Séminaire de laboratoire, Dion Weatherley, University of Queensland (Australia): Numerical investigations on the mechanical response of fractured rocks

Past event
28 June 2012
Salle du Conseil

Numerical investigations on the mechanical response of fractured rocks

Dr. Dion Weatherley, W.H. Bryan Mining and Geology Research Centre,
University of Queensland (Australia)

(externe, GE)




Audience: Everyone interested in solid mechanics, materials science, computer-aided
engineering, numerical modelling
Date: Thursday, June 28th 2012, 11:00 ? 12:00
Venue: Salle du Conseil, EOST, 5 rue Descartes
Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) has become a powerful tool for engineering structures (e.g.
bridges, towers and buildings) and mechanical devices (e.g. vehicles, aircraft, machinery). The ability
to analyse stress, deformation and fatigue of a proposed structure prior to construction provides
valuable information to guide engineering design. In order for CAE predictions to be reliable, an
appropriate constitutive model for the building materials must be selected. Constitutive models for
common building materials such as wood or steel, are reliable and rigorously validated. The building
material of choice in underground mining is the in-situ rock mass itself. The mechanical response of
rock is not well-understood. Mining engineers currently rely upon empirical constitutive models for rock
response, calibrated via qualitative schemes to classify rock mass condition. It is not surprising
therefore that CAE is found to be less reliable for design of underground excavations.
Most knowledge on rock response derives from laboratory experiments, such as compression or
tension tests. Such experiments have elucidated some of the key parameters influencing rock
response such as porosity, mineral texture, crack density, and physical dimensions. However, in most
cases it is difficult to conduct systematic control experiments to quantify the role of such parameters in
determining the mechanical response of rocks. This lecture will present recent work using a numerical
model for rock based on the Discrete Element Method aiming to provide fundamental insight on the
interplay between the structure of rock and its mechanical response under engineering loads.