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Four types of laboratory tests have been performed. Specimens were attained from four lithophysal zones of the welded Topopah Spring Tuff unit at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: upper lithophysal, middle nonlithophysal, lower lithophysal and lower nonlithophysal zones. Two types of tests are conducted to study time-dependent behavior: constant strain rate and creep tests. Sixty five specimens from the middle nonlithophysal zone were tested at six strain rates: 10 , 10 , 10 , 10 , 10 , and 10 . Test durations range from 2 seconds to 7 days. Fourteen specimens from middle nonlithophysal, lower lithophysal and lower nonlithophysal zones are creep tested by incremental stepwise loading. All the tests are conducted under uniaxial compression at room temperature and humidity.

Specimens exhibit extremely brittle fracture and fail by axial splitting, and show very little dilatancy if any. It is assumed that microfracturing dominates the inelastic deformation and failure of the tuff. Nonlinear regression is applied to the results of the constant strain rate tests to estimate the relations between peak strength, peak axial strain, secant modulus and strain rate. All three these parameters decrease with a decrease of strain rate and follow power functions:σ peak= 271.37ε&0.0212 ε peak= 0.0066ε&0.0083 ES = 41985.4ε&0.015. Secant modulus is introduced mainly as a tool to analyze strain rate dependent axial strain.


Nevada – Yucca Mountain; Rock mechanics; Volcanic ash; tuff; etc. -- Mechanical properties


Earth Sciences | Geology | Materials Science and Engineering




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