Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 52, Issue 11, pp 4361–4386 | Cite as

Numerical Study of the Fracturing Process in Marble and Plaster Hollow Plate Specimens Subjected to Uniaxial Compression

  • Michail A. LotidisEmail author
  • Pavlos P. Nomikos
  • Alexandros I. Sofianos
Original Paper


Physical models of plaster, calcitic and dolomitic marbles from greek quarries with a single pre-existing cylindrical hole of various diameters, subjected in uniaxial compression are simulated numerically with a bonded particle model by employing the two- and the three-dimensional versions of the Particle Flow Code. The linear parallel bond model is employed for the plaster’s simulation, and respectively the flat-joint model for the marbles. The calibration procedure and results are presented, as well as the simulation results of the hollow specimens. The micro-cracking, the fracturing process and the sequence of their appearance during the numerical tests of the hollow plates are in good agreement with the laboratory tested physical models. Each fracture pattern is similar to the one of the physical models. Also, the regions of micro-cracking in the numerical models is quite similar to the regions of intense deformation observed from digital image correlation analysis on the respective physical models. The followed methodology for the determination of the phenomena’s onset is presented as well. A comparison between the peak strength and the required applied axial stress for the primary fracture and spalling initiation of the numerical and the physical models is presented along with the accompanied scale effect. Additional numerical investigation is performed, quantifying the stress distribution along and normal to the primary fracture’s path during the numerical test. The current study reveals the potential of the bonded particle model to reliably simulate laboratory and field structures, at least for the studied materials.


DEM BPM PFC Rock fracture Primary fracture initiation Spalling Numerical modelling 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tunnelling Laboratory, School of Mining and Metallurgical EngineeringNational Technical University of AthensAthensGreece

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