Abstract

Statistical Volume Elements (SVEs) are used to homogenize fracture strength of rock, based on the microcrack statistics of a real-world Yuen-Long marble sample. The small size of SVEs enables maintaining inhomogeneities in fracture properties with lower computational cost compared to methods that explicitly model microcracks at macroscale. Maintaining inhomogeneity is important to capture realistic fracture patterns in rock as a quasi-brittle material. Uniaxial tensile, uniaxial compressive, and shear strengths are derived for arbitrary angle for loading and orientation of a single crack by using the Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) method and incorporating frictional effects. Mesoscopic fracture strength fields are generated for different strengths and angle of loading by traversing the spatial domain with circular SVEs. Increasing the SVE size smoothens the spatial inhomogeneity and angular anisotropy of homogenized strengths. Spatial and angular covariance functions of the random fields are obtained to demonstrate how fracture strength varies in space and by changing the angle of loading. Two isotropic and anisotropic rock domains are studied and shown to have very different single- and two-point statistics. Macroscopic fracture simulations by an asynchronous Spacetime Discontinuous Galerkin (aSDG) method demonstrate that most macroscopic cracks for the anisotropic domain are aligned with the weakest strength planes.

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