Effect of Wet-dry Cycles on Disintegration Characteristics of Clay-bearing Sandstone with UF Cracks
UF cracks in rock masses commonly occur due to the unloading effect, which constantly happens after the variation of in-situ stress field or rock excavation. To study the effect of changes in moisture on rock samples with UF cracks, clay-bearing sandstone from the Triassic Badong group in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area were chosen and investigated. The rock samples with UF cracks are obtained by conducting triaxial unloading confining pressure experiment. The effect of wet-dry cycles on the UF cracks, morphology properties and microstructural features of the UF surface was investigated. The characteristics of particle-size uniformity from the sieve test were obtained by the calculation of RMS of particle contents. The test results show that UF cracks widen significantly and the disintegrated mass increases rapidly in the first three wet-dry cycles, while the fractal dimension of UF surface decreases sharply, but afterwards the disintegrated mass changes gently and the UF surface tends to be flat and smooth. Then, the RMS calculation of particle contents quantitatively evaluate the clay-bearing sandstone’s disintegration properties, which indicate the particle uniformity plays a key role on its disintegration mechanism. Finally, we found that the microstructure of samples from FD group is looser and porous than those from SD group by SEM test. This investigation, considering the similar clay mineral content of all tested samples, demonstrates the closed link between the grain size distribution, microstructural features and the degree of disintegration.