The Effect of Initial Creep Damage on Unloading Failure Properties of Sandstone from Macro-mesoscopic Perspective
The aim of this research was to show the effect of initial creep damage on unloading failure of rock from macro-mesoscopic perspective. A series of triaxial creep tests were carried out on sandstone to simulate initial creep damage and then unloading confining pressure tests were performed, respectively. A creep damage variable was proposed to analyze the degree of initial creep damage and the relationship of it with the macroscopic strength parameters was established. The results showed that the unloading amount of confining pressure and residual strength all tend to decrease when the degree of initial creep damage increases. The critical challenge was how to describe the effect of initial creep damage from mesoscopic perspective. This aim was achieved through two steps. In the first step, the mesoscopic properties were analyzed using experimentally obtained SEM images of the rock samples with different levels of initial creep damage. By comparative analysis of porosities in different magnifications, it can be concluded that porosity can’t reflect the effect of initial creep damage very well, thus, other pore parameters are further proposed. In the second step, three pore parameters were calculated by using the Matlab and IPP software, then, the average value of mean pore diameter is determined as the proper evaluation parameter and, finally, the agreement was verified between the mesoscopic pore parameter and creep damage variable.