We present a hybrid framework for simulating the strength and dilation characteristics of sandstone. Where possible, the grain-scale properties of sandstone are evaluated experimentally in detail. Also, using photo-stress analysis, we sense the deviator stress (/strain) distribution at the micro-scale and its components along the orthogonal directions on the surface of a V-notch sandstone sample under mechanical loading. Based on this measurement and applying a grain-scale model, the optical anisotropy index K 0 is inferred at the grain scale. This correlated well with the grain contact stiffness ratio K evaluated using ultrasound sensors independently. Thereafter, in addition to other experimentally characterised structural and grain-scale properties of sandstone, K is fed as an input into the discrete element modelling of fracture strength and dilation of the sandstone samples. Physical bulk-scale experiments are also conducted to evaluate the load–displacement relation, dilation and bulk fracture strength characteristics of sandstone samples under compression and shear. A good level of agreement is obtained between the results of the simulations and experiments. The current generic framework could be applied to understand the internal and bulk mechanical properties of such complex opaque and heterogeneous materials more realistically in future.
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 25, 2017
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