The suitability of hybrid 2D-FEM/DEM methods for simulating brittle failure laboratory testing has been described by numerous researchers emphasizing their ability to illustrate clearly the transition from an intact rock continuum to a discontinuum fractured state. However, there remains a need to further characterize brittle failure under varying 3D stress paths. This work presents for the first time a wide range of simulated 3D-FEM/DEM stress conditions encountered in conventional laboratory testing. The scope of this study is to simulate the Brazilian and unconfined compressive strength (UCS) tests in 3D using the hybrid FEM/EM code ELFEN. The fracture pattern and mechanical response of 3D models are investigated and the results then compared with the equivalent 2D models. As a part of an ongoing research at Simon Fraser University, a Damage Intesity parameter (D21) is introduced and preliminary application in quantifying damage during laboratory testing discussed.

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