Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Predicting the behavior of rock mass - FFG Bridge project ROCKBURST

Predicting the behavior of rock mass is of paramount importance in tunneling and mining, as well as in earthquake prediction and geothermal energy utilization. Experts from Graz University of Technology – Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling, RHI Veitsch Radex GmbH & Co OG, and the Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, work together in a project called "Devastating micro cracks: researching spontaneous rock failure with rock mechanical testing, µCT, OBIA and geostatistics (ROCKBURST)”. 

 This 3-year project funded by FFG presents a multidisciplinary approach to research the influence of micromechanical and microstructural characteristics and their individual effect on rock failure. State-of-the art rock mechanical testing, data acquisition and simulation methods will be nested in an innovative work-flow: Following initial mineralogical investigations, artificial and natural rock samples will be each be subject to cycles of destruction-free microstructure analysis and compression testing. From each cycle, Micro-computed tomography (µCT) will provide 3D data on the sample’s micro-fabric before a successive step of uniaxial testing controlled by acoustic emission testing is carried out. From the resulting series of µCT data, Object-based Image Analysis (OBIA) will assemble a process (3D+t) model of microcrack evolution in each sample. Multiple-point geostatistics simulation, based on training images provided by OBIA, will be used to upscale OBIA results from sample scale to excavation scale.

Contact: Fritz Zobl, Z_GIS

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