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Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149

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Engineering Geology
j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w. e l s ev i e r. c o m / l o c a t e / e n g g e o

Engineering properties of quartz mica schist
Xiao-Ping Zhang a, b, c, Louis Ngai Yuen Wong b,⁎, Si-Jing Wang c, Geng-You Han c
a b c

State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 430071, China School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Block N1, Nanyang Avenue, 639798, Singapore Key Laboratory of Engineering Geomechanics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
Quartz mica schist, which is a highly anisotropic metamorphic rock, usually presents a geotechnical challenge in construction projects. To ensure a safe and economical design, a comprehensive in situ and laboratory investigation scheme is necessary for projects to be built in quartz mica schist. In this study, such a comprehensive laboratory study of the engineering behavior of quartz mica schist has been carried out. The Pwave velocity tests, tensile and uniaxial compressive strength tests, and creep deformation tests conducted on specimens with differently oriented schistose planes all reveal the strong anisotropic characters of the rock. The relevant crack-initiation stress and crack-damage stress analysis in uniaxial compression test, which has not been previously applied to studying schistose rock, has been performed in the present study. When loading is parallel to schistose planes, crack initiation stress and crack damage stress are lower than those in other loading directions. As the compressive loading is applied parallel to schistose planes, local tensile stresses are preferentially induced normal to the relatively weak schistose planes. Cracks are thus easier to develop than in any other loading directions. Since schistose plane orientation is one of the key factors to control the formation of macro-cracks and hence failures of unloading test specimens, these engineering geological characters should be taken into consideration in engineering design. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 4 November 2010 Received in revised form 20 April 2011 Accepted 28 April 2011 Available online 10 May 2011 Keywords: Quartz mica schist Schistose planes Anisotropy Unloading test Uniaxial creep test

1. Anisotropic behavior introduction Out of the three generic categories of rocks, metamorphic rocks usually display the highest degree of anisotropy (Ramamurthy, 1993). Quartz mica schist, which is a common type of metamorphic rock, has a widespread distribution in the world, including Scottish Highlands, Norway, Sweden, China, India, Bohemia, Saxony, Brittany, the Alps, Himalayas, and many parts of North America. The geotechnical challenges associated with quartz mica schist has been reported in many rock engineering projects, such as the Anamur dam site in Turkey (Ozsan and Karpuz, 1996), the foundation of the underground power house of the Nathpa-Jhakri hydroelectrical project in Kinnaur District, Himachal Paradesh in India (Behrestaghi et al., 1996). Due to the inherent relatively weak nature of the schistose planes, landslides occurring in schistose rocks are frequently reported. Examples include a slow slide near Pos Selim of Malaysia (Malone et al., 2008), large, slow-moving landslides at Clyde Dam reservoir of New Zealand (Macfarlane, 2009), the reactivation of a large, ancient landslide in DanBa County, Sichuan Province of China (Li et al., 2007; Yin et al.,

2008). Despite the challenge of characterizing the mechanical behavior of schistose rocks due to their strong material anisotropy, a comprehensive understanding of the anisotropic strength and deformation properties of rocks is necessary for a safe and reliable design of engineering projects, dealing either with inherent intact rock anisotropy from an exploratory borehole or induced rock anisotropy due to in situ fracturing (Ramamurthy, 1993). 2. Anisotropic behavior Experimental studies of anisotropic rocks typically first involve preparation of rock specimens with planes of weakness inclined at different angles β with the applied compressive loading direction as shown in Fig. 1(a). The strength anisotropy of various rock types other than the quartz mica schist has been extensively studied in compression tests, e.g. Donath (1964), Chenevert and Gatlin (1965), McLamore and Gray (1967), Hoek (1968), Attewell and Sandford (1974), and Brown et al. (1977) on shales and slates, Horino and Ellickson (1970), Rao (1984) and Al-Harthi (1998) on sandstones, Ramamurthy et al. (1988) on phyllites, Pomeroy et al. (1971) on coal, Allirot and Boehler (1979) on diatomite, Tien and Tsao (2000) on artificial material, Deklotz et al. (1966), Akai (1971), McCabe and Koerner (1975), Behrestaghi et al. (1996), Nasseri et al. (1997), Nasseri et al. (2003), and Singh et al. (2001) on gneisses and schists. A review of the aforementioned work

⁎ Corresponding author. Tel.: + 65 67905290. E-mail addresses: jxhkzhang@163.com (X.P. Zhang), lnywong@ntu.edu.sg, lnywong@gmail.com (L.N.Y. Wong), wangsijing@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn (S.J. Wang), gengyouhan@mail.igcas.ac.cn (G.Y. Han). 0013-7952/$ – see front matter © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.enggeo.2011.04.020

many research studies (Martin and Chandler. 1994. Diederichs et al. and Chaberlain et al. Rose diagram of strike of (a) schistose planes and (b) faults. Diederichs. Zhang et al. 2000. This project envisages the construction of an underground powerhouse in weak quartz mica schist. (b) Variation of unaxial compression strength (UCS) with the weakness plane orientation(after Ramamurthy. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 Fig. However. In other words. Geology of the site and rocks tested In the present study. iii. The quartz mica schist belongs to the Silurian-Carboniferous MAO county group. indicates that the failure strength is the highest at either β = 0 °or 90 °and is the lowest when β varies from 20 to 40 °. They observe that the tensile strength of metamorphic rocks increases as the orientation angle β changes from 0 to 90° with respect to the direction of tension. These three stress thresholds associated with quartz mica schist have been systematically studied in the present research. ii. measuring the engineering geological responses of the rock is one of the key issues of the DanBa hydroelectrical power project for the evaluation of the stability of underground excavation. propagation. involving a 13 m diameter of head race tunnel. b. a comprehensive investigation of the engineering behavior of quartz mica schist has been performed. . (c) Brazilian tensile test. 2009a.. 1995. Rose diagrams Fig. c) indicate that one has to resort to the crack initiation. The“U-shape”. 2. Meglis et al. σcd and σf under different schistose plane orientations. especially the stress thresholds σci. (1976) study the effect of schistose plane orientation on the Brazilian tensile strength of different metamorphic rocks (Figure 1c). To study the deformation characteristics of quartz mica schist of different schistose plane orientations in creep test. In the present study. Wong and Einstein. 2004. and eventual coalescence processes in addition to the macroscopic strength in order to satisfactorily characterize and assess the rock mass behavior and performance.136 X. 3. which has a length over 3 km. 2010). the quartz mica schist sample was collected from the exploration adit of the DanBa hydroelectrical power project in DanBa county. Sichuan Province of China. interaction. 1. which is located at the boundary of the Eurasian plate and the Indian plate. “shoulder-shape” and “wavy-shape” of the curves between the uniaxial compressive strength and the orientation angle β reflect the different types of anisotropies of the rock (Figure 1b). To study the transverse anisotropic behavior of quartz mica schist in terms of tensile and compressive strength. (a) Prismatic or cylindrical rock specimen under uniaxial compression. Dadu River drainage area. A 3m-diameter exploration adit.P.. To study the unloading reaction of quartz mica schist under a true triaxial stress state. crack initiation stress (σci) and crack damage stress (σcd) are two important stress thresholds besides uniaxial compressive peak strength (σf) to describe the progressive failure of rock specimens. The effect of schistosity on the tensile strength of metamorphic rocks is also extensively studied by many researchers. These rocks were obtained from the eastern sector of the Tethys. 1993). Hobbs (1963). Since the rock is weak and is subjected to a high local crustal stress (the measured maximum principal stress is 16–20 MPa) (Zhang. Berenbaum and Brodie (1959). was excava-ted for survey and sampling purposes. Broch and Franklin (1972) and Broch (1983) study the point load strength anisotropy of metamorphic rocks. which was 298 m long. The main objectives of the present investigation are as follow: i.

under the high local crustal stress condition. They were considered as dry specimens. Three types of mechanical experiments. They were arranged in the middle height of the cylindrical specimen as four pairs on the north. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 137 corresponding to the strike of the schistose planes (Figure 1 (a)) and the fault planes (Figure 2 (b)) were constructed based on the measurements obtained in the adit. namely tensile and compressive test. 4.6 (50 mm diameter) of different schistose plane orientations of β (0°. the instability of underground excavation was mostly controlled by the strength of quartz mica schist. To better characterize the properties of the rock. south and west sides of the specimen (Figure 3). east. The edge faces of the cylindrical cores were then polished.X. Specimen preparation The rock blocks retrieved from the site (a distance of 246 m measured from the adit entrance) were trimmed with their sides perpendicular to each other. (b) electrical resistance strain gage. were subsequently carried out. More than thirty cylindrical specimens of length-todiameter ratio equal to 2 (50 mm diameter) at different orientations of β (0 °. more than 20 cylindrical specimens of length-to-diameter ratio equal to 0. From these plots. Special frames were fitted to the base of the conventional laboratory drilling machine to facilitate coring at different angles. Experimental setup for strain measurements (a) extensometer. X-ray diffraction and P-wave velocity measurements were implemented. and (c) schematic illustration.P. . Since the number of faults was relatively few. 30 ° and 90 °) were cored for P-wave velocity measurements. Vacuum sealing drainage method was adopted to saturate the rest of the specimens. true triaxial unloading test and uniaxial creep test. 30° and 90°) were cored for Brazilian test. uniaxial compression tests and creep tests. Zhang et al. In addition. 3. The axial strain (εaxial) and lateral strain (εlateral) under uniaxial compression were measured by either electrical resistance strain gages or extensometers. Some of the prepared specimens were first oven-dried at 105 °C for 24 h and later kept in desiccators for cooling. it can be seen that the general strike of the faults were similar to that of the schistose planes. petrography. Four prismatic specimens (approximate dimensions of 150× 60 ×30 mm) Fig.

0 0. Schematic illustration of P-wave velocity test. The similar trend was observed by Hobbs (1963). 4.10 4675. Quartz (40–60%).6 1.7 0.96 mm).75 m/s. The P-wave velocity. specific gravity. The mean value was obtained by averaging more than six measurements in each group. while in saturated condition.50 685. P-wave velocities obtained parallel to the schistose planes (β = 0 °) were the largest as compared to other orientations in both the dry and saturated conditions. Thin section of quartz mica schist under cross-polarized light (field of view 2. the presence of water can significantly increase the velocities. as shown in Fig.421 MPa and 3.3 54.431 MPa respectively.1 59. 5.151 MPa.88 4077. (1996) for different Table 1 Mineralogical composition of quartz mica schist determined by the X-ray diffraction powder method.75 5306.5 15. For a detailed quantitative and semi-quantitative mineralogical composition analysis of schistose rocks.61 × 1.0 No. depends on the elastic properties of the rock material (Goodman 1989). 6. Fig.779 Saturated density g/cm3 2. The microscopic view of a thin section of the rock observed under cross-polarized light is shown in Fig. 2.80 2877.816 Porosity (%) 1. No.80 2890.2 9.50 3957. were determined for quartz mica schist in general accordance with ISRM (1972).P. and porosity. The P-wave velocity tests were conducted on cylindrical specimens (50 mm diameter.70 4595. The former was 2877.1.1 No. both β = 30˚ and β = 90˚ had P-wave velocities close to each other. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 Fig.621 Specific gravity 2.40 1867. while the ratio for β = 30 ° was intermediate. saturated water content. 4. Dry density g/cm3 2. 90 ° were 1. Vp.1.50 . 5.05 m/s s d and the latter was 2890. 30 °. Brazilian test The average tensile strength of the Brazilian tests for β = 0 °. the X-ray diffraction powder method has been adopted.00 2443. which in turn are controlled by its mineralogical composition and orientation (Guyader and Denis 1986). the quartz mica schist is a coarse-grained rock with a well-defined schistose texture. For P-wave propagating along the schistose planes.00 4308.9 Clay 1.05 / / 2. P-wave velocities obtained at β = 30 °were higher than those normal to the schistose planes (β = 90 °) in dry condition. 6. uniaxial compressive strength. the presence of water only had a slight influence on the wave velocity.797 Saturated water content (%) 0. deformation moduli.5 No.138 X.5 52.6 0. (1976) and Behrestaghi et al.2 Plagioclase 9. P-wave velocities were measured normal to the schistose planes (β = 90 °).92 3565.20 1911. mica (30–50%) and plagioclase (1–15%) are the major rock constituent minerals.2 1. Velocities (m/s) Degree 90 ° d ) Dry (Vp s Saturated(Vp ) s d Vp /Vp Table 2 Physical properties of quartz mica schist.15 / / 1. with different schistose plane orientations were prepared for the truetriaxial unloading test. Distance from the adit entrance 0 80 m 168 m 246 m 293 m Minerals (%) Quartz 41.4 Mica 48. under dry and saturated conditions respectively (Table 3).00 1262.3 No.1.4 Table 3 P-wave velocities of quartz mica schist.8 37. When P-wave propagated normal to the schistose planes (β = 90 °).22 2150.00 4958. Physical properties In this study.29 / / 1. and unloading reaction at different loading orientations and stress levels.2 No. 5.7 38.4 27. The tensile strength (σt) of quartz mica schist increased as β increased from 0 ° to 90 °.5 0.5 43. long-term strength. The test results are presented in Table 1.80 1798. 100 mm length). Mechanical properties A comprehensive understanding of the mechanical behavior of quartz mica schist involves a thorough determination and evaluation of a number of strength index properties such as tensile strength.4 56. The mean values obtained by averaging more than ten measurements for each property are presented in Table 2. Chaberlain et al. Zhang et al. The ratio was the largest for β = 90° and the smallest for β = 0°. parallel to the schistose planes (β = 0 °) and inclined to the schistose planes (β = 30 °).31 0° 30° Maximum Minimum Average Maximum Minimum Average Maximum Minimum Average 1572. Tensile and compression tests 6. The Vp /Vp ratio was also computed and shown in Table 3. Various physical properties including dry and wet density.

(a) Quartz mica schist specimens (β = 90°) after Brazilian test (front faces only). When the compressive loading direction Fig. Uniaxial compression test The rock specimens tested for the uniaxial compressive deformational behavior are of a diameter 50 ± 1 mm and a length 100 ± 2 mm. was perpendicular to the schistose planes (β = 90 °). (b) Hand sketches of cracks in quartz mica schist specimens (β = 0°) after Brazilian test (front and back faces). i. 6a shows the cracked specimens of β = 0 ° after subjected to the Brazilian test. which are obtained from the linear portion of stress– strain curves. with or without a confining stress. △V=Velastic = ðσ1 −σ3 Þð1−2νÞ = Ε ð2Þ . and under small strains. except specimens B3-1 and B3-2.e.P. Fig. the induced cracks generally passed through the disk center (Figure 6b). The uniaxial loading rate applied was 0. For a cylindrical specimen subjected to an axial loading. 6. 6b shows the hand sketches of the cracks observed on the front and back sides of the specimens. (b) Hand sketches of cracks in quartz mica schist specimens (β = 90°) after Brazilian test (front and back faces). 7a and b show the specimens of β = 90 °.X. and V is the original volume of the specimen. (a) Quartz mica schist specimens (β = 0°) after Brazilian test (front faces only). One of the unique features of schistose rock was that the tensile strength was maximum when the tensile stress was induced parallel to the schistose planes (β = 90 °). / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 139 anisotropic rocks. 7. These cracks were typically straight and generally continuous along the loading direction.002 mm/s. by the following relation: Fig. Similarly. Fig.2. the induced cracks were less continuous and appeared to have an en echelon arrangement upon close inspection. Fig. The tensile strengths corresponding to schistose planes oriented at other orientations were between these two values. while reaching a minimum when the tensile stress was induced perpendicular to the schistose planes (β = 0 °).1. When the compressive loading direction was parallel to the schistose planes (β = 0 °). along the schistose planes. Crack volumetric strain is calculated as follows. 6. Both the axial strain (εaxial) and lateral strain (εlateral) in the specimen were recorded as the specimens were loaded. Zhang et al. First the elastic volumetric strains are calculated using the elastic constants. the volumetric strain εv is given by: εv = △V=V ≈εaxial + 2εlateral ð1Þ where △ V is the change of specimen volume.

the onset of negative value on the calculated crack volumetric curve. E is the elastic module. Our study will hence be the first on this rock type. the rock specimen's path of failure can be traced. lateral and the calculated volumetric strains versus the applied axial stress. Then the crack volumetric strain is determined by subtracting the elastic volumetric strain from the total measured volumetric strain.140 X.P. Stress–strain diagram obtained from a DanBa quartz mica schist specimen with schistose planes oriented parallel to loading direction. 1994). the relevant crack-initiation stress and crackdamage stress analysis has not been attempted on schistose rocks. 8. Crack-damage stress (σcd) is the Fig. 9 (loading direction parallel to schistose planes). where Velastic is the elastic part of specimen's volume change.e. from which the crack-initiation stress (σci) and crack-damage stress (σcd) can be determined (Martin and Chandler. 8. The different stages of crack development are shown in Fig. is defined as the axial stress at which dilation commences. Two sets of deformation curves of the DanBa quartz mica schist under uniaxial compression are shown in Fig. 8 (loading direction perpendicular to schistose planes) and Fig. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 Fig. To our best understanding. σ3 is confining stress. σ1 is axial loading stress. which is determined from the crack volumetric strain-axial strain curve. 9. and ν is the Poisson ratio. Zhang et al. By plotting the axial. Stress–strain diagram obtained from a DanBa quartz mica schist specimen with schistose planes oriented perpendicular to loading direction. Crack-initiation stress (σci). i. .

6 4.7 6. Hatzor and Palchik. loading in different directions have similar results.140 are obtained.1 4.2 0.38 0. 1985.e.3 5.83 Sandstone Brace et al. Following the procedures mentioned above. Yasar and Erdogan.87 Potash Limestone Granite Quartzite Bieniawski (1967) 80 180 224 0. In a clastic sedimentary rock such as sandstone.1 9. For dry specimens.3 0. In a perfectly homogenous solid. Table 6 also contains data of the Young's modulus (E) and Possion ratio (ν) obtained from the uniaxial compressive test.85.19 0. This means that it is challenging to establish a correlation between the UCS and Brazilian tensile strength in the present study.1 5.8 0.0 9.P. 6..37– 0. 2001. the UCS values vary with the angle (β) between the applied compressive loading and the schistose plane orientation in both dry and saturated conditions (Table 6).2 8. As a transverse anisotropic intact rock. 2008).00 2 A6 5. Martin. The Young's modulus (E) (secant modulus) and Poisson ratio (ν) were calculated from the stress level at 50% of σc.73 DanBa Quartz Mica Schist Present study β = 90° 11.5 14.33 0.53 12 56 60 0.5 4.24 to 0.5 17.59 1 A11 26.73 0.26 0.45 1.26–0. The crack damage also occurred at an earlier stage when loading is parallel to the schistose planes (β = 0 °) as compared with other loading directions.75 0. the ratio σci/σf is typically larger than 0.26 2 A22 13. stress level at which the axial strain begins to depart away from linearity. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 Table 4 Stress thresholds of quartz mica schist specimens. tensile stresses are preferentially induced normal to the weak schistose planes. Limestone. “V-shape” curves can be seen clearly for σc in both dry and saturated conditions.32 2 0° A16 21.3 1.4 25.18 0.3 19.71 β = 30° 8.8 9.41 0.34 2 A18 36. σc is found to increase with E as β varies.3 0.6 10.4 0.26 1 30° A20 17. a chemical precipitate (Martin. The Brazilian tensile strength (σt) was also found to vary with the loading angle. the values of σci/σf is in the range of 0.33 to 0.5 0. 10.3 14.6 4.55 β = 0° 9.36 0. 1993.4 0.9 0. Cracks are thus easier to form than in any other loading directions. the former two thus cannot be readily correlated with the P-wave velocity as shown in some prior researches (Kahraman.8 10.0 14.39 1 A31 41.93 .29 0.58 0.5 0. has a very low damage initiation stress as compared to the ultimate strength. quartz mica schist exhibits a wide range of σci/σf and σcd/σf ratio. However.5 27. while the curves of Pwave velocity do not display such a trend (Figure 11).9 12.4 0.36 to 0. the strength and Young's modulus will not be proportional to the P-wave velocity.4 12. The ratio of σci/σf for Potash is only 0.3.46 0.33 Martin (1993) 6. while the ratio of σcd/σf is consistently between 0.40.72 1 A12 31.1.44 0.76 0.57 0.63 0. 1966.58 (β = 30 °) and 0.5 16 0.2 0.46 (β = 90 °). Stress threshold/MPa Dolomite Hatzor and Palchik (1997) σci σcd σf σci/σcd σci/σf σcd/σf 85 102 117 0.29.7 / / 0. Bieniawski.0 10.69 2 A25 21.5 7. Fonseka et al. the cracks initiate at an earlier stage compared with those in other loading directions. The variation in damage thresholds (with respect to UCS) can possibly be related to the rock texture and fabric.7 13.24 0. Discussion of mechanical properties The anisotropy behavior of the quartz mica schist is clearly displayed in our uniaxial compressive strength (σc) results. quartzite and marble. although this varies. as well as for σci and σcd in dry condition.1 0.52 0. In this case.41 0.83 0. crack-initiation stress (σci). The curves of Young's modulus (E) also display a similar “V-shape”.21 0. This phenomenon might be attributed to the unique feature of schistose rock. Specimen condition β No.40 0. In addition to the uniaxial compressive strength (σc). its trend of variation is different from that of σc.0 18.90 1 141 A29 6.0 11.7 7.85 0.4 14.. In the plots of stress values versus β as shown in Fig. additional crack accumulation or incremental crack extension beyond σci is however necessary to achieve specimen rupture.042 to 0.26 2 30° A21 6.3 0.1 0. σf (MPa) σcd (MPa) σci (MPa) σci/σf σcd/σf Remarks Dry 90° A8 24. Kilic and Teymen. 1967.71 0. When uniaxial compression loading is applied parallel to the schistose planes. Table 5 Stress thresholds of different rock types.20.81 1 Remark 1: the deformation strain is measured by extensometers. For polycrystalline rocks such as granite.80 and 0.1 9.5 8.85 Marble Fonseka et al.18–0. Remark 2: the deformation strain is measured by electrical resistance strain gages.81 1 0° A17 38. The average stress thresholds of DanBa quartz mica schist (for dry specimens) and some other rock types reported in the literature (Brace et al.9 0. The axial stress level where the total volumetric strain reversal occurs marks the crack-damage stress (σcd). the ratio of σci/σf varies from 0.78 0.6 38. In heterogeneous materials. (1966) 121 170 234 0.50. Consequently.0 7.47 0.46 0.39 0. ratios of σt/σc which vary greatly from 0. which is associated with a very small tensile strength normal to schistose planes. the onset of crack initiation is expected to be coincident with specimen failure since the crack density will instantaneously reach the critical level once the crack initiation threshold is reached.47 0.X.5 0.58 0. 1997) are listed in Table 5. 1993).7 2 Saturated 90° A5 10. spanning from 0. crack-damage stress (σcd) and peak strength (σf) of 15 specimens were determined (Table 4).44 1 A19 31. Zhang et al. The data suggested that when loading is parallel to the schistose planes (β = 0 °). The loads above this stress level result in damage to the material that cannot be further tolerated under a permanent load. which is much lower than 0.0 4.71 respectively. (1985) 32 70 84 0.5 9.37 0.80 114 241 283 0. 2004. The P-wave velocity decreases as β increases.47 and from 0.6 0. but its ratio of σcd/σf is very high. i.20 0.26 0. For saturated specimens.

57 17. The true triaxial unloading machine (Figure 12).69 X.9 m/s and 3364. the load on the vertical direction was increased to the expected maximum principal stress while the loads in the other two directions were kept constant. The six surfaces of specimen were daubed with a thin film of grease to reduce the friction effect of end faces. The minimum stress direction was then kept constant. Following this. the intermediate principal stress was also kept constant and the maximum principal stress was increased and Fig. First.85 3. Fig. for the four specimens are presented in Fig.1.2. Test procedures and results In the present experiment. 6.58 1. 4441. in which the radial stress has reduced.291 σ t/σ c Dry 0. 246-2.270 0.1 m/s. . β Parameters σt (MPa) Dry 90° 30° 0° 3. the P-wave velocities are 4326.042 6.95 E(GPa) Dry 13. 4 Loading plate. Three AE (acoustic emission) transducers were employed to investigate the AE characteristics of quartz mica schist under a true-triaxial dynamic unloading condition (Figure 14). parallel to the thickness in specimen 246-3. 10. which was developed by the China University of Mining and Technology..5 m/s respectively. was adopted to achieve an abrupt unloading process on one loading face (Figure 13).142 Table 6 Mechanical properties of quartz mica schist. Variation of different stress values with β. 2 Load cell. a true triaxial unloading test was performed to examine the different failure models under different stress states and schistose plane orientations. the specimen was at a possible stage of macro failure. the load in the vertical direction was increased gradually until failure occurred. The dimensions and P-wave velocity test results of the four specimens are listed in Table 7. Beijing. the prismatic specimens were first loaded to an initial triaxial stress state.5 MPa/s and the loads were first increased proportionally until the stress in all three directions reached the pre-defined minimum principal stress. parallel to the thickness in specimen 246-1. with different schistose plane orientations. while the loads in the other two directions were increased until they reached the pre-defined intermediate principal stress. 15 shows the schematic sketches of four specimens 246-1.2. which are the largest as compared to other orientations. but the tangential stress has increased as compared with the original stress state before excavation. 12. the stresses in three principal stress directions were increased to about 8 MPa at the roughly same rate.30 27. To simulate such effect. 2010). Zhang et al. True-triaxial unloading test The rock mass that is located in the vicinity of the free boundary of an underground excavation is under a polyaxial stress state.431 2.72 Saturated 7.4 m/s. 246-3 and 246-4.. Variation of different Young's modulus (E) and P-wave velocities (vp) with β.19 4. if the rock specimen did not fail after unloading for a period of about 30 min.2.151 σc (MPa) Dry 38.222 0. 2010). cracking and even failure can happen near the rock surface when the tangential stress is sufficiently high. i. However. China (He et al. as well as the cumulative AE energy. as in Fig. determination of the P-wave velocity is found to be an efficient method to help Fig.212 Saturated 0. The stress paths.50 6. Sketch of the dropping system for load bar and loading plate 1 Pressure head.1–0.e.089 0. Consequently. Finally. 4993. Along the schistose planes. 3 Rock specimen. 16. P-wave velocities obtained for β = 30 °are higher than those of β = 90 ° in dry condition.47 1. After suddenly removing the lateral pressure from one surface of the rock specimen while keeping the confining pressures in the other two directions constant. 7 Base plate.30 Saturated 26. reveal the orientation of schistose planes. The minimum principal stress was then kept constant while the maximum and the intermediate principal stresses were increased to about 10 MPa. The same pattern is also observed in Table 7. and parallel to the length in specimen 246-4.2. The loading rate was in the range of 0. the P-wave velocity is the highest along the schistose planes. in particular for specimens in which the schistose plane orientation is not conspicuous to unaided eyes. 6. 8 Support frame (He et al. 11. 6 Cylinder. parallel to the width in specimen 246-2. According to the P-wave velocity test results for prismatic specimens in Section 5. Specimen description Fig.140 0.P. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 ν Dry 0.50 7.334 0.213 0. 16a. 5 Dowel steel. The test process of specimen 246-1 is described as follows. From the present study.421 1.

the cumulative AE energy rapidly increased.P. which is also a common phenomenon observed in different geomaterials. Under the in situ stress state of σ1 = 16 MPa. For specimen 246-2.2. σ2 = 23 MPa and σ3 = 19 MPa. in which micro-pores and microcracks are weakly Fig. Such a stress state was retained for about 20 min.. much higher stress states were further simulated in three subsequent tests. The vertical load was then increased gradually until failure occurred. The cumulative AE energy rapidly increased just before unloading. which corresponded to an abrupt release of the intermediate principal stress σ2. which had stress paths similar to that of specimen 246-1. The largest surface of specimen (corresponding to the intermediate principal stress) was then exposed for about 65 min to allow for the observation of its change under the stressed condition.. Acoustic Emission (AE) accumulated energy The AE accumulated energy release and stress path of specimens 246-1. At the low stress level (stage 1). which closely resembled the in situ stress state. A slight fluctuation of the maximum principal stress occurred just before unloading. Positions of the AE transducers (He et al..X. 14. it took about 58 min to reach the target stress state of σ1 = 38 MPa. were also observed for the quartz mica schist in the present study. 16c and d. 246-2. the AE energy release associated with each loading step was at a relatively low level. indicating that the macro failure had already occurred in the stress state of σ1 = 38 MPa. The pre-existing microcracks.3. No macro failure was observed during that time interval. Due to the unloading of the intermediate stress. before removing one of the horizontal loading plates. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 143 Fig. adjusted to 16 MPa. as presented in Fig. indicating that the macro failure has occurred. Macro failure was observed on the exposed surface after unloading. The latter was immediately adjusted to 16 MPa manually. Stress state (a) before and (b) after unloading. the sudden removal of the intermediate principal stress did not immediately lead to the macro failure in specimen 246-1. 16. the maximum principal stress dropped slightly. The AE inactivity at stage 1 implies a balance period for the test specimen after loading. Zhang et al. The stress state was retained for about 30 min. 13. A significant amount of energy was released at the initial stage of loading. and voids within the rock are likely to be the preferential location for the development of new cracks under loading. until the maximum principal stress increased to about 80 MPa. When the load increased to 46 MPa. σ2 = 10 MPa and σ3 = 8 MPa. 2010). Therefore. The cumulative AE energy increased rapidly. defects. It took about 40 min to reach the target stress state of σ1 = 16 MPa. σ2 = 10 MPa and σ3 = 8 MPa. 1981) and limestone (He et al. An abrupt release of σ2 did not lead to macro failure of specimen. 16b. Three representative stages of AE behavior similar to those observed in granitic rocks (Montoto et al. 246-3 and 246-4 are also presented in Fig. The loading–unloading histories of specimens 246-3 and 246-4 were given in Fig. . 6. σ2 = 23 MPa and σ3 = 19 MPa before unloading. 2010). before removing one of the horizontal loading platens which corresponded to an abrupt release of the intermediate principal stress σ2. implying that the macro failure had already occurred.

6 1827. Stress path and accumulated AE energy for specimens (a)246-1. (b)246-2.33 28.77 62. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 Fig.4 246-2 Dimensions (mm) 150.29 30. (c)246-3.P.10 P-wave velocity (m/s) 1929.1 4441. Table 7 Dimensions and P-wave velocities of true-triaxial unloading test specimens.9 246-4 Dimensions (mm) 150.24 30. Zhang et al.144 X.29 P-wave velocity (m/s) 3364.4 246-3 Dimensions (mm) 150. . (c)246-3.3 4993. Schematic illustration of specimens (a)246-1.4 1260. and (d)246-4 for true-triaxial unloading test.4 4326.05 1415.92 P-wave velocity (m/s) 1844.29 60. 16.5 1864. Specimen / Along length Along width Along thickness 246-1 Dimensions (mm) 150.29 60. 15.15 P-wave velocity (m/s) 1673. (d)246-4. (b)246-2.39 60.1 1348.0 Fig.01 31.

. which typically occurred within a period of 10 to 100 s. the orientation of the dominant cracks is 60 °–70 °. 2010).e. the load increments were 5 MPa. 17–Fig. different magnitudes of load increment were chosen for the specimens. “Squeeze-out” failure occurred on one side of the specimen. The room temperature was kept at 21 ± 1. the stress state before macro failure is significantly influenced by the schistose plane orientation of the specimen. while for specimens 246-4 and 246-19. the orientation of the single macro crack is about 65 ° (Figure 19). As discussed in Section 2 and with reference to the UCS values listed in Table 4. Small included angle (specimen 246-2) between the unloading face and schistose planes is the preferential configuration to fail. The first applied step load was 10 MPa for both specimens 246-4 (β = 90 °) and 246-19 (β = 0 °). 20 contain the photos of the four specimens before and after the unloading tests. in stage 3. Photos of specimen 246-1 (a) before and (b) after test (1 is the front face for unloading. 5 and 6 are respectively the top and bottom faces. the load increment was 3 MPa for each loading step. the amount of AE energy release significantly increased. activated (He et al. are the preferential crack development locations. 4 are respectively the right. which occurred at the initial triaxial stress state. 3. Close examination of the failure mode of the four specimens revealed that the failure of the specimens is closely associated with the schistose planes. the maximum AE energy release occurred when the rock specimen collapsed. and 3 MPa for specimen 246-27. and Stress state 2 indicates stress state before macro failure. Maranini and Brignoli. the strength of specimen 246-27 (β = 30 °) would be expected to be lower than those of specimens 246-4 (β = 90 °) and 246-19 (β = 0 °). In specimen 246-3. the remaining three specimens collapsed in response to a re-application of the maximum principal stress after unloading. the orientation of the dominant cracks are also along the schistose planes. In specimen 246-1 (Figure 17).331%) was much larger than that of the latter (0. Uniaxial creep tests The long-term deformation and stability of the rock mass is one of the major concerns in underground excavation projects. Creep tests were also performed in the present study to obtain the relevant deformation characters. . the macro failure of these three specimens actually occurred under a biaxial compression stress state. The resultant instantaneous axial strain of the former (0. This phase of substantial AE energy release. in which the axial stress was stepwisely increased until specimen failure occurred. For specimen 246-27. right after unloading. 6. The preparation of specimens was described in Section 4.P.5 °C in all tests in order to satisfy the requirement of small strain monitoring. Since the included angle between the unloading surface and schistose planes is small. Fig. the vertical stress (σ1) was then increased in a stepwise manner. The AE energy release was also in phase with the stepwise increase of σ1. If the specimen had not failed right after unloading. 21 shows the axial strain-time curves for the three tested specimens. schistose planes. After each load increment. was adopted. during which deformations were continuously monitored. back and left faces. Creep tests were performed on three specimens. Except for the macro failure of specimen 246-2. The failure modes are found to be dependent on schistose plane orientation. i. In the creep deformation experiment. Therefore. 30 ° and 90 ° respectively. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 Table 8 Stress state right before unloading and right before macro failure.048%). Fig. removal of σ2. which have a relatively low bonding strength between each other.X. Discussion The above described stress state before unloading and the stress state before macro failure of the four specimens tested in the present study were listed in Table 8. 2. Eventually. In stage 2. A multi-step loading procedure (Cristescu. Therefore.4. The loads of Fig. The latter lead to crack coalescence and eventually macro specimen failure. In particular. 2006).). was associated with the crack interaction and eventual coalescence generated by the abrupt change of stress distribution.5 18 2 80 0 18 246-4 1 39 22 19 2 80 0 19 145 Note: Stress State 1 indicates stress state before unloading. Specimen 246-4 (Figure 20) has vertically oriented schistose planes. which has the same schistose plane orientation as that of specimen 246-1.2. 1999 and Ma and Daemen. Zhang et al. it is relatively favorable for wedges to slide along the plane. leading to the preferential occurrence of macro failure even under a lower triaxial stress state (Table 8).3. which are approximately along the schistose planes. In specimen 246-2 (Figure 18). which were of schistose plane orientation β = 0 °. 1989. 6. the specimen was allowed to creep for a certain period (3 to 7 days in the present study) until the strain reached a stable value. This should be related to the stress redistribution and the change of boundary conditions such as the appearance of one free specimen surface upon unloading. The load increments were 5 MPa for specimens 246-4 and 24619. 17. the total measured strain is made up of instantaneous strain and creep strain. Specimen Stress state σ1/MPa σ2/MPa σ3/MPa 246-1 1 16 10 8 2 46 0 8 246-2 1 38 23 19 2 38 23 19 246-3 1 38 20. As a unique feature of schistose rock.

10 MPa were then kept constant for 112.5 h and 88.146 X. After the axial strains in these two specimens have reached a stable value. Photos of specimen 246-2 (a) before and (b) after test (refer to Fig. i.e. 17 for face labels). This could be accounted for by the different schistose plane orientation in these two specimens. 18. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 Fig. The above loading cycle was repeated until failure occurred.P. Photos of specimen 246-3 (a) before and (b) after test (refer to Fig.011%. 17 for face labels). The resultant axial creep strain of the former was about 0. Fig. 19. Zhang et al. which favored the closure of existing micropores and microfractures associated with the . and that of latter was about 0. 17 for face labels). For the same magnitude of load increment. Photos of specimen 246-4 (a) before and (b) after test (refer to Fig. an increment of 5 MPa. Fig. Specimen 246-4 was loaded perpendicular to the schistose planes. the axial loads were then increased to 15 MPa. 20.004%.5 h for specimen 246-4 and specimen 246-19 respectively. the resultant total axial strain in specimen 246-4 was much larger than that in specimen 246-19.

was chosen in the present study to describe the creeping behavior of the quartz mica schist. which contains an elastic element (representing the instantaneous strain response) and a viscoelastic element (representing the creep strain response). In the low stress levels corresponding to the first or second step. Tables 9.002 1. viscoelastic transient behavior (Kelvin-Voight material) and elastic viscoplastic behavior etc. and that of specimen 246-19 (β = 0 °) was the smallest.015 17..195 0. and 11).04% 9 167.65% 20 / / / / / / / where t is the duration of loading. Fig. The total measured strain is made up of instantaneous strain and creep strain.000 0. 22 were matched against the generalized Kelvin's model. Simple rheological models are available to describe various material behavior. 22 shows the lateral strain-time curves for the three tested specimens. the axial creep strain of each increment load increased as the load increased in the three specimens.000 0.03% 25 122.229 0.0 0. Up to the step loads just before failure (15 MPa for 246-4.00% 6 119. which were much larger than those of the axial counterpart. viscoelastic steady-state creep behavior (Maxwell material). 12 MPa for 246-27.X.P. the ratios of lateral creep strain to lateral total strain increased rapidly. In addition to the absolute magnitude of the creep strain values. When the load was further increased. ε is the strain.704 0. Lateral Table 10 Strains of specimen 246–19 (β = 0°) at various stress levels.8 0. rheological models are typically assembled to represent macroscopic stress–strain-time behavior phenomenologically (Blair. Stress/MPa Time (hours) Axial Total strain (%) Creep strain (%) Creep strain/Total strain Total strain (%) Creep strain (%) Creep strain/Total strain 10 112. 1969). 10.059 26.9 0.217 0.019 4. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 Table 11 Strains of specimen 246–27 (β = 30°) at various stress levels.223 1. The hence obtained parameters for the three specimens at different loading levels are summarized in Table 12 based on the curve-matching results as shown in Fig.80% 0.058 26.5 0 . 22. σ0 is the load.4 0.369 0. The contribution of creep was more significant in lateral deformations than in axial deformations for quartz mica schist. creep strains under different schistose plane orientations were carefully studied.145 0. This effect was less significant in specimen 246-19. of the three specimens were relatively small. By choosing appropriate parameters E1.5 0.335 0.64% 0. Lateral strain-time relations of specimens 246-4. E1 and E2 are the elastic moduli of the two springs.226 0. Stress/MPa Time (hours) Axial Total strain (%) Creep strain (%) Creep strain/Total strain Total strain (%) Creep strain (%) Creep strain/Total strain 10 88. Axial strain-time curves relations of specimens 246-4.00% 15 121.8 0. In this unaxial multistep loading creep experiment.383 0.586 0. E2 and η.011 3. 21.641 0.0 0.075 0.5 0.56% 0.160 0.51% 0. the total lateral strain of 246-19 (β = 0°) was the largest.03% 30 0.026 7.73% 20 99.011 18.9 0. The total axial strain of specimen 246–27 (β = 30 °) was the intermediate. (2010). and that of 246-4 (β = 90°) was the smallest.256 38. the ratios of the creep strain to total strain.059 0. Zhang et al. the ratios of creep strain to total strain associated with each load increment of the three specimens were also calculated (Tables 9. 24. in which the loading was parallel to the schistose planes. 10 and 11 show that the lateral creep strain of each increment load all increased as the load increased in the three specimens.396 0. Based on the experimental findings. .118 0.004 1.009 4. schistose planes. which includes ideal linear elastic. both axial and lateral. Up to the step loads just before failure (15 MPa for specimen 246-4.307 0.176 30.62% 147 15 / / / / / / / Lateral Fig. perfectly plastic behavior.11% 3.192 0.037 23. As shown in Tables 9.360 26.26% 0.89% 15 102. the strain-time curves shown in Fig. 12 MPa for specimen 246-27.088 0. 246-19 and 246-27.13% 1.05% 12 167.19% 0. the total axial strain of specimen 246-4 (β = 90 °) was the largest.011 4. 21 and Fig.001 0.05% 0.5 0.80% 0. Generalized Kelvin's model (Figure 23). 10 and 11.016 13. 25 MPa for specimen 246-19). the total lateral strain of 246-27 (β = 30°) was the intermediate.117 16.97% Lateral Fig. η is the viscosity coefficient of the viscous dashpot.184 0. 246-19 and 246-27.266 0. The creep equation is expressed as follows:   E σ0 σ − 2t + 0 1−e η E1 E2 εðt Þ = ð3Þ Table 9 Strains of specimen 246–4 (β = 90°) at various stress levels. Stress/MPa Time (hours) Axial Total strain (%) Creep strain (%) Creep strain/Total strain Total strain (%) Creep strain (%) Creep strain/Total strain 3 119.58% 0. Details of the curve-matching process are described by Han et al.006 2. 25 MPa for 246-19).267 41.

03 788. local tensile stresses are preferentially induced normal to the relatively weak schistose planes. Generalized Kelvin's model. Table 12 Generalized Kelvin's model parameters of quartz mica schist. Creep test and Generalized Kelvin's model curves of (a) 246-4 (β = 90°). (b) 246-19(β = 0 °). (c) 246-27(β = 30 °). from the present experimental studies. The generalized Kelvin's model parameters obtained in present study can be used to predict the creep strain under different stress levels.35 101. The total strain values before specimen failure were found to be dependent on the loading direction. / Engineering Geology 121 (2011) 135–149 Fig. However. Creep test shows that the axial and lateral creep strains increased as the load increased. DanBa quartz mica schist is a coarse-grained rock with a welldefined schistose texture. P-wave velocity tests suggest that this is a highly anisotropic rock.25 534.31 η/(GPa·h) 8408. the P-wave velocity is the highest parallel to the schistose planes (β = 0 °).08 209. which contains quartz. 23.45 142.34 217. The contributions of creep were more significant in lateral deformations than in axial deformations for quartz mica schist.47 4. Schistose plane orientation is one of the key factors to control the development of macro-cracks and hence failure modes of unloading test specimens. .64 19. unloading and long term stress states under different schistose orientations.20 20. The important findings are summarized below. β/ ° 90 0 Load/MPa 10 15 10 15 20 25 3 6 9 12 E1/GPa 3.78 3.P. In conclusion.89 Specimen 246-4 246-19 30 246-27 Fig. As the compressive loading is applied parallel to the schistose planes.84 280. Under uniaxial compression. failure can favorably occur along the schistose planes at a low stress state.98 29. which is more than three times of that measured normal to the schistose planes (β = 90 °). a comprehensive study has been carried out to characterize the DanBa quartz mica schist.96 21. mica and plagioclase as the major constituent minerals. the axial and lateral creep strains increased as the load increased. sidewall and arch crown surface of an underground excavation) is small. Cracks are thus easier to develop than in any other loading directions. 7. It implies that when the angle between the unloading surface (corresponding to the heading face. which is parallel to the schistose planes.38 46.24 162.99 70.01 134.08 42. In dry rock specimens.66 2.57 20. uniaxial compressive.148 X. Conclusions The anisotropic behavior of schistose rocks has been identified and studied by many researchers.06 E2/GPa 332. Zhang et al. Tensile and uniaxial compressive tests on specimens loaded at different orientations also reveal the strong anisotropic characters. very few systematic laboratory tests were performed in a coherent manner to study the strength and deformational responses of schistose rocks in tensile.51 39. 24.23 81. The contributions of creep were more significant in lateral deformations than in axial deformations for quartz mica schist.75 280.29 1.02 3. In this paper.23 65. cracks initiate and damage at an earlier stage than those in other loading directions.89 13.

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