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SWedge

SWedge

SWedge is a quick and simple-to-use analysis tool for evaluating the geometry and stability of surface wedges in rock slopes. Commonly used together with Dips, SWedge is a key tool for the analysis of rock slope stability.

SWedge

Applications

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SWedge is a quick, interactive and simple-to-use analysis tool for evaluating the geometry and stability of surface wedges in rock slopes. Wedges are defined by two intersecting discontinuity planes, the slope surface and an optional tension crack. SWedge provides an integrated graphical environment for fast, easy data entry and 3D model visualization.

SWedge offers an extensive array of analysis options including Deterministic, Probabilistic, Combinations, Sensitivity, and Persistence analysis.

Rock bolts, shotcrete or support pressure can be applied to increase the wedge safety factor. Destabilizing forces due to water pressure, seismic loads or external forces can also be easily modeled. Joint shear strength options include Mohr-Coulomb, Barton-Bandis or Power Curve models, and a joint waviness angle can be defined.

Software Screenshots

SWedge Figure 1: Probabilistic analysis results in SWedge.
SWedge Figure 1: Probabilistic analysis results in SWedge.
SWedge Figure 1: Probabilistic analysis results in SWedge.
SWedge Figure 2: View water pressure on wedge.
SWedge Figure 2: View water pressure on wedge.
SWedge Figure 2: View water pressure on wedge.
SWedge Figure 3: Probabilistic bench design analysis.
SWedge Figure 3: Probabilistic bench design analysis.
SWedge Figure 3: Probabilistic bench design analysis.
SWedge Figure 4: Add bolt or pressure support with ease.
SWedge Figure 4: Add bolt or pressure support with ease.
SWedge Figure 4: Add bolt or pressure support with ease.
SWedge Figure 5: Model tetrahedral wedges using basal joint.
SWedge Figure 5: Model tetrahedral wedges using basal joint.
SWedge Figure 5: Model tetrahedral wedges using basal joint.
SWedge Figure 1: Probabilistic analysis results in SWedge. SWedge Figure 1: Probabilistic analysis results in SWedge. SWedge Figure 2: View water pressure on wedge. SWedge Figure 2: View water pressure on wedge. SWedge Figure 3: Probabilistic bench design analysis. SWedge Figure 3: Probabilistic bench design analysis. SWedge Figure 4: Add bolt or pressure support with ease. SWedge Figure 4: Add bolt or pressure support with ease. SWedge Figure 5: Model tetrahedral wedges using basal joint. SWedge Figure 5: Model tetrahedral wedges using basal joint.

Applications

Product Highlights

  • What’s New in SWedge v6.0
  • Support and Loading
  • Import from Dips
  • Probabilistic Analysis
  • Bench Analysis
  • Combination Analysis
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What’s New in SWedge v6.0

SWedge v6.0 is a major upgrade with several important new features:

  • Wedges can now include a basal failure plane (pentahedral wedges). As a result, wedges can now be comprised of three joint planes.
  • Bench analysis is now available for determining stability and optimal bench widths (open pit mining).
  • New water pressure distributions.
  • Design standards such as Eurocode and BS8006 are now supported.
  • Multiple units (MPa, KPa, ksf, psf, tonnes/m2, tons/ft2).
  • With 64-bit support, large combinations and probabilistic analyses can now be performed.
  • Import of Dips files.
  • New and improved graphs allow for more customization.
  • Can now filter wedges by sliding mode (sliding on joint 1, sliding on joint 2, etc.) in both probabilistic and combination analyses.
  • Users can now define a design factor of safety for probabilistic analyses. Probability is now P (FS<design FS).
  • Added upper hemisphere projection in stereonet view.
  • Sensitivity for a single strength criterion on all joints has been added.
  • Failure mode is now a statistical output to Excel files.
  • Improved picking of wedges in scatter plot.
  • Users can now contour water pressure on the joint planes and show the wetted area.

Support and Loading

There are various options for modeling support in SWedge, including:

  • Bolts
  • Shotcrete
  • Pressure
  • External Force

Different support types can be combined (e.g. bolts and shotcrete), and the required support parameters necessary to achieve a given factor of safety can be readily determined.

The following options are available in SWedge for applying loading to wedges to simulate destabilizing or stabilizing forces. Critical load values can easily be determined with the Sensitivity Analysis option.

  • Water Pressure
  • Seismic Force
  • External Force

Import from Dips

SWedge provides deep integration with Dips — a Rocscience software program designed for the graphical and statistical analysis of orientation data using stereonets. Dips and SWedge are commonly used together for the analysis of rock slope stability.

Orientation data can be imported from Dips into SWedge with the Import from Dips option in the Input Data dialog. The data which can be imported depends on the SWedge Analysis Type (Deterministic, Probabilistic or Combinations), as described below:

Deterministic

If the SWedge Analysis Type = Deterministic, you can import individual plane orientations from a Dips file and assign the orientations to the Slope, Upper Face, Joint1, Joint2, or Tension Crack.

Probabilistic

If the SWedge Analysis Type = Probabilistic, you can import mean orientations and statistical joint set information (Fisher K value or standard deviation) from a Dips file, and assign the information to Joint1, Joint2 or Tension Crack.

Combinations

If the SWedge Analysis Type = Combinations, you can import any number of plane orientations from a Dips file, and SWedge will analyze the stability of all possible joint combinations.

Probabilistic Analysis

In a Probabilistic Analysis, you can define statistical distributions for input parameters (e.g. joint orientation, shear strength, water level), to account for uncertainty in their values. When the analysis is computed, this results in a safety factor distribution from which a Probability of Failure (PF) is calculated.

The following input parameters can be defined as random variables in an SWedge probabilistic analysis:

  • slope plane orientation
  • joint orientation
  • joint shear strength
  • joint waviness angle
  • tension crack orientation
  • water pressure force
  • seismic force

In addition, if you are using the Joint Persistence Analysis option, you can define the following random variables:

  • wedge height
  • joint persistence or trace length

Bench Analysis

The Bench Design option is an extension of the probabilistic analysis features in SWedge. Assuming either a constant bench width or constant inter-ramp angle you can input the design parameters and statistical joint information in order to optimize the bench slope angle according to design constraints. The analysis output allows you to interpret the results according to various methods including:

  • managed approach to bench design
  • quantitative hazard analysis (QHA)

The following statistics can be plotted for a bench design:

  • Total Probability of Failure
  • Cell Probability of Occurrence
  • Cell Cumulative Probability of Occurrence
  • Cell Probability of Sliding
  • Cell Probability of Failure
  • Bench Loss versus Bench Angle
  • Cumulative Frequency of Failed Wedges

Combination Analysis

The Combination Analysis option in SWedge allows you to define any number of discrete joint plane orientations, and all possible combinations of two joints which can form a wedge will be analyzed. The wedge with the minimum factor of safety is determined, and results can be plotted on histograms, scatter plots and the stereonet view.

The Combination Analysis option can be selected in the Project Settings dialog or from the drop-list in the toolbar. By default, the minimum wedge Factor of Safety (FS) is displayed in the toolbar.

Because the Combination Analysis option is not, strictly speaking, a Probabilistic Analysis, a Probability of Failure is not reported. If desired, a Probability of Failure can be calculated by dividing the number of failed wedges by the total number of joint combinations. The interpretation of results in this regard is the responsibility of the user.

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