Accurate stress–strain measurements in triaxial tests are critical to compute reliable mechanical parameters. We focus on compliance at the interfaces between the specimen and endcaps, and test specimens under various triaxial conditions using different instrumentation protocols. The tested materials include aluminum, Eagle Ford shale, Berea sandstone, and Jubaila carbonate. Results obtained following common practice reveal that surface roughness at the specimen-endcap interfaces leads to marked seating effects, affects all cap-to-cap based measurements and hinders ultrasonic energy transmission. In particular, cap-to-cap deformation measurements accentuate hysteretic behavior, magnify biases caused by bending and tilting (triggered by uneven surfaces and misalignment), and affect the estimation of all rock parameters, from stiffness to Biot’s α-parameter. Higher confining pressure diminishes seating effects. Local measurements using specimen-bonded strain gauges are preferred (Note: mounting strain gauges on sleeves is ill-advised). We confirm that elastic moduli derived from wave propagation measurements are higher than quasi-static moduli determined from local strain measurements using specimen-bonded strain gauges, probably due to the lower strain level in wave propagation and preferential high-velocity travel path for first arrivals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)