Mechanical behaviors of a sandstone and mudstone under loading and unloading conditions

  • Jun-Jie WangEmail author
  • Min-Nan Liu
  • Fu-Xian Jian
  • He-Jun Chai
Original Article


This study focuses on the effects of loading and unloading conditions on mechanical behaviors of a sandstone and mudstone. Two-type triaxial tests were carried out. One is the conventional triaxial test, in which the condition is an axial pressure controlled loading. The other is the unloading triaxial test, in which the condition is an axial pressure controlled preloading phase until reaching some 85% of estimated failure strength followed by a confining pressure controlled second loading phase until reaching failure strength. The experimental data indicate that the mechanical behaviors obtained from the unloading triaxial tests, such as the specimens’ failure surface, strain–stress curve, triaxial compressive strength, and triaxial shear strength, are different from ones obtained from the conventional triaxial tests. The failure surface observed in the conventional triaxial tests is a simple inclined slope, but, in the unloading triaxial tests, it is complex including two or more intersecting faces. The crest of deviatoric stress and corresponding axial strain obtained from the unloading triaxial tests are smaller. Some indexes to denote mechanical behaviors of rocks, such as triaxial compressive strength, angle of internal friction, and angle of shearing resistance, obtained from the unloading triaxial tests, are greater.


Sandstone Mudstone Compressive strength Shear strength Loading condition Experiment 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the National Science and Technology Support Program of China under Grant no. 2015BAK09B01, the Chongqing Science and Technology Commission of China under Grant nos. cstc2015jcyjBX0139 and cstc2017kjrc-cxcytd30001, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant nos. 51479012 and U1865103, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun-Jie Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Min-Nan Liu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Fu-Xian Jian
    • 1
    • 3
  • He-Jun Chai
    • 4
  1. 1.Chongqing Engineering Research Center of Diagnosis Technology and Instruments of Hydro-ConstructionChongqing Jiaotong UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Chongqing Engineering Research Center of Disaster Prevention & Control for Banks and Structures in Three Gorges Reservoir AreaChongqing Three Gorges UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.National Engineering Research Center for Inland Waterway RegulationChongqing Jiaotong UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.National Engineering Laboratory for Road Engineering and Disaster Prevention and Reduction Technology in Mountainous AreasChina Merchants Chongqing Communications Technology Research and Design Institute Co. Ltd.ChongqingPeople’s Republic of China

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