Hybrid finite-discrete element modelling of asperity degradation and gouge grinding during direct shearing of rough rock joints
A hybrid finite-discrete element method was implemented to study the fracture process of rough rock joints under direct shearing. The hybrid method reproduced the joint shear resistance evolution process from asperity sliding to degradation and from gouge formation to grinding.
It is found that, in the direct shear test of rough rock joints under constant normal displacement loading conditions, higher shearing rate promotes the asperity degradation but constraints the volume dilation, which then results in higher peak shear resistance, more gouge formation and grinding, and smoother new joint surfaces. Moreover, it is found that the joint roughness affects the joint shear resistance evolution through influencing the joint fracture micro mechanism.
The asperity degradation and gouge grinding are the main failure micro-mechanism in shearing rougher rock joints with deeper asperities while the asperity sliding is the main failure micro-mechanism in shearing smoother rock joints with shallower asperities.
It is concluded that the hybrid finite-discrete element method is a valuable numerical tool better than traditional finite element method and discrete element method for modelling the joint sliding, asperity degradation, gouge formation, and gouge grinding occurred in the direct shear tests of rough rock joints.
Keywords: hybrid FEM-DEM, rock joint, asperity sliding, asperity shearing, fragment grinding.