The bonded-particle model (BPM) is a very efficient numerical method in dealing with initiation and propagation of cracks in rocks and can model the fracture processes and most of macro parameters of rocks well. However, typical discrete element method (DEM) underestimates the ratio of the uniaxial compressive strength to the tensile strength (UCS/TS). In this paper, a new DEM method with a nonlinear elastic tensile model embedded in BPM is proposed, which is named as nonlinear elastic tensile bonded particle model (NET-BPM). The relationships between micro parameters in NET-BPM and macro parameters of specimens are investigated by simulating uniaxial compression tests and direct tension tests. The results show that both the shape coefficient of the nonlinear elastic model and the bond width coefficient are important in predicting the value of UCS/TS, whose value ranging from 5 to 45 was obtained in our simulations. It is shown that the NET-BPM model is able to reproduce the nonlinear behavior of hard rocks such as Lac du Bonnet (LDB) granite and the quartzite under tension and the ratio of compressive Young’s modulus to tensile Young’s modulus higher than 1.0. Furthermore, the stress-strain curves in the simulations of LDB granite and the quartzite with NET-BPM model are in good agreement with the experimental results. NET-BPM is proved to be a very suitable method for modelling the deformation and fracture of rock-like materials.
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