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DEM modelling of a jointed rock beam with emphasis on interface properties

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stefano Utili


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This paper compares analyses performed via the distinct element method (DEM), employing rigidblocks and compliant joints, with results using finite-difference software (FLAC) obtained previouslyby other researchers. The paper then examines the capability of the rigid-block DEM at modellingjoints realistically, with emphasis on the moment transfer between blocks. The line of thrust from thisanalysis was found to fit well with the well-established uniform catenary curve and the parabola,which has been used extensively in the rock engineering literature. This is an important verificationexercise that is still lacking in the literature, especially for the rigid-block DEM. Finally, a comparisonis made between the DEM and experimental work carried out previously by other researchers. Thepreviously reported laboratory data were reinterpreted to derive more accurate contact laws in bothnormal and shear directions. A strain hardening or continuously yielding model was adopted in thelatter. The calibration approach is demonstrated. The numerical findings suggest that improvedpredictions of beam deflections can be obtained and the predicted horizontal thrusts are comparableto the results obtained by FLAC.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Boon CW, Houlsby GT, Utili S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geotechnique Letters

Year: 2015

Volume: 5

Pages: 49-55

Print publication date: 01/01/2015

Online publication date: 18/03/2015

Acceptance date: 23/02/2015

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2543

Publisher: ICE Publishing


DOI: 10.1680/geolett.14.00105


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