A 3D grain-based model (3D-GBM) based on the tessellated Voronoi technology is proposed in this current work using the three-dimensional particle flow code (PFC3D). A dimensionless heterogeneity index is introduced to quantitatively express the spatial distribution of grain shape and size. A continuous calibrated parameter strategy was performed to examine the micro-parameters of the 3D-GBM through the QianJiang salt rock. The effect of geometrical heterogeneity caused by the shape and arrangement of the grains on the responses of stress-strain curves, strength characteristics, microcracking behavior associated with failure modes is investigated. The simulated results show that the 3D-GBM can capture the strength properties and deformation behavior associated with the failure modes of salt rock. This model provides an alternative and promising method to deeply investigate the micro-mechanical response at the grain size, deepening our understanding of the mechanical properties of salt rocks in underground gas storage during the static load.

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