FDEM Simulation of Rocks with Microstructure Generated by Voronoi Grain-Based Model with Particle Growth

  • Wei Zhou
  • Xiang Ji
  • Gang MaEmail author
  • Yuan Chen
Original Paper


Rock strength variation is closely related to its microstructure. With the development of computer technology, the numerical model of rocks can be constructed via computer programming, and the numerical simulation avoids a mass of redundant experimental tests and usually limited by the samples retrieved from the sub-surfaces. In previous studies, the microstructure in the numerical model is generated randomly. In this paper, a novel methodology for generating the polycrystalline rock microstructure by a Voronoi grain-based model with particle growth is proposed. The 3D Voronoi tessellations in this numerical model generation procedure do not consist of random poly-crystals; the distribution of the poly-crystals varies in shapes and sizes, which represent different mineral grains, and is determined by petrographic data with the 3D particle growth method. The uniaxial compression tests and tension tests are simulated via a combined FDEM and cohesive crack propagation model. The results demonstrate that the numerical simulation agrees well with the experimental study. More importantly, the fracture patterns in the micro-scale are gained, similar to the results obtained from laboratory experiments. The novel Voronoi grain-based model with the particle growth method can reconstruct the microstructure of polycrystalline rocks and provide further information in understanding the micro-behaviors of rock materials.


Grain-based model Particle growth FDEM Petrographic analysis 



This study was funded by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFC0404801) and the National Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 51779194. The numerical calculations in this paper were performed on the supercomputing system in the Supercomputing Center of Wuhan University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest exits in the submission of this manuscript, and manuscript is approved by all authors for publication. We would like to declare that the work described was original research that has not been published previously, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere, in whole or in part. All the authors listed have approved the manuscript that is enclosed.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering ScienceWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Rock Mechanics in Hydraulic Structural Engineering of Ministry of EducationWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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