Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 1751–1761 | Cite as

Effect of Water on the Deformation and Failure of Rock in Uniaxial Tension

Original Paper


To design and construct underground structures, it is essential to understand the mechanical properties of rock in not only compression but also tension. It is well known that water is one of the important factors affecting the deformation and failure of rock. In this study, laboratory tests and numerical simulations were conducted to understand the effect of water on rock properties in uniaxial tension. In the experiments, a testing machine previously used for uniaxial tension tests in dry conditions was modified for tests in wet conditions. Using this machine, complete stress–strain curves from the pre- to postpeak regions of water-saturated specimens in uniaxial tension were obtained. The results for granite, tuff, and two types of andesite showed that the stress–strain curves in wet conditions have a lower initial slope and lower strength than those in dry conditions, and they are strongly nonlinear in the prepeak region. Comparing the changes in the results for uniaxial tension versus compression due to water, it was found that the reduction rate of uniaxial tensile strength was greater than that of uniaxial compressive strength, while the ratio between the reduction rates was almost constant for various rocks. In numerical simulations, the stress–strain curves in the prepeak region under dry and wet conditions could be reproduced by crack extension models under uniaxial tensile stress. Numerical analyses indicated that the nonlinearity of the stress–strain curves is probably due to the longer crack extension in wet compared with dry conditions.


Uniaxial tension test Uniaxial compression test Stress–strain curve Effect of water Crack extension resistance curve 


  1. Bell FG (1977) A note on the physical properties of chalk. Eng Geol 11:217–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Broch E, Franklin JA (1972) The point-load strength test. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 9:669–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chu SY, Okubo S, Fukui K (1995) Creep of Sanjome andesite in uniaxial tension. J MMIJ 111:31–36 (in Japanese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Erguler ZA, Ulusay R (2009) Water-induced variations in mechanical properties of clay-bearing rocks. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 46:355–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fukui K, Okubo S, Nishimatsu Y (1991) Creep behaviour of Sanjome andesite in three-point-bending. J MMIJ 107:416–421 (in Japanese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gunsallus KL, Kulhawy FH (1984) A comparative evaluation of rock strength measures. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 21:233–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hashiba K, Fukui K (2014) Index of loading-rate dependency of rock strength. Rock Mech Rock Eng. doi:10.1007/s00603-014-0597-6 Google Scholar
  8. Hawkes I, Mellor M, Gariepy S (1973) Deformation of rocks under uniaxial tension. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 10:493–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hawkins AB, McConnell BJ (1992) Sensitivity of sandstone strength and deformability to changes in moisture content. Q J Eng Geol 25:115–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ishii E, Sanada H, Iwatsuki T, Sugita Y, Kurikami H (2011) Mechanical strength of the transition zone at the boundary between opal-A and opal-CT zones in siliceous rocks. Eng Geol 122:215–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kirby SH (1984) Introduction and digest to the special issue on chemical effects of water on the deformation and strengths of rocks. JGR 89:3991–3995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kranz RL (1980) The effects of confining pressure and stress difference on static fatigue of granite. JGR 85:1854–1866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nishimatsu Y, Matsuki K (1977) The failure of borehole-wall considered from the point of view of linear fracture mechanics (1st report). J MMIJ 93:185–190 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  14. Ojo O, Brook N (1990) The effect of moisture on some mechanical properties of rock. Min Sci Technol 10:145–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Okamura H (1976) Senkei Hakai Rikigaku Nyumon. Baihukan. Tokyo, Chapter 4 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  16. Okubo S, Fukui K (1996) Complete stress–strain curves for various rock types in uniaxial tension. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 33:549–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Okubo S, Shin K, Nishimatsu Y (1984) Mathematical model of crack growth for Sanjome andesite. J Soc Mater Sci Jpn 33:882–887 (in Japanese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Okubo S, Nishimatsu Y, He C, Chu SY (1992) Loading rate dependency of uniaxial compressive strength of rock under water-saturated condition. J Soc Mater Sci Jpn 41:403–409 (in Japanese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ouchterlony F (1982) Review of fracture toughness testing of rock. SM Arch 7:131–211Google Scholar
  20. Parate NS (1973) Influence of water on the strength of limestone. Trans Soc Min Eng AIME 254:127–131Google Scholar
  21. Sanada H, Niunoya S, Matsui H, Fujii Y (2009) Influences of sedimentary history on the mechanical properties and microscopic structure change of Horonobe siliceous rocks. J MMIJ 125:521–529 (in Japanese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Talesnick ML, Hatzor YH, Tsesarsky M (2001) The elastic deformability and strength of a high porosity, anisotropic chalk. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 38:543–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (1989) Ganseki Hakai Rikigaku to Sono Oyo. Korona-sya, Tokyo, Chapter 3 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  24. Van Eeckhout EM (1976) The mechanisms of strength reduction due to moisture in coal mine shales. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 13:61–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Systems InnovationThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations