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Future Trends of Sustainable Rock Engineering

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2024) | Viewed by 5678

Special Issue Editors

School of Resources and Safety Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Interests: rock mechanics; geotechnical engineering; multiple coupling; discrete element modelling

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Guest Editor
School of Resources and Safety Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Interests: rock mechanics; rock dynamics; wave propagation; multi-field coupling
School of Civil Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai 519082, China
Interests: rock mechanics; underground engineering; numerical simulation in multi-field and phase coupling; geothermal tunnel
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable engineering involves a dynamic equilibrium between engineering design, economy, environment and equity. In the field of sustainable rock engineering, several significant challenges arise, such as low-carbon exploitation, storage and utilization of geothermal renewable energy like shale gas and hot dry rock, as well as the design and construction of underground projects.

Creating a large-scale interconnected complex network of fractures is essential for geothermal extraction from hot dry rock. Creating fractures poses significant challenges as the extraction of geothermal energy involves the coupling of multiple fields, multiple phases, and multiple processes. The transport of gases and liquids, heat conduction, and chemical reactions can affect the stability of geothermal reservoirs and the mechanical characteristics of rocks. The heat extraction process is controlled via the multiscale physical, mechanical, and chemical mechanisms under the coupling effects of multiple fields and processes.

Therefore, this Special Issue focuses on understanding the coupling heat transfer mechanism and mechanical behaviors of rocks under multiple fields. It investigates how to reduce the initiation pressure, enhance the scale and complexity of the fracture network, and effectively mitigate the risk of induced seismicity. In addition, it explores rock improvement technology, sealing technology in geothermal energy storage, and computational geomechanics involved in multiple fields.

This Special Issue aims to bring together original research and review articles highlighting future challenges in sustainable rock engineering.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Kaihui Li
Dr. Dongya Han
Prof. Dr. Yanlin Zhao
Dr. Yu Chen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • rock mechanics
  • geothermal system
  • low-carbon exploitation
  • multiple coupling
  • computational geomechanics

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 6593 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Flexural Properties of Steel-Fibre-Reinforced Concrete Specimens with Different Heights
by Peilong Yuan, Xianda Ren and Yongli Xie
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 1900; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16051900 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Flexural strength is an important mechanical property of steel-fibre-reinforced concrete. By designing three-point bending tests of concrete with five specimen heights, three steel fibre types, and two steel fibre mixing methods, the effects of the specimen height, steel fibre mixing method, and steel [...] Read more.
Flexural strength is an important mechanical property of steel-fibre-reinforced concrete. By designing three-point bending tests of concrete with five specimen heights, three steel fibre types, and two steel fibre mixing methods, the effects of the specimen height, steel fibre mixing method, and steel fibre type on the peak load, effect of size, section characteristics, strain characteristics, and characteristics of the load–displacement curve of concrete specimens were studied. The results show that the peak load of the control group is basically linear with the height of the specimen. After adding three kinds of steel fibres, the peak load of the specimen is greater than that of the control group in the same case. The peak load of the specimen increases by adding three kinds of steel fibres, and the increase is closely related to the height of the specimen. The residual stage of the load–displacement curve of the milling steel fibre and the end hook steel fibre are relatively flat, while the residual stage of the load–displacement curve of the shear steel fibre is relatively large, and the residual load is also greater than the residual load of the shear steel fibre. The specimens in the control group show brittle failure characteristics. As the height of the specimens increases, the failed section of the specimens is smoother. The development of cracks in the steel fibre specimens is more tortuous than that of the control group, showing ductile failure characteristics. Some tensile failure zones are still present where the fibres are densely distributed, and the failure characteristics of the specimens are further explained and proven by the strain characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends of Sustainable Rock Engineering)
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17 pages, 6959 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on Pile Load Transfer Considering Rice Stone Filled-In Gaps between Steel Drive Pipe and Pile Casing in Karst Region
by Fangcai Zhu, Zhijia Yang, Qing Liu, Yanlin Zhao, Binbin Wu, Shaolong Zhang, Qi Chen, Yifan Chen and Rui Luo
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 14659; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152014659 - 10 Oct 2023
Viewed by 946
Abstract
For a guarantee of perpendicularity and stiffness in piles in Karst areas, full rotary cast-in-place piles are often utilized, steel pipes are rotarily driven into a stratum, and inner-steel pile casing is positioned. With the engineering background of the bridge piles of Guinan [...] Read more.
For a guarantee of perpendicularity and stiffness in piles in Karst areas, full rotary cast-in-place piles are often utilized, steel pipes are rotarily driven into a stratum, and inner-steel pile casing is positioned. With the engineering background of the bridge piles of Guinan high-speed railway in Guangxi autonomous region, the space between steel drive pipe is filled with rice stones, the load-transfer mechanism of which was studied. An apparatus was designed for pullout of the drive pipe, rice stones are replaced with coarse stones, a simplified organic glass-pipe model is put forward, another similar indoor stratigraphic model is also pre-cast, and the movement of coarse sands and load transfer is studied with two models. The quantity of sands is calculated using back analysis through reappearance and the Rhino model: the first one is estimated using a reproduction of the pullout procedure, the second is calculated through the Rhino model based on the observation of the shape of sand in caves. When the drive pipe is pulled out, some coarse sand flows into the Karst caves and becomes loose, while load is applied on the top of the pile. The movement of coarse sand develops further, and more coarse sand flows into caves close to the bottom; this leads to a reduction its frictional resistance, and the axial force of the pile increases closer to the upper position of the cave, whereas the axial force of the pile is concentrated almost constantly close to the bottom of the cave. Comparing the end resistance and the frictional resistance, coarse sand can bear pile load to a great extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends of Sustainable Rock Engineering)
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21 pages, 4411 KiB  
Article
Study on Temperature Distribution Law of Tunnel Portal Section in Cold Region Considering Fluid–Structure Interaction
by Jin Huang, Qingxiang Shui, Daguo Wang, Yuhao Shi, Xiaosheng Pu, Wenzhe Wang and Xuesong Mao
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14524; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914524 - 6 Oct 2023
Viewed by 782
Abstract
The design of tunnels in cold regions contributes greatly to the feasibility and sustainability of highways. Based on the heat transfer mechanism of the tunnel surrounding rock–lining–air, this paper uses FEPG software to carry out secondary excavation and development, then the air heat [...] Read more.
The design of tunnels in cold regions contributes greatly to the feasibility and sustainability of highways. Based on the heat transfer mechanism of the tunnel surrounding rock–lining–air, this paper uses FEPG software to carry out secondary excavation and development, then the air heat convection calculation model is established by using a three-dimensional extension of the characteristic-based operator-splitting (CBOS) finite-element method and the explicit characteristic–Galerkin method. By coupling with the heat conduction model of the tunnel lining and surrounding rock, the heat conduction-thermal convection fluid–structure interaction finite-element calculation model of tunnels in cold regions is established. Relying on the Qinghai Hekashan tunnel project, the temperature field of the tunnel portal section is calculated and studied by employing the fluid–structure interaction finite-element model and then compared with the field monitoring results. It is found that the calculated values are basically consistent with the measured values over time, which proves the reliability of the model. The calculation results are threefold: (1) The temperature of the air, lining, and surrounding rock in the tunnel changes sinusoidally with the ambient temperature. (2) The temperature of each layer gradually lags behind, and the temperature variation amplitude of the extreme value of the layer temperature gradually decreases with the increase in the radial distance of the lining. (3) In the vicinity of the tunnel entrance, the lining temperature of each layer remains unchanged, and the temperature gradually decreases or increases with the increase in the depth. The model can be used to study and analyze the temperature field distribution law of the lining and surrounding rock under different boundary conditions, and then provide a calculation model with both research and practical value for the study of the temperature distribution law of tunnels in cold regions in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends of Sustainable Rock Engineering)
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21 pages, 6992 KiB  
Article
Mohr–Coulomb and Modified Hoek–Brown Strength Criteria of Layered Sandstone Considering the Unloading Effect and Anisotropy
by Zhixiang Song, Junwen Zhang and Shaokang Wu
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14418; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914418 - 1 Oct 2023
Viewed by 995
Abstract
The Mohr–Coulomb (M-C) and Hoek–Brown (H-B) strength criteria are widely used in various engineering fields, such as mining engineering, tunnel engineering and so on. To investigate the M-C and H-B strength criteria considering the unloading effect and anisotropy, series of triaxial loading (unloading) [...] Read more.
The Mohr–Coulomb (M-C) and Hoek–Brown (H-B) strength criteria are widely used in various engineering fields, such as mining engineering, tunnel engineering and so on. To investigate the M-C and H-B strength criteria considering the unloading effect and anisotropy, series of triaxial loading (unloading) tests on layered sandstone were conducted. The results revealed that the peak strength was significantly affected by the unloading effect. Moreover, the cohesion and internal friction angle had a significant nonlinear relationship with the bedding angle. Additionally, the M-C and modified H-B strength criteria were established considering the unloading effect and anisotropy. Then, according to the strength criteria established, the peak strength could be estimated theoretically. Furthermore, compared to the M-C strength criteria, the modified H-B strength criteria were more appropriate for accurately estimating the triaxial compressive strength of layered sandstones. The conclusions obtained could provide certain references for the stability control of deep excavation engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends of Sustainable Rock Engineering)
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22 pages, 10504 KiB  
Article
Evolution of Physical and Mechanical Properties of Granite after Thermal Treatment under Cyclic Uniaxial Compression
by Bo Hu, Xiangqi Hu, Chenggeng Lin, Guangzhen Du, Tianxing Ma and Kaihui Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13676; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813676 - 13 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 826
Abstract
The combined effects of thermal and cyclic loading result in complex mechanical behavior in engineering rock masses. The study of the physical and mechanical properties of these rock masses is of great importance for improving the stability and sustainability of structures built on [...] Read more.
The combined effects of thermal and cyclic loading result in complex mechanical behavior in engineering rock masses. The study of the physical and mechanical properties of these rock masses is of great importance for improving the stability and sustainability of structures built on thermally treated rock masses. In order to understand the failure mechanism, uniaxial compression tests and cyclic loading and unloading tests were conducted on granite specimens that had undergone thermal treatment at various temperatures. The test results indicate that the density and P-wave velocity of the specimens decrease while the degree of damage increases after thermal treatment. The compressive strength and elastic modulus of the specimens generally decrease as a result of thermal treatment, although thermal hardening does occur within the temperature range of 200–400 °C. The dilatancy characteristics of the specimens change with the treatment temperature, and they are more prone to shear dilation under external loading. Furthermore, the failure mode of the specimens transitions from brittle to ductile failure as the treatment temperature increases. The combination of thermal treatment and cyclic loading causes the rock fragments to become looser and finer following specimen failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends of Sustainable Rock Engineering)
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