Mechanical Tests and Numerical Simulations for Mining Seafloor Massive Sulfides

F. Ma, H. Liu, X. Zhu, Y. Dai, Y. Xie, Z. Huang
Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
Cutting force, PFC3D, seafloor massive sulfides (SMS), triaxial compressive strength (TCS), uniaxial compressive strength (UCS)

With the decrease of primary resources in recent years, deep seabed mineral resources, especially the massive sulfides, are of extensive research significance. In this paper, firstly, the uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) test and triaxial compressive strength (TCS) test on the seafloor massive sulfides (SMS) samples from three different segments are conducted to obtain the key mechanical properties, including the cohesive force, internal friction angle, compressive strength, elastic modulus and Poisson’s ratio. Then, by leveraging the PFC3D code, the uniaxial and triaxial numerical simulations of SMS are performed. During this process, the micro properties in the simulation are altered through a calibration process until they match the macro properties of the SMS samples measured in the laboratory tests. Finally, the micro properties are applied to simulate the cutting process of single cutting pick and two adjacent cutting picks; meanwhile, the cutting force in the fragmentation process of SMS is monitored and collected. This research can provide some guidance for the mining simulation of SMS and effectively predicting the maximum force on the cutting pick.

Keywords: seafloor massive sulfides (SMS), uniaxial compressive strength (UCS), triaxial compressive strength (TCS), cutting force, PFC3D

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