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Numerical modelling of rock fracture with the embedded discontinuity approach incorporating heterogeneity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISRM Congress 2015 Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationInnovations in Applied and Theoretical Rock Mechanics
PublisherInternational Society for Rock Mechanics ISRM
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-926872-25-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics
Period1/01/00 → …


In this paper, the embedded discontinuity approach is applied to finite element modeling of rock fracture. A rate-dependent constitutive model based on the embedded displacement discontinuity theory is developed to describe the mode I, mode II and mixed mode fracture of rock in tension and compression. The bulk material is described as linear elastic until reaching the elastic limit. Beyond this limit, a rate-dependent exponential softening law governs the evolution of the embedded displacement jump. The present approach incorporates the rock heterogeneity by random description of the mineral texture of rock. Moreover, the inherent initial microcrack populations of natural rocks are accounted for as randomly oriented embedded discontinuities. Numerical examples demonstrate the model behavior in uniaxial compression and tension. The effect of loading rate and confining pressure is tested as well in 2D numerical simulations. These simulations show that the model captures the main features of rock in confined compression and uniaxial tension. The developed method has the computational efficiency of continuum plasticity models. However, it has an important advantage of accounting for the orientation of introduced microcracks.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland