Development of coupled shear-flow-visualization apparatus and data analysis

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A new type apparatus for shear-flow coupling test, named coupled shear-flow-visualization apparatus, was developed to investigate the hydromechanical behavior and the fracturing process of intact soft sedimentary rock. With this apparatus, it is possible to simultaneously carry out direct shear test and constant head flow test, and also to observe specimen surface during the experiment. Under controlled shear load, normal load, flow rate and shear displacement can be obtained as raw data. Moreover, fracture area and fracture apertures can be estimated using image-processing techniques. The shear and normal stress capacities of load cells are 4.08MPa and 3.33MPa, respectively. The measurable maximum permeability of apparatus is about 5.80×10-3cm/s under a hydraulic gradient of 40cm/cm. According to the observation of visible fractures on specimen surface, the fractures were not completely propagated at the peak of shear stress. The developed testing method with image processing techniques enabled us to analyze the relationships between fracture flow rate, hydraulic aperture and two fracture apertures defined in this study. © 2013 The Authors.




Park, H., Osada, M., Matsushita, T., Takahashi, M., & Ito, K. (2013). Development of coupled shear-flow-visualization apparatus and data analysis. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 63, 72–81.

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