3D Numerical Prediction of Thermal Weakening of Granite under Tension

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Abstract

This paper deals with numerical prediction of temperature (weakening) effects on the tensile strength of granitic rock. A 3D numerical approach based on the embedded discontinuity finite elements is developed for this purpose. The governing thermo-mechanical initial/boundary value problem is solved with an explicit (in time) staggered method while using extreme mass scaling to increase the critical time step. Rock fracture is represented by the embedded discontinuity concept implemented here with the linear (4-node) tetrahedral elements. The rock is modelled as a linear elastic (up to fracture by the Rankine criterion) heterogeneous material consisting of Quartz, Feldspar and Biotite minerals. Due to its strong and anomalous temperature dependence upon approaching the α-β transition at the Curie point (~573 °C), only Quartz in the numerical rock depends on temperature in the present approach. In the numerical testing, the sample is first volumetrically heated to a target temperature. Then, the uniaxial tension test is performed on the cooled down sample. The simulations demonstrate the validity of the proposed approach as the experimental deterioration, by thermally induced cracking, of the rock tensile strength is predicted with a good accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages13
JournalGeosciences
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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