Numerical Modeling of Jointed Rock Under Compressive Loading Using X-ray Computerized Tomography

Qinglei Yu, Shengqi Yang, P. G. Ranjith, Wancheng Zhu, Tianhong Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


As jointed rocks consist of joints embedded within intact rock blocks, the presence and geometrical fabric of joints have a great influence on the mechanical behavior of rock. With consideration of the actual spatial shape of joints, a numerical model is proposed to investigate the fracture evolution mechanism of jointed rocks. In the proposed model, computerized tomography (CT) scanning is first used to capture the microstructure of a jointed sandstone specimen, which is artificially fabricated by loading the intact sample until the residual strength, and then digital image processing (DIP) techniques are applied to characterize the geometrical fabric of joints from the CT images. A simple vectorization method is used to convert the microstructure based on a cross-sectional image into a layer of 3-D vectorized microstructure and the overall 3-D model of the jointed sandstone including the real spatial shape of the joints is established by stacking the layers in a specific sequence. The 3-D model is then integrated into a well-established code [three-dimensional Rock Failure Process Analysis, (RFPA3D)]. Using the proposed model, a uniaxial compression test of the jointed sandstone is simulated. The results show that the presence of joints can produce tensile stress zones surrounding them, which result in the fracture of jointed rocks under a relatively small external load. In addition, the spatial shape of the joints has a great influence on the fracture process of jointed rocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-891
Number of pages15
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Computerized tomography
  • Digital image processing
  • Jointed rock
  • Numerical simulation

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