Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 2043–2054 | Cite as

Effects of Thermal Damage and Confining Pressure on the Mechanical Properties of Coarse Marble

Original Paper


Heating treatment generally causes thermal damage inside rocks, and the influence of thermal damage on mechanical properties of rocks is an important topic in rock mechanics. The coarse marble specimens drilled out from a rock block were first heated to a specific temperature level of 200, 400 and 600 °C except the control group left at 20 °C. A series of triaxial compression tests subjected to the confining pressure of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 MPa were conducted. Coupling effects of thermal damage and confining pressure on the mechanical properties of marbles including post-peak behaviors and failure modes, strength and deformation parameters, characteristic stresses in the progressive failure process had been investigated. Meanwhile, accompanied tests of physical properties were carried out to study the effect of thermal damage on microstructure, porosity and P-wave velocity. Finally, the degradation parameter was defined and a strength-degradation model to describe the peak strength was proposed. Physical investigations show that porosity increases slowly and P-wave velocity reduces dramatically, which could be re-demonstrated by the microscopy results. As for the post-peak behaviors and the failure modes, there is a brittle to ductile transition trend with increasing confining pressure and thermal effect reinforces the ductility to some degree. The comparative study on strength and deformation parameters concludes that heating causes damage and confining pressure inhibits the damage to develop. Furthermore, crack damage stress and crack initiation stress increase, while the ratios of crack damage stress to peak strength and crack initiation stress to peak strength show a decreasing trend with the increase of confining pressure; the magnitude of crack damage stress or crack initiation stress shows a tendency of decrease with the increasing heating temperature and the tendency vanishes subjected to high confinement.


Coarse marbles Thermal damage Crack damage stress Crack initiation stress Peak strength model 



The research work presented in this paper is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51579189), the National Basic Research Program of China (‘‘973’’ Program, Grant No. 2011CB013501), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities. The authors are grateful for these financial supports.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mengdi Yao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guan Rong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chuangbing Zhou
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jun Peng
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering ScienceWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Rock Mechanics in Hydraulic Structural Engineering, Ministry of EducationWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.School of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureNanchang UniversityNanchangChina

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