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Energies 2017, 10(6), 756; doi:10.3390/en10060756

Failure Mechanical Behavior of Australian Strathbogie Granite at High Temperatures: Insights from Particle Flow Modeling

1
State Key Laboratory for Geomechanics and Deep Underground Engineering, School of Mechanics and Civil Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
2
Deep Earth Energy Research Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3800, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Moran Wang
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 28 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unconventional Natural Gas (UNG) Recoveries)
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Abstract

Thermally induced damage has an important influence on rock mechanics and engineering, especially for high-level radioactive waste repositories, geological carbon storage, underground coal gasification, and hydrothermal systems. Additionally, the wide application of geothermal heat requires knowledge of the geothermal conditions of reservoir rocks at elevated temperature. However, few methods to date have been reported for investigating the micro-mechanics of specimens at elevated temperatures. Therefore, this paper uses a cluster model in particle flow code in two dimensions (PFC2D) to simulate the uniaxial compressive testing of Australian Strathbogie granite at various elevated temperatures. The peak strength and ultimate failure mode of the granite specimens at different elevated temperatures obtained by the numerical methods are consistent with those obtained by experimentation. Since the tensile force is always concentrated around the boundary of the crystal, cracks easily occur at the intergranular contacts, especially between the b-b and b-k boundaries where less intragranular contact is observed. The intergranular and intragranular cracking of the specimens is almost constant with increasing temperature at low temperature, and then it rapidly and linearly increases. However, the inflection point of intergranular micro-cracking is less than that of intragranular cracking. Intergranular cracking is more easily induced by a high temperature than intragranular cracking. At an elevated temperature, the cumulative micro-crack counts curve propagates in a stable way during the active period, and it has no unstable crack propagation stage. The micro-cracks and parallel bond forces in the specimens with elevated temperature evolution and axial strain have different characteristics than those at lower temperature. More branch fractures and isolated wider micro-cracks are generated with increasing temperature when the temperature is over 400 °C. Therefore, the total number of cracks is almost constant when the temperature is below 400 °C; next, it linearly increases when the temperature is over 400 °C. This trend is the same as that observed by experimentation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Australian Strathbogie granite; cluster; thermal damage; micro-crack; parallel bond force Australian Strathbogie granite; cluster; thermal damage; micro-crack; parallel bond force
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Yang, S.-Q.; Tian, W.-L.; Ranjith, P.G. Failure Mechanical Behavior of Australian Strathbogie Granite at High Temperatures: Insights from Particle Flow Modeling. Energies 2017, 10, 756.

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