True Triaxial Strength Testing of Sandstones
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Laboratory rock mechanical tests allow estimation of rock strength and deformation behaviour under stress states similar to the in-situ conditions. In general, the in-situ stresses are described by three principal stresses, the vertical, maximum and minimum horizontal stresses. However, most of rock mechanical properties are obtained using only two different stresses, as in conventional triaxial tests where an axial load and an isotropic confining pressure are applied on a cylindrical rock sample. Also the most commonly used failure criterion, the Mohr-Coulomb criterion, is usually applied using only the maximum and minimum applied stresses and thus ignores the effect of the intermediate stress. Experimental and theoretical studies of rocks under true triaxial stress conditions have proved that describing their mechanical properties while ignoring the effect of σ, cannot reflect the rock behaviour under true stress states. In this paper the lab results of an on-going study on deformation behaviour of synthetic sandstones in a true triaxial cell are presented. The effect of both σ and σ has been examined by conducting compressional tests in different stress levels and σ /σ ratios. The results show the impact of changing stress magnitudes and anisotropy on rock strength and deformation behaviour.
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