Constitutive Model for Numerical Modelling of Highly Stressed Heterogeneous Massive Rocks at Excavation Boundaries
A numerical modelling approach was developed to explicitly simulate geomechanical characteristics of intact rock: mineralogy, grain size and fabric. The approach involved creating a representative constitutive model for each of three common rock-forming minerals: mica, quartz and feldspar. The constitutive models developed are valid within the low confinement realm of excavation boundaries, where tensile fracture processes dominate. The mineral types were assigned to numerical elements, which were associated with each other through an algorithm created in a finite difference model, FLAC 2D (Itasca 2007a), to simulate real crystal geometries and orientations. The numerical models were used in a parametric investigation of the geomechanical characteristics and compared with published observations of the rock yielding process in laboratory testing. This approach has allowed the explicit grain-scale investigation of the impact of geomechanical characteristics on rock yielding at low confinement, leading to an improved mechanistic understanding of excavation-scale rock yielding processes at excavation boundaries.