Visualization of the complex structure and stress field inside rock by means of 3D printing technology

Chinese Science Bulletin  2014年36期
机 构
基 金

Accurate characterization and visualization of the complex inner structure and stress distribution of rocks are of vital significance to solve a variety of underground engineering problems. In this paper, we incorporate several advanced technologies, such as CT scan, three-dimensional(3D) reconstruction, and 3D printing, to produce a physical model representing the natural coal rock that inherently contains complex fractures or joints. We employ 3D frozen stress and photoelastic technologies to characterize and visualize the stress distribution within the fractured rock under uniaxial compression. The 3D printed model presents the fracture structures identical to those of the natural prototype. The mechanical properties of the printed model,including uniaxial compression strength, elastic modulus,and Poisson’s ratio, are testified to be similar to those of the prototype coal rock. The frozen stress and photoelastic tests show that the location of stress concentration and the stress gradient around the discontinuous fractures are in good agreement with the numerical predictions of the real coalsample. The proposed method appears to be capable of visually quantifying the influences of discontinuous,irregular fractures on the strength, deformation, and stress concentration of coal rock. The method of incorporating3 D printing and frozen stress technologies shows a promising way to quantify and visualize the complex fracture structures and their influences on 3D stress distribution of underground rocks, which can also be used to verify numerical simulations.