Abstract

Rock anisotropy is one of the most distinctive features that must be considered in rock mechanics. In this study, two-dimensional discrete element simulations are conducted to investigate the strength and deformation behavior of inherently anisotropic rocks which display different behaviors in response to load with respect to the different orientations of the plane of weakness. In the numerical model, intact rock is represented by bonding rigid particles at their contacts together. The inherent anisotropy is modeled by artificially removing any parallel bonds dipping around a certain angle to the loading direction and replacing them with smooth joint contacts. The numerical model is validated by comparing the strength and elastic modulus with previous experimental results. The failure patterns can be classified into: split cross weak layers, shear along weak layers and split along weak layers, which also agree with that observed in laboratory. The angle range plays an important role on the response of numerical model which can be used to represent the degree of anisotropy. The numerical model proposed in this study provides a new way to investigate the mechanical behavior of anisotropic rock. Future studies can be carried out to investigate the strength criterion of anisotropic rock based on this approach.

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