E3S Web Conf.
Volume 205, 20202nd International Conference on Energy Geotechnics (ICEGT 2020)
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Properties of Geomaterials|
|Published online||18 November 2020|
3D printing of rock analogues in sand: a tool for design and repeatable testing of geomechanical and transport properties
University of Alberta, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Natural rocks can be heterogeneous due to complex diagenetic processes that affect mineralogy and pore architecture. Correlation of geomechanical and transport properties of rocks in three dimensions can lead to large variances in data when tested experimentally. 3D-printing of rock analogues in sand is a promising alternative for experimental testing that can be used to calibrate variables during geotechnical testing. While 3D-printed sand is a homogeneous material, the parameters for creating grain packing and pore infill can be tuned to mimic specific geomechanical and transport properties. Initially, 3D-printed specimens have a low density due to a loose distribution of grains. Herein, we present our efforts at increasing the density through incorporating a roller in the printing process to compact individual layers. We also propose introduction of a more heterogeneous sand mixture that encompasses a wide range of grain-size distributions. Lastly, a discussion between binder saturation (that infills the pore space) of 3D-printed specimens and the axial strength, dimensional control, and porosity is described within. 3D printing of rock analogues is critical in pursuing rigorous destructive tests required for geotechnical and geological engineering because it can provide repeatable, controlled data on rock properties.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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