Mohr Coulomb Failure

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Mohr Coulomb Failure

© All Rights Reserved

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ritical porosity

However, this equation predicts a finite strength even as porosity approaches 1.0. More realistic forms must be

used so that strength vanishes at some porosity c. This limiting porosity was shown as a crossover porosity

from rock to a slurry by Raymer et al.[2] and was referred to as "critical porosity" elsewhere. Jizba [3] used such a

concept to derive a general strength relationship for sandstones:

....................(4)

where and n are the shear and normal stresses at failure.

The 0.36 within the parentheses is her presumed value for c. Notice, however, that this form indicates that

sandstones have no tensile or cohesive strength. We can obtain a better result by using Jizbas relationship at

elevated confining pressure (say, 50 MPa), where it is more valid, and recasting the trend in terms of 'Eq. 2, as

we did for the Scott relation.[4] Dobereiner and DeFreitas[5] measured several weak sandstones, and their results

suggest that critical porosity is approximately 0.42. Using this critical porosity, we derive a uniaxial compressive

strength

....................(5)

This C0 equation is plotted in Fig. 2 along with the modified Scott[6] and Jizba[3] equations and data of Dobereiner

and DeFreitas.[5]

Compaction strength

After a threshold region the rock begins to show ductile deformation under confining pressure. The pressure

under which a rock deforms is known as its compaction strength.

In Fig. 3, at some elevated stress or confining pressure, the rock will begin to show ductile deformation. The

grain structure begins to collapse, and the rock will compact and lose porosity. This compaction strength, Cc, is

itself a function of porosity as well as mineralogy, diagenesis, and texture. In Figs. 4a and 4b, the behavior of

two rocks under hydrostatic pressure is shown. The high-porosity (33%) sandstone (Fig. 4a) has a low "crush"

strength of about 55 MPa. With a lower porosity of 19%, Berea sandstone has a much higher strength of 440

MPa (Fig. 4b). Notice that in both Figs. 4a and 4b, permanent deformation remains even after the stress is

released. This hysteresis demonstrates the damage to the matrix structure caused by exceeding the crush

strength.

frictional faulting and to use this relationship to predict rock behavior

1. Review of principal stresses and introduction of shear stress and normal

stress

other 1, 2, and 3 where 1 2 3

1 is the maximum principal stress direction, 2 is the intermediate

principal stress direction, and 3 is the minimum principal stress

direction

We also define the differential stress (d) as (1 - 3)

The confining pressure is defined as 2 = 3 under compressive

stress and 2 = 1 under tensile stress

Lithostatic stress as static stress generated by mass of overlying

rocks

Lithostatic stress for a 1-m2 area = Gh

where:

= density of the overlying rocks

G = acceleration due to gravity

h = thickness of column of overlying rocks

For any plane with strike parallel with 2, stress is resolved into 2

components:

a.

b.

a.

s = (1 - 3)sin(2)

b.

n = (1 + 3) - (1 - 3)cos(2)

2. Mohr diagram for stress

Cartesian coordinates where the y-axis = s and the x-axis = n, 1,

3, and d

The mohr circle for stress is a circle with diameter = d plotted on the

mohr diagram with its center on the n-axis at a point = (1 + 3)

3. For any plane with strike parallel with 2: s and n can be found using a

graphical construction if we know 1, 3, and

Plot a line from the center of the mohr circle to the edge of the circle

so that the line is at an angle 2 (clockwise) from the x-axis. By

definition, the length of this line = d

The intersection of this line with the circle defines a point whos ycoordinate = s and whos x-coordinate = n on the plane

4. Coulombs failure criterion:

On a Mohr diagram, every homogeneous material has a

characteristic failure envelope for brittle shear fracturing

Combinations of s and n that plot outside of the envelope will result

in fracture. Those inside the envelope are stable.

Failure envelopes are derived experimentally. Rock samples are

placed in a piston rig with 1 > 2 = 3 (compressive stress) or 3 < 2

= 1 (tensile stress). 1 is increased, or 3 is decreased until the

sample fractures. Then, the sample is removed, the angle is

measured, and the results are plotted on a Mohr diagram. Hundreds

of these experiments will define the Coulomb failure envelope.

Describe this graphically on the board

Failure envelopes are parabolic in tensile stress and straight lines in

compressive stress

Under compressive stress, the failure envelope at any point is defined

by the Coulomb law of failure

c = 0 + tan()n

where:

0 = the cohesive strength, or the s value on the failure envelope

where n = 0 (where failure envelope crosses the y-axis)

= the angle of internal friction. = 90-2

Tan() is known as the coefficient of internal friction

Most rocks have an angle of internal friction 30. Therefore, at

failure is also 30, even though s is greatest when = 45.

Can use the mohr circle and the Coulomb failure envelope to

determine if a given state of stress is stable for a given rock type

Describe this graphically on the board

5. Byerlees law and slip on pre-existing fractures

Pre-existing fractures have no cohesive strength. In other

words, 0 = 0

Failure envelopes for pre-existing fractures (envelope of sliding

friction) are also derived experimentally using same methodology

used to define Coulomb failure envelopes. Describe this

graphically on the board

Except: the envelope of sliding friction is almost the same for every

rock type.

The angle of sliding friction (f) is the angle between the failure

envelope and the x-axis

a. For low confining pressures, f 40

b. For medium-to-high confining pressures, f 35

Sliding envelope is described by Byerlees Law: c = tan(f)n

Can use the mohr circle and Byerlees failure envelope to determine if

a given state of stress is stable for a given fracture orientation ()

Describe this graphically on the board

6. Effect of pore-fluid pressure on stress regime

directions

We define the effective stresses (1eff, 2eff, and 3eff) as:

1eff = 1 - Pf

2eff = 2 - Pf

3eff = 3 - Pf

Note that 1eff - 3eff = 1 - 3 so that pore fluid pressure does not

change the differential stress, it only lowers the confining pressure

Increased pore fluid pressure moves the Mohr circle to the right,

closer to the failure envelopes.

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