Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 707–716 | Cite as

An Example of Realistic Modelling of Rock Dynamics Problems: FEM/DEM Simulation of Dynamic Brazilian Test on Barre Granite

  • O. K. Mahabadi
  • B. E. Cottrell
  • G. Grasselli
Original Paper


The scope of this study is to numerically simulate the behaviour of Brazilian disc specimens as observed in laboratory during dynamic, high-strain rate, indirect tensile tests using an innovative combined finite-discrete element method (FEM/DEM) research code. Laboratory experiments using a split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) apparatus were conducted by the authors and the measured indirect tensile strength values were used to verify the FEM/DEM models. In the models the applied boundary conditions, related to the loading rate of the specimen, were matched with the experimental observations. The results of the numerical simulations, including tensile strength and failure time, are in agreement with the laboratory findings. The main failure mechanisms, i.e. tensile splitting along loading axis and shear failure close to loading platens are captured by the numerical model. A linear relationship between tensile strength and loading rate is found for the range of dynamic strain rates tested and simulated. The simulation results are in good agreement with laboratory observations and demonstrate the potential for using FEM/DEM to realistically model dynamic response of rocks.


Finite-discrete element method FEM/DEM Split Hopkinson pressure bar Dynamic Brazilian test Dynamic tensile strength 



This work has been supported by NSERC/Discovery Grant No. 341275 and NSERC/RTI Grant No. 345516. The authors wish to thank Dr. Xia and Mr. Dai for providing access to their original published data, Mr. Tatone and Mr. Lisjak for the precious help during the preparation of the present manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. K. Mahabadi
    • 1
  • B. E. Cottrell
    • 1
  • G. Grasselli
    • 1
  1. 1.Geomechanics Group, Department of Civil Engineering, Lassonde InstituteUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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