PFC3D simulation procedure for compressive strength testing of anisotropic hard rock
In this work the effect of anisotropy of the rock on strength and deformation properties were studied by simulating a standard unconfined compression test with the PFC3D (Particle Flow Code in 3 Dimensions) program. PFC3D was selected to be used in the simulations because of its ability to model behavior of brittle rock material including fracture propagation. The schistosity was modeled in PFC3D intrinsically by generating an anisotropic particle structure consisting of matrix particles and oriented band particles. The PFC3D simulated strength and deformation properties were found to be noticeably dependent on schistosity. The comparison to the laboratory results showed that the responses were similar. Damage formation observations made during the compression simulations indicated that the PFC3D modeling could simulate the events happening during the laboratory compression tests of brittle rock samples by reproducing similar fracture generation and deformation. It was noticed that the mechanical properties of the PFC3D model were dependent on the particle size and on the geometry of the banding.