Mechanical Behaviour of Cyclically Heated Fine Grained Rock

Y. Mahmutoglu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


The most vital difference between rock and rock mass are fractures and fissures. They affect the behaviour and strength of rock masses. According to their origin, size, and shape, rock mass contains several types of weakness planes varying from microfissure to faults. Other parameters such as underground water, temperature, time and stress state affect the rock's behaviour in its natural environment. The frequency of discontinuities in fractured rock is one of the basic parameters for reducing its strength. However it is generally difficult to test undisturbed fractured rock in a laboratory environment. In this study it was tried to open and loosen the grain boundaries of fine-grained rock specimens by cyclical heating and cooling. This should serve as a physical simulation of fractures in the rock mass and enables a discussion of the changes in mechanical behaviour of fractured rock. For this reason, laboratory test specimens of Carrara marble and Buchberger sandstone were used. The heating cycles were varied from 0 to 16. From the results of uniaxial compression, Brazilian and "Continuous Failure State" triaxial tests, it was pointed out that all of the mechanical parameters decreased gradually with an increasing number of heating cycles. Uniaxial compressive strength was reduced to about 50%, while the tensile strength decreased to about 60% for both types of rock. It was also observed that the variations of strength parameters were higher after the first heating cycles. As a result of cyclical heating, the slopes of pre-failure and post-failure curves in the stress-strain plane changed similarly, but the variations of modulus of elasticity were higher than the slopes of the post-failure curves for sandstone. The ratio between compressive and indirect tensile strength rose to a value of 98 after the last heating cycle. For unheated specimens of Carrara marble this ratio is 20. The axial strain at the failure point increased suddenly after the first heating cycle and the failure developed entirely intergranular in cyclically heated specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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