Creep-Induced Cleavage Fracture in WIPP Salt Under Indirect Tension

[+] Author and Article Information
K. S. Chan, S. R. Bodner

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX 78238

N. S. Brodsky, A. F. Fossum, D. E. Munson

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 119(4), 393-400 (Oct 01, 1997) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2812275 History: Received June 22, 1996; Revised April 08, 1997; Online November 27, 2007


The phenomenon of cleavage fracture initiation in rock salt undergoing concurrent creep was studied experimentally using the Brazilian indirect tension test technique. The tensile creep and cleavage fracture behaviors were characterized for rock salt from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site. The Brazilian test consists of a compressive line load applied diametrically on a disk specimen to produce a region of tensile stress in the center of the disk. The damage processes were documented using video photography. The experimental results were analyzed in terms of a wing-crack fracture model and an independently developed, coupled time-dependent, mechanism-based constitutive model whose parameters were obtained from triaxial compression creep tests. Analytical results indicate that coupling between creep and cleavage fracture in WIPP salt results in a fracture behavior that exhibits time-dependent characteristics and obeys a failure criterion involving a combination of stress difference and tensile stress. Implications of creep-induced cleavage fracture to the integrity of WIPP structures are discussed.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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