FRACOD - Simulating fracture behaviour

International collaboration on a unique tool to predict rock fracturing behaviour under various mechanical, thermal and hydraulic forces.

The Challenge

Predicting rock mass behaviour

Rock mass is a common medium for facilities like storage areas, energy extraction areas, wells, tunnels, underground power stations – these can exist in a variety of rock types and under different rock mechanical conditions. It’s vital that we ensure the long-term stability of these rock masses, and understand how they behave under different conditions.

While there are many modelling tools to predict this behaviour when assuming the rock mass is continuous, there has been no approach that can model the explicit fracture initiation and propagation process using fracture mechanics.

Our Response

An international partnership

Through a partnership with Posiva , Finland’s largest nuclear waste management company, and eight other international organisations, we sought to develop a unique numerical modelling tool to predict rock fracturing behaviour under various mechanical, thermal and hydraulic forces.

Posvia operates an underground research laboratory at the depth of about 400-450 metres to conduct various in situ tests on rock mass. We worked alongside them, and other research partners, to test and develop our solution.

The Results

FRACOD – simulating fracture behaviour

Alongside our project partners, we developed the FRACOD computer software tool which allows us to analyse the particulars of each rock engineering interaction. FRACOD is unique whereby it can model the explicit fracture initiation and propagation process using fracture mechanics approach.

FRACOD has already been used in real-world applications, and a book and a number of technical reports and journal papers have been published.

The project is supported by CSIRO Energy (Australia), Posiva Oy (Finland), SK Engineering and Constructions (South Korea), Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (South Korea), Leibniz Institute for Applied Geosciences (Germany), Geodyanmics Ltd (Australia), Geomecon GmbH (Germany), and FRACOM Ltd (Finland), Seoul National University (South Korea), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland).

Enquiries

Have an enquiry about this page?

Contact us

Do business with us to help your organisation thrive

We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

Contact us now to start doing business