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Paper 2A 04 — SINOROCK2004 Symposium Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. Vol. 41, No. 3, CDROM, © 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 newlydeveloped porepressure 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 stressstrain curves under different confining pressure and pore pressure were also investigated. From the numerically simulated results, it can be possible to analyze largescale 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 insitu 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 porepressure 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 largescale 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 rocklike 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 microfeatures, 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
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
_{V}_{a}_{l}_{u}_{e}
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} _{/} _{M}_{P}_{a} 
0, 2, 4, 8, 16 
4. EFFECT OF CONFINING PRESSURE
4.1 Deformation and strength behaviors
4MPa
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 stressstrain 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 workhardening 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.
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 cutoff 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} _{/}_{M}_{P}_{a}
¦Ò
AE accounts(N)
¦Ò 1 /MPa
nonlinear 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.
Figure 5. Simulated failure rock specimens
envelope of
model
4.2 AE characteristics
AE accounts(N) ¦Ò _{1} /MPa
3 =8MPa
600
500
400
300
200
100
s 3 =16MPa
600 500 400 300 200 100 

0 
0 
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 stressstrain 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
54
63
72
81
90
99 108117126
500 400 300 200 100
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 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
36
45
54
63
72
81
90
99 108117126
Loading step
600
ó 3 =16MPa
500
400
300
200
100
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 stressstrain 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 stressstrain 

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 stressstrain 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 microcrack 
of AE events appears in the postpeak range. It indicates that the initiation and propagation of mesoscopic mainfracturing 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 mainfracturing 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 mainfracturing 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
Figure 8. Macroscopic
given pore pressure 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
Figure 10. Complete stressstrain curves and AE characteristic curves of model
specimens with pore pressure 1 MPa
_{} _{1} (%)
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
(%)
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 stressstrain 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
5
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above, the simulated stressstrain 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 mainfracturing 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 mainfracturing 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
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