equation (6) [12]:
_

_
c
x
c
y

xy
_

_
=
_
_
_
_
1 0 0
0 0 1
1 2 1
_

_
_

_
c
0
c
45
c
90
_

_
(5)
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
ELASTIC CONSTANTS OF TRANSVERSELY ISOTROPIC ROCKS 225
Figure 3. Flow chart of iteration.
E =
16W
Dt (3c
y
+ c
x
)
(6)
v =
3c
x
+ c
y
3c
y
+ c
x
where W is the loading force; c
x
and c
y
are the strains in the x and y directions, respectively.
(b) Prepare a Brazilian disc specimen (disc type P) with the central axis parallel to the transversely
isotropic plane with inclination angle that varied from the horizontal axis, thickness t , and
diameter D. The disc was loaded under force W. The strains c
x
, c
y
, and
xy
at the centre of the
disc were obtained by using Equation (5), and the strains c
0
, c
45
, and c
90
were recorded from the
04590 strain gauge rosettes in test. Then the strains c
x
, c
y
, and
xy
can be transformed into
c
x
Dt /W, c
y
Dt /W, and
xy
Dt /W.
(c) Assume an initial set of SCFs q
xx
, q
yy
, and q
xy
at the centre of disc. The initial values of
SCFs can be any real number. As pointed out by Amadei [15] that in general intact rocks are not
too strongly anisotropic compared to other engineering materials, the initial values of SCFs were
respectively set to be 2, 6, and 0 which are identical to the SCFs of isotropic disc in this paper
for efcient computation.
(d) The temporary E

, v

, and G

can be computed by using back calculation, after the normalized


strains, c
x
Dt /W, c
y
Dt /W, and
xy
Dt /W, and SCFs, q
xx
, q
yy
, and q
xy
were substituted into
Equation (4).
(e) The elastic constants E, v, E

, v

, and G

obtained from previous steps were applied in


numerical simulation of the Brazilian test by using commercial numerical programs. A new set of
stresses o
x
, o
y
, and t
xy
at the centre of the disc was computed.
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
226 Y.-C. CHOU AND C.-S. CHEN
(f) By substituting the stresses o
x
, o
y
, and t
xy
at the centre of the disc obtained from last step
into Equation (3), a new set of SCFs q
xx
, q
yy
, and q
xy
was calculated.
(g) Repeat steps (d)(f) until the E

, v

, and G

were convergent. The different rate between two


iterative cycles in less than 0.1% was adapted in this paper for accuracy. The nal ve independent
constants E, v, E

, v

, and G

of transversely isotropic rocks were thus obtained.


NUMERICAL EXAMPLE
Calculation of stress concentration factors
It is important to know the stress distribution and stress states at the centre of a disc. A numerical
example was employed to compare the SCFs of a Brazilian disc obtained through numerical
methods and analytical solution.
For an isotropic material, the elastic constants were E =40 GPa and t =0.25. The three programs
FLAC, ANSYS, and BEM-code were employed to model the Brazilian disc. The stresses were
computed from these programs and transformed into the SCFs by using Equation (3), and these
factors are listed in Table II.
In 1959, Hondros proposed the analytical solutions of stress state at any point of an isotropic
Brazilian disc under diametral loading in 2D plane stress state, and the equations were as follows:
o
0
=
W
r
0
t :
_
[1 (r/r
0
)
2
] sin 2:
1 2(r/r
0
)
2
cos 2: + (r/r
0
)
4
tan
1
_
1 + (r/r
0
)
2
1 (r/r
0
)
2
tan :
__
o
r
=+
W
r
0
t :
_
[1 (r/r
0
)
2
] sin 2:
1 2(r/r
0
)
2
cos 2: + (r/r
0
)
4
+ tan
1
_
1 + (r/r
0
)
2
1 (r/r
0
)
2
tan :
__
(7)
where r
0
is the radius of the disc; r is the distance between any point inside the disc and centre,
and 0 is applied when the stresses at centre of the disc are concerned; t is thickness of the disc;
W is the loading force; : is the half-loading angle; o
0
is the tangential stress (considered as o
x
at the centre of disc); o
r
is the radius stress (considered as o
y
at the centre of disc); and for an
isotropic medium, the shear SCF at centre of the Brazilian disc is 0 theoretically.
The stresses obtained from analytical functions were transformed into SCFs by using Equation
(3), and the factors are listed in Table II. The numerical results exhibited good agreement with
each other and with the analytical solutions.
For transversely isotropic medium, the elastic constants of the numerical example were set to be
E/E

=2, E/G

=10, t =0.25, and t

=0.2, and the inclination angle of the transversely isotropic


plane to horizontal plane, , was 30

. The half-loading angle : was 7.5

. The results of SCFs q


xx
,
q
yy
, and q
xy
at the centre of disc can be transferred from stresses o
x
, o
y
, and t
xy
obtained by
Table II. Comparison of SCF isotropic medium at centre of disc.
Methods q
xx
q
yy
q
xy
FLAC 1.943958 5.943312 0.000071
ANSYS 1.961952 5.957760 0.000022
BEM-code 1.953259 5.951952 0.003986
Analytical 1.954464 5.954464 0
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
ELASTIC CONSTANTS OF TRANSVERSELY ISOTROPIC ROCKS 227
Figure 4. Distribution of q
xx
using FLAC.
using FLAC, ANSYS, and BEM-code. The distributions of SCFs q
xx
, q
yy
, and q
xy
obtained
from FLAC are shown in Figures 46. The distributions of SCFs obtained from the other two
programs were similar to the previous results. The SCFs at centre of the Brazilian disc are listed in
Table III. There existed only few differences between each other.
Calculation of elastic constants
In this section, a numerical example was employed to illustrate the iterative procedure of calculating
elastic constants of a transversely isotropic rock, and the results were compared with those presented
by Chen et al. [11].
For the sandstone Youngs modulus was E =40 GPa and Poissons ratio was t =0.25 presented
by Chen et al. [11]. The normalized strains c
x
Dt /W, c
y
Dt /W, and
xy
Dt /W at the cen-
tre of a type Ps Brazilian disc with an inclination angle =30

were 0.3454, 0.4501, and


0.2627 GPa
1
, respectively.
First of all, the initial value of q
xx
, q
yy
, and q
xy
were set to be 2, 6, and 0, respectively. These
SCFs and normalized strains were substituted into Equation (4). The initial solutions of temporary
E

, v

, and G

were 29.097 GPa, 0.238, and 4.223 GPa, respectively. These initial temporary
transversely isotropic elastic constants were employed in numerical simulation by using FLAC,
and the stresses at the centre of disc were extracted. After these stresses were substituted into
Equation (3), the second set of the SCFs can be found to be 2.341, 4.643, and 0.569. With the
same steps used previously, the second set of E

, v

, and G

can be computed by substituting these


second SCFs and normalized strains into Equation (4), and the new temporary E

, v

, and G

were
found to be 17.652 GPa, 0.222, and 4.034 GPa. After 10 cycles of iterative procedure, the results
were convergent that the different rate of temporary E

, v

, and G

between two steps was less than


Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
228 Y.-C. CHOU AND C.-S. CHEN
Figure 5. Distribution of q
yy
using FLAC.
Figure 6. Distribution of q
xy
using FLAC.
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
ELASTIC CONSTANTS OF TRANSVERSELY ISOTROPIC ROCKS 229
Table III. Comparison of SCF of anisotropic medium at centre of disc.
Methods q
xx
q
yy
q
xy
FLAC 2.333666 4.800917 0.360942
ANSYS 2.350128 4.765200 0.400824
BEM-code 2.337643 4.800264 0.370366
Table IV. E

(GPa) in each iterative cycle.


Cycles FLAC ANSYS BEM-code
1 29.097 29.097 29.097
2 17.652 17.191 17.536
3 21.002 20.719 21.014
4 19.516 19.172 19.436
5 20.190 19.854 20.167
6 19.886 19.559 19.841
7 20.031 19.688 19.990
8 19.963 19.632 19.923
9 19.993 19.656 19.953
10 19.990 19.646 19.939
Table V. v

in each iterative cycle.


Cycles FLAC ANSYS BEM-code
1 0.238 0.238 0.238
2 0.222 0.221 0.223
3 0.186 0.190 0.186
4 0.203 0.204 0.204
5 0.196 0.198 0.197
6 0.199 0.201 0.200
7 0.198 0.200 0.199
8 0.199 0.200 0.200
9 0.198 0.200 0.199
10 0.199 0.200 0.199
0.1%. The nal solutions were 19.990 GPa, 0.199, and 3.987 GPa, respectively. The approximate
solutions of elastic constants can be found by using the other two programs ANSYS and BEM-
code, and iterative procedures. The elastic constants E

, v

, and G

in each cycle computed by


using these three programs are listed in Tables IVVI. Figures 79 show the variations of E

, v

,
and G

with the number of iterations. It is obvious that the elastic constants converged quickly in
only 10 cycles. The nal results are listed in Table VII.
The solutions of elastic constants computed by using GRG method were E

=20 GPa, t

=0.2,
and G

=4 GPa proposed by Chen et al. [11], and are listed in Table VII. It is obvious that the
elastic constants computed by using the method proposed in this paper exhibited good agreement
with the results computed using GRG method.
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
230 Y.-C. CHOU AND C.-S. CHEN
Table VI. G

(GPa) in each iterative cycle.


Cycle FLAC ANSYS BEM-code
1 4.223 4.223 4.223
2 4.034 4.046 4.042
3 3.961 3.971 3.966
4 3.996 4.006 4.002
5 3.982 3.993 3.989
6 3.988 3.999 3.995
7 3.985 3.997 3.992
8 3.987 3.998 3.994
9 3.987 3.997 3.993
10 3.987 3.998 3.993
Figure 7. Variation of E

with number of iterations.


EXPERIMENTAL RESULT
Several diametral compression tests were constructed on discs of marble mined in Taiwan, and
the iterative procedure was used to measure their anisotropic elastic constants. The rocks of
marble were composed of signicant foliations, which may suggest a transversely isotropic type
of symmetry. The plane of transverse isotropy was parallel to the foliation.
To evaluate the elastic constants E and v, a disc of type N was cut with its z-axis which was
taken perpendicular to the foliation. Three discs of type P with =15, 30, and 45

were cut
with their z-axis parallel to the foliation to evaluate the elastic constants E

, v

, and G

. The discs
were prepared following the procedure suggested by the International Society for Rock Mechanics
(ISRM).
The discs were loaded up to failure by using a MTS loading system under a constant loading
rate of 200 N/s. In order to apply the load over an arc of constant angle 2: =15

, two steel jaws


Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
ELASTIC CONSTANTS OF TRANSVERSELY ISOTROPIC ROCKS 231
Figure 8. Variation of v

with number of iterations.


Figure 9. Variation of G

with number of iterations.


were inserted in between the discs and the platens of loading frame, like what has been suggested
by the ISRM.
For the type N disc, the diameter D and thickness t of the disc, loading force W and strains
at the centre of the disc are listed in Table VIII. E and v of the marble can then be computed by
substituting the strains into Equation (6), and the results were found to be E =78.302 GPa and
v =0.267.
For the type P discs with inclination angles =15, 30, and 45

, the strains of these three discs


were recorded by the strain gauge rosettes at the centre of discs. c
x
, c
y
, and
xy
were computed
from these strains. The diameter D and thickness t of discs, loading force W and strains are listed
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
232 Y.-C. CHOU AND C.-S. CHEN
Table VII. Comparison of back-calculated moduli
using different approaches.
Methods E

(GPa) t

(GPa)
FLAC 19.990 0.199 3.987
ANSYS 19.646 0.200 3.998
BEM-code 19.939 0.199 3.993
GRG 20.000 0.200 4.000
Table VIII. Experimental data of N type disc.
D (mm) t (mm) W (kN) c
x
(10
3
) c
y
(10
3
)
74.0 12.0 12.553 0.207006 0.375507
Table IX. Experimental data of P type discs.
(

) D (mm) t (mm) W (kN) c


x
(10
3
) c
y
(10
3
)
xy
(10
3
)
15 74.0 11.0 8.055 0.147168 0.291564 0.087318
30 74.0 10.9 7.425 0.139497 0.274014 0.002608
45 74.0 10.9 7.957 0.163374 0.283919 0.012089
Table X. Normalized strains of marble discs.
c
x
Dt /W c
y
Dt /W
xy
Dt /W
(

) (GPa
1
) (GPa
1
) (GPa
1
)
15 0.04672 0.09256 0.02772
30 0.04761 0.09352 0.00089
45 0.05203 0.09042 0.00385
in Table IX. Then the strains c
x
, c
y
, and
xy
, were transferred into normalized form, c
x
Dt /W,
c
y
Dt /W, and
xy
Dt /W. The normalized strains of these three discs are listed in Table X.
By using the iterative procedure proposed in this paper, the elastic constants E

, v

, and G

of
the marble discs with inclination angle =15, 30, and 45

can then be easily computed. The nal


results can be obtained in no more than 10 cycles by using three numerical programs and are listed
in Table XI. The GRGs solutions computed by using the program developed with GRG method
proposed by Chen et al. [11] are also listed in Table XI. It can be seen that numerical results
were in good agreement with the GRGs solutions. Theoretically, the elastic constants evaluated
from these three marble discs with the same material should be identical or close; however, the
results may be affected by the non-homogeneity in nature and experimental error. Even though
the results listed in Table XI were affected by the non-homogeneity in nature and experimental
error, these three experimental cases showed the applicability of evaluating the elastic constants
of transversely isotropic rocks by using the Brazilian test and iterative procedure.
Copyright q 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech. 2008; 32:219234
DOI: 10.1002/nag
ELASTIC CONSTANTS OF TRANSVERSELY ISOTROPIC ROCKS 233
Table XI. Anisotropic elastic constants of marble.
(

) Program E

(GPa) v

(GPa)
15
FLAC 76.420 0.202 22.921
ANSYS 76.540 0.200 23.075
BEM-code 76.406 0.201 23.016
GRG 75.619 0.186 23.383
30
FLAC 66.498 0.187 27.343
ANSYS 66.259 0.185 27.434
BEM-code 66.516 0.187 27.409
GRG 67.773 0.195 28.047
45
FLAC 71.238 0.230 27.322
ANSYS 71.195 0.219 27.328
BEM-code 71.076 0.233 27.396
GRG 72.189 0.163 27.425
CONCLUSION
This paper presented a method of combining Brazilian test and numerical procedure to determine
the elastic constants of transversely isotropic rocks. Brazilian test was used to obtain the strains
at the centre of discs. Numerical programs were applied to simulate and compute the SCFs at the
centre of disc. By using back calculation, the temporary elastic constants were computed, and the
nal convergent values can be found after iterative procedure.
A numerical example with sandstone disc was proposed. It can easily be seen that the convergent
elastic constants E

, v

, and G

were obtained in no more than 10 iterative cycles. The nal results


were satisfactory in comparison with the GRGs solutions. Three experimental cases with marble
discs mined in Taiwan were presented. Through Brazilian test, back calculation and iterative
procedure, the elastic constants E

, v

, and G

of the marble disc can also be easily obtained.


Although there were discrepancies existing in the results of these three discs, the numerical
results were close to the GRGs solutions. It has to be mentioned again that the results may be
affected by the non-homogeneity in nature and experimental error. The numerical example and
three experimental cases showed the applicability of this method combining the Brazilian test and
numerical procedure to determine the ve independent elastic constants of transversely isotropic
rocks.
The procedure of preparing Brazilian specimen is easier than that in other laboratory tests. The
iterative procedure is simple without complex mathematical functions. The commercially numerical
programs are easy to obtain. There is no need to develop programs with complex theorems. It is
evident that the method can be easily popularized and employed to evaluate the ve independent
elastic constants of transversely isotropic rocks in laboratory.
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