Experimental Study to Design an Analog Material for Jinping Marble with High Strength, High Brittleness and High Unit Weight and Ductility

  • Guo-Qiang Zhu
  • Xia-Ting Feng
  • Yang-Yi Zhou
  • Zheng-Wei Li
  • Cheng-Xiang Yang
  • Yao-Hui Gao
Original Paper


The rockburst and spalling problems encountered in the Jinping Underground Laboratory are to be investigated using 3-D physical model testing. New similarity relationships for the brittleness, brittle–ductile transition and ductility characteristics of deep hard rock are first established based on the characteristics of the deep rock mass, thereby providing guidance for the development of analog materials with new characteristics that are appropriate for investigating deep rock engineering disasters via large-scale 3-D physical model tests. Achieving similarity simultaneously among the multiple physical–mechanical properties of deep hard rock constitutes the major challenge of research on analog materials. Consequently, a new method for designing analog materials by controlling the aggregate characteristics is proposed. The test results indicate that the aggregates of the analog materials can be controlled to achieve properties that are similar to those of the original rock. The newly developed analog material exhibits basic mechanical parameters and properties that are similar to those of Jinping marble, including high strength, high brittleness, and high unit weight in addition to brittle–ductile transition and ductility characteristics and deformation and failure modes. The new analog material successfully simulates the major physical–mechanical properties of Jinping marble and overcomes the limitations of preexisting methods, which develop analog materials via cementing agents, in which the achievement of similarity simultaneously among multiple properties is impossible.


Large-scale 3-D physical model test Jinping marble Analog material Similarity relationship High brittleness Brittle–ductile transition 

List of Symbols

\({\sigma _{\text{c}}}\)

Uniaxial compressive strength

\({\sigma _{\text{t}}}\)

Uniaxial tensile strength


Elastic modulus




Internal friction angle




Unit weight

\({\sigma _{\text{s}}}\)

Yield stress

\({\varepsilon _{\text{s}}}\)

Yield strain






Brittleness coefficient


Brittle–ductile transition coefficient

\({\sigma _1}\)

Maximum principal stress in conventional triaxial compression test

\({\sigma _3}\)

Confining pressure in conventional triaxial compression test

\({\sigma _{\text{f}}}\)

Peak strength

\({\sigma _{{\text{res}}}}\)

Residual strength


Stress reduction coefficient

\({C_\sigma }\)

Similarity constant of stress

\({C^{\prime}_\sigma }\)

Similarity constant of stress in the plastic phase


Similarity constant of elastic modulus


Similarity constant of cohesion


Similarity constant of geometry

\({C_\phi }\)

Similarity constant of internal friction angle

\({C_\varepsilon }\)

Similarity constant of strain

\({C_\gamma }\)

Similarity constant of unit weight


Similarity constant of brittleness coefficient

\({C_\xi }\)

Similarity constant for brittle–ductile transition

\({C_\eta }\)

Similarity constant of stress reduction coefficient



The study is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant no. 51621006 and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant no. 2017M621150). The authors also sincerely thank the kind assistance provided by Mr. Jiguang Liu, Mr. Hua Zhang, Dr. Shufeng Pei, Dr. Jie Cui, Dr. Meizhu Zhang, Mr. Di Zhang, Mr. Yong Han and Mr. Liangjie Gu.


  1. Brown ET (1981) Rock characterization testing and monitoring-ISRM suggested methods. Pergamon Press, Oxford. ISBN: 0-08-027309-2Google Scholar
  2. Chen LW, Bai SW (2006) Proportioning test study on similar material of rockburst tendency of brittle rockmass. Rock Soil Mech 27:1050–1054 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  3. Cheon DS, Jeon S, Park C et al (2011) Characterization of brittle failure using physical model experiments under polyaxial stress conditions. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 48:152–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fan PX, Yan ZC, Wang MY et al (2017) Recyclable resin-based analogue material for brittle rocks and its application in geomechanical model test. Arab J Geosci 10(2):16–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fang KT, Lin DKJ, Winker P et al (2000) Uniform design: theory and applications. Technometrics 42:237–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fang Y, Xu C, Cui G et al (2016) Scale model test of highway tunnel construction underlying mined-out thin coal seam. Tunn Undergr Space Technol 56:105–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Feng XT, Chen BR, Zhang CQ et al (2013) Mechanism, warning and dynamic control of rockburst development process. Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  8. Feng GL, Feng XT, Chen BR et al (2015a) Microseismic sequences associated with rockbursts in the tunnels of the Jinping II hydropower station. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 80:89–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Feng GL, Feng XT, Chen BR et al (2015b) A microseismic method for dynamic warning of rockburst development processes in tunnels. Rock Mech Rock Eng 48(5):2061–2076CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fumagalli E (1973) Statical and geomechanical models. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hobbs DW (1966) Scale model studies of strata movement around mine roadways. Apparatus, technique and some preliminary results. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 3(2):101–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Imre B, Wildhaber B, Springman SM (2011) A physical analogue material to simulate sturzstroms. Int J Phys Model Geotech 11(2):69–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Indraratna B (1991) Development and applications of a synthetic material to simulate soft sedimentary rocks. Géotechnique 41(1):189–200Google Scholar
  14. Kelly DD, Peck DC, James RS (1994) Petrography of granite rock samples from the 420 Level of the Underground Research Laboratory, Pinawa, Manitoba. Contract report for AECL. Laurentian University, SudburyGoogle Scholar
  15. Li TB, Wang XF, Meng LB (2011) A physical simulation test for the rockburst in tunnels. J Mt Sci 8(2):278–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Li L, Wang MY, Fan PX et al (2016) Strain rockbursts simulated by low-strength brittle equivalent materials. Adv Mater Sci Eng 1:1–11Google Scholar
  17. Liu YR, Guan FH, Yang Q et al (2013) Geomechanical model test for stability analysis of high arch dam based on small blocks masonry technique. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 61:231–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lo TY, Tang WC, Nadeem A (2008) Comparison of carbonation of lightweight concrete with normal weight concrete at similar strength levels. Constr Build Mater 22(8):1648–1655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mendis ASM, Al-Deen S, Ashraf M (2017) Behaviour of similar strength crumbed rubber concrete (CRC) mixes with different mix ratios. Constr Build Mater 137:354–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nguyen S-H, Chemenda AI, Ambre J (2011) Influence of the loading conditions on the mechanical response of granular materials as constrained from experimental tests on synthetic rock analogue material. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 48(1):103–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Panien M, Schreurs G, Pfiffner A (2006) Mechanical behaviour of granular materials used in analogue modelling: insights from grain characterisation, ring-shear tests and analogue experiments. J Struct Geol 28:1710–1724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Spaun G, Thuro K (1994) Untersuchungen zur Bohrbarkeit und Zähigkeit des Innsbrucker Quarzphyllits. Felsbau 12(2):111–122 (in German) Google Scholar
  23. Stimpson B (1970) Modelling materials for engineering rock mechanics. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 7(1):77–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Vallarino E, Alvarez A (1971) Strengthening the Mequinenza dam to prevent sliding. Water Power 23(3, 4):104–108, 121–126Google Scholar
  25. Wang XR, Liu XF, Wang EY et al (2017) Experimental research of the AE responses and fracture evolution characteristics for sand-paraffin similar material. Constr Build Mater 132:446–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Xu WS, Xu YN, Wang YH (2000) Experimental study on simulation materials of rockburst. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 19:873–877 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  27. Xu YN, Xu WS, Wang YH et al (2002) Simulation testing and mechanism studies on rockburst. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 21(10):1462–1466 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  28. Yang SQ (1993) An experimental study on rockburst mechanism around tunnels by physical simulation. Eng J Wuhan Univ 26(2):160–166 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  29. Zhu WS, Li Y, Li SC et al (2011) Quasi-three-dimensional physical model tests on a cavern complex under high in-situ stresses. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 48(2):199–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guo-Qiang Zhu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Xia-Ting Feng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yang-Yi Zhou
    • 2
  • Zheng-Wei Li
    • 2
  • Cheng-Xiang Yang
    • 2
  • Yao-Hui Gao
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education on Safe Mining of Deep Metal MinesNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations