Experimental Investigation on Deformation Failure Characteristics of Crystalline Marble Under Triaxial Cyclic Loading

Sheng-Qi Yang, Wen Ling Tian, P. G. Ranjith

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42 Citations (Scopus)


The deformation failure characteristics of marble subjected to triaxial cyclic loading are significant when evaluating the stability and safety of deep excavation damage zones. To date, however, there have been notably few triaxial experimental studies on marble under triaxial cyclic loading. Therefore, in this research, a series of triaxial cyclic tests was conducted to analyze the mechanical damage characteristics of a marble. The post-peak deformation of the marble changed gradually from strain softening to strain hardening as the confining pressure increased from 0 to 10 MPa. Under uniaxial compression, marble specimens showed brittle failure characteristics with a number axial splitting tensile cracks; in the range of σ3 = 2.5–7.5 MPa, the marble specimens assumed single shear fracture characteristics with larger fracture angles of about 65°. However, at σ3 = 10 MPa, the marble specimens showed no obvious shear fracture surfaces. The triaxial cyclic experimental results indicate that in the range of the tested confining pressures, the triaxial strengths of the marble specimens under cyclic loading were approximately equal to those under monotonic loading. With the increase in cycle number, the elastic strains of the marble specimens all increased at first and later decreased, achieving maximum values, but the plastic strains of the marble specimens increased nonlinearly. To evaluate quantitatively the damage extent of the marble under triaxial cyclic loading, a damage variable is defined according to the irreversible deformation for each cycle. The evolutions of the elastic modulus for the marble were characterized by four stages: material strengthening, material degradation, material failure and structure slippage. Based on the experimental results of the marble specimens under complex cyclic loading, the cohesion of the marble decreased linearly, but the internal friction angles did not depend on the damage extent. To describe the peak strength characteristics of the marble specimens under complex cyclic loadings with various deformation positions, a revised strength criterion for damaged rocks is offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2871-2889
Number of pages19
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Crystalline marble
  • Cyclic loading
  • Elastic modulus
  • Mechanical damage
  • Strength

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