Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 51, Issue 7, pp 2033–2053 | Cite as

Fracturing Mechanism of Compressed Hollow-Cylinder Sandstone Evaluated by X-ray Micro-CT Scanning

  • Sheng-Qi Yang
Original Paper


Triaxial compression experiments under confining pressures of 16 and 35 MPa were first carried out for hollow-cylinder sandstone specimens using a rock mechanics testing system. Four hollow-cylinder sandstone specimens were compressed to various deformation positions before or after the peak strength. Then, the compressed hollow-cylinder sandstone specimens were analysed using a three-dimensional X-ray micro computed tomography (CT) scanning system. Based on the horizontal and vertical cross-sectional CT images, the internal damage behaviour of hollow-cylinder sandstone specimens was evaluated. It can be seen that the crack system of hollow-cylinder sandstone specimens with higher compressed deformation after the peak strength are more complicated than those with lower compressed deformation close to the peak strength. In the present study, the hollow-cylinder sandstone specimens with lower compressed deformation are only dominated by some internal wall fractures resulting mainly from shear cracks, whereas the hollow-cylinder sandstone specimens with higher compressed deformation are mainly dominated by two shear fractures, as well as some tensile cracks. For the same axial stress level, hollow-cylinder sandstone under a higher confining pressure has a more complicated crack system than that under a lower confining pressure. The experimental results demonstrated that the three-dimensional cracks in the hollow specimen under triaxial compression are first initiated from the internal wall due to shear slippage, and then propagate towards the top or bottom boundary of the specimen in shear fracture mode. To better explain the internal crack evolution mechanism of hollow-cylinder sandstone during the entire loading, a conceptual model of hollow-cylinder sandstone material under the action of confining pressure is proposed. At the same time, the effect of the borehole size on the internal damage behaviour of the compressed specimen after the peak strength is also discussed. The investigated conclusions are significant for predicting the instability occurring around deep well bores in petroleum engineering and for ensuring the safety of deep excavation damage zones in tunnel engineering.


Hollow-cylinder sandstone X-ray micro-CT Internal damage Fracture Borehole size Compressed deformation 



This research was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2015XKZD05). I also would like to express my sincere gratitude to the editor Giovanni Barla, the associate editor Li Jian-Chun and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments, which have greatly improved this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Geomechanics and Deep Underground Engineering, School of Mechanics and Civil EngineeringChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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