Effect of Boundary Condition on the Shear Behaviour of Rock Joints in the Direct Shear Test

Published on Jan 3, 2017in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering4.14
· DOI :10.1007/S00603-016-1157-Z
M. Bahaaddini9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UNSW: University of New South Wales)
Sources
Abstract
The common method for determination of the mechanical properties of the rock joints is the direct shear test. This paper aims to study the effect of boundary condition on the results of direct shear tests. Experimental studies undertaken in this research showed that the peak shear strength is mostly overestimated. This problem is more pronounced for steep asperities and under high normal stresses. Investigation of the failure mode of these samples showed that tensile cracks are generated at the boundary of sample close to the specimen holders and propagated inside the intact materials. In order to discover the reason of observed failure mechanism in experiments, the direct shear test was simulated using PFC2D. Results of numerical models showed that the gap zone size between the upper and lower specimen holders has a significant effect on the shear mechanism. For the high gap size, stresses concentrate at the vicinity of the tips of specimen holders and result in generation and propagation of tensile cracks inside the intact material. However, by reducing the gap size, stresses are concentrated on asperities, and damage of specimen at its boundary is not observed. Results of this paper show that understanding the shear mechanism of rock joints is an essential step prior to interpreting the results of direct shear tests.
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