Development and application of a synthetic material for simulating soft sedimentary rocks
Due to the fact that a model material can be made homogeneous, the influence of different variables on behavioural mechanisms can be investigated independently. Consequently, large experimental scatter attributed to inherent variables (generally unknown) of a natural material can be avoided. This Paper presents the development of an artificial material which can effectively simulate the behaviour of an array of weak, sedimentary rocks. This synthetic soft rock was constituted with gypsum cement, fine sand and water, and characterized with homogeneous and isotropic properties with insignificant variability from one batch to another. It can be easily manufactured in the laboratory and can be cast either in large or small volumes to occupy any predetermined shape of given physical dimensions. An experimental application to study the behaviour of reinforced composites (simulated bolted rock) is also described in this Paper.