In recent years, analyses based on the hybrid finite-discrete element method (FDEM) have been shown to provide a realistic representation of rock deformation and fracturing processes at laboratory and engineering scales. However, the ability to model linear rock reinforcement elements within FDEM has been largely limited. Through a collaborative research effort between Geomechanica Inc. and Queen’s University, an implementation of one-dimensional linear rock reinforcement elements has been recently developed to extend the applicability of FDEM modeling to a wider scope of rock engineering problems. While previous verification efforts have considered pure axial loading, the current paper extends these efforts to more complex shear loading. Through a series of small-scale double shear test simulations, the resulting specimen damage and reinforcement deformation profiles are compared to those observed in a larger-scale physical laboratory test. However, no attempt is made to match the laboratory tests directly; rather the ability of the approach to capture the general mechanistic behavior is assessed.


Rock support and reinforcement measures are widely employed in civil and mining rock engineering projects to maintain or improve rock mass integrity. The preferred type of reinforcement or support elements along with the preferred layout and installation timing depend on many factors, including: the in-situ conditions (i.e., stress, rock strength and rock mass quality), the nature of the project (i.e., long term or short term support), and the selected excavation method (i.e., drill and blast or mechanical).

Over the last two decades, numerical modeling has been increasingly used to design and optimize rock reinforcement and support systems. As such, most rock engineering-specific modeling software includes approaches for modeling various rock reinforcement and support elements.

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