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Minerals 2015, 5(1), 86-103; https://doi.org/10.3390/min5010086

Loading Capacity and Deformation Characteristics of Tailings Based on a Fractal Geometrical Analysis of the Particle Microstructure

1
State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu 610500, Sichuan, China
2
School of Oil & Natural Gas Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610500, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Coal Mine Disaster Dynamics and Control, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Karen Hudson-Edwards
Received: 22 October 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 27 January 2015 / Published: 3 February 2015
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Abstract

The failure of a tailing dam occurs due to damage to the particles’ micro-structure. Understanding the deformation characteristics of the particle’ micro-structure is important for understanding the mechanics of instability in tailing dams. In our study, a series of experiments was conducted using a testing apparatus for micro-mechanics and the deformation of tailings from the Huangcaoping tailing pond, Sichuan Province, China to investigate the loading capacity, micro-structure and deformation features of tailing particles. The latter two were analyzed quantitatively using concepts from fractal geometry. The results demonstrate that: (1) the structural loading capacity of tailings increases first and then decreases slightly with increasing particle size; (2) the particle micro-structure of the four tailing samples from the Huangcaoping tailing pond is described in terms of the fractal dimension based on the perimeter and area (D-value), which is between 1.288 and 1.533; (3) as the axial stress increases, the D-value gradually decreases along a wavy line with a decreasing rate of change; (4) under the same axial strain, the D-value first decreases and later increases slightly as the particle size increases; and (5) the number of fractured particles increases with the particle size. View Full-Text
Keywords: tailings; granular matter; micro-structure; loading capacity; fractal theory tailings; granular matter; micro-structure; loading capacity; fractal theory
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Zhang, Q.; Yin, G.; Fan, X.; Wei, Z.; Wang, W.; Nie, W. Loading Capacity and Deformation Characteristics of Tailings Based on a Fractal Geometrical Analysis of the Particle Microstructure. Minerals 2015, 5, 86-103.

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