The mechanical properties of shale based on micro-indentation test

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In view of the difficulty to get mechanical characteristics of shale reservoirs, a quantitative evaluation method based on micro-indentation test technology was proposed to research the meso-mechanical properties of shale. Through micro-indentation test of shale outcrop samples from the Cambrian Longmaxi Formation in the Changning area, Sichuan Basin, the meso-mechanical properties of shale were analyzed, and the relationship between the macro-scale and meso-scale shale mechanical properties was evaluated. The analysis results of micro-indentation tests show that the mesoscopic elastic modulus and indentation hardness are heterogeneous in distribution. The comparison of macro and meso experiments shows that the statistical mean value of meso-elastic modulus is approximate to the value of the macro-elastic modulus. The relationship between composition and mechanical properties of shale was obtained based on the packing density model theory. The result shows that mesoscopic elastic modulus and indentation hardness increase nonlinearly with the increase of the packing density. Based on the hardness-packing density model, the reverse analysis of cohesion and friction angles shows that the mesoscopic value is slightly smaller than the macroscopic value. The micro-indentation test technology can evaluate shale meso-mechanical properties and predict the macro-mechanical properties effectively. © 2015 Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration




Chen, P., Han, Q., Ma, T., & Lin, D. (2015). The mechanical properties of shale based on micro-indentation test. Petroleum Exploration and Development, 42(5), 723–732.

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