X-ray micro-computed tomography study of the propagation of cracks in shale during uniaxial compression

Published on Sep 18, 2018in Environmental Earth Sciences2.18
· DOI :10.1007/S12665-018-7843-2
Baicun Yang5
Estimated H-index: 5
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Lei Xue9
Estimated H-index: 9
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Ke Zhang2
Estimated H-index: 2
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
An understanding of crack propagation is critical for the development of rock mechanic models. To study the propagation of internal cracks in situ and determine their formation mechanism, a series of uniaxial compression tests on shale specimens were conducted using a novel setup that combines X-ray micro-computed tomography (X-ray micro-CT) with a uniaxial loading apparatus, which allows CT scans to be performed during compression. Macro- and micro-scale internal cracks were extracted from CT images collected after various stages of deformation through image thresholding segmentation, providing a record of the evolution of damage within the specimens, characterized by crack closure, generation, growth, and penetration. In addition, macroscopic cracks with two distinct orientations were observed and their formation mechanism was further determined. Furthermore, test results show that the distribution of pyrite grains influences the formation of cracks at the meso- and macro-scales. These results are significant for understanding crack propagation and the failure of shale.
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