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www.elsevier.com/locate/engfracmech

mechanics of rock bursts

P.P. Proch

azka

Department of Structural Mechanics and Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University,

Thakurova 7, Prague 6 166 29, Czech Republic

Received 30 October 2002; accepted 5 November 2002

Abstract

In deep mining engineering sudden release of accumulated potential energy occurs under special conditions. This

phenomenon is known as bumps or rock bursts. During the bumps the rock turns out to grain material, which bursts

into a free space. The mathematical and experimental modeling requires very attentive treatment. Two methods put

forward in this paper can serve a mathematical tool for solving such problems. The ﬁrst, discrete hexagonal element

method can be considered as one of discrete element methods (DEM), which are very often used in mechanics of

granular media. They substitute the methods for solving continuum problems. The great disadvantage of the classical

DEM, such as the particle ﬂow code––PFC (material properties are characterized by spring stiﬀness), is to feed them

with material properties provided from laboratory tests (YoungÕs moduli, PoissonÕs ratio, etc.), which are not quite

consistent with stiﬀnesses of springs, the PFC requires. This is why we utilize the principal idea of the DEM, but cover

the continuum by hexagonal elastic, or elastic–plastic elements. In order to complete the study, other DEM is discussed

and numerical results of both methods are compared with experiments in scale model.

2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Free hexagonal element method; Statical PFC; Localized damage; Cracking and bumps occurrence during mining or

tunneling

1. Introduction

For bumps to occur, the rock has to possess certain particular material properties, leading to accu-

mulation of potential energy and ability to release this energy. Such a material may be brittle, or the bumps

arise at interfacial zones of two parts of the rock, both having principally diﬀerent material properties.

The experiments and numerical studies are concentrated on loading of longwall seams. The coal is

supposed to be drilled in great depths. The mathematical models are prepared in compliance with the

experiments. Both numerical methods, free hexagonal element method and statical PFC are selected to

assess the local energy concentration and forthcoming bumps.

0013-7944/$ - see front matter 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/S0013-7944(03)00029-8

602 P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618

Not many publications that were concerned with local sudden failure of stability were issued in the past.

They are concerned with various ways of the coal seam loadings, material properties of rock overburden,

extrusion of gas, disturbances in zones oﬀ-face the longwalls, etc. In [10] a study of a behavior of cubes of

coal that were loaded by concentrated load was carried out. In [22], scale model and theoretical studies on

the mechanism of coal and gas bumps are discussed. In [14] model material is used to simulate coalmine

bumps. Since determination of in situ rock strength is required for successful design of underground

structures, Bureau of Mines in Denver (there is only one Bureau of Mines in the USA now being in

Pittsburgh) issued a series of publications, where estimates for engineers can be found. A summary is

published in [12]. The publication [11] deals with reinforcement of upper part of mining (strong roof).

The principal problem of classical numerical methods, such as the ﬁnite element methods, the boundary

element methods, etc., consists in ‘‘too stiﬀÕ models, or too complicated simulations of the real states when

no a priori knowledge of crack initiation is available, [4,5], where local weakening due to damage is in-

troduced. This is why discrete element methods (DEM) have been introduced. Cohesive Zone Models use

classical ideas of Barenblatt, i.e. fracture mechanics tools, and are applied by Needelman, Tvergard,

Hutchison (composite materials), and others, see e.g. [9]. The fracture mechanics problems can be sub-

stituted by contact problems, which are in many respects more transparent, and lead to the same results, if

the material properties are properly stated. Moreover, it is not necessary to know in advance the crack

initiation. These models we will study in this paper.

In early 1970Õs Cundall, [2], and others, [3], introduced discrete elements starting with dynamic equi-

librium. First, brick-like elements were used (professional computer program UDEC), and later circular in

2D and spherical in 3D elements (PFC––particle ﬂow code––both computer systems issued by ITASCA)

simulated the continuum behavior of structures. The application of such methods found their place mainly

in geotechnics, where soil is a typical grain material with the above-mentioned shape, [15,19]. If the material

parameters are well chosen, the mechanical behavior of discrete elements is very close to the reality. The

problem consists of ﬁnding such material parameters. There are plenty of attempts on how to ﬁnd out these

parameters, but still there is no satisfactory output from those studies. The most prospective seems to be

coverage of the domain, deﬁning the physical body by hexagonal elements, which are very close to disks,

and can cover the domain with a very small geometrical error. Substituting the discrete elements by elastic,

or elastic–plastic hexagons with the full contact of adjacent elements along their common boundaries yields

honeycomb-like shape of elements, [19,21], covering the structure of the continuous medium. The relations

inside the hexagonal particles are solved by a special form of the boundary element method, [1], for ex-

ample. It is necessary to note that beams create the honeycomb boundaries and there is no material inside

such particles.

The idea of hexagonal elements probably arose from honeycomb elements, their interior is ﬁlled with

the material. The free hexagons are used by Onck and van der Giessen in [16], for example, where large

scale of references on this topic can be found. In the latter publication the ﬁnite element method, e.g. [24],

is used to create the stiﬀness matrices of the elements, namely six ﬁnite elements are substructured to a

hexagon.

In applications to the geotechnical problems the disturbed state concept (DSC) issued by Desai [4,5] can

describe a wide spectrum of material states inside the elements, starting with elastic, elastic–plastic, [6], and

even damage states, [13], can be considered in DesaiÕs model. Using eigenparameters for plastic strain, or

relaxation stress, [7,8] completes the description of possible and suitable non-linear constitutive laws, which

moreover can be ‘‘tuned’’ from ‘‘in situ’’ measurements, or from results of scale modeling, [18]. Geo-

technical properties are deﬁned on the boundaries of the elements. A typical formulation of the problem

involving generalized Mohr–Coulomb law combined with exclusion of tensile zones is proposed in [17],

where the technique using LagrangianÕs multipliers leads to mixed problem (both displacements and

stresses––element boundary tractions are iterated). In this paper penalty method is applied, and element

boundary tractions (former LagrangianÕs multipliers) are substituted by spring stiﬀnesses (penalty func-

P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618 603

tions, or in our case the penalty parameters). The springs enable one to simulate the interfacial constraint,

namely the exclusion of the tensile tractions and application of the Mohr–Coulomb law. The Mohr–

Coulomb law is used in two basic forms, for brittle or almost brittle materials, and for soft rocks or

soil.

The reliability of the methods put forward is tested for rock bumps in coalmines. The experimental data

and the results from these models are in a good agreement with experimental results from [23].

The paper starts with formulation of the free hexagonal element method and then statical particle ﬂow is

described. The bumps are typical problem in mining engineering, which is not yet clear enough. There is a

lack of numerical models, and this paper should partly bridge this deﬁciency. Examples are focused on

bumps occurrence due to extreme depth of longwall mines. The statical PFC is also employed and both

numerical methods are compared with experimental results.

The discrete free hexagonal element method may approximately be considered as one of the DEM. The

great disadvantage of some classical DEM, however, is to feed them with material properties provided from

laboratory tests (this is the case of statical particle ﬂow code, formulated in the next section, as the discs are

connected by springs, while laboratories provide completely diﬀerent material parameters). This is over-

come here by considering the material characteristics, which are similar to continuum. The principal idea of

classical DEM is adopted, and the domain deﬁning the structure continuum is covered by the hexagonal

elastic in our case, or other (elastic–plastic, visco-elastic–plastic, etc.) elements. This step avoids necessity to

estimate the material properties of springs, which are essential for the DEM. The free hexagonal element

method fulﬁlls a natural requirement consisting of the fact that the elastic properties are assigned to the

particles and other geotechnical material parameters (angle of internal friction, shear strength or cohesion)

to the contacts of elements. Considering that most particles are of the same shape leads to possibility to

apply very powerful iteration procedures, because the stiﬀness matrix can be stored in the internal memory

of computers.

When dealing with crack problems, two principal methods are used. First, the means of fracture me-

chanics are applied, or contact problem can be formulated. The latter case is generally not suitable, because

the direction, or way of propagation of the cracks should be known in advance.

In this paper the second possibility is used and the obstacle of unknown propagation of the cracks is

avoided by creating a mesh of free hexagonal elements, which are in mutual contacts in undeformed state,

but can be disconnected because of violating contact conditions.

The computational model is described in the next paragraph, where also relations needed for numerical

computation are introduced. The interface conditions are formulated in paragraph 2.2, where the La-

grangian principle is based on the penalty method. The penalty parameters are spring stiﬀnesses, and

springs connect the adjacent elements. The material characteristics of springs can posses a large value to

ensure the contact constrains. On the other hand, if, say, the tensile strength condition is violated, the

spring parameters tend to zero and naturally no energy contribution in normal direction to the element

boundary appears in the energy functional in this case.

The hexagonal particles are studied under various contact (interfacial) conditions of the grain particles

(elements). In out paper basically two contact conditions are involved:

• generalized Mohr–Coulomb hypothesis with exclusion of non-admissible tensile stresses along the con-

tact (rock mass),

• limit state of shear stresses and exclusion of tensile tractions along the contact (brittle coal seam).

604 P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618

The ﬁrst case is generally connected with applications in geotechnics, composite materials, shotcrete,

etc., and the second case is more appropriate for applications in underground bumps, or rock bursts. So far,

two-dimensional formulation and its solution are prepared and studied in this paper.

The problem formulated in terms of hexagonal elements (which are not necessarily mutually connected

during the loading process of the body, because of arising non-linearities due to the interfacial conditions)

enables one to simulate the way of propagation of cracks. The cracking of the medium can be described in

such a way that the local damage may be derived. Local deterioration of the material can also be seen from

the pictures, drawn for particular examples. Such a movement of elements and change of stresses cannot

probably be obtained from continuous numerical methods.

Consider now a single hexagonal element (described by domain X with its boundary C). Its connection

with the adjacent elements is shown in Fig. 1. In each hexagonal element the pseudo-elastic material

properties are taken into consideration, i.e. in every iteration step the element behaves linearly, but the

material properties can change during the process of loading and unloading. This makes it possible to

introduce only elastic material stiﬀness matrix, which is homogeneous and isotropic, and we get well-known

integral equations being valid along the boundary abscissas of the hexagons, [1]:

( Z Z

X2 X

6 X2

ckl ðnÞul ðnÞ ¼ pi ðxÞuik ðx; nÞ dx ui ðxÞpik ðx; nÞ dx

l¼1 s¼1 i¼1 Cs Cs

)

2 Z

X

þ bi ðxÞuik ðx; nÞ dx ; k ¼ 1; 2; ð1Þ

i¼1 X

where bi components of the volume weight vector, Cs are edges (abscissas) of the boundary elements, n is

the point of observation, x is the integration point, ui are components of the vector of displacements

(deﬁned not exclusively on the boundary, but also in the domain of the hexagonal element), pi are com-

ponents of the tractions, ckl is a matrix its values depend on the position of the point of observation. The

quantities with asterisk are given kernels. The kernels can be expressed as (for example, see [1]):

xixk l 2xixk

uik ¼ A Mðlog rÞdik 2 ; pik ¼ 2A 2 kðnk xi nixk Þ kdik þ 2 xj nj ;

r r r

P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618 605

where A ¼ ðk þ lÞ=4plðk þ 2lÞ, M ¼ ðk þ 3lÞ=ðk þ lÞ, k ¼ l=ðk þ lÞ, xi ¼ xi ni , r2 ¼ x21 þ x22 , and k

and l, are LameÕs material constants.

Assuming uniform distribution of boundary quantities (displacements ui ðxÞ and tractions pi ðxÞ; i ¼ 1; 2Þ,

and volume weight forces bi to be uniform in the domain X, and positioning the points of observation n

successively at the points ns , which are the centers of boundary abscissas of the hexagonal elements, a

simpliﬁed version of (1) is written as:

( )

X6 X2 Z Z X 2 Z

1 s s s

uk ðns Þ ¼ pi uik ðx; ns Þ dx ui pik ðx; ns Þ dx þ bi uik ðx; ns Þ dx ; k ¼ 1; 2;

2 s¼1 i¼1 Cs Cs i¼1 X

ð2Þ

usi pis

where and are values of the relevant quantities positioned at the ns , s ¼ 1; . . . ; 6, i.e. ¼ ui ðns Þ andusi

pis ¼ pi ðns Þ. Moreover, vector of inﬂuences of the volume weight forces on the boundary abscissas is

bs ¼ fcs1 ; cs2 g; s ¼ 1; . . . ; 6, and

X 2 Z

csk ¼ bsi uik ðx; ns Þ dCðxÞ; k ¼ 1; 2:

i¼1 X

For better and convenient computation the most important integrals are given in Appendix. In this way,

the integrals in (2) may be calculated directly, without numerical integration.

Let us introduce vectors as , bs , s ¼ 1; . . . ; 6, and also u and p as:

0 1 0 1 0 1

a1 b1 b1

B a2 C B b2 C B b2 C

s s B C B C B C

u1 p1 B a3 C B b3 C B b3 C

as ¼ ; bs ¼ C

; u ¼ B C; p ¼ B C; b ¼ B

B B C C

B b4 C ;

us2 p2s B 4Ca b

B 4C B C

@ a5 A @ b5 A @ b5 A

a6 b6 b6

2

X Z

ask ¼ usi pik ðx; ns Þ dx ;

i¼1 Cs

X

2 Z

bsk ¼ pis uik ðx; ns Þ dx:

i¼1 Cs

Using this notation, the relations on the elements (2) can be recorded as:

Au ¼ Bp þ b; ð3Þ

where A and B are (12 12) matrices, their components are singular integrals over the boundary abscissas.

Matrix A is generally singular, while matrix B is regular. This fact enables one to rearrange equations (3)

into the form:

Ku ¼ p þ V; K ¼ B1 A; V ¼ B1 b; ð4Þ

where the stiﬀness matrix K is diﬀerent from that arising in applications of ﬁnite elements (it is prevailingly

non-symmetric), V is the vector of volume weight forces concentrated on the boundary abscissas (more

precisely at the point ns ). In this way, the discretized problem turns to the problem similar to the FEM.

Along the adjacent boundary abscissas it should hold (pil are EshelbyÕs forces):

þ

pi þ piþ ¼ ðpil Þ þ ðpil Þ ; ð5Þ

606 P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618

where superscript plus means from the right and minus from the left (at most two particles can be in a

contact).

Now using the relation (4) and (5), we get two times more unknowns then equations, because no con-

nection between elements has been introduced, yet. Equation (5) have to be accomplished by the constraint

of the type

ki ðu þ

i ui Þ ¼ p i : ð6Þ

The latter conditions are penalty-like conditions, since if ki is great enough, the distribution of dis-

placements is continuous, displacement from the right is equal to displacement from the left. These con-

ditions can locally be violated, because of contact conditions, which are discussed later in this text.

Introducing boundary conditions and assuming ki remains great enough leads us to the stable system of

equations delivering unique solution. Even in the case when local disturbances occur, the solution can be

stable. It can happen that there are too many disturbances, such as cracks density, or localized damage

along a path (earth slope stability violation). Then the solution is unstable, there is a failure of the structure.

This is also the case of rock burst.

The discretization in the previous sense leads the non-linear system of algebraic equations, which are

solved by over-relaxation iterative procedure. This method is suﬃcient for study reasons. For larger extend

of equations the conjugate gradient method is prepared.

For displacements in the element domain X it holds:

( )

X

6 X 2 Z Z X2 Z

s s s

uk ðns Þ ¼ pi uik ðx; ns Þ dx ui pik ðx; ns Þ dx þ bi uik ðx; ns Þ dCðxÞ ; k ¼ 1; 2;

s¼1 i¼1 Cs Cs i¼1 X

ð7Þ

where the element boundary displacements and tractions are known from the previous computation,

providing the solution is stable. Using kinematical equations and HookeÕs law, internal stresses can be

calculated from (7). There is no danger of singularities, as the points x and ns never meet (point x lies inside

domain X and ns on boundary C for every admissible s).

Recall that the displacements are described by a vector function u ¼ fu1 ; u2 g of the variable x ¼ fx1 ; x2 g.

The traction ﬁeld on the particle boundaries is denoted either as p ¼ fp1 ; p2 g, or after projections to normal

and tangential directions as p ¼ fpn ; pt g. Similar result is valid for projections of displacements, u ¼ fun ; ut g.

Assuming the ‘‘small deformation’’ theory, it may be satisfactory to formulate the essential contact

conditions on the interface as follows (no penetration conditions):

½ukn ¼ uk;c k;a k

n un 6 0 on CC ; ð8Þ

where CkC , k ¼ 1; . . . ; n are boundaries between adjacent particles, uk;a

is the normal displacement of current

n

element (a ¼ c) and a ¼ a belongs to the adjacent element, both on the current common boundary CkC , k

runs all common sides of the particles, n is the number of common sides of hexagons (having exactly two

adjacent particles inside the domain, one or none on the external boundary).

Let knk is the spring stiﬀness in normal direction and ktk is the spring stiﬀness in tangential direction on the

boundary between particles with common boundary CkC . Then in elastic region pnk ¼ knk ½ukn and ptk ¼ ktk ½utn .

Denote

ktk j½ukt j 6 ck on CkC ; k ¼ 1; . . . ; ng; ½ukt ¼ uk;c k;a

t ut ;

P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618 607

k

where uk;a t is the tangential displacement on the side k, ðpnþ Þ denotes the tensile strength, ck is the shear

strength, V is the set of displacements which fulﬁll the kinematical boundary conditions and the condition

(8). If pnk ¼ 0, the admissible displacements satisfying the essential boundary and contact conditions create a

cone and K valid for brittle or almost brittle material. If the material exhibits elasto-plastic behavior, then K

turns to:

k k k

K ¼ fu 2 V ; ðpnþ Þ P pnk ¼ knk ½un ; if ðpnþ Þ < Pnk then pnk ¼ 0;

k k

ktk j½ut j 6 ck jðpnk Þ pnk tan / on CkC ; k ¼ 1; . . . ; ng; ½ut ¼ uk;c k;a

t ut ;

where / is the angle of internal friction, and pnk normal traction on the side k, j is generalized HeavisideÕs

function being equal to zero for positive argument and one otherwise. Here the sign convention is im-

portant: positive normal traction is tension.

k k

From the above deﬁned spaces one can deduce that pnk , ½un and ptk , ½ut behave linearly in between certain

limits, which are given by material nature of the body.

The total energy J of the system reads:

Xn Z Z Xn Z

1 k 2 k 2 k k k

J ðuÞ ¼ aðu; uÞ fknk ð½un Þ þ ktk ð½ut Þ g dC bT u dX þ fðpnþ Þ ½un þ ck ½ut g dC ð9Þ

2 k¼1 CC X k¼1 CC

Z

T oun out 1 out oun

aðu; uÞ ¼ ðeÞ Ce dX0 ; e¼ ; ; þ ;

C0 oxn oxt 2 oxn oxt

where e is the strain tensor, C is the stiﬀness matrix of the particle, T denotes transposition, X0 is the sum of

sub domains X, i.e. of hexagonal elements, b is the volume weight vector.

Note that the spring stiﬀnesses knk and ktk act out a role of penalties. Recall that the problem can also be

formulated in terms of LagrangianÕs multipliers, [17], and then leads to mixed formulation. The latter case

is more suitable for small amount of boundary variables; the problem discussed in this paper decreases the

number of unknowns introducing the penalty parameters.

3. Statical PFC

In this section an idea of modeling the structure, say the earth body, by using statical version of PFC is

dealt with. Recall that the PFC is based on dynamical equilibrium; for slow movements of structures, which

appears, for example, in most of geotechnical problems, it seems to be better to employ statical equilibrium.

The earth mass is modeled in statical version by balls in 3D or disks in 2D in a similar way such as in the

dynamical version. The balls are connected by springs that relate forces and the appropriate diﬀerence of

displacements in the direction of the springs. The springs are considered either in normal and tangential

directions to the boundary of particles, or in the direction of coordinate axes x and y. In our case the statical

equilibrium has to be fulﬁlled all over every ball, and, moreover, at the contact points between adjacent

balls. The balls (disks) are considered to be rigid. Introduce coordinate system 0xyz in 3D. Then each disk

has six degrees of freedom (displacement ux in direction of x, displacement uy in direction y and uz in di-

rection z, and three rotations with respect to the three axes x, y and z). In what follows we restrict our

considerations to 2D for simplicity, generalization to 3D is straightforward. The movement of each disk is

described by two displacements ux , uy and rotation u.

The forces concentrated at one contact point of the adjacent disks obey contact conditions, which are

typical for soil in our study. The plastic behavior provided rigid disks are considered is imposed only by

forces brought about by spring stiﬀnesses and eigenparameters, e.g. plastic strain (displacement), or re-

laxation stresses (forces). When introducing some spring (of the shape of straight line, or more precise of

608 P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618

abscissa) spanned between two points, its stiﬀness is k, the relation force F -displacement u in elastic case

may generally be written as (considering one-dimensional case):

F ¼ ku þ k; or F ¼ kðu lÞ; ð10Þ

drop out the eigenparameters and impose the non-linear conditions exceptionally on the springs. The ei-

genparameters enable one larger scale of physical laws, which can be used in the material models. This is

why they are mostly considered in the mechanical models.

Let us have a set of disks describing the discontinuous medium positioned in coordinate system 0xy, see

Fig. 2. At the contact points (nodal points), the springs in the tangential and normal directions are in-

troduced, which have the stiﬀnesses kt in tangential direction to the boundary of the disk and kn in the

normal direction to the boundary at the interface nodal point connecting two adjacent disks.

Such a connection is described in more detail in Fig. 3 for three disks in mutual contact. In Fig. 3,

external (volume weight) forces Fi ; i ¼ 1; . . . ; n (n is the number of all disks), contact forces in normal and

P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618 609

tangential directions Nij , Qij , respectively, where i; j ¼ 1; 2, and reactions at the supports (created in this

case by a ﬂat plate in 3D, or by a straight line in 2D) A, B, HA , HB are depicted. The ﬁrst index denotes the

number of the current disk and the second index stands for the number of the adjacent disk. This notation

is kept in the following text. The main objective is to formulate the equations of equilibrium in each disk

i; i ¼ 1; . . . ; n and from this equilibrium to determine displacements of center ui , vi and rotations ui of each

disk. The connection with the adjacent disks is created by the quantities with indices i (the current disk) and

j (the adjacent disk).

In the sense of (10) the physical equations at each nodal point are formulated as:

ij ij ij

Nij k 0 Dn kn

¼ n ij þ ; ð11Þ

Qij 0 kt Dijt kijt

where kijn and kijt are, respectively, eigenforces in normal, and tangential directions. i, j are numbers of disks

in mutual contact and Dijn , Dijt are diﬀerences of displacements in normal and tangential directions, re-

spectively, between disk i and j, i.e. Dijn ¼ uijn ujin , Dijt ¼ uijt ujit .

Let the nodal point ij under consideration be deviated from x-direction by angle xij . Then the trans-

formation of forces to the 0xy coordinate system is written by:

ij

Nx cos xij sin xij Nij T Nij

ij ¼ ¼ T ; ð12Þ

Ny sin xij cos xij Qij ij Q

ij

where Nxij , Nyij are forces in x, and y directions, Tij is transformation matrix and superscript T denotes

transposition.

Recall that Tij is unitary, it means that T1 T

ij Tij . Since the same equations hold for displacements, the

following forces–displacements relation holds valid as:

ij ij ij ij ij ij

ij i

Nx T kn 0 Dx kx kxx kxy Dx kx

¼ T þ ij ¼ þ ; ð13Þ

Nyij ij

0 ktij ij

Dy ky ij

kxy ij

kyy Dijy kiy

where

ij

kxx ¼ knij cos2 xij þ ktij sin2 xij ; ij

kyy ¼ ktij cos2 xij þ knij sin2 xij ;

1

ij

kxy ¼ ðknij ktij Þ sin 2xij ; kix ¼ kijn cos xij kijt sin xij ; ð14Þ

2

kiy ¼ kijn sin xij þ kijt cos xij ;

and Dijx , Dijy are diﬀerences of displacements in x and y directions, respectively in disks i and j, i.e.

Dijx ¼ uix ujx , Dijy ¼ uiy ujy .

A typical disk with springs introduced at nodes in x and in y directions and induced forces in the normal

and tangential directions is illustrated in Fig. 4.

If no rotations were considered, the above formulas would be valid without improvement and the

computation may start with (13). For each disk two degrees of freedom in 2D (two independent dis-

placements are unknown), and three DOF in 3D (three independent displacements are sought).

In the case of admitted rotations of disks, additional unknown angles ui describing the rotations of disks

have to be introduced. Recall that three DOF (two displacements ui , vi and one angle of rotation ui ) in 2D

are to be sought.

Let us focus on one typical disk. Its basic movements and their denotations are clear from Fig. 5.

The total displacement at any point on the boundary of disk in x direction, or y direction consists of two

kinds of displacements that are related to rotation (subscript rot), and translation (subscript tran), i.e.

uix ¼ uix;rot þ uix;tran ; uijy ¼ uiy;rot þ uiy;tran , see Fig. 5.

610 P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618

Since 2D case is considered, the unknown quantities in each disk i are uix;tran , uiy;tran and ui . It only remains

to express the inﬂuence of rotation of each node.

From Fig. 5 it obviously holds:

ð15Þ

uiy;rot ¼ ri ½sinðxij þ ui Þ sin xij ;

where xij is given for each node and ri is the radius of disk i.

The forces Nxij , and Nyij acting between disk i and disk j are then given by (13).

P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618 611

Equation (13) can be rearranged in a more suitable way for program coding:

0 1 2 ij 30 i 1 0 i 1

Nxij kxx ij

kxy kxxij

kxyij

ux kx

i

B Nyij C 6 kxy

ij ij

kyy kxyij

kyyij 7B i C

u B k C

B ji C ¼ 6 ij 7 B yC

þ B yC

ð16Þ

@ Nx A 4 kxx kxyij ji

kxx ji 5@ j A

kxy ux @ kj A ;

x

Nyji kxyij

kyyij ji

kxy ji

kyy ujy kjy

0 i1 0 i 1 0 1

ux ux;tran ri ½cosðxij þ ui Þ cos xij

B uiy C B uiy;tran C B ri ½sinðxij þ ui Þ sin xij C

B jC¼B j C B C

@ ux A @ ux;tran A þ @ rj ½cosðxji þ uj Þ cos xji A: ð17Þ

ujy ujy;tran rj ½sinðxji þ uj Þ sin xji

The third unknown ui appears in the conditions of equilibrium in non-linear terms, namely in cosines

and sinus (recall that xij is the angle of deviation from x-axis of the point ij on the boundary of the disk i

being in contact with the disk j). In order to avoid very complicated and unreliable non-linear computation,

the load (for example volume weight) will be divided into increments, and in each increment the small

displacement (or more precisely small rotation) theory will be considered. Assuming a small enough in-

crements, small enough angle u also results and (17) is substituted by:

0 1 0 i 1 0 1

uix ux;tran ri ui sin xij

B uiy C B uiy;tran C B ri ui cos xij C

B jC¼B j C B C

@ ux A @ ux;tran A þ @ rj uj sin xji A: ð17aÞ

ujy ujy;tran rj uj cos xji

In each increment uix;tran , uiy;tran and ui are parts of the total values, so are the forces computed from these

movements. Another advantage of this incremental process is a possibility to test contact conditions as

described in the following section.

An additional condition is necessary to complete the equations for three unknowns in each disk. This is

the moment condition with respect, say, to the center of disk under study:

X

Mi

Qij ri ¼ 0; ð18Þ

j¼1

where Mi , is the number of nodes on the boundary of disk i. Since ri is constant in each disk i, it may be

dropped out and three conditions in the disk i are obtained as:

X

Mi X

Mi

Nxij ¼ Fxi ; Nxij ¼ Fyi ;

j¼1 j¼1

ð19Þ

X

Mi X

Mi

Qijt ¼ Nxij sin x þ ij

Nyij ij

cos x ¼ 0;

j¼1 j¼1

where Fxi and Fyi are volume weight forces. If only gravitation is considered, the denotation Fi Fyi , and

assumption Fxi 0 can be used, such as in Fig. 3.

612 P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618

After introducing boundary conditions and eigenforces, the Eq. (19) create an algebraic system for

unknown displacements uix;trans , uiy;trans , and rotations ui of the disks. Solving it, the forces can be determined

from (16). Note that when properly stated, the system (19) has unique elastic solution, providing the in-

cremental formulation (17a) is assumed, i.e. small displacement theory may be employed.

In geotechnics and mining engineering it is well known that the material behavior of the soil mass is not

elastic, but exhibits either plastic behavior, or localized damage, or both of them. In contrary to the case of

free hexagons, the plastic behavior have to be employed only for spring properties. For the sake of com-

pleteness an example of such properties is discussed here.

Consider two disks being connected by the above-described system of springs. For the sake of simplicity

we concentrate our attention only on 2D case again.

Using the formula (11), the normal forces Nij and tangential forces Qij can be obtained for each linear

state. Vector transformation of coordinates applied to (17) provides diﬀerences of displacements Dijn and Dijt .

In wide range of problems classical plastic laws of deformation and stress state, e.g. elasto-plastic law, is

used as:

2 2

Nij2 þ 4Q2ij 6 k02 ; i:e: ðknij Dijn Þ þ 4ðktij Dijt Þ 6 k02 ; ð20Þ

where k0 is given positive number. Here Dijn , Dijt are given from previous step of iteration. Dijn is mostly

bounded by some value, which cannot be exceeded. Moreover, knij changes with Dijn . Mostly parabolic rule is

applied as:

ij

knij ¼ kn0 ð1 þ Dijn Þs ; ð21Þ

ij

where s is an exponent to be stated from laboratory tests, as well as the starting value of kn0 . Other rules can

ij

be applied, such as arctan relation. In the case of violating conditions (20), new kt may be determined.

While the value of knij is taken from (21), ktij is restricted by (20). The value of Nij increases non-linearly and

when the tensile strength is reached, the crack is assumed at the point ij and the spring is suddenly removed.

In practical examples the spring in normal direction, which is in tension is removed gradually to stabilize

the convergence and speed up the iteration process.

On the other hand, at this point a ‘‘penetration’’ of one disk into the adjacent is fully permitted. The

damage is attained, when violating Mohr–Coulomb hypothesis or tensile strength is reached. In this case it

means that

(a) jQij j 6 Nij tan / þ cjðNij Þ, where c is the shear strength (cohesion), j is Heaviside function, and / is

the angle of internal friction,

(b) Nij 6 Nijþ , where Nijþ is the tensile strength.

When the condition a) is not fulﬁlled, then ‘‘cut’’ of Qij is supposed: Qij ¼ ½Nij tan / þ cjðNij Þ sign Duijt .

Note that more complicated rules may be imposed. For example, both internal parameters, angle of in-

ternal friction and shear strength may change with the values of Qij .

In the case of violation of the condition (b), a local disconnection (debond) occurs and the spring is

removed again. In this case it is not due to local cracking but because of disconnecting of the disks having

originally been in contact at the point ij.

P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618 613

4. Examples

Fig. 6 shows the mesh of particles in both free hexagonal element method with internal radius of 0.25 m.

This mesh is also used for disks in such a way that centers coincide with centers of hexagons and the radius

is also 0.25 m. The number of particles is 1532. The lower part with the free face represents the coal seam,

the upper part is the rock. The coal seam is 4.75 m high, such as in the experimental model, [23]. Along the

vertical and bottom external boundaries normal displacements are restricted and there is no friction. The

upper part of the body is subject to the loading of overburden given by the depth of the coalmine.

The numerical procedure for solving the problems is over-relaxation method with improvement of

unknowns in the sense of the contact conditions between, adjacent disks. First, ﬁxed contacts are con-

sidered, i.e. high penalty coeﬃcients are introduced. After 1000 iteration steps the contact conditions are

taken into account and approximately after another 1500 iteration steps the procedure terminates. The

termination obeys the rule of Euklidean norm error imposed to the change of displacements of centers of

the particles (in both methods). All these values are considered for the examples discussed in what follows.

Note that when using statical PFC, the ﬁnal load is divided into 10 equal increments of volume weight to

suppress the inﬂuence of possibly large rotations. Since the elastic–plastic law is applied to free hexagons

solution, the structure is loaded from the beginning by full loading.

Results from both hexagonal method and statical PFC are compared and the experimental measure-

ments that are fully described in [23] are also taken into consideration.

The examples are focused on the problem of extrusion of rock (or coal) mass from the rock body.

Material properties of the hexagons are: E ¼ 500 GPa, G ¼ 150 GPa, the shear strength c ¼ 1 MPa and

the tensile strength pnþ ¼ 100 kPa. These values are valid for the rock. The lower part with the free face

describes the coal; its material properties E and G are 10 times lower than that of the rock, but the shear

strength and the tensile strength change. The load is given by the overburden. The volume weight c ¼ 25

kN/m3 , the depth of the opening is 1000 m.

The disks are connected by springs with the following material properties: knij ¼ 500 GN/m and ktij ¼ 150

GN/m, the shear strength c ¼ 1 MN/m and the tensile strength pnþ ¼ 100 kN/m for the rock. For the coal it

holds: knij ¼ 50 GN/m and ktij ¼ 15 GN/m, the shear strength and the tensile strength change in compliance

with the hexagons.

In Fig. 7 the extrusion of particles is observed in the front part, while next to the face (approximately 3

m) the particles move backwards and stabilize the coal seam. The movements of the rock and coal with

these material properties cause the opening stability relatively safe. Some particles at the face of seam are

disconnected, but the direction of vectors shows still stabilized inﬂuence of the overburden. Fig. 8 shows the

same arrangement of the system shown in Fig. 7, but statical PFC is used in this case. The displacements at

614 P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618

the face are principally smaller, but the triangular wedge is created in a similar manner, such as by

hexagons. As the process of cracking is inﬂuenced rather by contact conditions than by the springs, the

statical PFC is obviously less reliable then the hexagon method.

The most dangerous case is depicted in Fig. 9 for hexagons and in Fig. 10 for disks. The triangular wedge

is disconnected into two parts, extrusion of particles is now obvious. Similar pictures are shown in Figs. 11

and 12.

It can be proved that for the tensile strength of 3 kPa, the shear strength higher than 300 kPa does not

principally change the movement conﬁguration. Similar conclusion is valid also for other relations pþ –c.

A wide scale of computations has been carried out to get the relation pnþ –c at bumps occurrence, which is

determined as singular solution of the problem. The relation is shown in Fig. 13. The numerical results are

P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618 615

616 P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618

in a reasonable agreement with experiments that has been carried out in KloknerÕs Institute of CTU Prague

on a scale model, [23]. Material properties of scale experiments obeyed BuckinghamÕs theorem, see [20]. The

scale was approximately 1:250, it meant that the opening was 4.75 m high. This height was also applied in

the mathematical models for comparison studies.

The comparison follows from Fig. 14. The deviations at the left hand side of the picture are probably

caused by relatively rough mesh of particles, right hand side can be inﬂuenced by the boundary conditions

(in the numerical model obvious cracking occurs, i.e. drop of stresses has to be expected).

5. Conclusions

The paper is devoted to the numerical description of the behavior of an open rock that occurs during

longwall mining in coalmines, for example. The main problem is longwall instability and extrusion of rock

mass into an open space. This eﬀect is mostly referred to as bumps, or rock bursts. In order for bumps to

occur, the rock has to posses certain special properties. In this study we consider brittle, or almost brittle

coal seam, which is treated theoretically, and experiments that have been carried out in the past posses the

same quality. The results from both models seem to be reasonable. Combination of experimental and

mathematical models appears very prospective for study of similar problems. Both methods allow studying

the problems as time dependent. They make it possible to develop cracks during bump initiation, and

therefore describe the problem, which is very closely to the reality.

As a numerical tool the free hexagonal element method and the statical particle ﬂow code are numerical

method serving for study of bumps occurrence and comparison with results from experiments. The stiﬀness

of the hexagons is created by the BEM. The generalized HookeÕs law is used, involving eigenparameters,

which can represent various material phenomena. Each element is considered to behave elastically (or rigid

in statical PFC) and contact conditions turn the problem to non-linear. Using iterative procedure, a very

fast solution is obtained. If the solution converges, process of deterioration of the coal seam and the rock

mass can be observed and evaluated.

One example is presented starting with accumulation of energy due to external loading in a great depth

of mine. The system of extrusion of coal particles describes the way it behaves and reasons which locally

aﬀect the movements of coal, or sometimes also rock particles.

As the process of cracking is rather inﬂuenced by contact conditions then by the springs, the statical PFC

is less reliable then the hexagon method. This assertion is veriﬁed from comparative ﬁgures.

Because of its simplicity in comparison to the free hexagonal element method, statical PFC can be more

applicable in dynamical problems than the hexagons. From experience with classical PFC and its statical

P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618 617

version, dynamic equilibrium applied to the statical PFC concept is more reliable then that of the classical

PFC, where only short range of material parameters delivers reasonable results. If one deviates from this

range, the results are very unpredictable, a concrete structure can burst out in the space, for example.

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by Grant Agency of the CAS (grant number A2/19001/00).

Appendix A

In Fig. 15, basic local coordinate system is shown to enable one the calculation of integrals needed. The

local coordinate system can always be introduced in such a way that the boundary element is a function.

This can be applied even to higher order polynomials describing the boundary element geometry.

Z xB Z xB qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

1 b

log r dx1 ¼ log x21 þ a2 dx1 ¼ b logða2 þ b2 Þ 2b þ 2a arctan ; ðA:1Þ

xA xA 2 a

Z xB Z xB h x x i

xi xj x21 A B

dx1 ¼ dx 1 ¼ a b þ arctan arctan

xA r2 xA x21 þ a2 a a

Z xB

x1 a x2B þ a2

¼ dx 1 ¼ a log ðA:2Þ

xA x21 þ a2 x2A þ a2

Z xB x 2 x 2

a2 B A

¼ dx1 ¼ a arctan arctan ;

xA x21 þ a2 a a

Z xB Z xB

xi x1 x 2 þ a2

dx1 ¼ pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ dx1 ¼ log B2

xA r2 xA x21 þ a2 x A þ a2

Z xB x x ðA:3Þ

a B A

¼ pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ dx1 ¼ arctan arctan ;

xA x21 þ a2 a a

Z xB x x

dx1 1 B A

2

¼ arctan arctan ; ðA:4Þ

xA r a a a

618 P.P. Prochazka / Engineering Fracture Mechanics 71 (2004) 601–618

Z xB Z xB

xi xj xk nj xi xk a

dx1 ¼ dx1 ¼ sec ðA:2Þ: ðA:5Þ

xA r2 xA r2

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