APPLICATION OF DISCRETE ELEMENT METHOD FOR VALIDATING FRACTURE TOUGHNESS TESTING OF ROCKS SUBJECTED TO MICROWAVE ILLUMINATION

World Mining Congress
Experimentally, the Semi-Circular Bending Moment (SCB) fracture toughness test results of Basalt Specimens Under Illumination (BSUI) have shown reduction in fracture toughness and failure force as a result of micro-cracking. The fractographic investigation of BSUI confirms initiation and extension of micro-cracks. Determination of a relation between strength reduction (herein fracture toughness reduction) and density, location and orientation of thermo-mechanical induced cracks due to microwave radiation is critically important. Numerical modeling can bridge strength reduction and the density of thermal microcracks generated due to microwave radiation. Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) is a power tool for simulation of micro-crack initiation, coalescence into macroscopic fractures and failure mechanisms in brittle rock specimens under different stress regimes (herein combination of pure tensile stress due to SCB testing, and thermal stress due to microwave radiation). For this purpose, a DEM modeling of SCB testing of basalt using EDEM (i.e., a DEM based software). DEM models are calibrated according to results of experimental SCB testing as reported in previous papers.
Keywords: Fracture; Fractures; Rocks; Rock; particles; Models; Model; failures; Failure;
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