Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 50, Issue 10, pp 2749–2761 | Cite as

Voronoi-Based DEM Simulation Approach for Sandstone Considering Grain Structure and Pore Size

Original Paper


This paper presents a new procedure to create numerical models considering grain shape and size as well as pore size in an explicit and stochastic equivalent manner. Four shape factors are introduced to reproduce shape and size of grains and pores. Thin sections are used to analyze grain shape and pore size of rock specimen. First, a particle-based numerical model is set up by best fitted clumps from a shape library according to thin sections. Finally, an equivalent Voronoi-based discrete element model is set up based on the superimposed particle model. Uniaxial compression and tensile tests are simulated for validation. Both tests indicate that grain boundaries and pores provide preferred paths of weakness for crack propagation, but they also reveal significant differences in terms of intra- and inter-granular fracturing.


Numerical model Voronoi Grain size Grain shape Pore size Clumps 



The first author would like to thank the Chinese Scholarship Council for its financial support provided for his Ph.D study at TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany. Special thanks to Mr. Jörn Wichert and Mr. Martin Herbst for technical supporting. And thanks to Mr. Tom Weichmann, Mrs. Beatrice Tauch, and Mr. Gerd Münzberger for help during lab testing.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geotechnical InstituteTU Bergakademie FreibergFreibergGermany

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