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Paper 2A 04 — SINOROCK2004 Symposium Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. Vol. 41, No. 3, CD-ROM, © 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

NUMERICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE MECHANICAL BEHAVIOR OF ROCK UNDER CONFINING PRESSURE AND PORE PRESSURE

C.A. Tang 1, 2 , T. Xu 1, 2 , T.H. Yang 1 , Z.Z. Liang 1 ¹) Centre for Rock Instability and Seiscimity Research, Northeastern University, Shenyang, 110004, China tca@mail.neu.edu.cn ²) Research Centre for Numerical Tests on Material Failure, Dalian University, Dalian, 116622, China

xukyle@163.com

Abstract: Many of the important problems of rock engineering are concerned with mechanical behaviours of rock where the internal rock structure sustains pore pressure and confining pressure from the surrounding rocks. A basic understanding of rock mechanical properties under confining pressure and pore pressure conditions is of great importance in rock mechanics and rock engineering. In this paper, the newly-developed pore-pressure incorporated Rock Failure Process Analysis model (RFPA) is briefly outlined at first. Then a series of numerical tests on rock under different constant confining pressure and pore pressure are conducted to illustrate how the overall macroscopic responses and mechanical properties of brittle heterogeneous rocks under different confining pressure and pore pressure were revealed by RFPA code. In addition, through the modelling of acoustic emission sequences in rock progressive failure, the AE characteristics and the correlation between AE events and stress-strain curves under different confining pressure and pore pressure were also investigated. From the numerically simulated results, it can be possible to analyze large-scale practical rock engineering problems such as mining induced seismicities and rock bursts.

Keywords: Numerical simulation, confining pressure, pore pressure, mechanical behaviours, acoustic emission, RFPA.

1. INTRODUCTION

A basic understanding of rock mechanical properties under different stress conditions is of great importance in rock mechanics and rock engineering since many of the important problems of rock engineering are concerned with mechanical behaviours of rock where the internal rock structure sustains pore pressure and confining pressure. Pore pressure greatly affects the probability of rock failure. Meanwhile, rock in deep ground also suffers from confining pressure from the surrounding rocks. Considerable attention has been given to the mechanical behaviours of rocks under different confining pressure and pore pressure by laboratory tests and in-situ measurements, but the general precise theoretical formulations and laws of rock mechanical properties are still not impossible due to its extreme complexity. When rock is subjected to stress, multiple cracks can nucleate, propagate, interact and coalesce, which induces the change of the pore pressure in the rock. This complex multiplicity of

fracturing interaction events also causes the complexity of mechanical breakdown of heterogeneous rocks. Numerical models that simulate the detailed fracturing sequence are thus useful for understanding rock failure mechanisms under pore pressure and confining pressure. In this paper, the further improved Rock Failure Process Analysis (RFPA) code by integration of pore- pressure was employed to investigate the mechanical properties of brittle heterogeneous rocks. A series of numerical tests on rock under different confining pressure and pore pressure were conducted illustrating how the overall macroscopic response of brittle heterogeneous rocks was presented by pore-pressure incorporated RFPA. Moreover, through the modelling of acoustic emission sequences, the AE characteristics of rock in failure process were also investigated to gain some possible insight into some large-scale practical problems such as mining induced seismicities and rock bursts.

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  • 2. PHILOSOPHY OF RFPA

Numerical simulation is currently the most popular method used for modelling deformation behaviour of rock-like materials. RFPA code, as a numerical tool for simulating the geomaterials, has been widely used in investigating and contrasting the simulated results and laboratory findings

(Wong & Lin 2001; Tang & Lin 2001; Xu and

Tang,

2003).

On

the

basis

of

the RFPA

code,

besides considering the deformation of an elastic material containing an initial random distribution of micro-features, the interactions between the individual elements, pore pressure and stress are also taken into account in the code. The governing equations for rock deformation in further developed RFPA code mainly consist of the equilibrium, the continuity, and the constitutive equations. According to elastic theory, equilibrium equation is given

s

ij

,

j

+

f

j

= 0

(1)

where

s

ij

is the stress tensor,(i, j = 1,2,3), MPa.

f

j

is the body forces per unit volume, MPa. The generalized effective stress principle based

on Terzaghi’s

law

was

equilibrium equations:

invoked

in

the

stress

sij = s

'

ij

+ a p d

ij

(2)

where s is the solid total stress,

ij

s

'

ij

is the solid

effective stress,

P

is

the pore pressure,

a

is

a

positive constant equal to 1 when individual grains

are much more incompressible than the grain

skeleton, and d

ij

is the Kronecker delta function.

Substitution of equation (2) into equation (1) leads to:

s

'

ij

,

j

+

f

j

+

(

a

p

d

ij

)

,

j

=

0

(3)

Thus,

the

equilibrium

equation

is

expressed

according to the effective stress principle.

According

to

the

continuous

conditions,

the

geometrical equation can be expressed

e

ij

=

  • 1 (
    2

u

i , j

+ u

j ,i

)

(4)

where

e

ij

is strain tensor,( i, j = 1,2,3).

e

v

is the

volumetric strain and element.

u

is the displacement of

The constitutive equation of deformation fields can be expressed for elastic isotropic materials.

 

s'ij = ld e

ij

v

+ 2Ge

ij

where

G

is

 

shear

modulus

and

 

is

 

Lame’s

constant. On the basis of the above the equilibrium, the

continuity,

 

and

 

the

constitutive

equations,

the

governing

 

equations

 

for

 

rock deformation

considering

 

the

 

gas

pressure

in

rock

 

can

be

represented as:

(

l

+

G

)

u

j

,

ji

+

Gu

i

,

jj

+

f

j

+

(

a

p

)

,

i

=

0

For heterogeneity, the material mechanical parameters (failure strength 0 and elastic modulus E 0 ) for elements are randomly distributed throughout the specimen by following a Weibull distribution, a detailed information can be referred to published literature (Tang & Tham, 2000).

  • 3. NUMERICAL MODEL

1 P
1
P

3

Figure 1. Numerical model

The mesh for the plane strain numerical sample consists of 200×100 elements with geometry of

100mm×50mm in size (as shown in Fig.1), and all the elements have the same size in scale (square in shape). The pore pressure in rock specimen is denoted as P, confining pressure and axial pressure acted on numerical rock specimen are respectively denoted as s 0 and s 1 . The elements are characterized by their failure strength, s 0 , Young’s modulus, E 0 , and Poisson’s ratio, n. The elements provide resistance against compressive or tensile deformations that are governed by constitutive equations described above. In order to consider the

heterogeneity of rock specimen, a widely used

Weibull

distribution

(Weibull,

1951)

was

introduced to describe the material properties of

elements such as failure strength, Young’s

modulus, and Poisson’s ratio at mesoscopic level. The input material mechanical properties parameters used to simulate numerical model rock

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specimen are listed in the Table 1 below. An external displacement at a constant rate of 0.002mm/step in the axial direction was applied to the rock specimen and the stress acted on rock specimen as well as induced deformation in each element were computed in the numerical tests.

Table 1. Mechanical parameters of numerical model.

Mechanical parameters

Value

m

1.5

E 0 / GPa

30

s 0 / MPa

200

f/ °

30

m

0.25

x

0.2

P/MPa

0 1 3

s 3 / MPa

0, 2, 4, 8, 16

  • 4. EFFECT OF CONFINING PRESSURE

4.1 Deformation and strength behaviors

0MPa
0MPa
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4MPa

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8MPa

Figure 2. Macroscopic specimens

failure

patterns

of

Figure 2

is

given the

numerically simulated

macroscopic failure patterns of model specimens

under different confining pressures and the correspondingly numerical complete axial stress

versus axial strain curves of rock at constant confining pressure up to 16 MPa with no pore pressure are presented in Fig.3. As shown in Fig.2,

the

angle

between

the

failure

plane

and

the

maximum

principal

stress

direction

in

uniaxial

compression is about 30 degrees, and the angle between macroscopic failure plane and the maximum principal stress direction gradually increases with the increase of confining pressure acted on the rock specimens, which agrees well with theoretical predictions. It can be seen from the stress-strain curves in Fig. 3, the rock deforms linearly and elastically at axial stresses below the yield strength which is dependent on the confining pressure. Further compression leads to inelastic

deformation up to the peak strength. At low confining pressures, the curves show defined peak strength and a gradual strength decrease in the post failure region until final deformation occurs at about constant axial stress, i.e., residual strength. At higher confining pressures, the rock exhibits work-hardening and the Young’s modulus of rock is higher than that of rock at lower pressure. Meanwhile, transition from brittle to ductile deformation in rock with an increase in confining pressure was also clearly demonstrated in Fig.3.

70 0 60 2 4 50 8 16 40 30 20 10 0 0 0.05 0.1
70
0
60
2
4
50
8
16
40
30
20
10
0
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
¦
Å
/%
1
Figure 3. Complete stress-strain curves of rock
specimens
¦
Ò
1/ MPa
70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 -5 0 5 10 15 20 Tension Compression
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
-5
0
5
10
15
20
Tension
Compression
UCS / MPa

Confining pressure / MPa

Figure 4. Curve between compressive strength of rock specimens and confining pressure

Figure 4 gives the relationship curve between

peak strength of rock specimens and

confining

pressure at failure

and

Figure 5 is numerically

obtained failure envelopes of rock specimens. As can be seen from Figure 4 and 5, the ultimate compressive failure strength, i.e., peak strength of numerical rock specimens gradually increases with confining pressure. Even though the linear Mohr- Coulomb failure criterion with tension cut-off is adopted in the model, the macroscopic failure

envelope

is

concave

towards

the

s

axis.

The

numerical results indicate that the macroscopic

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1 /MPa

¦Ò

AE accounts(N)

¦Ò 1 /MPa

non-linear phenomena such as rock failure in nature can be described and revealed through some simple linear rules at mesoscopic level. In addition, it is noticing that the residual strength (or frictional) of rock, also dependent on the confining pressure, increases with confining pressure. For rock materials, fracture and friction are macroscopic manifestations of the same processes:

e.g., grain crushing, crack growth, healing, and plastic yielding. When viewed in this way, it is not surprising that the difference between intact strength and residual (or frictional) strength should vanish with increasing confining pressure. This is to say, the rock will ideally exhibit a state of plastic flow at extremely high confining pressure.

Mohr failure envelope
Mohr failure envelope

Figure 5. Simulated failure rock specimens

envelope of

model

4.2 AE characteristics

70 600 70 600 60 60 s 3 =2MPa 500 500 s 3 =4MPa 50 50
70
600
70
600
60
60
s 3 =2MPa
500
500
s 3 =4MPa
50
50
400
400
40
40
300
300
30
30
200
200
20
20
100
10
10
100
0
0
0
0
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
Ŧ
1 /%
¦Å 1 /%
AE accounts(N)
¦Ò 1 /MPa
AE accounts(N)

AE accounts(N)

¦Ò 1 /MPa

  • 70 70

3 =8MPa
3 =8MPa

600

  • 60 60

500

  • 50 50

400

  • 40 40

300

  • 30 30

200

  • 20 20

100

  • 10 10

s 3 =16MPa
s 3 =16MPa

600

500

400

300

200

100

0

  • 0 0

0

  • 0 0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

¦Å 1 /%

¦Å 1 /%

Figure 6. Complete stress-strain curves and AE

 

characteristic

curves

of

model

specimens

Normalized AEE

AE accounts(N)

Normalized AEE

600 500 ó 3 =2MPa 400 300 200 100 0 0 27 9 18 36 45
600
500
ó 3 =2MPa
400
300
200
100
0
0 27
9
18
36
45
54
63
72
81
90
99 108117126
  • 1 1

500

400

300

200

100

ó 3 =4MPa
ó 3 =4MPa

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

600

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

  • 0 0

0

0

9

18

27

36

45

54

63

72

81

90

99 108117126

accounts(N)

AE

Normalized AEE

Normalized AEE

AE accounts(N)

Loading step 600 500 ó 3 =8MPa 400 300 200 100 0 0 27 9 18
Loading step
600
500
ó 3 =8MPa
400
300
200
100
0
0 27
9
18
36
45
54
63
72
81
90
99 108117126

Loading step

  • 1 1

600

ó 3 =16MPa
ó 3 =16MPa
  • 0.9 0.9

500

  • 0.8 0.8

  • 0.7 0.7

400

  • 0.6 0.6

300

  • 0.5 0.5

  • 0.4 0.4

200

  • 0.3 0.3

  • 0.2 0.2

100

  • 0.1 0.1

    • 0 0

0

0

9

18

27

36

45

54

63

72

81

90

99 108117126

AE accounts(N)

 

Loading step

Loading step

As we know, the monitoring of acoustic emission (AE) or seismic events has proven to be one of the powerful tools available in analyzing

Figure 7. AE curves and normalized AE energy curves of model specimens under different confining pressure

damage or brittle fracture during rock deformation. There is generally a good correlation between AE

Fig.6 shows the complete stress-strain curves

rate and inelastic strain rate so that the AE rate can

and corresponding AE characteristic curves of

be used to quantify damage accumulation occurring

model specimens

at different constant confining

in the rock sample. Locker (1991), Cox and Meredith (1993) have analyzed catalogues of AE events recorded during compression tests in rock in terms of the information they give about the accumulated state of damage in a material. And

pressure. Fig.7 shows the AE and corresponding normalized AE energy curves of model specimens under different confining pressure. A comparison among the curves in Fig.6 shows a good relationship between the simulated stress-strain

combine this measured damage state with a model

curves and the modelled curves of event rate. It can

for the weakening behaviour of cracked solids,

be seen

from

Fig.

6

and

7,

in general,

a

sharp

which shows that reasonable predictions of the

increase

of AE event

rate

in

AE

characteristic

mechanical behaviour are possible. Based on this

curves corresponds to an abrupt stress drop in

background knowledge, by recording the counts of

complete stress-strain curve and the maximum rate

failed elements, the seismicities associated with the progressive failure can be simulated in RFPA that allows elements to fail when overstressed. In RFPA code, a single AE event represents a micro-crack

of AE events appears in the post-peak range. It indicates that the initiation and propagation of mesoscopic main-fracturing which precedes the final stage macroscopic fracture development has

forming event to indirectly assess the damage

occurred in the rock.

The results show that

the

evolution (Tang 1997, 1998).

maximum AE event or main shock emitting from rock can be regarded as the precursor of macro-

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AE accounts

AE accounts

AE accounts

fracture of rock, which is essential for the location

pore pressures. As can be seen from Fig. 9, at the

of earthquake source, the search for earthquake

same

constant

confining

pressure, the rock

precursors and earthquake prediction research. In

specimens with pore pressure have lower peak

addition, the main-fracturing will occur later when

strength than

those

with

no

pore pressure.

rock specimens are subjected to the same strain

Generally, the pore pressure decreases the peak

value with the increase of the constant confining

strength of

rock

at

failure

and

increases

the

pressure. The confining pressure enhances the

brittleness

of

rock.

Moreover,

the

nonlinear

ultimate compressive strength and defers the

relationship curves between the maximum

occurrence of main-fracturing at failure, which is

compressive strength and confining pressure at

termed as the typical confining pressure effect in

different

constant

pore

pressure

are

basically

rock failure.

parallel.

  • 5. EFFECT OF PORE PRESSURE

    • 5.1 Deformation and strength

behaviors P=2MPa
behaviors
P=2MPa
P=4MPa
P=4MPa

Figure 8. Macroscopic

P=8MPa P=16MPa failure patterns under
P=8MPa
P=16MPa
failure
patterns
under

given pore pressure 1 MPa

70 60 50 40 P=0MPa 30 P=1MPa 20 P=3MPa 10 0 0 5 10 15 20
70
60
50
40
P=0MPa
30
P=1MPa
20
P=3MPa
10
0
0
5
10
15
20
3 /MPa
1 /MPa

Figure 9. Relationship between compressive strength and confining pressure for given poro pressure

Several series of numerical tests were carried out to investigate the effect of pore effect on the mechanical properties of rock. The numerically simulated macroscopic failure patterns of rock with 1MPa pore pressure at different constant confining pressures are presented in Figure 8. Compared with the macroscopic failure modes of rock in Fig. 2, much splitting occurred in the rocks with pore pressure which exhibit remarkably brittle. Fig.9 gives the relationship curves between peak strength of rock and applied confining pressure for given

5.2 AE characteristics

80 450 80 450 70 400 70 400 3 =2MPa 3 =4MPa 350 350 60 60
80
450
80
450
70
400
70
400
3 =2MPa
3 =4MPa
350
350
60
60
300
300
50
50
250
250
40
40
200
200
30
30
150
150
20
100
20
100
10
50
10
50
0
0
0
0
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.35
0.4
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
/%
¦
Å
1
¦ Å 1 /%
80
450
80
450
70
400
400
3 =8MPa
70
3 =16MPa
350
60
350
60
300
50
300
50
250
250
40
40
200
200
30
150
30
150
20
100
20
100
10
50
10
50
0
0
0
0
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.35
0.4
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.35
0.4
/%
¦
Å
¦
Å 1 / %
1
¦ Ò 1 /MPa
¦ Ò 1 /MPa
AE accounts
AE accounts
¦ 1 Ò /MPa
¦ Ò 1 /MPa
AE
accounts
AE accounts

Figure 10. Complete stress-strain curves and AE characteristic curves of model

specimens with pore pressure 1 MPa

450 0.45 450 400 0.4 400 3 =2MPa 350 0.35 350 300 0.3 300 250 0.25
450
0.45
450
400
0.4
400
3 =2MPa
350
0.35
350
300
0.3
300
250
0.25
250
200
0.2
200
150
0.15
150
100
0.1
100
50
0.05
50
0
0
0
0
0.04 0.08
0.12 0.16
0.2 0.24
0.28 0.32 0.36
0.4
Normalized AEE
AE accounts

1 (%)

450 450 0.45 1 450 450 400 400 3 =8MPa 0.4 0.9 400 400 350 350
450
450
0.45
1
450
450
400
400
3 =8MPa
0.4
0.9
400
400
350
350
0.35
0.8
350
350
0.7
300
300
0.3
300
300
0.6
250
250
0.25
250
250
0.5
200
200
0.2
200
200
0.4
150
150
0.15
150
0.3
150
100
100
0.1
0.2
100
100
50
50
0.05
0.1
50
50
0
0
0
0
0
0
Normalized AEE
Normalized AEE
AE accounts
AE accounts

0

0

0.04 0.08 0.11 0.15 0.18 0.21 0.25 0.28 0.32 0.35 0.38

0.04

0.08 0.12

0.16

0.2 0.24 0.28

0.32 0.36

0.4

1 (%)

1

(%)

1 0.9 3 =4MPa 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 0 0.04 0.08
1
0.9
3 =4MPa
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0
0.04 0.08
0.12 0.16
0.2 0.24 0.28
0.32 0.36
0.4
1 (%)
0.45
1
3 =16MPa
0.4
0.9
0.8
0.35
0.7
0.3
0.6
0.25
0.5
0.2
0.4
0.15
0.3
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.05
0
0
Normalized AEE
Normalized AEE
Normalized AEE

0

0

0.09 0.11 0.14 0.17 0.20.23 0.25 0.28 0.31 0.34 0.37 0.39

0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.2 0.24 0.28 0.32 0.36

0.4

1 (%)

1

(%)

Figure 11. AE and normalized AE energy curves of

model

specimens

with

given

pore

pressure (1MPa)

 

Fig.10 shows the complete stress-strain curves and corresponding AE characteristic curves of model specimens with 1MPa pore pressure at different constant confining pressure and Fig.11 gives the AE events and corresponding. As stated

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above, the simulated stress-strain curves, the AE event rate curves and the normalized AE energy curves have a good correlation. In contrast to Fig.6

and 7, it can be seen that the main-fracturing will occur earlier when rock specimens are subjected to the same confining pressure with increasing pore pressure. The pore pressure reduces the ultimate compressive strength and accelerates the occurrence of main-fracturing at failure, which can be termed as the pore pressure effect in rock failure. The confining pressure effect and the pore pressure effect are greatly indicative for the

earthquake

prediction and hydraulic fracturing

research.

  • 6. CONCLUSSIONS

The problems of deformation and failure in

heterogeneous rock at confining pressure and pore pressure are of great importance in associated rock mechanics and engineering areas. It is important to identify the main failure mechanisms associated with AE characteristics in compression. This identification is crucial for a better understanding and interpretation of the experimental results, and

consequently, improves our concepts

on

rock

mechanical properties or

analysis

of

rock

engineering structures. It is noted that the model predications of mechanical behaviour of rocks using pore pressure

incorporated RFPA in this paper capture most of the experimental observed phenomena, especially the confining pressure effect and pore pressure

effect

of

rock

specimens

in

failure

process.

Although the simulations are not a quantitative approach and many conclusions presented here may have already been obtained by laboratory tests, the significance of mimicking these phenomena by numerical simulation is obvious. At least, and the most important, the successful reproducing of the experimentally observed failure phenomena with a numerical method implies that our understanding to the mechanisms of rock failure has reached a more reasonable level, which in turn will help us to make further progresses in the field of rock mechanics and rock engineering.

  • 7. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The present research in this paper was carried out with the jointly financial support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 50134040, 50204003 and 50174013).

8. REFERENCES

Cox, S.J.D.,

Meredith,

P.G.

1993.

Microcrack

formation

and

material

softening

in

rock

measured by monitoring acoustic emissions. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 30(1):

pp.11-24.

 

Lockner, D.A., Byerlee, J.D., Kuksenko, V., et al.

 

1991.

Quasi-static

fault

growth

and

shear

fracture energy in granite. Nature 350(7): pp.

39-42.

 

Tang,

C.A.

1997.

Numerical

simulation

of

progressive rock

failure

and

associated

seismicity. Int. J. Rock

Mech. Min.

Sci.

34:

pp.249-262.

 

Tang,

C.A.,

Kaiser,

P.K.

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