Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 4803–4814 | Cite as

Strength Testing of Sandstone Under Multi-Axial Stress States

  • Feitao ZengEmail author
  • Brian L. Folta
  • Joseph F. Labuz
Original Paper


A true triaxial apparatus was designed and fabricated to achieve multi-axial stress states with prismatic specimens. The device, which is a modification of the University of Minnesota plane-strain apparatus, is equipped with piston assemblies that generate the intermediate principal stress. A closed-loop, servo-hydraulic load frame is used to control the major principal stress, while the minor principal stress is developed by fluid pressure. A stress path was developed to perform experiments under various states of stress at constant mean stress. Results from strength testing on Dunnville sandstone under conventional compression and extension are compared with the results performed under multi-axial stress states. Failure data were plotted in principal stress space to investigate the effect of intermediate stress on strength. A plane fitting method was used to obtain the material parameters of two, six-sided Paul–Mohr–Coulomb failure surfaces, which capture the strength characteristics of the sandstone over a range of mean stress.


True triaxial testing Constant mean stress Intermediate stress Paul–Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion 



Partial support was provided by the MSES/Miles Kersten Chair and the China Scholarship Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil, Geological and Mining EngineeringÉcole Polytechnique de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-EngineeringUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Golder Associates Inc.MilwaukeeUSA

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