Rock failure process is generally recorded or measured using conventional sensors like strain gauges, seismic, micro-seismic, acoustic, electromagnetic and other techniques. The above sensors are either to be pasted on the surface of the rock sample or placed very near to it to capture the response of the sample with the increment of load. This requires precise tools to cut or polish the locations where sensors are to be placed. Moreover, deformation or acoustic or micro-seismic activities are recorded only at the locations where sensors are pasted.

Recent development in Digital Image Correlation (DIC) technique has shown promise to measure deformation / strain at every location of the surface of a sample. In DIC, two images (reference and deformed) are taken within a small time interval of the same object are compared to estimate the change in reflectance as a function of displacement, velocity or rate of strain at each pixel while the object is undergoing through a loading process. In this study, extended digital image correlation (X-DIC) technique has been implemented using 4-noded quadrilateral elements with a discontinuity surface in the deformed image. The continuous and enriched displacements are estimated at each node.

The X-DIC method is verified using numerically generated images. The study has been further extended to evaluate the performance of X-DIC method on deformation analysis of experimental samples under uni-axial loading condition. The results of this study show that X-DIC method is an effective tool for determination of displacements of the entire surface of a rock sample having a discrete crack or discontinuity in a non-contact manner. This method demonstrates the applicability to investigate rock failure mechanism for the entire sample in a laboratory set up as well as monitoring of pillar failure mechanism in underground mines.

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