Rock cutting is at the core of all construction on rocks or into rocks. The cutting action, by its nature, is defined by causing failure in a rock so that part of the rock can be removed. From a mechanical point of view, the problem is a difficult one. A numerical solution is often the only credible approach. In this study, we employed both the finite element method and the discrete element method for modeling rock cutting. Our immediate goals were to develop a framework within the two methods so that a laboratory rock scratch test could be well modeled. The reasons for the focus were twofold: first, a scratch test possessed all essential characteristics of a general rock cutting problem; second, there were test data available for validation. We used LS-DYNA for the finite element analysis, PFC2D and PFC3D for the discrete element analysis. Model setup and problems analyzed with each method are presented first, followed by a general discussion.

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