Experiment and Discrete Element Modelling on Strength, Deformation and Failure Behaviour of Shale Under Brazilian Compression
Bedding planes or layers can have a serious effect on the mechanical behaviour of shale rock. Fractures occurring along bedding planes form a fracture network in shale hydraulic fracturing; thus, the tensile strength and fracture mode are important for hydraulic fracturing design. In this research, shale disk specimens are prepared and analysed under Brazilian test conditions. During the test, a 3D digital image correlation system (DIC) is employed to capture surface deformation, and an AE sensor and strain observation system are, respectively, used to record the AE event and central strain of the shale disk during the failure process. A new inherently anisotropic model is established with a banded-particle model and smooth joint model using the particle flow code (PFC2D). The laboratory test result shows that the Brazilian tensile strength (BTS) value decreased gradually along with bedding inclination, which corresponds to a trend of the decrease of the strength over the entire interval, but it is a rather systematic decrease, approximating a linear variation. By considering the specimen after failure, three types of fracture patterns are observed: arc fracture (AF) through outside the central part, central fracture along the loading direction (LA) and mixed fracture patterns of the two. The DIC and central strain observation systems confirm that the split fractures do not always propagate along the diametrical loading direction, which means that the traditional isotropic elastic theory no longer works for layered shale. The micro-level failure behaviour and mechanism are analysed by PFC simulation. The PFC simulation reveals that the rock matrix tensile fracture and shear fracture along bedding plane are the main fracture pattern of shale disk specimens under the Brazilian test. The bedding inclination and interlayer bonding force play a very important role in the anisotropic behaviour of the shale.
Keywords: Shale, Brazilian test, Inherent anisotropy, Failure mode, 3D digital image correlation system, Particle flow code