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Numerical Modeling of a Punch Penetration Test Using the Discrete Element Method


Understanding the brittleness of rock has a crucial importance in rock engineering applications such as the mechanical excavation of rock. In this study, numerical modeling of a punch penetration test is performed using the Discrete Element Method (DEM). The Peak Strength Index (PSI) as a function of the brittleness index was calculated using the axial load and a penetration graph obtained from numerical models. In the first step, the numerical model was verified by experimental results. The results obtained from the numerical modeling showed a good agreement with those obtained from the experimental tests. The propagation path was also simulated using Voronoi meshing. The fracture was created under the indenter in the first step, and then radial fractures were propagated. The effects of confining pressure and strength parameters on the PSI were subsequently investigated. The numerical results showed that the PSI increases with enhancing the confining pressure and the strength parameter of the rock, including cohesion and the friction angle. A new relationship between the strength parameters and PSI was also introduced based on two variable regressions of the numerical results.

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