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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/compgeo

Research Paper

Ali Fakhimi ⇑, Omid Hosseini, Roosevelt Theodore

Department of Mineral Engineering, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801, USA

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Strain burst is a spontaneous dynamic failure of rock that can cause serious injury to the miners and dam-

Received 11 September 2015 age to the underground excavations. To simulate the strain burst in the lab, a steel beam was designed

Received in revised form 21 November 2015 and connected to the compression loading machine. The beam acts as an energy absorber and is in direct

Accepted 29 December 2015

contact with the rock specimen which is under uniaxial compression loading. Upon failure of the speci-

Available online 11 January 2016

men, the absorbed energy in the beam is transferred to the rock specimen to simulate the strain burst in

underground pillars. Based on the physical tests, rock fragment velocities of more than 4 m/s were mea-

Keywords:

sured using a high speed camera. The interaction between the steel beam and the rock was modeled

Strain burst

Kinetic energy

using a hybrid discrete-finite element computer program. The effect of different parameters such as pil-

Physical testing lar’s length and diameter, friction coefficient between pillar and roof, compressive strength of pillar, rock

Scaling post-peak behavior, roof stiffness, and pillar and roof rock densities on the intensity of the strain burst

Numerical modeling were studied. The strain burst intensity was defined as the kinetic energy of the simulated rock.

Rock burst Dimensional analysis was applied to find relationships between the dimensionless parameters in the

numerical simulation. The proposed scaling model together with the numerical analysis appears to be

able to show the significance of different parameters involved in the strain burst. In particular, it is shown

that the pillar diameter and its uniaxial compressive strength have significant impacts on the induced

kinetic energy during a strain burst.

Ó 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction rock (rock burst); energy release rate plays a critical role in rock

burst. Based on Cook’s studies, rock burst occurs when an excess

Rock burst is the dynamic failure of rock that poses serious energy becomes available during the post peak deformation stage

threat to the underground activities. This is particularly the case of rock. One of the first attempts to model rock burst in a room

in deep underground mining in which high in situ stresses and and pillar mining system was proposed by Salamon [7] who used

brittle rocks are involved. Ortlepp and Stacey [1] based on source the stiffness matrix (K) of the mining layout together with the

mechanisms, categorized the field rock bursts as: strain bursting, slope matrix (A) of the complete load convergence relations of pil-

buckling, face crushing, virgin shear in rock mass and reactivated lars to predict the stability of the rock structure. He showed that

shear on existing faults or discontinuities. They described the the stable situation is achieved if the system matrix K + A is posi-

strain burst that is involved with violent ejection of sharp rock tive definite. Petukhov and Linkov [8] considered the interaction

fragments as the most common damage mechanism observed in between a linear elastic rock mass with a softening material and

underground excavations. During a rock burst, rock particles can used some energy equations to introduce a criterion for the stabil-

be ejected with a velocity of 8–50 m/s [2] which can cause fatal ity of the system. Burgert and Lippmann [9] studied models of

injuries and damages to the underground equipment. Stacey translatory rock bursting in an idealized coal seam. A model mate-

et al. [3] reported that during a rock burst, the thickness of the rial and a model technique were suggested. They divided the coal

ejected rock can be in the order of 1 m and hence supports for ahead of tunnel face to three regions: (1) Passive elastic zone, (2)

the rock must be capable of absorbing the rock kinetic energy. Rock active elastic zone and (3) active plastic zone. Their model was able

burst had been known in mining since the 18th century; however to explain some of the observations in the field. Zubelewicz and

it remained essentially a subject of qualitative study [4]. Cook [5,6] Mroz [10] considered rock burst phenomenon as a dynamic

discovered the fundamental requirement for violent fracture of instability problem. In their approach, a dynamic perturbation

was superimposed into the static solution of the problem and then

the possibility of kinetic energy growth of the system as an

⇑ Corresponding author.

indication of rock burst was investigated.

E-mail address: hamed@nmt.edu (A. Fakhimi).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compgeo.2015.12.018

0266-352X/Ó 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

A. Fakhimi et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 74 (2016) 36–44 37

Rock burst has been considered as a problem of surface instabil- approach was used to define some dimensionless parameters that

ity by some researchers. Biot [11] performed the pioneering work play important roles in strain bursting of the rock.

on surface instability of a half space. Vardoulakis [12] used the

bifurcation theory to analyze the rock burst as a surface instability

2. Experimental study

phenomenon. Bardet [13] used a finite element formulation to

study rock burst as a surface instability problem. The bifurcation

A soft steel loading frame was designed and attached to the MTS

of the solution was detected by evaluating the eigenvalues of the

loading machine to absorb and store some strain energy that can

tangential stiffness matrix. Whyatt and Loken [14] utilized the

be released when the post-peak regime of the rock is approached.

boundary element method to simulate sudden dislocation along

The steel frame which is made of two W5 16 steel profiles with

a fault plane. Their model was able to explain some of the odd

the yield strength of about 345 MPa is shown in Fig. 1. The frame is

dynamic phenomena that are observed during the rock bursts.

to represent the roof structure in a room and pillar mining system.

Some researchers have investigated the phenomenon of rock

The top of the frame is bolted to the loading machine cross-head

burst experimentally. A double rock sample model was studied

and the rock specimen is accommodated between the platen con-

both physically and numerically by Chen et al. [15]. The physical

nected to the bottom of the frame structure and the machine actu-

sample was made of granite and marble specimens of cylindrical

ator. Experimental tests were conducted on the frame structure to

shape and was tested in uniaxial compression. From the results

obtain its stiffness. Fig. 2 shows the load–deflection curve for the

of the tests, they concluded that it may be possible to predict the

frame structure which suggests that the stiffness of the structure

occurrence of rock burst when a sudden decrease of micro-

is about 14.1 kN/mm.

seismic rate occurs in one zone while the micro-seismic rate

The experimental tests were conducted on the Pennsylvania

continues to increase in an adjacent zone. A true triaxial rock test

blue sandstone which has the following average mechanical

system was used by He et al. [16] to study the rock burst. The lime-

properties: Elastic modulus = 26.3 GPa, Poisson’s ratio = 0.15,

stone specimen, 15 6 3 cm in dimension, was loaded initially

uniaxial compressive strength = 110.9 MPa, and Brazilian tensile

in three mutually perpendicular directions and then abrupt

strength = 9.9 MPa. Rock specimens 25 mm in diameter and

unloading of the minimum principal stress in one loading face

68 mm in length were used for strain burst testing. The tests were

was performed, creating a stress state and boundary conditions

conducted under stroke control. Each test took about 20–30 min to

in the rock sample relatively similar to those that exist at a tunnel

finish; the applied displacement rate was 0.0025 mm/s. The results

face. The physical tests by these authors showed the ejection of

of the uniaxial compressive tests using the frame structure are

rock fragments from the unloaded surface of rock that was inter-

reported in Table 1. All tests were finished by violent failure of rock

preted as rock burst. Kuch et al. [17] simulated coal mine bumps

specimens. A high speed camera was used to record the bursting

using a model material. Their experimental investigation showed

event (Fig. 3a). During the strain burst of the rock specimens, the

that the scatter in the critical rock stress, necessary for bump initi-

velocities of some rock fragments flying in the camera plane were

ation, is due to variations of the post-peak stiffness of the material.

In this paper, strain burst in pillars was studied by using a soft

loading system. Strain burst is a type of rock burst that is associ- 120

ated with gradual accumulation of strain in rock. Uniaxial com- Loading y = 14.08x

R² = 0.9955

pression tests were conducted on sandstone specimens using this 100 Unloading

loading system to allow for accumulation of the strain energy

80

and sudden release of this energy when the rock approached to

Load (kN)

the peak particle velocity. In addition, a numerical model was

utilized for simulation of the rock burst. The rock was represented 40

by a bonded discrete element domain while the loading system

20

was modeled as a linear elastic body. Different parameters that

are involved in the induced dynamic rock fracture and strain burst- 0

ing such as the loading system stiffness, the rock strength, the 0 2 4 6 8

pillar dimensions, and the rock-loading system interface friction Deformation (mm)

coefficient were investigated in this study. Furthermore, a scaling

Fig. 2. Load–deflection data for the frame structure.

Fig. 1. (a) The frame structure and (b) its dimensions (in mm).

38 A. Fakhimi et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 74 (2016) 36–44

Table 1 5.0

The uniaxial compressive strength of sandstone specimens using the soft loading

frame.

Specimen number Uniaxial compressive strength (MPa)

4.0

1 110.7

2 121.1 3.0

3 114.2

4 116.0

5 97.6

2.0

6 117.4

7 104.6

8 105.5

1.0

Average 110.9 0.0 0.1 0.2

Standard deviation 7.8

Particle Mass (g)

calculated with the use of Adobe Photoshop and MATLAB. An Exi-

lim Casio camera capable of video recording at a rate of 1000

frames per second was used in the recording and once the video

14.1 kN/mm, which is consistent with the stiffness of the physical

of the test was complete, each frame was extracted and individu-

frame structure (Fig. 2).

ally saved in a file. The time difference between two consecutive

The bonded particle model for the rock was calibrated using the

frames was 2.083 ms; the video was recorded at a rate of 480

technics introduced by Fakhimi in [18] and [19]. As a result, the

frames per second to obtain a better resolution. The sandstone

micromechanical parameters for the discrete system were

fragments identified to be approximately within the camera plane

obtained: normal spring contact stiffness (Kn) = 2.2 107 N/m,

were singled out in the Adobe Photoshop by whiting out the pixel

shear spring contact stiffness (Ks) = 8.0 106 N/m, normal bond

area of the fragment area and then the background was erased

(nb) = 5.1 N, shear bond (sb) = 27.1 N, friction coefficient (l) = 0.5

with a black eraser (Fig. 3b). This made it easier for the MATLAB

and genesis pressure = 5.9 GPa. As explained in [19], the genesis

program to find the area and the x–y location of the center of mass

pressure is the initial isotropic stress applied to the surrounding

of that particular fragment. Hence by knowing the x–y values of a

walls of the specimen to induce small overlap of the particles in

fragment center on two different frames, and the elapsed time

contact. As a consequence of this small overlap, a more realistic

between the two, the fragment velocity was found. The mass of

bonded particle model can be generated for rock. The spherical

each particle was estimated assuming a spherical shape for the

particles were assumed to have a radius within the range 0.4–

particle and its known density. Fig. 4 shows the measured velocity

0.8 mm with the average radius Rave = 0.6 mm. Using these

of some rock fragments versus the mass of the particles. As Fig. 4

micromechanical parameters, a uniaxial compression test was con-

indicates, high particles velocities of 0.5–4.3 m/s were measured

ducted on a cylindrical specimen 25 mm in diameter and 68 mm in

in our experiments which are typical particle velocities during an

height. The simulated model resulted in the elastic and strength

actual field rock burst.

parameters that are in good agreement with those for the sand-

stone (Table 2).

3. Numerical modeling of strain burst The calibrated bonded particle model for the sandstone which is

25 mm in diameter and 68 mm in height was loaded through the

The computer program CA3 [18] which is a hybrid discrete- frame structure (Fig. 5a). 51,800 spherical particles were used in

finite element code for 3D simulation of geo-materials was used the specimen. To expedite the computational process, the speci-

for the numerical modeling of the rock burst. The sandstone was men was loaded initially by applying a uniform vertical traction

simulated as a bonded particle system which is made of spherical to the lower loading platen. The applied forces versus the numer-

particles that are glued at the contact points to withstand the ical cycles for specimens with and without end friction are shown

applied stresses. The loading frame was modeled as a linear elastic in Fig. 6. The intensity of the traction was such that upon equilib-

material using finite elements. The discretized frame together with rium of the structure, the specimen was subjected to about 70% of

the simulated rock specimen is shown in Fig. 5a. A numerical test its compressive strength (path AB in Fig. 6). Subsequently, a verti-

conducted on the simulated beam confirmed that its stiffness is cal velocity of 0.03 m/s (with a time step of 4.2 108 s or

(a) (b)

RF1

RF1

RF2

RF2

Fig. 3. (a) Photo of a rock specimen during the strain bursting together with two studied rock fragments, (b) the singled out rock fragments introduced to MATLAB to measure

their velocities.

A. Fakhimi et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 74 (2016) 36–44 39

Fig. 5. (a) Finite element model of the frame structure together with the bonded particle rock specimen, and the damaged specimen after the strain burst assuming the

interfaces between loading platens and specimen ends to have a friction coefficient (l0 ) of (b) zero, (c) 0.18.

Table 2

Comparison between the elastic and strength parameters of the sandstone and the simulated material.

Elastic modulus (E) GPa Poisson’s ratio (m) Uniaxial compressive strength (qu) (MPa) Tensile strength (rt) (MPa)

Sandstone 26.3 0.15 110.9 9.9

Simulated model 26.3 0.14 111 10.7

70.0

μ´=0.0

60.0

μ´=0.18 C'

C

50.0

B

Axial Force (kN)

40.0

30.0

20.0

10.0 D D'

A

0.0

0.03 0.23 0.43 0.63 0.83 1.03 1.23 1.43 1.63 1.83

Numerical Cycles (× 106)

Fig. 6. Axial force vs. numerical cycles for two specimens 25 68 mm2 in dimension with and without end friction. The friction coefficient is shown with l0 .

0.12 108 m/cycle) was applied to the bottom of loading platen be exactly within the plane of the camera. Nevertheless, the phys-

(paths BC and BC0 ). During these two stages of loading, a quasi- ical and numerical particle velocities are within the range observed

static solution was achieved by using a damping coefficient of in actual rock bursts.

0.7. The damping force in CA3 program is obtained by multiplying The velocity of the platen of the steel beam which is in direct

the unbalanced force for each finite element node or each discrete contact with the top of the specimen is shown in Fig. 7a. The veloc-

particle by the damping coefficient [20]. When the applied stress ities for situations with and without specimen end friction are

was about 90% of the rock compressive strength, the damping coef- shown. Note that the specimen with end friction fails at an axial

ficient was reduced to 10% to allow a dynamic simulation of the compression of qu = 121 MPa compared to qu = 109 MPa when the

rock-loading frame structure at failure point of the specimen. end friction is zero. This increase in rock strength results in greater

Fig. 5b and c shows two damaged specimens following the strain stored strain energy in the beam and greater beam velocity. As a

burst. In Fig. 5b, no friction was assumed for the interface between consequence, the maximum kinetic energy of the rock burst is

the loading platens and the specimen ends. On the other hand, a expected to be greater in the beam with end friction (Fig. 7b). This

friction coefficient of 0.18 [21] was used in Fig. 5c. Note how the is not the case as the friction at the specimen ends absorbs part of

introduced friction coefficient and the end frictional forces have the beam energy. Furthermore, the ends frictional forces which

protected the specimen ends; only the middle part of the specimen support the specimen ends put restriction on the kinematics of

is subjected to the bursting. The maximum particle velocities the damaged specimen (Fig. 5). Consequently, the numerical model

reported by the CA3 program for Fig. 5b and c are 11.4 and suggests that the rock burst intensity is reduced if the friction coef-

9.8 m/s, respectively. These maximum particle velocities are ficient between the specimen ends and the loading platens is not

greater than those reported in Fig. 4 based on the actual physical zero.

measurement. This discrepancy between the numerically calcu-

lated peak particle velocity and the physical values should be 4. Dimensional analysis

expected; the numerical model does not incorporates a rate depen-

dent micro-mechanical model and in the physical measurement, The kinetic energy of a failing pillar (Q) due to strain burst can

the particle with greatest velocity is hard to find and it may not be considered as a function of the following parameters:

40 A. Fakhimi et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 74 (2016) 36–44

2.0

μ' = 0 0.2

1.5 μ' = 0.18 (a) μ' = 0.18 (b)

0.16 μ' = 0

1.0

Beam Velocity (m/s)

0.5

0.12

0.0

8 10 12 14 16 18 0.08

-0.5

-1.0

0.04

-1.5

0

-2.0

5 7.5 10 12.5 15 17.5

Numerical Cycle × 105 Numerical Cycle × 105

Fig. 7. (a) Top platen vertical velocity and (b) kinetic energy of the bonded particle specimen vs. numerical cycles for specimen ends friction coefficient of zero and 0.18.

elastic modulus of the roof material. Therefore, the last term in Eq.

(3) can be written as:

D

Tributary area of

pillar qu D4 qu D4

h ¼ 4

ð5Þ

Kr Vr Er h

b Eqs. (4) and (5) indicate that the thickness of the roof has a great

a impact on the roof stiffness and consequently the intensity of the

rock burst. Note that the roof thickness in Fig. 8 is not necessarily

L the whole thickness of the overburden material in a mine; a joint

that separates the immediate roof from the overburden material

Pillar can dictate and define the effective roof thickness in our analysis.

Based on Eq. (3), parametric studies were conducted using the

beam-specimen model shown in Fig. 5a and the results are dis-

cussed in the next sections of the paper.

Fig. 8. A pillar and its tributary roof volume.

5. Rock pillar brittleness

Q ¼ f 1 ðqp ; qr ; K r ; V r ; b; l0 ; L; D; qu Þ ð1Þ

In Eq. (1), qp, qr, Kr, Vr, b, l0 , L, D, qu are pillar density, roof density, The rock pillar brittleness (b) in Eq. (3) is defined in the dimen-

roof stiffness, tributary roof volume (equal to abh in Fig. 8), pillar sionless form as the ratio of the Kp to Kr. The Kp parameter is the

brittleness, friction coefficient between pillar and roof or floor, pillar post-peak slope of the force–displacement curve of the pillar.

length, pillar diameter, and uniaxial compressive strength of pillar, To vary the rock pillar brittleness, the micro-mechanical param-

respectively. In Eq. (1), the elastic properties of the pillar are not eters (such as normal and shear bonds and genesis pressure) in the

explicitly considered. In particular, the explicit effect of pillar elastic bonded particle system were modified. However, for the simple

modulus was ignored assuming that this parameter is approxi- contact bond model used in this paper, it was realized that the only

mately proportional to the uniaxial compressive strength of the pil- parameter that has noticeable impact on the Kp value is the friction

lar; in general as the elastic modulus of rock is increased, its coefficient between the particles (l). The effect of l on the post-

uniaxial compressive strength is increased as well. Considering peak behavior of the simulated rock specimen with D = 25 mm

the 3 independent dimensions of force, mass and length, and the and L = 68 mm is shown in Fig. 9. Notice that as expected by

10 involved parameters, the following 6 dimensionless parameters increasing the internal friction coefficient, more ductile behavior

control the dimensionless kinetic energy of the pillar upon bursting: is realized and more energy is needed for complete failure of the

! specimen. It is interesting to note that the aspect ratio (L/D) of

Q L qp Dq D3

¼ f2 ; ; b; l0 ; u ; ð2Þ the pillar has a negligible effect on the Kp value; Kp/Kr (for

qu LD2 D qr Kr V r Kr = 14.08 kN/mm) varies from 117 to 135 when L/D changes

from 0.5 to 8 for l = 0.5. This finding is consistent with the obser-

In the next sections of the paper and in [22], it has been shown

vations in the previous work [24,25].

that for the situation considered in this paper in which the mass of

the beam in Fig. 5a (or the mass of the roof) is much larger than the

mass of the specimen (or the mass of the pillar), the last two 6. Numerical tests results

parameters in Eq. (2) can be combined such that:

! To verify the appropriateness of Eq. (3) in describing the

Q L qp q D4 induced kinetic energy in the specimen due to the strain burst, sev-

¼ f2 ; ; b; l0 ; u ð3Þ

qu LD2 D qr Kr V r eral numerical tests were conducted. Fig. 10a shows the variation

of dimensionless kinetic energy (the expression on the left side

Note that based on the theory of linear elastic plates [23], the of Eq. (3)) vs. the L/D of the specimen. In these tests, only the spec-

roof stiffness in Fig. 8 can be written as: imen length was modified and a friction coefficient of l0 = 0.18 was

3 used for the interface of the specimen ends and the loading pla-

Er h

Kr ð4Þ tens. Note that the dimensionless kinetic energy remained almost

ab

unaffected by changes in the specimen length (within L/D = 1–8)

A. Fakhimi et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 74 (2016) 36–44 41

(a) -120

(b)

60.0

50.0 -100

Axial Force (kN)

40.0 -80

Kp/Kr

30.0 -60

y = 89.98x - 148.21

20.0 -40 R² = 0.99

10.0 -20

0.0 0

0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0 0.5 1 1.5 2

Axial Displacement (mm) μ

Fig. 9. The effect of micro-mechanical internal friction coefficient (l) on the post-peak slope (Kp) of the simulated rock specimen. (a) Force–displacement curves, (b)

normalized post-peak slope vs internal friction coefficient (l). The results are shown for D = 25 mm, L = 68 mm, and Kr = 14.08 kN/mm.

200

(a) ρp is variable, ρr is 7800 kg/m3 (b)

100 ρp is variable, ρr is 2600 kg/m3

160 ρp is 2600 kg/m3, ρr is variable

/(qu.L.D2) (×10-6)

/(qu.L.D2) (×10-6)

80

120

60 y = 36.06x + 14.56

R² = 0.98

80

40

40

20

0 0

0 2 4 6 8 10 0 1 2 3 4 5

L/D ρp/ρr

Fig. 10. Dimensionless kinetic energy vs. (a) pillar (specimen) aspect ratio for qp = 2600 kg/m3, and qr = 7800 kg/m3, (b) ratio of pillar (specimen) density to roof (beam)

density with L = 68 mm. For these tests, D = 25 mm, Kr = 14.08 kN/mm, Kp = 1520 kN/mm and l0 = 0.18 were used.

and only when the specimen aspect ratio is less than 1, it showed in the relatively identical qu values for these specimens. This strat-

some sensitivity to the L/D parameter. This should be expected as egy helped to single out the effect the Kp on the kinetic energy.

for low L/D values, the uniaxial compressive strength of the speci- In Fig. 11b, the variation of the dimensionless kinetic energy

men increases and that causes more energy to be stored and deliv- with the friction coefficient between the specimen ends and the

ered to the specimen at the time of strain burst. The important loading platens is shown. Note that the dimensionless kinetic

suggestion by Fig. 10a is that the kinetic energy of the pillar is energy is not affected by the friction coefficient unless the friction

approximately a linear function of the pillar length for the L/D val- coefficient is close to zero. The role of the specimen ends friction

ues within the range of 1–8 studied in this paper; longer pillars are coefficient is to confine the specimen ends which results in greater

subjected to more violent strain bursting. Note that the increase in material confinement at its ends and less induced kinetic energy.

the intensity of the strain burst due to increase in the specimen Fig. 12 shows how the dimensionless kinetic energy is affected

length is due to the freedom of a longer section (far away from by the 5th dimensionless parameter in Eq. (3). Notice that different

the loading platens) of the specimen to the lateral movement symbols have been used in the figure to indicate the variation in

and that a longer pillar can absorb greater elastic energy before different parameters. From Fig. 12, it appears that a linear equation

failure. Nevertheless, for very large pillar lengths, the dimension- can approximately fit the data points.

less energy is expected to approach zero as the supplied energy

from the roof is a finite value. 7. A simplified analytical model and discussion of the results

Fig. 10b shows the variation of dimensionless kinetic energy

with the ratio of pillar density to roof density. Note that irrespec- Consider the frame structure in Fig. 5a which is under the load P

tive of the change in the pillar or roof density, the data points fol- applied at its mid span through the rock specimen. Sudden

low a relatively linear trend. From this figure, it is concluded that removal of the applied load due to spontaneous failure of the rock

reduction in the roof mass, causes a more violent bursting of the causes the strain energy in the linear elastic beam to transform

pillar as the stored energy in the roof or beam can result in greater into kinetic energy, i.e.

initial velocity when a lighter material is involved; this observation

1 1 P2

supports the simplified energy approach in predicting the kinetic mr v 2r ¼ ð6Þ

energy of the pillar burst as discussed in the next section. 2 2 Kr

In Fig. 11a, the effect of the variation of Kp/Kr (for a fixed In Eq. (6), Kr is the beam (or roof) stiffness, vr is the beam velocity at

Kr = 14.08 kN/mm) on the dimensionless kinetic energy is shown. its mid span, and mr is part of the beam mass that can be considered

It appears that there is a linear relationship between the dimen- as a lumped mass in Eq. (6) which is about one half of the whole

sionless kinetic energy and Kp/Kr parameter. Note that as discussed beam mass. By substitution for P with respect to the uniaxial com-

in the Section 5, in playing with the Kp parameter, the microme- pressive strength of rock (qu), we have

chanical parameter l was varied which resulted in small changes

in the uniaxial compressive strength of the specimens. The normal p2 q2u D4

v 2r ¼ ð7Þ

and shear bond between particles were slightly adjusted to result 16K r mr

42 A. Fakhimi et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 74 (2016) 36–44

30 50

(a) (b)

25

/(qu.L.D2) (×10-6)

40

/(qu.L.D2) (×10-6)

y = -0.16x + 5.68

20 R² = 0.96

30

15

20

10

10

5

0 0

0 -20 -40 -60 -80 -100 -120 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2

Kp/Kr μ'

Fig. 11. Dimensionless kinetic energy vs. (a) the ratio of post-peak pillar stiffness to the roof stiffness with l0 = 0.18., (b) the friction coefficient between the pillar and the roof

with Kp = 1520 kN/mm. In these tests, L = 68 mm, D = 25 mm, Kr = 14.08 kN/mm, qp = 2600 kg/m3, and qr = 7800 kg/m3 were used.

350

qu is variable

D is variable

300 L is variable y = 5E+06x + 10.749

R² = 0.9937

250

/(qu.L.D2) (×10 6)

200

150

100

50

0

0 0.00001 0.00002 0.00003 0.00004 0.00005 0.00006

(qu.D4)/(Kr.Vr)

Fig. 12. Dimensionless kinetic energy vs. the 5th parameter in Eq. (3). The involved parameters including D (within the range of 12.5–50 mm), L (within the range of 17–

204 mm), qu (within the range of 28–169 MPa) were allowed to vary. In these tests, Kr = 14.08 kN/mm, Kp = 1520 kN/mm, Vr = 1 m3, qp = 2600 kg/m3, qr = 7800 kg/m3 and

l0 = 0.18 were used. L/D is within the range of 1.36–8.16 in this figure.

If the mass of the specimen (or pillar) is assumed to be small underground activities that are prone to the strain bursting, large

compared to the mass of the frame structure (mass of the tributary diameter pillars should be avoided. Numerical results in Fig. 13 con-

volume of the roof), the specimen shows negligible resistance in the firm the linear relationship between the kinetic energy of the pillar

impact of the beam to the specimen top and hence the velocity vr is with the qu2 and D6.

approximately equal to the velocity of the top of the specimen To reduce the possibility of rock burst in the mining engineer-

(pillar). Therefore, an estimate for the kinetic energy (Q) of the ing, a technics called de-stressing is used. De-stressing is to move

damaged specimen or pillar is as follows: highly stressed zones some distance from the mining activities.

The idea of de-stressing is not new, and this technique has been

mp q2u 4 reported in the 1950s [26,27]. In general, three de-stressing tech-

Q D ð8Þ

mr K r niques are available: blasting, drilling, and water infusion/hydrau-

lic fracturing. Blast de-stressing or preconditioning has been

In Eq. (8), mp is the mass (or part of the mass involved in the burst)

successfully used in the South African gold mines. Grodner [28]

of the specimen (or pillar) and is to show that Q is proportional to

reports that rock preconditioning by detonating explosives in the

the right hand side expression. For a pillar and the attached roof in

confined rock mass ahead of the mining face transfers the stresses

Fig. 8, the kinetic energy becomes:

further away and effectively unloads the immediate face area.

Lqp q2u D6 To study the effect of preconditioning on the induced kinetic

Q ð9Þ energy in the numerical simulation, drilling approach was utilized;

abhqr K r

in the circumferential area of the bonded particle specimen 2.5 (di-

Based on Eq. (9), it is easy to see that the dimensionless kinetic ameter) 6.5 (height) cm2 in size, circular holes within the range

energy has a linear relationship with the second and fifth parame- of 0–0.3 cm in diameter and 0.5 cm in depth in a square pattern

ters in Eq. (3), which is consistent with the numerical results shown of 1.57 1.57 cm2 were generated (Fig. 14). Two sets of numerical

in Fig. 10b and 12. The shortcoming of Eq. (9) is that it does not tests were conducted. In the first set, the uniaxial compressive

include the other involved parameters which were identified strength of the simulated specimen was allowed to reduce due to

through dimensional analysis and are reported in Eq. (3). Notice the presence of the holes. As Fig. 15a shows, in this case, the

that in Eqs. (3) and (9), the two parameters that have the greatest induced kinetic energy reduced linearly as the diameter of the

impact on the rock burst energy are the specimen diameter and holes is increased. In the second set of the numerical tests, the

the uniaxial compressive strength of rock (pillar). In particular, dou- normal bond and shear bond at the contact points of the particles

bling the specimen or pillar diameter can increase the rock burst were increased proportionally such that the uniaxial compressive

energy by about two orders of magnitude. This suggests that in strength was not affected by the presence of the holes. The

A. Fakhimi et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 74 (2016) 36–44 43

0.3 7

6

0.25 y = 0.0004x + 0.026

R² = 1

Kinetic Energy (J)

y = 1E-05x + 0.0077 5

0.2 R² = 0.998

4

0.15 (b)

(a) 3

0.1

2

0.05 1

0 0

0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 0 5000 10000 15000 20000

Fig. 13. The effect of pillar uniaxial compressive strength (qu) and diameter (D) on rock burst kinetic energy. (a) Linear relationship between kinetic energy and q2u. (b) Linear

Relationship between kinetic energy and D6. In these tests L = 68 mm, Kr = 14.08 kN/mm, l0 = 0.18, qp = 2600 kg/m3, and qr = 7800 kg/m3 were used.

conditioning mostly targets the rock strength in the strain burst

region through which the potential for sever rock bursts is

diminished.

1.57 cm

8. Conclusion

tem in uniaxial compression testing of sandstone specimens. The

physical uniaxial tests showed that violent failure can be captured

by using this testing configuration. High speed camera photogra-

phy showed particle velocities of the failed specimen in the order

of 4–5 m/s which should be expected in an actual field rock burst.

The physical tests were mimicked by using a linear elastic finite

element model for the frame structure while the rock was simu-

1.57 cm lated by a bonded particle discrete element system. Dimensional

analysis was implemented to predict the relationship between

the induced kinetic energy and the involved parameters. It was

shown that the pillar (specimen) diameter, pillar length, roof stiff-

1.04 cm ness, post-peak pillar behavior, roof-pillar interface friction coeffi-

cient, pillar and roof rock densities, tributary volume of the roof,

and uniaxial compressive strength of pillar are contributing factors

Fig. 14. The hole (3.0 mm diameter) pattern in the simulated rock specimen to

into the induced kinetic energy of the bursting pillar. In particular,

reduce the induced kinetic energy of strain burst.

the pillar diameter and its uniaxial compressive strength have

greatest impact on the severity of the strain burst. The numerical

variation of the kinetic energy with the hole diameter is shown in model confirmed that preconditioning of the pillar by drilling can

Fig. 15b. Note that in this latter case, even though the data points be used as a tool to diminish the intensity of the strain bursting

show some small scatter, the change in kinetic energy with the in a pillar and that the reduction in the kinetic energy of the rock

hole diameter seems to be negligible. This observation suggests burst in this situation is mostly due to the reduction of uniaxial

that the reduction in the kinetic energy in the first case is mostly compressive strength of pillar through the generated holes.

0.2

0.15

(a) (b)

0.16

Kinetic Energy (J)

0.12

Kinetic Energy (J)

R² = 0.98

0.06 0.08

0.03 0.04

0 0

0 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 3 4

Holes Diameter (mm) Holes Diameter (mm)

Fig. 15. The effect of hole diameter in the circumferential area of rock specimen on the induced kinetic energy, (a) the uniaxial strength of the rock was allowed to reduce due

to the presence of the holes, (b) the normal and shear bonds were increased in proportion to keep the uniaxial compressive strength of the specimen unchanged. In these

tests, L = 68 mm, D = 25 mm, qp = 2600 kg/m3, qr = 7800 kg/m3, Kr = 14.08 kN/mm and l0 = 0.18 were used.

44 A. Fakhimi et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 74 (2016) 36–44

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