Three dimensional numerical modelling of discontinuous rocks by using distinct element method

Koçal, Arman
Shear strength characterization of discontinuities is an important concept for slope design in discontinuous rocks. This study presents the development of a methodology for implementing Barton-Bandis empirical shear strength failure criterion in three dimensional distinct element code, 3DEC, and verification of this methodology. Normal and shear deformation characteristics of discontinuities and their relations to the discontinuity surface characteristics have been reviewed in detail. First, a C++ dynamic link library (DLL) file was coded and embedded into 3DEC for modelling the Barton-Bandis shear strength criterion. Then, a numerically developed direct shear test model was used to verify the normal and shear deformation behaviour with respect to empirical results of the Barton-Bandis shear strength criterion. A three dimensional simple discontinuous rock slope was modelled in 3DEC based on Barton-Bandis shear strength criterion. The slope model was first utilized by Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion. Then, with the use of the new model developed here, the effects of the discontinuity surface properties on shear strength were introduced to the slope problem. Applicability of the developed model was verified by three large scale real case studies from different open pit lignite mines of Turkish Coal Enterprises (TKİ), namely Bursa Lignites Establishment (BLİ) 2 cases and Çan Lignite Establishment (ÇLİ). The results with the new model option, which allows users to use important discontinuity surface properties like joint roughness coefficient and joint wall compressive strength, compared well with results of previous studies using Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion.


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Discontinuity surfaces generally consist of undulations termed as roughness. It is well known that surface roughness plays an important role on the shear strength and shear behavior of discontinuities. However, the effect of roughness will not be the same when the direction of shearing changes. This effect causes variation of shear strength with shearing direction or in other words anisotropy on shear strength. In this thesis, an experimental study was performed to investigate the effect of roughness and an...
Citation Formats
A. Koçal, “Three dimensional numerical modelling of discontinuous rocks by using distinct element method,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2008.