Comparison of the characteristics of rock salt exposed to loading and unloading of confining pressures

Research paper by Jie Chen, Deyi Jiang, Song Ren, Chunhe Yang

Indexed on: 03 Mar '15Published on: 03 Mar '15Published in: Acta Geotechnica


Rock mechanical behaviors and deformation characteristics are associated with stress history and loading path. Unloading conditions occur during the formation of a salt cavity as a result of washing techniques. Such conditions require an improved understanding of the mechanical and deformation behaviors of rock salt. In our study, rock salt dilatancy behaviors under triaxial unloading confining pressure tests were analyzed and compared with those from conventional uniaxial and triaxial compression tests. The volume deformation of rock salt under unloading was more than under triaxial loading, but less than under uniaxial loading (with the same deviatoric stress). Generally, under the same axial compression, the corresponding dilatancy rate decreased as the confining compression increased, and under the same confining compression, the corresponding dilatancy rate increased as the axial compression increased. The dilatancy boundary of the unloading confining pressure test began with unloading. This is different from the dilatancy of the uniaxial and triaxial compression tests. The accelerated dilatancy point boundary stress value was affected by confining and axial compressions. The specimens entered into a creep state after unloading. The associated creep rate depends on the deviatoric stress and confining compression values at the end of the unloading process. Based on unloading theory and the experimental data, we propose a constitutive model of rock salt damage. Our model reflects the dilatancy progression at constant axial stress and reduced lateral confinement.